Do the ends justify the means? Is the argument that “it’s the bunny or your baby” a truly valid one?
There have been, and continue to be, many acts of genocide perpetrated by humans on other humans. But members of our human family are not the only victims of genocide; our non-human family has also been, and continues to be, subjected to acts of genocide perpetrated by humans.
The purpose of this article is the exposure of the horrendous abuse of animals for experimentation purposes that is disguised under the euphemism of ‘vivisection’ and made acceptable in the belief that it is necessary for scientific progress to be achieved.
The Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary defines vivisection as,
“a surgical operation on a living animal for experimental purposes.”
Vivisection is said to have been first recorded about 2,500 years ago, but its modern form is said to have begun in the mid-20th century.
The scientific fields that utilise vivisection are categorised under the three headings of research, testing and education.
Investigations classified as ‘testing’ include experiments that are conducted to ascertain the ‘safety’ of chemical ingredients used in manufactured products, many of which are everyday items used by millions of people around the world. I anticipate covering this topic in another article.
The category of ‘education’ is self-explanatory and mainly involves the dissection of animals in classrooms. The main problem with this activity is that it de-sensitises children and young adults and teaches them that it is acceptable and even ‘scientific’ to kill and dissect animals, instead of teaching them to love and respect their non-human family.
The category of ‘research’ covers a range of fields of study, such as basic and biomedical research, behavioural research, military research, agricultural research, veterinary research and drug development and testing.
The field of science that is responsible for probably the greatest numbers of animals being subjected to unimaginable torture and cruelty is that of medical science, especially research. The main justification for vivisection within medical research is that it is indispensable; it is claimed to be vital for the study of disease and for the development of effective drugs and vaccines to combat and cure them, all of which will benefit humanity as a whole. This argument is encapsulated within the phrase ‘it’s the bunny or your baby’.
However, nothing could be further from the truth. Although it may be well-intentioned, this is a fallacious argument; no animal has to be sacrificed in order to save babies. The reason for this is because the mainstream medical establishment system, often referred to as ‘modern medicine’, is based on fundamentally flawed theories about diseases and their causes.
Infectious diseases are claimed to be caused by ‘germs’ and ‘genes’ are claimed to be relevant causal factors for a number of non-infectious diseases. But these claims are erroneous; neither ‘germs’ nor ‘genes’ have ever been proven to be the causes of any disease; this is explained in depth in a book I co-authored entitled What Really Makes You Ill? Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Disease Is Wrong.
Anti-vivisection organisations argue for medical research without animal experiments on the basis that it is unethical to inflict suffering on animals during experiments designed to relieve human suffering. But medical research in the modern era has utterly failed to benefit humanity, despite the use and abuse of millions of animals. The failure of modern medicine can be demonstrated by the existence of the phenomenon of ‘iatrogenesis’, which is defined as a condition that has resulted from medical treatment. This failure is not only demonstrated by the existence of iatrogenesis, but also from the ever-increasing numbers of people who suffer and die from diseases.
Anti-vivisection organisations raise a number of valid objections to the use of animals for research purposes, the main ones being that animals suffer during the experiments and that they have an unnatural life within the laboratory environment. Another objection is that animals used in research are almost always killed at some stage of the experiment; to counter this objection, medical researchers often use the euphemism ‘sacrificed’ so that animal deaths are represented as a scientific necessity rather than the outright cruelty that it is. The reality is that, whether it occurs before, during or afterwards, the overwhelming majority of animals are killed so that researchers can examine them and determine the effects of the ‘experiment’ they have conducted.
It is probably true to say that medical researchers perform their work under the impression that they are conducting ‘medical science’ and that it has a genuine and meaningful purpose; as expressed by Dr Selye, who refers to,
“…one of the noblest and most human aspirations of man, the desire to understand himself.”
Although the dissection of dead animals can permit an understanding of the physiological effects of ‘disease’, it cannot generate an understanding of disease processes within a living body, whether human or animal. Furthermore, no experimentation conducted on living, or dead, animals can take ‘man’ to a better understanding of ‘himself’.
It is recognised that there are some problems with the use of animals in medical research, not least of which are reproducibility issues; reproducibility is considered to be an essential feature of scientific experimentation.
The existence of ‘research gaps’ is another recognised problem, but these gaps are in fact, much larger than they are believed to be; for example, medical research has never produced any ‘cure’ for any human disease. This particular ‘gap’ is immensely significant; it is so huge that it completely undermines the fundamental belief that animal experiments are vital to the furtherance of an understanding of human disease, and to the ability to combat this problem.
Another limitation to the use of animal experimentation in the study of disease is that only certain effects can be observed and objectively measured; as explained by the authors of Chemical Exposures who state that,
“…rats, mice and other animals are unable to tell researchers if they have headaches, feel depressed or anxious or are nauseated.”
These, and many other relevant but non-measurable effects, remain unknown to researchers.
Animal research experiments are conducted to determine the efficacy of a drug and its ability to alleviate a particular disease. But pharmaceutical products are made with petrochemicals and are all toxic and harmful. The idea that there can be a safe dose of a harmful substance is erroneous; the only difference that a dose makes is in the effect and the degree of harm caused.
Another justification for the use of animals is that they are ‘lesser beings’, and therefore different from, humans; yet vivisection is justified on the basis that animals are sufficiently similar to humans to qualify as ‘suitable models’ for the study of human disease. This is a blatant contradiction.
It is clear that animals are not suitable models for studying human diseases. Each type of animal is physiologically and biochemically different from all other types of animal, as well as being different from humans. Their physiological and biochemical differences mean that conclusions drawn from animal experiments cannot be reliably extrapolated as if they are meaningful for human disease studies. Nevertheless, although the results are recognised to be ‘approximations’, medical research studies contain conclusions that are claimed to assist the development of knowledge about diseases and the appropriate measures with which to ‘treat’ them.
The basic problem with vivisection in medical research is described by Dr Moneim Fadali MD, who is firm in his condemnation of the practice, and is quoted by Hans Ruesch in his book entitled 1000 Doctors (And Many More) Against Vivisection, to have stated that,
“Animal model systems differ from their human counterparts. Conclusions drawn from animal research, when applied to human beings, are likely to delay progress, mislead, and do harm to the patient. Vivisection, or animal experimentation, should be abolished.”
There is a fundamental error in the assumption that an artificial environment created in a laboratory can simulate the environment within a living organism; this point is also discussed by Hans Ruesch who quotes bacteriologist Rene Dubos from his own book entitled Mirage of Health,
“The experimenter does not produce nature in the laboratory.”
It may be argued that researchers recognise this fact; nevertheless, they believe that the laboratory provides a sufficient approximation of nature and that this enables them to produce adequate experimental ‘evidence’ that can be reliably extrapolated and applied to the human body. These are erroneous beliefs and assumptions.
One of the most fundamental points that needs to be emphasised is, that using an animal as a model for investigating a particular human disease would only be relevant if the animal also suffered from the disease under investigation; but this is not the case. In fact, research studies often require the disease to be artificially induced in the laboratory animal; the methods employed to do this frequently involve the use of chemicals that are known to be toxic and the cause of illness. In the study of ‘genetic diseases’, the methods can involve the use of radiation to produce mutations that are claimed to resemble certain diseases, especially cancers.
This is a clear indication that toxic substances are inherently harmful – to animals and humans alike.
Nevertheless, in the belief that it is more ethical to experiment on animals than on humans, researchers use many types of animals; rats and mice are the most common, although others include cats, dogs, frogs, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and monkeys. It may be assumed that the preference for rats and mice is because they are suitable approximations for the study of human disease; but this is not the case. Rodents are used because they are cheap, small and easy to handle. This raises serious questions over their use as models for the study of human disease.
It may be suggested that primates would be far more suitable animal models for this purpose, on the basis that they share many similarities with humans and are far closer to man ‘genetically’. However, although primates are used in some experiments, they are not more suitable as models for the study of human disease. Professor Vernon Reynolds, a primatologist and professor of biological anthropology, provides his response to this suggestion with reference to man’s closest primate ‘relative’, the chimpanzee. On the website of the Vivisection Information Network, on the page entitled Medical quotes, he is quoted as stating that,
“No chimps … have been of any use in the experiments they were used for … The whole wretched business (and it is big business) should be stopped and stopped now.”
I agree wholeheartedly!
The topic of animal experimentation extends beyond what has been covered in this article and will be revisited in future articles to demonstrate the immense cruelty and suffering experienced by our non-human family at the hands of our human family.
Problems can only be solved when their root causes have been correctly identified so that they can be addressed and removed. It is only by identifying the unnecessary violence and suffering that humans inflict on animals in the name of ‘science’, that we can understand that our actions have consequences and that, in order to stop the genocide against us, we must put an end to the human genocide against animals.
It is fundamentally important for people to fully comprehend that: In order for us to have peace, we must be free. Peace and freedom are incredibly important to me as they are essential features of life, for all living beings, not just humans. This is particularly pertinent at the moment with respect to the ever-increasing attacks on and removal of our freedoms. In order to become free, we need to understand why we are not free. One of the main reasons is because others have illegitimately taken away our ability to control our own lives. This is an unacceptable situation; it is to help change this situation that I became an activist.
The core goal of my activism is to provide people with the information they need to make truly informed decisions, not only about their health, which is a key area of interest for me, but about all aspects of their lives. The ability to make informed decisions empowers people to take responsibility for their actions. This will restore the power to where it truly belongs - with each and every one of us.