Monday, 15 July 2013

Against Vivisection

In a perfect society, the subject of animal ethics would not need to be urged. In the flawed reality of imperfection, the deficiency is so great as to be stunning.

A well known observation indicates that America and Japan are the two worst offenders in the field of laboratory animal abuse. The exploitive capitalism of America is reputedly the most extreme in this respect. “One animal dies in a laboratory in the USA every second, in Japan every two seconds, and in the UK every twelve seconds.” (LCA)  There are many other offending countries perpetuating bad  habits induced by predatory and commercial “science.” For instance, Air France is an airline annually transporting tens of thousands of primates for cruelty lab experiments.

The insistence that animal experiments furthered a knowledge of physiology was strong in the nineteenth century, and endorsed by the biology hero Charles Darwin. The National Anti-Vivisection Society was founded in London in 1875. Today, the laboratory crimes are far more intensive, and accompanied by arguments about the necessity for finding cures to diseases like cancer. Critics have developed counter-arguments, which reveal the horrors as being not merely unethical, but also unnecessary, profit-seeking, and criminal.

The worst case scenario of laboratory animals is comparable to that of a human invalid in a hospital bed who is mercilessly tortured by doctors in attendance.

Vivisection is a symptom of predatory “science” from America to China and Japan. Many millions of dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, and other breeds are currently lab victims. Even horses, cows, sheep, pigs, fish, and birds suffer in the torture zone of laboratories. 

In a global sense, the laboratory exploitation of animals links with big business concerns and animal dealers who traffic in primates and other unfortunate creatures. The pharmaceutical industry is notorious for a vested interest in animal testing. Primitive commerce still uses animals to test many substances, including cosmetics and cleaning agents.

The products of commercial companies like Procter and Gamble should be avoided. Billionaire industries are not always admirable. Many brands deny animal testing on their part; however,   others  have been reluctant to change their habits. Asian laboratories are especially notorious; in some countries, there is no law controlling animal testing. Cosmetic experiments on live animals are a horror story.   In 2013, an EU ban on animal  cosmetic testing occurred, although certain problems are still in evidence.

The British public must develop far more caution about health charities that seek donations. The web has featured informed statements like: “Public donations are used by charities to fund experiments in which animals have cancers grown on their backs, have limbs broken, and are left crippled.” That is the case for survivors; most victims die in agony. Never donate to a charity unless you know exactly what they do behind the scenes. The word charity can represent an acute anomaly.

There are said to be  almost twice as many health  charities which do not fund animal experiments, as those which do.  Some of the largest health charities in the UK are notorious for conducting cruel  animal experiments. For instance,  Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation are controversial. The mandate of medical progress at the cost of animal suffering is one that can arouse strong opposition. The vivisection advocates act as though opposition to them is irresponsible, and guilty of delaying progress. Analysis of progress is not always inspiring. For instance, the Alzheimer’s Society funded repugnant brain injury experiments on mice at Edinburgh University. Critics say that such research is futile and a waste of funds. Yet in 2011, an Edinburgh researcher received from the same charity a grant of £335,000 to brain damage mice for a further three years. See Victims of Charity.

An emerging contention amongst critics of vivisection is that the differences between  human and animal species are so substantial that research relying upon animal data is very  largely, or completely, useless. The encumbrance serves to attract grant money from institutions not in effective contact with truly progressive science.

It is possible to find many thought-provoking statements in the critical literature. “For example, researchers have ‘proven’ in animals that cigarettes both do and do not cause cancer – depending on the funding source” (The Truth About Vivisection).

Testimony to the depraved nature of animal experiments is abundant. For instance, “to study the results of head trauma, primates were strapped into machinery to receive high-impact blows to the head. A video camera captured footage of vivisectionists taunting the injured animals, who were left with severe brain damage.” This situation reveals the barbarous state of “education” existing at the University of Pennsylvania during the 1980s. 

Today, there are  millions of suffering animals trapped in British laboratories, a situation permitted by gravely flawed protocol. The situation in America continues to be an adverse reflection upon the so-called greatest civilisation ever known. “Every year, tens of millions of animals are dissected, infected, injected, gassed, burned and blinded in hidden laboratories on college campuses and research facilities throughout the U.S." (The Truth About Vivisection)

A number of American universities have been fined for violating the Animal Welfare Act. In 2005, the University of California (San Francisco) was charged with 59 (or 75) violations of the Animal Welfare Act; these events occurred  in their  laboratories. Denying many of the charges,  the University of California paid a fine of over 90,000 dollars (Animal Ethics). Critics say they got off too lightly. 

In 2007, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)  reported over 17,000 nationwide violations of the Animal Welfare Act, affecting an estimated half a million animals. This statistic does not include innumerable  mice, rats, and birds, who are not even covered by the deficient laws. USDA were the agency responsible for the monitoring of laboratories. In 2010, USDA reported that over 97,000 animals endured laboratory-inflicted pain without the benefit of any pain-relieving drugs. Again, the vast numbers of abused mice, rats, and birds were not included in this revealing assessment.

America is a laboratory predator of staggering proportions. Billions of dollars have been annually employed to fund useless and sadistic animal experiments via the National Institutes of Health. The insensitivity of bureaucrats and vivisectors is testimony to the low level of current "civilisation." The acute deficiencies have led to chartings of the top ten most outrageous animal experiments, based on publications of 2012. The details are not flattering to "research" abilities.

As to the comparatively rare responsible research, this is something quite different to  animal experiments. The so-called "scientific revolution" is in the future, not in the past. The full potential of new technologies "can never be realised while dependence on animal models persists." The basic factor is that:
"Reliance on [abused] animals continues, not because it is effective, but due to inertia, lack of training, vested financial interests, and adherence to outdated traditions."
In Britain, public complaints prevented Cambridge University from building a massive primate testing centre. During the 1990s, the same university was revealed to be in collaboration with a biotechnology company. The controversial laboratories called Huntingdon Life Sciences favoured  the abomination known as xenotransplantation. This lunacy meant that hearts and kidneys from genetically engineered pigs were transplanted into the necks, abdomens and chests of monkeys and baboons.  Such laboratories are totally insensitive to the sufferings they cause, and waste funds in useless pursuits. The drawback  is a symptom of retrogressive commercial enterprise dressed up as mock-scientific panacea.

Kevin R. D. Shepherd

ENTRY no. 54

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