Animal testing

From Wikiquote
(Redirected from Vivisection)
Jump to: navigation, search
Rats and mice are not generally regarded as pets, but as pests; they have few defenders. Yet the pain a rat or a mouse feels is every bit as real as that of any pet. In laboratories, they suffer, as anybody who has heard them moan, cry, whimper and even scream knows. ~ J. M. Masson

Animal testing is the use of non-human animals in experiments that seek to control the variables that affect the behavior or biological system under study. Experimental research with animals is usually conducted in universities, medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, defense establishments, and commercial facilities that provide animal-testing services to industry.

Quotes[edit]

Alphabetized by author
  • Animals themselves cannot plead their cause, and those who plead it for them have no obvious financial or other selfish interest in the issue, although many may have “vested” their emotions in it. When we turn to special gain from maintaining existing practices, special loss if they were to be changed, we find a large number of groups whose views might be discounted. Butchers, furriers, hunters, cattlemen, chicken farmers, scientific experimenters on animals would, unless compensated, all have to suffer significant personal loss if we were to change our practices. They cannot therefore be expected to see the moral issue without the distortion of special interest. The scientists might claim that in their case their own interest coincides with a universal human interest, but I think the butcher and the furrier could make a similar claim[.]
    • Annette Baier, Knowing Our Place in the Animal World, in Ethics and Animals, edited by Harlan B. Miller and William H. Williams (Clifton, New Jersey: Humana Press, 1983. ISBN 978-0-89603-053-4), pp. 63-64.
  • Animals can not disapprove, but they can complain and protest, at least until their vocal chords are cut to spare experimenters their protests.
    • Annette Baier, Knowing Our Place in the Animal World, in Ethics and Animals, edited by Harlan B. Miller and William H. Williams (Clifton, New Jersey: Humana Press, 1983. ISBN 978-0-89603-053-4), p. 73.
  • I should be writing a third paper on the Nerves, but I cannot proceed without making some experiments, which are so unpleasant to make that I defer them. You may think me silly, but I cannot perfectly convince myself that I am authorised in nature, or religion, to do these cruelties—for what?—for anything else than a little egotism or self-aggrandisement; and yet, what are my experiments in comparison with those which are daily done? and are done daily for nothing.
    • Charles Bell, letter to his brother on 1 July 1822; in Letters of Sir Charles Bell, K.H., F.R.S.L. & E. Selected from his Correspondence with his Brother, George Joseph Bell, London: John Murray, 1870, pp. 275-276.
  • In concluding these papers, I hope I may be permitted to offer a few words in favour of anatomy, as better adapted for discovery than experiment. … Experiments have never been the means of discovery; and a survey of what has been attempted of late years in physiology, will prove that the opening of living animals has done more to perpetuate error, than to confirm the just views taken from the study of anatomy and natural motions.
    • Charles Bell, An Exposition of the Natural System of the Nerves of the Human Body. With a Republication of the Papers Delivered to the Royal Society, on the Subject of the Nerves, London: Spottiswoode, 1824, pp. 376-377.
  • Nearly all modern techniques of social conditioning were first established with animal experiments. As were also the methods of so-called intelligence testing. Today behaviourists like Skinner imprison the very concept of man within the limits of what they conclude from their artificial tests with animals.
    • John Berger, About Looking (1980), chapter "Why Look at Animals?", Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015, p. 11.
  • As the main work of civilisation has been the vindication of the rights of the weak, it is not too much, I think, to insist that the practice of Vivisection in which this tyranny of strength culminates is a retrograde step in the progress of our race—a backwater in the onward flowing stream of justice and mercy, no less portentous than deplorable.
    • Frances Cobbe, The Modern Rack: Papers on Vivisection (London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1889), chapter I: "The Moral Aspects of Vivisection", p. 15.
  • The love of a dog for his master is notorious; in the agony of death he has been known to caress his master, and every one has heard of the dog suffering under vivisection, who licked the hand of the operator; this man, unless he had a heart of stone, must have felt remorse to the last hour of his life.
  • Libby had eaten her last meal the night before: orange, banana, monkey chow. While eating she had observed us with curiosity. Her hands resembled the hands of a newly born child, her face seemed almost human. Perhaps because of her eyes. They were so sad, so defenseless. We had called her Libby because Dr. Maurice Albin, the anesthetist, had told us she had no name, we could give her the name we liked best, and because she accepted it immediately. You said ‘Libby!’ and she jumped, then she leaned her head on her shoulder. Dr. Albin had also told us that Libby had been born in India and was almost three years, an age comparable to that of a seven-year-old girl. The rhesuses live 30 years and she was a rhesus. Prof. Robert White uses the rhesus because they are not expensive; they cost between $80 and $100. Chimpanzees, larger and easier to experiment with, cost up to $2,000 each. After the meal, a veterinarian had come, and with as much ceremony as they use for the condemned, he had checked to be sure Libby was in good health. It would be a difficult operation and her body should function as perfectly as a rocket going to the moon. A hundred times before, the experiment had ended in failure, and though Professor White became the first man in the entire history of medicine to succeed, the undertaking still bordered on science fiction. Libby was about to die in order to demonstrate that her brain could live isolated from her body and that, so isolated, it could still think.
  • How fortunate we didn't have these animal tests in the 1940s, for penicillin would probably not have been granted a licence, and possibly the whole field of antibiotics might never have been realised.
    • Alexander Fleming, reported in Dennis V. Parke, "Clinical Pharmacokinetics in Drug Safety Evaluation," in ATLA: Alternatives To Laboratory Animals, vol. 22, no. 3, May/June 1994, p. 208.
    • The context is: "the present approach to drug safety evaluation, based on experimental animal studies, is known to be of questionable scientific veracity and has never been satisfactorily validated as an appropriate surrogate system for man. My former teacher, Sir Alexander Fleming, in his late years, chided me, saying …"
  • The victory of vivisection marks a great advance in the triumph of ruthless, non-moral utilitarianism over the old world of ethical law; a triumph in which we, as well as animals, are already the victims, and of which Dachau and Hiroshima mark the more recent achievements.
  • The professional and financial interest in continuing animal experimentation helps to explain at least some resistance to the notion that animals have a complex emotional life and are capable of experiencing the higher emotions, such as love, compassion, altruism, disappointment and nostalgia. To acknowledge such a possibility implies certain moral obligations. If chimpanzees can experience loneliness and mental anguish, it becomes more wrong to use them for experiments in which they are isolated and anticipate daily pain.
  • It is often said that if slaughterhouses were made of glass, most people would be vegetarians. If the general public knew what went on inside animal experimentation laboratories, they would be abolished. However, the parallel is not exact. Slaughterhouses are invisible because the public wants them that way. Everyone knows what goes on inside them; they simply do not want to be confronted with it. Most people do not know what goes on with animal experimentation. Slaughterhouses allow visits. Laboratories where animal experiments are performed are secretive. Perhaps those who conduct the experiments know they would be stopped if what they do were known even by other scientists. Perhaps they are ashamed.
  • Rats and mice are not generally regarded as pets, but as pests; they have few defenders. Yet the pain a rat or a mouse feels is every bit as real as that of any pet. In laboratories, they suffer, as anybody who has heard them moan, cry, whimper and even scream knows. The experimenters dissimulate about this by insisting that they are merely vocalising.
  • Misleading may be the claims that procedures [of animal testing] are carried out under anaesthesia. Restraining devices and paralysing drugs can today be so effective that an anaesthetic is often unnecessary from the purely practical point of view. The risk of giving a dose too large and thereby losing an expensive chimpanzee, for example, may often tempt a scientist or technician, inexperienced with sophisticated anaesthetic techniques, to give a dose too small, from which the animal quickly recovers — but not of course until after it has been strapped securely to the operating table.
  • Differences in reaction to toxic substances vary considerably between species so that the value of these tests remains doubtful. Although thalidomide was extensively tested on animals in several countries, its terrible properties were not discovered. Conversely, penicillin, the greatest medical discovery of the century, was not extensively tested on animals before its miraculous therapeutic qualities were demonstrated in human patients. If it had been fully tested on animals its high toxicity for guinea pigs would have almost certainly prevented its clinical use.
  • Sometimes captured from the great arboreal freedom of their jungle homes, monkeys are closely confined in cages only three or four feet square. … They can never sit or lie down on a flat, soft or yielding surface. Little wonder that by the time they are needed for the knife or the needle they are so crazed or inert that they are no longer representative examples of animal life. Psychologists who study the behaviour of thousands of such creatures annually, rarely make allowances for the fact that their pathetic subjects have been so deprived that they have become more like monsters than animals. Many people who have experienced close affectionate relationships with individuals of other species testify to the considerable potential for emotional and intellectual development that animals have. When properly cared for a pet dog or cat can develop great subtleties of behaviour that the laboratory animal never shows. Those who have been fortunate enough to closely observe unfrightened animals living in the wild are often struck by the complexity and richness of the life they lead. These positive pleasures the laboratory animal never knows; for him the same four white walls and the smell of disinfectant.
  • Those who experiment with operations or the use of drugs upon animals, or inoculate them with diseases, so as to be able to bring help to mankind with the results gained, must never quiet any misgivings they feel with the general reflection that their cruel proceedings aim at a valuable result. They must first have considered in each individual case whether there is a real necessity to force upon any animal this sacrifice for the sake of mankind. And they must take the most anxious care to mitigate as much as possible the pain inflicted. How much wrong is committed in scientific institutions through neglect of anaesthetics, which to save time or trouble are not administered! How much, too, through animals being subjected to torture merely to demonstrate to students generally known phenomena! By the very fact that animals have been subjected to experiments, and have by their pain won such valuable results for suffering humanity, a new and special relation of solidarity has been established between them and us. From that springs for each one of us a compulsion to do to every animal all the good we possibly can. By helping an insect when it is in difficulties, I am only attempting to cancel part of man's ever new debt to the animal world.
    • Albert Schweitzer, Civilization and Ethics, 3rd edition, London: Adam & Charles Black, 1946, p. 252.
  • I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further. It is so distinctly a matter of feeling with me, and is so strong and so deeply-rooted in my make and constitution, that I am sure I could not even see a vivisector vivisected with anything more than a sort of qualified satisfaction.
  • Some barbarians seize this dog, who so prodigiously excels man in friendship, they nail him to a table, and dissect him living, to show the mezarian veins. You discover in him all the same organs of sentiment which are in yourself. Answer me, machinist, has nature arranged all the springs of sentiment in this animal that he should not feel? Has he nerves to be incapable of suffering? Do not suppose this impertinent contradiction in nature.
    • Voltaire, "Beasts", in A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 2, J. and H. L. Hunt, 1824, p. 9.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: