Don't be worried if you are not medically qualified. You do not need to be a doctor to know right from wrong, sense from nonsense. If a doctor tries to bamboozle you with long words, ask him to simplify his language - the long words are never necessary in these arguments. Animal experiments are both scientifically and morally indefensible. Gross unjustifiable cruelty is regularly involved. Much research money is going into animal experimentation which is now known to be scientifically unsound and in many cases completely misleading. The scientific fraud involved has been exposed in many countries and generous donors have been rightly subjected to ridicule for misuse of their money. For the theory against Vivisection, read Professor Raymond Wacks' excellent Review.
It cannot be said that no good has ever come from vivisection - what can be said with certainty is that if the same amount of money and brainpower had been used in other ways, much more benefit would have accrued.
It is time to stop this abomination.
"Britches" the monkey had his
eyes sewn shut at birth:
And this one had an awful fate
The Hong Kong University has an ethical
committee (CULATR) overseeing the use of live animals in research. An SPCA vet has
membership of this committee and it appears that research at HKU is reasonably well
regulated - if you accept that vivisection is necessary and you believe that all research
projects are passed through the committee. The same cannot be said of the other research
institutions. Information is hard to come by but we do know that several hundred
vivisection based research papers are published by Hong Kong scientists each year. The
Government provides a large annual grant for vivisection out of taxpayers' money but
refuses to say how it is spent. Animals collected as strays by the Government are handed
over to researchers. We need to collect more information somehow.
The atrocities are able to continue because they are conducted in secrecy. At the moment the public believes that vivisection is an unpleasant necessity, the ends justifying the means. There is therefore no possibility of early abolition. What we must work for as a first step is transparency in the approval procedures. We believe that when the public knows what really goes on - how terrible the means are and how paltry the fruits - the demand for abolition will be unstoppable.
Editorial in the British
Medical Journal 11 December 1999 (BMJ 1999;319)
"Openness is surely going to be even more important in the new millennium than the old. Openness about the limitations, difficulties, and failings of medicine and healthcare systems; openness about how decisions are made for populations and individuals; openness about rationing; openness of complaints procedures; and openness of the evidence on benefits, costs, and risks and treatments. Politicians prefer closed decision making and obfuscation to transparency and accountability, particularly when money and death are involved, but they must change."
For further information on Vivisection - follow these links:
Learning Without Killing
P S Y E T A - Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
PRIMATE FREEDOM PROJECT (Primate Freedom Tags)
The Absurdity of Vivisection
Anti-vivisection/animal testing information
Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine
PETA Factsheets: Animal Experiments
H.E.N. Web Site: APIS Database
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals
If you are in for a serious debate or research, also try:
http://www.ampef.org/ Americans for Medical Progress
USDA - APHIS - Animal Welfare - Animal Care Animal Care (USDA/APHIS)
http://www.tufts.edu/vet/cfa/index.html Tufts University, Center for
Animals and Public Policy
International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals
If you want to check out for yourself
what goes on in laboratories, visit this site:
API: Useful Tools for Investigating Animal Experimentation
ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION - SCHOOL DISSECTION
Dissection in schools leads to desensitisation, dehumanisation and a lessening of respect for life. We oppose dissection of any animal with a nervous system, however primitive. Students should be compelled neither to perform nor even to watch animal dissection. Apart from the negative effect on the participants (human and animal), there can be no scientific justification. Plastic models and computer models are much more effective teaching aids.
From the American Anti-Vivisection Society:
In biology classes throughout most of the United States, in grade school through high school, students who object to dissection are being asked to choose between lowered or failing grades and the violation of their religious and ethical principles. This is not a choice students should have to make.
Concerns about requiring students to dissect are on the rise, as more and more students are questioning the unnecessary killing of millions of frogs, turtles, pigs, cats, mice, rats and other animals for educational purposes.
These students, their parents, and many of their teachers are demanding an alternative -- one that doesn't harm animals.
Students who object to dissection should have their feelings respected. Several states have already drafted legislation to protect students' rights to an alternative. Other states have already passed laws guaranteeing students that right. It's time for all states to acknowledge the right of students to have an alternative to biology lessons which cause harm to animals.
Myths and Facts About Dissection
Myth: Dissection is necessary for students to learn biology and physiology.
Fact: Many studies have shown that students who dissect do no better on tests than those who don't dissect. Students using "low-tech" methods such as classroom discussions, textbook study, and charts and graphs, but do not dissect, score equally well on tests as those who do. Students using "high-tech" methods, such as computer programs, scored higher compared to those who performed dissections.
Myth: Alternatives are too expensive.
Fact: First-time costs of buying alternatives can sometimes appear high. However, alternatives are a one-time investment since they can be used again and again each year. On the other hand, animals for dissection must be purchased each year, leading to high costs over time. A recent cost-benefit analysis of "high-tech" alternatives vs.
traditional dissection showed that alternatives can pay for themselves in just over two years of use. (Also, please see information below about Animalearn. - Editor).
Myth: Students rights to an alternative violates a teacher's academic freedom.
Fact: The teacher is not restricted in any way; he or she is only required to offer something in addition to dissection -- an alternative project for students who object to dissection.
Myth: Providing students with alternatives gives them too much control over their education.
Fact: There is a major difference between requiring a student to read or think about something and requiring her or him to actually do something to which they object.
Alternatives to Dissection
There are hundreds of alternatives to dissection. Great options are available that fit into any budget and are appropriate for students from elementary through high school. The following list demonstrates some of the many
types of alternatives that are available. The AAVS can provide you with a list of specific products including detailed descriptions, costs, and ordering information.
. Videos and Films* - Detailed visuals exploring the anatomy of humans and animals in real-time illustrate the process of dissection and the details of various species physiology.
. Models - Newer models are extremely detailed; some look and feel like real specimens.
. Natural Observation - A wealth of information can be gained from observing animals in their natural habitats. Specific lesson plans have been developed to maximize this learning experience.
. Computer Programs - Computers offer the ability to review and repeat the dissection process in an interactive and highly detailed manner.
. Books and Charts - With new developments in printing and design, many books and charts provide students with high-definition, realistic images of human and animal physiology.
. Slides and Transparencies* - Detailed photos of normal and pathological human and animal tissues and structures provide instructors good instructional tools they can use at their own pace.
* These alternatives might not be appropriate for all students since dissected animals are depicted in great detail. For those with objections to these methods there is a wide variety of other low-cost alternatives.
Animalearn has developed The Science Bank: Education for the Future, a loan program for alternatives to dissection. Animalearn is dedicated to assisting educators and students find non-animal methods to study science by allowing them to borrow from their wide array of dissection alternatives.
A full scale questionnaire of Secondary School Biology Teachers was carried out in 2001.
A PowerPoint presentation was given to the Hong Kong Education Department using the results of the survey as a basis.
Click to view the Classroom Dissection Presentation
We were able to announce (2003) that, after viewing the above presentation, the Education Department decided that students will in future be allowed to opt out of dissection without examination penalty.
The next step is to persuade the Department to remove dissection entirely from the secondary school curriculum. The Department has promised to do its own survey of teachers' and students' opinions on the value and ethics of dissection.
NAVS - Education and Animals
AAVS : Education
How do educators and scientists feel about students having an alternative to dissection?
"The National Association of Biology Teachers should foster a respect for life and should teach about the interrelationship and interdependence of all living things. Furthermore, they should teach that humans must care for the fragile web of life that exists on this planet. In light of these principles, NABT supports alternatives to dissection and vivisection whenever possible in the biology curricula." -- 1989 Policy Statement from the Responsible Use of Animals in Biology Classrooms by the National Association of Biology Teachers.
"Students should not be forced to participate in the death of animals in order to study and understand the beauty and complexity of life." -- John E. McArdle, Ph. D., Anatomist
"Several years ago, both I and my biology teacher decided that students could learn just as much about frogs and their anatomy from charts and textbooks as they could from actual dissection." -- Peter McMonigle, High School Principal
"We educators teach and require courtesy and respect from our students. It only seems fair to accord them the same respect. Education should not place students in a position in which they have to violate their moral and ethical standards." -- Virginia Wolfe, Fifth Grade Teacher
ANIMAL TESTING (cosmetics, etc.)
See: Clothing and Cosmetic Animals
Procter & Gamble
Quotations on Vivisection
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 pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.---Mark Twain (Author)
I despise and abhor the pleas on behalf of that infamous practice, vivisection. ---Robert Browning (Poet)
There will come a time when the world will look back to modern vivisection in the name of Science as they do now to burning at the stake in the name of religion. ---Prof. Henry Bigelow
I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better, it should be abolished. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil. ---Dr. Charles Mayo (The Mayo Clinic)
You do not settle whether an experiment is justified or not by merely showing that it is of some use. The distinction is not between useful and useless experiments, but between barbarous and civilized behavior. Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character. ---George Bernard Shaw
It is difficult to entertain a warm feeling for a 'medical man' who can strap an unanesthetized dog on a table, cut its vocal cords and spend an interesting day-or week-slowly eviscerating or dismembering it. The researchers do not deny this themselves. They claim that, despite the wholesale bloody experimentation on animals, the only real proof of the drugs found by the chemists or the operating techniques suggested by the experimentation on animals must be, in the end, verified by trying them on human subjects. ---Clare Booth Luce (U.S. writer and diplomat)
The excuse or toleration of cruelty upon any living creature by a woman is a deadly sin against the grandest force in nature---maternal love. In not a single instance known to science has the cure of any human disease resulted necessarily from this fallacious method of research. ---Elizabeth Blackwell (first woman doctor of modern times)
How can a man say that love consists in wanting something for one's self at the expense of others? How can he tell us to cast our burdens and sufferings upon the animals, the most defenseless of all God's creatures? How can he say that we are permitted to maltreat dogs, cats and monkeys in order to save ourselves from illness? Is not that loving self above everything else in the world? ---Victor Reinaecker
Quotations on Animal Rights
I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.----Abraham Lincoln
The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality. ---Arthur Shopenhauer ( German philosopher)
The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withheld from them but by the hand of tyranny...The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But can they suffer? ---Jeremy Bentham, (English jurist and philosopher.)
Quotation on Ethics
Isn't compassion one of the most important human characteristics, or shouldn't it be? What right do we have to take these animals and treat them like this? ---Jane Goodall (Primatologist)
If a man aspires toward a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals ---Leo Tolstoy (Russian novelist and Social Critic)
Today animals are by far the most oppressed section of our community. It is the great moral blind spot of our age. ---Richard D. Ryder (Author On Speciesism)
The awful wrongs and sufferings forced upon the innocent, helpless, faithful animal race, form the blackest chapter in the whole world's history. ---Edward Augustus Freeman (English Historian)
The soul is the same thing in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. ---Hippocrates Regimen Book I, 28
Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers or wings, is it for that reason, to be of no account? ---Jean Paul Richter
We need a boundless ethics which will include the animals also. The ethics of respect for life makes us keep on the lookout together for opportunities of bringing some sort of help to animals, to make up for the great miseries men inflict on them. ---Dr. Albert Schweitzer- (Brilliant Philosopher, Physician, Musician, Clergyman, Missionary, winner of Nobel Peace Prize)...philosophy based on reverence for life, had deep obligation to serve life through thought and action.
Animals cannot help themselves. They can only hope that someday that man will soften his heart and have pity on their suffering. --- Rev. G. B. Vivian-Evans
The practice of kindness toward helpless creatures is a sign of development to the higher reaches of intelligence and sympathy. for, mark you, in every place there are those who are giving of their time and thought and to the work of protecting from cruelty and needless suffering the beasts of the field and streets. And you will invariably find that these people are amongst the most progressive and sympathetic and intelligent of a city's populace. They are the leaders of every good work. These are the people who make the earth...more like what God intended it should be. ---Rev. George Laughton
Quotation on Tactics
"The more I argued with them, the better I
came to know their dialectic. First they counted on the stupidity of their adversary, and
then, when there was no other way out, they themselves simply played stupid."
"If all this didn't help, they pretended not to understand, or, if challenged, they changed the subject in a hurry, quoted platitudes which, if you accepted them, they immediately related to entirely different matters, and then, if again attacked, gave ground and pretended not to know exactly what you were talking about." ---Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, pg. 62)
RAGS --- Edmund Vance Cooke
We called him "Rags." He was just a cur,
But twice, on the Western Line,
That little old bunch of faithful fur
Had offered his life for mine.
And all that he got was bones and bread,
Or the leavings of soldier grub,
But he'd give his heart for a pat on the head,
Or a friendly tickle and rub.
And Rags got home with the regiment,
And then, in the breaking away --
Well, whether they stole him, or whether he went,
I am not prepared to say.
But we mustered out, some to beer and gruel,
And some to sherry and shad,
And I went back to the Sawbones School,
Where I still was an undergrad.
One day they took us budding M.D.s
To one of those institutes
Where they demonstrate every new disease
By means of bisected brutes.
They had one animal tacked and tied
And slit like a full-dressed fish,
With his vitals pumping away inside
As pleasant as one might wish.
I stopped to look like the rest, of course,
And the beast's eyes leveled mine;
His short tail thumped with a feeble force,
And he uttered a tender whine.
It was Rags, yes, Rags! who was martyred there,
Who was quartered and crucified,
And he whined that whine which is doggish prayer
And he licked my hand -- and died.
And I was no better in part nor whole
Than the gang I was found among,
And his innocent blood was on the soul
Which he blessed with his dying tongue.
Well! I've seen men go to courageous death
In the air, on sea, on land!
But only a dog would spend his breath
In a kiss for his murderer's hand.
And if there's no heaven for love like that,
For such four-legged fealty -- well!
If I have any choice, I tell you flat,
I'll take my chance in hell.
Hong Kong does not have an active anti-vivisection group. Laboratory Animal Defenders still exists in name but has no active members. This is shameful! If you are interested in promoting the anti-vivisection movement in this part of the world, please contact aapn.