Rene Descartes, laboratory victim, Peter Singer


1.    Vivisection  and  Animal  Testing  Crime

2.    The  Cosmetic  Pain

3.    Health  Charities  Abuse

4.    Descartes,  Darwin,  and  Vivisection

5.    Peter  Singer  and  Animal  Rights

6.    Last  Chance  for  Animals

7.    Violations  in  American  Universities and  the  NIH

8.    Brain  Studies  and  Neuroscience

9.    Aristotle, Slavery,  and  Animal  Experiment  in  Britain


1.  Vivisection  and  Animal  Testing  Crime

The subject of animal ethics is still fledgling in a society where vivisection has been a bad habit for centuries. The death toll is striking. "One animal dies in a laboratory in the USA every second, in Japan every two seconds, and in the UK every twelve seconds." (LCA) Those afflicting laboratories are diversely found in universities, medical research centres, other institutes, and commercial organisations. Technically, animal experiments and animal testing do not necessarily amount to vivisection. However, the alternatives, e.g., injections with drugs and diseases, should also be regarded as criminal. A generalising definition reads: "Vivisection is commonly called animal experimentation and includes the use of animals for research, product testing and in education" (source linked above).

Supporters of vivisection refer to the application of anaesthetic and euthanasia. The rules are often broken, say the critics, who urge that animal victims have their own right to life and to freedom from violation. Vivisection is repugnant to any sensitive person. There are many ghastly photographs of animal victims in laboratories, frequently showing parts of their body missing. The surgical violations are cruel in the extreme. The knifemen who do this perpetuate a horror scenario which dates back to the seventeenth century.

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

Victims  of  laboratory  crime

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. Millions of dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, and other breeds are currently lab victims, a factor swelling the coffers of medical and commercial science. Even horses, cows, sheep, fish, and birds suffer in the torture zone of laboratories. Pigs have their insides torn out by the insatiable knifemen. No creature is safe from the offences of laboratories. Appalling, and totally useless, experiments on primates have even transferred organs of pigs to monkeys and baboons. The programme is insane. Vivisection is a symptom of science gangrene from America to China and Japan. See also Against Vivisection.

Research programmes in the field of vivisection are very questionable. The salaries are often linked to official grants; vivisection appears "scientific" to retrogressive funding allocators. "The nearly infinite possible manipulations offer researchers the opportunity to 'prove' almost any theory that serves their economic, professional, or political needs. 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, formerly online).

The vivisection practices occur behind closed doors, with elaborate security systems to prevent public entry. LCA (Last Chance for Animals) long ago informed that researchers often do not use anaesthetic in product testing, the animals being left to suffer, while "their vocal cords are frequently cut to spare the vivisectors the sounds of their screams."

No Escape from Torment

Testimony to the depraved nature of animal experiments is abundant. For instance, animal testing by the US Army involved burning pigs alive with a flamethrower. A comparative refinement of Emory University was to sew up the eyelids of monkeys. The American space agency NASA committed nearly two million dollars of taxpayer money to fund experiments dosing small squirrel monkeys with "massive amounts of radiation." Another American extremist lab episode occurred at the University of Pennsylvania. "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 report, via LCA, reveals the barbarous nature of events in well funded laboratories. The LCA version is brief and sanitised, not even remotely exaggerated.

The undercover video of 1983, exposing the University of Pennsylvania, caused a strong reaction. This university received a million dollars of taxpayer money every year, for thirteen years, to research human head injuries arising from motoring and sports accidents. The vivisectors chose to abuse baboons instead. The supervisor Dr. Gennarelli insisted that the stunning savagery was legitimate, asserting that there should be "no unnecessary fuss." The Gennarelli lab was closed. The manic proceedings in that laboratory were by no means unique, in view of other data.

Some vivisection laboratories in America, and elsewhere, are described as being worse than Nazi concentration camps. The casual vivisector attitude to injury, agony, mutilation, and death is a psychological drawback of horrific dimensions. Because of the atrocities frequently encountered in detailed reports, vivisection has been described in such terms as medical fraud.

Asian laboratories are also notorious; in some countries there is no law controlling animal experiments. However, some recent breakthroughs have occurred in Asian sectors to offset the abuse of animals. The IAAPEA (International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals) is a relevant multi-language web source.

The very difficult cause of saving laboratory animals in China was accompanied by developments in India, where the extensive dissection of animals by university undergraduates proved the reverse of traditional scruples. This activity was a consequence of adopting outdated and primitive British Empire methods of science. A new plan for alternative non-colonial habits in this direction stated that 18 million animals are saved in India, offsetting the activities of predatory traders in live and dead animals. A new door was opened via the first anti-vivisection society launched in Iran, where due information was slow to percolate.

Tortured in a German Laboratory. Courtesy CEN/Cruelty Free International

The capacity for alternative humane research is handicapped by excuses and lucrative agendas of calculating experimenters. In a global context, laboratory exploitation of animals links with big business concerns, plus animal dealers who traffic in primates and other unfortunate creatures. Insensitive government officials are effectively corrupt. In 2015, Cruelty Free International estimated that "on average at least 115 million animals are used and killed in experiments worldwide every year."

Many different kinds of experiments take place - painful and lethal diseases are inflicted on animals; animals are isolated, starved, burned, blinded, poisoned, irradiated, and they are still used to test a wide range of substances from food additives to cleaning products. All of the animals used in experiments are killed. After years of gradual decline, recent statistics (from 2002 onwards) have shown a steady increase in the number of animal experiments taking place, and the advent of genetic engineeering threatens to continue this upward trend.... Differences between the infinitely complex biological systems of different species of animals mean that data gained from experiments on nonhumans are an unreliable and dangerous guide to the human condition. (Animal Experiments)

In Britain, the Home Office figures for 2011 revealed nearly four million declared experiments; more cats and rabbits were subjected to tortures than before, although the biggest increase was in fish and bird experiments. Vast numbers of mice were victims as ever. About half of the mice were "subjected to genetic modifications designed to induce disease and weaknesses." The mice "are poisoned, damaged, analysed and often literally binned." The vindictive scenario has been described in terms of "a depressing picture of pointless animal suffering, wasted resources, and a government adept in the dark arts of duplicity and cynicism."

In 2012, the number of lab animals in Britain exceeded four million, including "mice, cats, dogs, birds, and horses." There was also an increase in the use of primates. The politics of animal testing are surveyed by more responsible organisations than the British government. The complication known as biotechnology is viewed by informed critics as an exploitive commercial and vivisector pest.

The plight of mice and rats in laboratories is too often neglected. Vivisectors consider such small animals to be easily dispensable. An undercover BUAV investigation, in 2012, revealed disturbing events at a leading British lab (Imperial College, London). The commentary (formerly online) refers to "the shocking way in which animals were killed - all to the relentless blaring sounds of pop music." Guillotines for rodents are not impressive for the cause of bloodthirsty science. "The research involved the deliberate affliction of major organ damage, surgical mutilation and invasive head surgery."

Cosmetic  victims  in  the  stocks. Copyright  Brian  Gunn  /IAAPEA

Mice, rats, and rabbits are heavy casualties, to say the least. Rabbits are some of the least offensive and most helpless creatures on earth. Tthe suffering meted out to them by medical science and commerce is to be condemned. Millions of compliant consumers purchased Torture Cosmetics and related products supplied by, e.g., a company making an annual profit in terms of billions of dollars. The cruel Draize eye irritancy test is unreliable. The notorious drug injections are administered by professional sadists (Lab test horror: Terrified rabbits).

In 2019, nearly three and a half million animals suffered from "research" conducted in British laboratories. The Conservative regulation is very lax in such areas. At the end of 2020, the Home Office published details of their licenses granted for animal experiments during the first half of 2020. The British Conservative government granted 235 new licenses (of scope) to "researchers," permitting these abusers to carry out experiments on over 5.5 million animals, including dogs and horses. The details are nauseating, proof of a backward society and irresponsible government.

Other problems are in evidence. Despite routine claims from the British government and animal death business, alternative analysis "reveals how government and industry work together to avoid complying with animal protection rules" (Animal Welfare Audit).

2.  The  Cosmetic  Pain

For many years, one aspect of animal experiments has been cosmetic testing, meaning another surfeit of agony. In 1973, the exploitation was brought to public attention in Britain by BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection). The NAVS (National Anti-Vivisection Society) were campaigning on this issue in 1980, calling for a total ban on the use of animals for testing cosmetic and domestic products. Major cosmetic firms agitated against the marketing ban; pain meant profits, the only argument that counted. Household product tests continued to prove tenaciously exploitive in Europe. The afflicting situation remains grim on all counts in many countries.

The pro-animal ban occurred in Britain during 1997-98, in two instalments. The European Union (EU) grasped the implications more slowly. The new EU legislation in 2013 meant that EU countries could not sell cosmetics that were tested on animals. One significance here was that unscrupulous business companies in America, Japan, and China were now to miss out on a lucrative market (Cosmetic Testing Ends in Europe). Agony was the spice of life for ethically retarded tycoons. Not until 2018 did California become the first state in America to start banning animal-tested cosmetics. Animal experiments for cosmetics are required by law in China.

India was more sensitive than America and China. After an intense public campaign, India banned animal testing for cosmetics. The date was June 2013. "The Bureau of Indian Standards has today approved the removal of any mention of animal tests from the country's cosmetics standard. The use of modern non-animal alternative tests also becomes mandatory" (Historic Ban on Cosmetics Animal Testing).

In March 2013, the European Union legislated to prevent all cosmetic animal testing. This belated progress must be set against the slow and reluctant response to such a major issue, occurring over forty years. Furthermore, the ban was effectively negated by the European Commission and European Chemicals Agency. The chemically-oriented EU opted to kill thousands of rabbits and rats who are force-fed with cosmetics ingredients. Hideous beauty derived from deadly pain. As a consequence, the European Parliament is equated with China, where barbaric laboratories accompany afflicting torture prisons for humans. Eight years later (in 2021), evasive EU leaders are still being requested to comply with the ban legislation of 2013.

There is no room for complacency in any supermarkets. "Everything from drain cleaner to washing up liquid can currently be tested on animals with few restrictions" (BUAV report, formerly online). In a technological world that is out of control, testing chemicals is an ugly business. The truth is that many big business chemicals should not be manufactured. The damage done by a large number of invasive chemicals is now implicated in a reduction of the human species (see Shanna H. Swann, Countdown, New York 2021). Contaminated water supply is only one of the drawbacks.

3.   Health  Charities  Abuse

The British public must develop far more caution about health charities seeking donations. "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.... The good news is that there are almost twice as many charities which do not fund animal experiments, as those which do. The bad news is that some of the largest charities in the UK are funding shocking animal experiments" (About Vivisection).

Health charities like Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation are controversial. Critics accuse such projects of being strongly disposed to animal testing. The popular Cancer Research UK was awarded a bad rating by the National Anti-Vivisection Society.

In 2011, Animal Aid launched a publicity campaign over this matter, referring to over sixty offending charities. Four major charities (including Cancer Research UK)were targeted. A total income of over £700 million per year is not trifling. The anti-pain initiative was opposed by vivisection advocates such as Lord Willis, spokesman for the Association of Medical Research Charities. The Oxford vivisectionist Colin Blakemore was also vocal in this sector; Sir Blakemore was knighted for services to science in 2014. The pro-pain officiants proclaim the mandate of medical progress at the cost of animal suffering. The entrenched idea, that progress legitimates suffering, is totally unconvincing. The vivisection advocates often say that opposition to them is irresponsible, being guilty of delaying progress.

Three out of the "big four" UK charities claimed that no animal bigger than a rat was involved in their laboratory agenda. The British Heart Foundation evidently did conduct experiments on "other animals," but would not disclose the details. One of the four charities here was the Alzheimer's Society, who funded a repugnant series of brain injury experiments on mice at Edinburgh University. This was for the eccentric purpose of studying how mice respond to memory testing, a severe ordeal for mice which can continue for ten days or more. Critics say that such research is futile, being an attempt to reproduce findings that have already been discovered in humans. In 2011, an Edinburgh researcher received from the same charity a grant of £335,000 to brain damage mice for a further three years (Edinburgh's Victims of Charity, formerly online).

Animal Aid cited Professor Lawrence Hanson: "The species differences that have evolved over millions of years make animal models largely useless, except for the purpose of enhancing scientific careers and attracting lots of grant money." Opponents of animal testing have provided many examples of failures and errors involved in the reliance upon vivisection (e.g., the IIAPEA book Science on Trial by Robert Sharpe). Vivisection is not a science, but a gruesome mistake devised by investors in pain.

In the dispute over health charities, a spokesman from Humane Society International (HSI) urged donors to support medical charities not resorting to animal research. Troy Seidle of HSI informs that it is "already possible, for one fifth the cost of a single animal cancer test, to screen up to 1,000 chemicals in 200 different robot-automated cell or gene tests in as little as 2 weeks." Seidle speaks of replacing "most, if not all, animal testing by 2025." The intervening years, plus the massive resistance, pose a huge ethical problem. Meanwhile, donors should choose progressive charities, not the outdated variety.

Some health charities ask for donations to help people with diseases and disabilities yet spend the money to bankroll shocking experiments on dogs, rabbits, rats, mice, primates, hamsters, pigs, ferrets, frogs, fish, guinea pigs, sheep, birds, and other animals.... Enlightened charities focus their research where the best hope of treatment lies: with humans. (Health Charities and Animal Experimentation, formerly on the PETA website)

Additional drawbacks are created via the intensive profit-making output of animal-tested drugs which have been known to kill many humans. In 1998, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported: "Adverse reactions to prescription drugs (all of which must first pass a battery of animal tests) kill more than 100,000 humans each year. Animal tests failed to predict these dangers" (The Truth About Vivisection, formerly online).

Cancer research was seriously retarded in relation to tobacco: "Because animal experimentation did not link cigarette smoking with lung cancer, as clinical and epidemiological evidence had, warning labels on cigarettes were delayed for years. Hundreds of thousands of people died from lung cancer in the interim" (Animals in Research, formerly online).

4.  Descartes,  Darwin,  and  Vivisection

Modern Western philosophy is ingloriously associated with vivisection and the abuse of animals. The entity in question is Rene Descartes (1596-1650), a pioneer of the Scientific Revolution. I have attempted elsewhere to do justice to the tendencies of his overall thinking, although I have strong reservations, his flaws being all too obvious in relation to animals (Descartes and Vivisection). Descartes was a scientist who thought in a crudely mechanistic fashion. His theories were systematised soon after his death by "Cartesian" followers.

Descartes believed that animals were automatons. This blinkered theory was singularly convenient for offensive experiments on living animals, which Descartes himself evidently conducted (although the extent of his activity in this respect is uncertain). The widespread vogue for experiments was catastrophic for animal victims. The followers of Descartes, meaning the Cartesians, became notorious for brutal laboratory practices. A very early French report, concerning the 1650s, relates to the Port Royal School at Paris. An English version reads:

The scientists administered beatings to dogs with perfect indifference and made fun of those who pitied the creatures as if they felt pain. They said the animals were clocks; that the cries they emitted when struck were only the noise of a little spring that had been touched, but that the whole body was without feeling. They nailed the poor animals up on boards by their four paws to vivisect them to see the circulation of the blood, which was a great subject of controversy.

A Cartesian environment is here strongly implicated. The extroverted Descartes personally dissected human corpses, and describes his own vivisection experiment on a living rabbit. His faulty logic of "animals are machines" inspired vivisectionist activity amongst his early followers. For centuries the objectionable Cartesian attitude has conditioned laboratory conduct, operating at the most primitive level, while continually asserting a superior role. This attitude was sustained by twentieth century behaviourism, a barbaric retrogression to the seventeenth century.

No  escape  from  Darwin's  Hell

The key British biologist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) did not practice vivisection; to his credit, he conceded (unlike others) that animals had feeling. Nevertheless, he did not censor animal experiments, instead endorsing these for the purpose of scientific research. Darwin's horizons did not extend beyond the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1876, which effectively legalised vivisection, providing secrecy for laboratory activity. This muted animal protection law was strongly criticised by the National Anti-Vivisection Society, founded in London in 1875. Darwin wrote to a prestigious correspondent in 1871: "I quite agree that it [vivisection] is justifiable for real investigations on physiology, but not for mere damnable and detestable curiosity. It is a subject that makes me sick with horror, so I will not say another word about it, else I shall not sleep tonight" (Animal Testing, accessed 22/03/2021). The easy route to sleep is not necessarily the best one. Too many animal victims can never sleep, save in death.

The hideous march of progress did not stop world wars, nuclear arsenals, and ecological deficits. Of course, such drawbacks are too often camouflaged by those seeking honours and salary. The Japanese intensively copied Western laboratory animal atrocities after losing a vicious war (WW2) in which they resorted to human vivisection. Elsewhere, the Nazis performed medical experiments on many Jewish victims, their diabolical agenda converging with the general insensitivity created by laboratory experiments on animals. As with animals, so with humans. If they were not your race, the pain did not matter. Josef Mengele, a German SS officer active at Auschwitz, would, for instance, perform vivisections on pregnant Jewish women before despatching them to gas chambers. "Mengele was a doctor who became mad because of the power he was given." Some men are so evil that no description can encompass their crime. Animals are angels by comparison.

5.   Peter  Singer  and  Animal  Rights

Peter Singer

The Australian philosopher Peter Singer contributed an influential counter-thesis to the laboratory abuse of animals. His Animal Liberation (1975; new edn, 2001) was an important reverse of the Cartesian assumptions. also the intervening three centuries of appalling "scientific" behaviour. Much has been written about that book. Of course, the abusers resented the adverse implications for their bloodstained laboratory salary. Singer argued against speciesism, signifying a strongly entrenched assumption of human legitimacy over animals. He contends that all sentient beings should be regarded as having moral rights, thus granting an equality to animals.

Singer has emphasised that so many animal experiments are unproductive. This is ctually a minor point for anyone sufficiently sensitive to forms of life outside their own selfish human existence (incidentally, I was an opponent of vivisection a decade before Singer's book appeared, witnessing the incredible human neglect of this issue at that period; I was related to BWC in the 1960s). Singer's argument led to the appearance of animal rights movements in many countries. A rationalist in the Utilitarian tradition, Professor Singer gained the Chair of Ethics at Princeton University. See his recap of events in Animal Liberation at 30.

l to r: Tom  Regan,  a  famous  book, Gary  Francione

Deriving inspiration from Singer, Tom Regan wrote The Case for Animal Rights (University of California Press, 1983). This influential book urges the total abolition of animal experiments. Professor Regan also presses for the termination of commercial animal farming, plus commercial sport hunting and trapping. The objectives won some support, and also much opposition. Statistics can be depressing. "It is estimated that 500 million animals a year are sacrificed to science" (Regan, ed., Animal Sacrifices, Temple University Press, 1986). See also Regan, Defending Animal Rights (University of Illinois, 2001); Regan, Empty Cages (2004). Some regard Regan as the major advocate of animal rights.

When Cambridge and Oxford celebrate a new subject, one can be sure that this has arrived. See David DeGrazia, Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status (Cambridge University Press, 1996); DeGrazia, Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2002). Complementing the argument, DeGrazia is a Professor of Philosophy at George Washington University. In his country, it is impossible to ignore the evils of American factory farming: "At a slaughterhouse, hens are shackled upside down on a conveyor belt until an automated knife cuts their throats" (Last Frontier of Bigotry, 2005). See also Gail A. Eisnitz, Slaughterhouse: the shocking story of greed, neglect, and inhumane treatment inside the U.S. meat industry (1997; new edn, 2007). This book describes the almost unbelievable fate of horses, cows, calves, pigs, and chickens in barbarous America, where skinning alive is commonplace.

Another name to reckon with in this field is Gary L. Francione, a Professor of Law who takes a firm abolitionist stance (empty cages, not bigger ones), advocating a more rigorous ideal than animal welfare, which is considered a hindering dilution in relation to animal rights. Merely to improve the condition of animals is not the same thing as freeing them. The property status of animals must be eliminated. Ethical veganism emerges here in a perspective of total non-violence. See Francione and Robert Garner, The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation (Columbia University Press, 2010).

The academic giants of animal rights do not agree on every point. Their eminence is such that opponents cannot ignore them. Despite the emerging canon of animal liberation, a great deal remains to be done before any complacency is justified.

Two  cat  victims  of  laboratory  crime

Today, there are vast numbers of suffering animals trapped in British and Continental laboratories, a situation permitted by gravely flawed governments. The more adamant critics (a growing number of them) say that vivisectionists should be jailed or deported. The pitiless Roman Catholic Inquisition of the medieval era can be compared to "scientific" crimes of the laboratory phase. The Cartesian lack of ethics was no advance upon the religious tortures. The situation in America is currently a grave reflection upon the so-called greatest civilisation ever known. A well known theme in 2013 reads:

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. Still more animals are used to test the safety of cosmetics, household cleaners and other consumer products. (The Truth About Vivisection, formerly online)

Hideous laboratory crime is justified by medical science on the pretext of curing human diseases. Perhaps the biggest disease is cruelty, which is endemic to horror labs in America and Europe, and also many other countries in the world. Civilisation is a long way off, indeed remote.

There are other forms of science to be preferred, such as astronomy, climate science, and social science. However, academics are zealous about their sciences. I now call my citizen "science of culture" (anthropography) a mere citizen philosophy. No status or equality is implied. All the sciences are cordoned; the ghost of Aristotle is no more generous than his original face. Science has always been a privileged education phenomenon (with a few exceptions like Michael Faraday and the disputed outsider Karl Marx).

6.  Last  Chance  for  Animals

Chris  DeRose

A major voice in the animal rights movement is Chris DeRose, an American who in 1984, founded LCA (Last Chance for Animals). He has been committed to the non-violent investigation and exposure of animal exploitation, with abundant opportunities in his native country.

One tactic that rocked the foundation of animal experimentation was a daring daytime break-in at UCLA's Brain Research Institute, documented by a film crew that showed the shocking truth of animal 'research.' This first-ever live action footage clearly demonstrated that animal rights activists do not fabricate laboratory horrors, as they had been accused of for years. (Founder's Story)

That event occurred in 1988. UCLA means University of California Los Angeles. The revelations about retrograde academic standards have still not been fully assimilated; much remains to be done in the sphere of potential education. The subject of animal rights did not really become well known in America until 1999, when DeRose pioneered "the first animal rights television show designed for the mainstream public."

DeRose accumulated evidence which resulted in America's "first state prison sentences for multiple-count animal cruelty cases." He campaigned against the Coulston Foundation, a primate-testing laboratory notorious for violations. That lab was closed down in 2002. The following year, LCA was victorious in the exposure of a very exploitive animal dealer, who received a heavy fine. "This was the largest multi-agency investigation on any animal issue in U.S. history." Stolen pets is just one of the criminal subjects requiring opposition and rectification.

7.  Violations  in  American  Universities  and  the  NIH

A survivor from the University of California labs. This baby female monkey was saved by animal rights activists. Vivisectors had sewn her eyelids shut and applied a sonar device to her head. She was very uncomfortable.

Various college campuses in America acquired a predatory reputation. Many universities in that country have been fined for violating the Animal Welfare Act. Probably the most well known scene of violations was Columbia University, where animal experiments were suspended in 1986 by the National Institutes of Health. Subsequently, a number of Columbia projects aroused controversy. In 2004, this institution paid a trifling fine of 2,000 dollars for several violations. By that time, Columbia had about 100,000 animals in confinement.

In 2002, a veterinary worker in a Columbia laboratory divulged information that was ignored by supervisors. "Baboons were used in horrific experiments, in which their eyes were cut out - sometimes while they were conscious - and the arteries to their brains were clamped to crudely induce strokes" (Columbia Cruelty).

Another violation is worded as: "One experimenter at Columbia implanted steel pipes in monkeys' heads to observe the effects of stress on their menstrual cycles. Undercover video footage shows monkeys with pipes protruding from their skulls and blood dripping down their faces." A further sample sample of high salary sadism reads: "In other crude experiments, pregnant baboons had backpacks strapped to their bodies so that nicotine could be pumped directly into their fetuses in order to cause birth defects."

In subsequent years, Columbia was adminished for dozens of additional violations, while failing to consider alternatives to animal experimentation. "Despite its horrendous track record of abuse and violations, Columbia University - and its affiliated Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute - still collect hundreds of millions of dollars a year in taxpayer-funded grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately half of which is spent on projects that involve animal experimentation" (source last linked).

Another well known instance is that of UCSF (University of California San Francisco). In 2004, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a complaint against UCSF, citing 59 (or 75) violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including failure to treat monkeys that were visibly ill, also failure to administer painkillers to animals after surgeries. In 2005, UCSF was fined over 90,000 dollars. Subsequently, UCSF were accused of more than a hundred additional violations, including those mentioned by IDA (In Defense of Animals), a lobby which called for a removal of UCSF accreditation. IDA reported, for instance, "the agonising fate of a female monkey who, apart from her multiple invasive brain surgeries in a Parkinson's study, suffered further extreme stress due to painful complications from a piece of plastic acrylic left in her head for two years."

Mistreated by an American Laboratory. Courtesy LCA

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) had much to say about UCSF, especially when six Californian medics filed a lawsuit against that body in 2007. "Many university-affiliated research centers across the country violate the Animal Welfare Act time and again - then use state funds to pay the fines and simply continue their experiments" (quote from "Illegal Experiments," Good Medicine, 2007, Vol. 16 no. 4). The PCRM described one of the violations:

In one experiment [for Alzheimer's disease], UCSF researchers drilled holes in the skulls of macaque monkeys, bolted metal restraining devices into their heads, and attached data recording devices to track their movements and brain function while the monkeys 'worked' to receive rewards such as water. This experiment caused great pain and distress to the animals. Moreover, according to Dr. [Larry] Hansen, a neurologist who specialises in Alzheimer's disease, it won't yield results that are applicable to humans.

A lawsuit launched by the physicians and Californian taxpayers was countered by The Regents of the University of California. The general counsel for PCRM stated: "UCSF has broken the law in its mistreatment of dogs, monkeys, and other animals.... we are asking the court to halt these unlawful experiments and to appoint an independent monitor to ensure that any future research is in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act."

The elite University Regents were successful in persuading the San Francisco Superior Court to dismiss the complaint of medics and taxpayers. The dismissed party subsequently made a Petition for Review, which was denied by the Supreme Court of California in 2009 (Law Case). The New World denial of justice is much the same as in the Old Colonial World, where status elites controlled revenues and dictated wrong policies over the centuries.

In 2007, over 17,000 violations of the Animal Welfare Act were reported nationwide by the US Department of Agriculture. Half a million animals were involved in these laboratory violations. This large number did not include mice, rats, and birds; these participants were sacrificed in vast numbers by American laboratories, places not covered by the Welfare Act. The excesses and atrocities have continued.

Trapped by Torturers. Courtesy PETA

Like Great Britain, America is a backward country. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has the distinction of harbouring the "queen of monkey torture." Elisabeth Murray has been given over a million dollars a year to torture. She saws open the heads of living monkeys and "scrambles their brains." PETA has supplied relevant details and critique.

For more than thirty years, government experimenter Elisabeth Murray has been inflicting permanent, debilitating brain damage on rhesus macaques and conducting painful, frightening, and pointless experiments on them. (Scientific Takedown, 2020)

In this mentally retarded scenario of the NIH, 17 million dollars have been wasted in funding the irrelevant issue as to whether monkeys think cartoons have feelings (17 Million Dollars Wasted). Some critics say the sadistic criminals should be jailed, in the interests of both animals and government spending.

Over a hundred thousand primates are annually imprisoned in American laboratories, "where most of them are killed in invasive, painful, and terrifying experiments." The details have shocked many even in America, a country noted for a strong degree of aggregate insensitivity to ethnic, ecological, and animal issues. Major culprits include the University of Utah, the University of California San Francisco, and the University of Washington.

In those ghastly milieux, "monkeys have holes drilled into their skulls, metal resistant devices screwed into their heads, and electrodes inserted into their brains." Vivisectionists at Columbia University caused strokes in baboons by removing their left eyeballs and using the empty eye sockets to clamp critical blood circulation to their brains. Some victims suffer portions of their brain being destroyed or removed, the purpose being to impair their cognitive function or to cripple them (Primates in Laboratories).

Over sixty years, the primate research centres in America have killed tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of primates. Yet those murder venues have failed to produce cures for humans. "Six decades of wasted money and wasted lives are enough." That is the PETA verdict after close scrutiny.

At the University of Washington Primate Center, experimenters have subjected monkeys "to total-body irradiation, infection with the deadly Ebola virus, separation from their mothers at birth, insertion of electrodes into their brains, and more." The victims have died from "strangulation, starvation, dehydration, veterinary error, bleeding to death, choking on their own vomit, and unintended infections" (University of Washington). To call this programme totally disgraceful is not enough. The agenda is a crime of huge proportions.

Some critics view the American experimenters, involved in this inter-state activity, as a vindictive crew of sadists, whose cruelty and savagery is perhaps only equalled by their counterparts in Chinese laboratories. That is definitely not a compliment. In Chinese Communism, as with animals, so with humans. Human prisons in China are diabolical, like the animal laboratories.

In 2015, Harvard University at last closed down their affiliated primate research centre, after assimilating "multiple animal welfare violations," also the dismal failure of primate experiments to produce treatments or vaccines for human relief. Wasting time is not scientific, merely stupid. To fund the futile experiments, taxpayers have lost hundreds of millions of dollars over decades.

Observers found that the American primate experimenters were eager to get a foothold in a new market envisaged for COVID-19 "research." Their claims have been rebutted as extremely misleading, avoiding a far more convincing scientific onus obvious to other parties (Monkey Experimenters' Lie).

American education long ago contracted the virus of British Empire science, in turn influenced by Continental Cartesian mechanistic theory. To what extent the American educational system has been impaired by the Old World is perhaps a subject of controversy. Meanwhile, moving at a tangent to torture is Professor Bernard Rollin (associated with Colorado State University). He is one of those concerned to explicate the important factor of animal mind in the face of neglect and laboratory abuse. See, for instance, The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds (2018).

8.  Brain  Studies  and  Neuroscience

The subject of animal rights is sometimes contrasted with neuroscience, the latter being seen as a virtual enemy due to associations of laboratory research. My own approach to brain studies was in the capacity of a totally independent citizen thinker, with no link to laboratories or official funding.

Citizens are often despised by academics for being ignorant of their most elevated subject, i.e., science. I spent much time at one period trying to ascertain the truth about science at a major library in Britain. My private research (unpaid) was linked to philosophical interests. I produced an amateur book entitled Psychology in Science (1983). Some academics were surprised at the force of my resistance to the relativist theories of Paul K. Feyerabend, a philosopher associated with "new age" leanings to alternative therapy. The analysts conceded that I was definitely not a new age writer, noting with some interest that I argued for a form of scientific method in the face of relativism.

During the 1970s, brain studies became popular via The Psychology of Consciousness (1972), a book by the American neuroscientist Robert Ornstein (1942-2018). I also read the contrasting work by British neuroscientist Colin Blakemore entitled Mechanics of the Mind (1977). The latter book repudiated Ornstein's syncretist version, preferring the traditional scientific perspective (I discovered later that Blakemore was a supporter of vivisection). Seeking to know more about the background of diverse theories involved, I arrived at the stage of reading scientific journals of medical and neuroscientific relevance at CUL (Cambridge University Library). I had to learn new terminologies in the process.

The consequence was my disappointment at the conflicting theories, the obvious lack of any ultimate knowledge, speculative provisos which hedged every turn of the journal corridors, and yet other drawbacks. I was shocked by the animal experimentation encountered in some of the articles I read. I soon lost interest in this form of literature.

By that time, it was well known what could happen to animals in laboratories. A 1970s television programme had been unusually graphic. A scientist was caught on camera stabbing a cat to death in the barbarous manner favoured by some elite laboratory personnel.

I no longer believe there is any point in citizen reference to brain complexities. The so-called "brain/mind problem" has been elaborately argued in numerous formats, with no academic concensus emerging on this subject. Furthermore, some neuroscientists tend to zealously regard the brain as their unique possession, in the sense that citizens (and even other academics) should not dare to probe their conclusions. The "split brain" experiments associated with Roger Sperry (1913-94) created recognition of a basic lateralised cerebral function. The fact is that we all have a complex brain with the hemispheric analytic/holistic dimensions. The "brain maps" of numerous cerebral sub-zones can be variously interpreted. Much is conjecture and protracted argument. Prodigious confusion has resulted, in both the academic and public sectors. This is a subject to avoid.

Professor Sperry undertook vivisection via his "split brain" experiments of the 1960s. However, he became an anti-behaviorist mentalist in his significant book Science and Moral Priority (1983). The temperament of neuroscientists does vary. Sperry's book was employed in my formative version of anthropography (Meaning in Anthropos, pp. 22-3). I had more critically approached The Self and Its Brain (1977) by Karl Popper and John C. Eccles, the philosopher of science and neuroscientist respectively (both now deceased). I was, for instance, in opposition to the Ecclesian belief that animals are automatons, a belief reflecting the Cartesian vivisectionist tradition:

He [Eccles] argues that animals would still react to injury even when unconscious. Eccles illustrates his contention with the affirmation: "You can have a decorticate animal with its whole cerebral hemispheres removed and it would still react to pain and show rage and fear." Regrettably therefore, in the anthropographic perspective at least, dualist interactionism remains barbaric despite (or because of) its theological undertones. The Cartesian principles are slow to die a painless death, yet they must somehow be replaced by an effective philosophy and an effective methodology suited to evolutionary goals as distinct from cul-de-sacs. (Shepherd, Meaning in Anthropos: Anthropography as an interdisciplinary science of culture, 1991, p. 15)

Fortunately, humans can experience without knowing the vast number of brain neurons involved. Such emotions as rage can be overcome. The scope of human consciousness, greater or lesser, will not be charted by animal experiments. Logically, that scope will vary greatly between different humans.

Here one has to guard against the brain lore invented by drug promoters. As an extension, The Guardian achieved social damage in 2011 by promoting an article explicitly encouraging the use of LSD, via the theme of LSD being a great spiritual teacher. The writer in question advertised a doctoral credential in parapsychology, plus the status of a "sceptic" and Zen enthusiast.

Confusions are widespread. For instance, it is both futile and wrong to inject monkeys with cocaine and other drugs; that species is too advanced by human standards of indulgence. The citizen only needs to observe the behaviour of academic drug pushers and vivisectionists, then to move in the opposite direction.

9.   Aristotle, Slavery, and  Animal  Experiment  in  Britain

Over two thousand years ago, the Greek scientist Aristotle endorsed slavery and supported the class system, being a conforming elitist of his time. In his Politics, he asserted that barbarians (non-Greeks, potential slaves) existed to serve the more civilised and rational Greeks. Aristotle is also counted among the first vivisectionists, describing in his Parts of Animals how he dissected creatures to gain a knowledge of anatomy. Like Descartes, he bequeathed a problematic philosophy.

Aristotle outlined a moral theory in which animals "share with humans many of the same psychological capacities, including, for example, sensation and desire" (Tom Regan, Defending Animal Rights, University of Illinois, 2001, p. 6). Aristotle was superior to Descartes in this respect. However, he also asserted: "Animals exist for the purpose of advancing the good of human beings" (ibid). Aristotelian thinking maintained that inferiors had to serve the interests of superiors. Aristotle believed that women were inferior to men, also defining "slaves by nature" as lacking the ability to grasp truths through reason, here equated with virtue.

At the Ptolemaic "university" in Alexandria, Aristotelian scientists are reported by the Roman medic Celsus to have dissected living men, meaning low class criminals taken from the jails. This trend was doubtless facilitated by the class snobbery of that era, after the Macedonian Greeks established control of Egypt. As with animals, so with humans.

Aristotle and other elite Greeks perpetuated strong class bias against the masses, who were considered unfit for philosophy and science. The lower classes were viewed as an uneducated rabble limited to mundane occupations. The Platonists and Aristotelians both comprised elitist traditions of education. In more general terms, a fair number of the Greek pedagogues were apparently paederasts; they never did any work. Servants and slaves could be treated abominably; the Stoic philosopher Epictetus (d.c.135 CE) was a Greek slave who gained his freedom. He walked with a limp that may have been contracted through slavery abuse. Flogging was a common punishment to maintain submission.

The Roman Empire became notorious for torture of slaves. Vast numbers of animals were killed in Roman arena activities, along with very numerous gladiators, many of whom were slaves. Reluctant fighters in the arena could be punished with whips, or even red-hot metal bars. As with animals, so with humans. At the Colosseum, a million animals are estimated to have died over four centuries. The pervasive Roman conquests were admired by many British Empire colonialists, who regarded themselves as the heroic successors of Rome.

A slave ship cargo

The new Romans were relentless in the act of imposing slavery. About three million black slaves were transported from Africa to British colonies in the Caribbean and the Americas. Only Portugal could rival British slave ships in the predatory trade occurring between circa 1650 and 1807. By the end of the eighteenth century, more than 150 British slave ships annually departed from the key ports of London, Bristol, and Liverpool. Even the original Romans (of Italy) could not achieve such maritime oppression. While live animals were gutted in British laboratories, runaway slaves could meet a hideous punishment. As with animals, so with humans. The fabled Age of Enlightenment provided a convenient auspice for exploitive colonial events from India to Ireland and beyond.

In 1663, the Stuart aristocrat James, Duke of York, granted a charter for a new mercantile company to supply slaves from Africa to the American colonies. The Royal African Company (RAC) gained support from courtiers and merchants, proving very successful. A major shareholder was King Charles II (1660-85). The Stuart monarchy effectively birthed the mainline British slave trade, also gaining assets in gold. The slavers included Edward Colston (1636-1721) of Bristol. From 1680, he was a member of the RAC, which exercised a monopoly in the African slave trade for many years. After a decade, Colston became the deputy governor of RAC. He assisted in transporting tens of thousands of slaves from Africa to the Americas. Slaves purchased in West Africa were routinely branded with the company initials of RAC. Some vivisection animals in Europe were also branded or imprinted until the present day. Just a number or a company code, no further significance whatever.

Abolitionist print published London 1792. The African girl slave was reputedly whipped to death for refusal to dance naked on the deck of the slave ship Recovery, owned by Bristol merchants.

Colston gained a contradictory repute as a philanthropist, bequeathing his slaver wealth to charities in Bristol. At that period, slavery was not seen as being wrong, just as many people still do not see vivisection as an evil if this is argued to be in their interests. The prosperity of Bristol was created by the slave trade, therefore slaves were justified. "Vivisection is fine because this makes profit for companies, an income for experimenters, and keeps the public healthy." Tested chemicals may be damaging to the environment; if profit is involved, bureaucracy turns a blind eye.

In the contemporary era, slavery is outmoded. However, the class system (and racism) is still present to a strong degree in Britain (racism is rife in "democratic" America, as the Black Lives Matter movement has confirmed). Politicians have encouraged the favoured illusion of an advanced high tech lifestyle bestowing great fulfilment. Nevertheless, so many people are obviously discontented in the big tech surfeit. Mobile phones are no index to intelligence. Ubiqitous internet trolls prove a primitive mentality. Unlimited scams are detested by innumerable victims. Computer games do not solve social problems. Domestic violence seems to get worse.

Many now complain that a semi-feudal complexion to British society is created by entities bearing status titles. The context can differ pronouncedly. Sir David Attenborough is commendable for his endeavour to profile the plight of wildlife. Whereas Sir Jimmy Savile (1926-2011) was a perverse example of the elite "charity" bestowed upon the victimised public. The media camouflage protecting this very active paedophile was fatal. Savile sexually abused hundreds of victims from the age of five upwards.

Pop stars have gained giant status awards, despite their participation in the ruin of culture during the psychedelic era. A disproportionate attention is given to pop music by comparison with the neglected intellectual priorities relating to citizen rights and potential. Time is running out for citizen potential. No amount of recreational extravagance or political rhetoric can stop the ecological problem, even if virus outbreaks can be controlled.

The veteran Royal Society is not celebrated for avoidance of vivisection, despite some clauses of moderation. This organisation influentially urges: "At present the use of animals remains the only way for some areas of research to progress" (Statement of the Royal Society, 2019). Some citizens dare to contradict the mandate of agony, ongoing since the seventeenth century.

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Lord Sainsbury (Minister for Science) were amongst the high officials in Britain who expressed support for animal experiments. In 2006, Blair signed an online petition supporting medical research on animals. A complaint was expressed against Blair by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), who pointed out that the number of signatures on the petition was far less than the number of people supporting the cause of non-animal research. NAVS stated: "This petition is being run by an extremist group of vested interests, representing a very narrow area of medical research that wants to see the UK continue with an outdated method of research as opposed to taking up more advanced, non-animal scientific methods."

The petition was arranged by the Coalition for Medical Progress, a body favoured by pharmaceutical companies and animal research agencies. The petition was endorsed by known vivisectionists like Colin Blakemore.

A victim of Imutran xenotransplantation, endorsed by academic, commercial, and government strategies

Faulty decision-making is a blight in high places, as the Home Office demonstrated during the 1990s. Complaints from the majority prevented Cambridge University from "building a massive primate testing facility," a prospect indicating establishment tendencies to exploit animals. Further, the infamous pig-to-primate organ transplants of the 1990s were conducted by Imutran Ltd, a biotechnology company acting "in collaboration with the University of Cambridge." Severe and fatal suffering was inflicted on thousands of pigs and several hundred primates, as evidenced by detailed records relating to Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratories. The inhumane drawback was called xenotransplantation. Hearts and kidneys from genetically engineered pigs were transplanted into the necks, abdomens and chests of monkeys and baboons.

The backward government politics of the situation should be well known. "The Imutran research was personally authorised by the ministers who were blocking an investigation." The evasive Home Office bureaucracy did not give a direct answer over many months. Opponents of Imutran complained: "Our interactions with the Home Office have led us to conclude that we are dealing with a body with strong authoritarian tendencies reminiscent of Warsaw Pact states rather than an open and democratic department." In such an afflicting situation, "the demands of the powerful and the influential hold more sway than the scientific reality" (quote from xenodiaries). The protesters justifiably reflected that elite vivisection protocol involves a "deliberate manipulation of public opinion to protect a self-serving, deluded and barbaric practice."

Imutran Ltd was a British subsidiary of multi-million drug giant Novartis Pharma (based in Switzerland). These conniving companies imposed an injunction to suppress release of extensive documents that were embarassing to vivisection. The commercial alliance was thwarted by the animal rights group Uncaged Campaigns. The biotechnology alibi was that of a noble cause furthering reduction of human suffering. In reality, there was no benefit for humans in this project. Huge economic dividends were anticipated by Imutran. The protesters had to negotiate powerful lawyers whose code of conduct is not beyond question. The overall scenario is one of dissimulation, horrific cruelty, and government compliance tactic. The worst society in world history is not an undue description for "modernity," because never before has exploitation been worth so much to technological predators.

The Home Office overlooked breaches of the law, even conspiring with Imutran to understate the suffering of animals ruined during the period 1994-2000. The Home Office persisted in the belief that major benefits to human society were in the offing. This is a vivisectionist creed. Monkeys and baboons died in agony. Their symptoms included vomiting, violent spasms, bloody discharge, diarrhoea, and "manic eye movements." Some of the victims died even before they reached England from Africa. They were imprisoned in small transport crates that did not permit movement. The period of confinement in one shipment substantially exceeded the 24 hours officially approved. Such travail was ignored by the Home Office, whose comfortable ambience has not been noted for privations.

A Line of Lab Victims

Many years later, the same basic situation had not changed. In 2015, the Home Office were still declaring their "high standards" in relation to permitted animal testing in Britain. That same year, Cruelty Free International (CFI) exposed the ongoing and horrific experiments conducted in Britain behind the facade of "special protection" status for primates. This "research" was secretly being conducted in government, university, and corporate testing facilities throughout Britain. The CFI verdict on governmental "high standards" included a description in terms of "extremely cruel and distressing experiments that are wasteful and even frivolous in their design."

In 2015, Britain was the third largest user of monkeys and other primates in the EU. As many as 2,000 of these victims were used annually in the "special protection" racket. Observers concluded that the British Home Office are grossly unreliable, contributing to a masquerade supporting vivisection at all costs. The ruses employed are in effective support of professional salaries and big business interests. University participation in this activity is not commendable. Similar experiments in Germany and America have been exposed in recent years, with some photographs causing distress to people more sensitive than the sadistic officiants using "restraint chairs" for monkeys. Chinese laboratories are another horror story more difficult to penetrate.

Britain has since emerged as the country conducting the highest number of animal experiments in Europe, replacing Germany. France is third in the list of pain and death creators. Between 2015 and 2017, almost thirty million animal experiments were conducted in Europe (Britain then included). Investigators say that EU citizens have been betrayed by their governments in a chronic failure to heed public opinion. The European Parliament, like the British government, is a bureaucratic excuse for burying principle. Only high salaries count.

Victim in a German LPT laboratory. Courtesy CEN/Cruelty Free International

A German laboratory was exposed on the media in 2019. This was a Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT). The shock photographs of monkey victims became internationally famous. Monkeys were secretly filmed screaming with pain while hanging from metal harnesses. LPT is a private lab network in Germany, conducting experiments for industrial and pharmaceutical companies around the world. The bloodstained funding was used to test macaque monkeys who were locked in a steel harness. Tubes were forced down their throats, by means of which the victims were made to ingest a potentially deadly mixture of drugs or chemicals. Dogs and cats also suffered.

Two staff informants revealed how they had been told by LPT managers to falsify results of testing. Dead animals were replaced with live ones without informing company clients. The procedure of deceit was maintained for years at the murder venue. The informants described lethal tests as pointless. All test results in that lab were now in official question. Thousands of protesters appeared on the streets of Hamburg. An LPT lab was closed down in February 2020. Six months later, the site was reopened after a ruling from the Hamburg court proved lenient. The outraged protester response arrived at conclusions such as "corrupt officialdom and the chemicals industry."

In 2018, the number of primate experiments in Britain rose by nearly ten percent to over 3,000. Many of the victims are said to have been used to test the toxicity of chemicals or drugs. Even worse, in 2020 news emerged that the number of primates imported into Britain for laboratory experiments had almost tripled in one year, to a total exceeding 6,700 (widely reported on the media). Most of these animals came from Mauritius. About 600 others came from Vietnam. Disease experts warned of a high risk of imported monkeys spreading dangerous viruses to people. Laboratory blindness is indifferent to warnings and complaints. Many British universities are seriously compromised in their education outreach. Science means high risk, animal suffering, and funding capital. Ignore science therefore, we are being deceived.

Kevin R. D. Shepherd

December 2012 (modified July 2013 and March 2021)