The Ethical Issues With Vivisection

5 Conversations

Every 10 minute a rabbit dies.

Every six seconds a mouse dies.

Every 5 hours a cat dies.

Every 68 minutes a dog dies.

Every two hours a monkey dies This is 84 a week, not including defence tests.

Every 4 mins 36 secs a bird dies.

Every 3 mins 52 secs a fish dies.

Every 66 minutes a dog dies.

Every FOUR SECONDS an animal dies in a British laboratory (more in America)

"If ever there were a blackest of all black sin committed against God and his fair creation,vivisection is surely it" Mahatma Ghandi

"There are only two groups of doctors and scientists who defend vivisection; those who do not know enough about it, and those who make money from it" Dr Werner Hartinger, chief surgeon, Germany

Reference Materials

LAN Shark's Page on anti vivisection

Account of a vivisector

Islamic Concerns with vivisection


Vivisection is popularly known as animal testing. It is the experimentation of products and methods on animals in order to see their effects.

These experiments are often painful to the animal involved, for example one of the most famous tests is to force animals to ingest or inhale a toxic chemical. When 50% of the animals are dead the rest are killed and dissected.

Vivisection began as a means to testing cures without risking human pain or death, now everything from cigarrettes through Fairy Liquid to new and radical cures for cancer are tested on a variety of animals from the humble mouse, to the intelligent ape.


Contrary to popular and encouraged belief vivisection is not always necessary. For skin irritancy tests (in which animals, usually rabbits, are shaved and chemicals are put on their skin) the animal could be substituted for human skin culture, which displays more accurate results, as the growth is human. The drawbacks with this method are the phenominally increased cost, and the fact that skin culture will not inflame due to it not having blood vessels (however it will send out the signal that means it wants to inflame).

A new breed of mouse is being developed which has been combined with human DNA, thus making it react to stimuli in a way more similar to a human.

The following information is provided by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Discovery of the relationship between cholesterol and heart disease, the number one cause of death for Americans

Discovery of the relationship between smoking and cancer and nutrition and cancer, the number two cause of death for Americans

Discovery of the relationship between hypertension and stroke the number three cause of death for Americans

Discovery of the causes of trauma, the number four cause of death in the United States, and the measures to prevent it

Elucidation of the causes of many forms of respiratory disease, American's number five cause of death

Isolation of the AIDS virus

Discovery of the mechanism of AIDS transmission

Discovery of penicillin and its curative effect on various diseases
Development of x-rays

Development of anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs

Development of vaccine against yellow fever

Discovery of the relationship between chemical exposures and birth defects

Discovery of human blood groups

Discovery of the mechanism of protein chemistry in cells, including nucleic substances

Development of hormonal treatment for cancer in the prostate and breast

Discovery of the chemical and physiological visual process in the eye
Interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis

Discovery of the mechanism and action of hormones

Understanding of cholesterol biochemistry and familial hypercholesterolemia

Production of Humulin, a synthetic copy of human insulin which causes few allergic reactions.

Understanding of human anatomy and physiology.


Firstly, ethically: It is wrong to cause pain or to remove freedom (unless the creature you are removing it from will benefit eg. putting a cat in a box to transport it to the vets)

Secondly the human harm it has caused:

animals just do not function well as human models. About half of all drugs released by the FDA are later reported to have serious side effects. Drugs that worked perfectly on animals can cause terrible human suffering as with thalidomide and several experimental vaccines. Drugs are always tested on humans after they are developed and tested on animals, this proves that even the scientists know that animal tests are too unreliable to work. Even apes are not close enough to humans to be used for developing vaccines or cures. You can infect apes with the HIV virus, but they won't develop the symptoms of AIDS, because their genetic code is different enough from humans not to work.

The proffered reason for using animal models instead of human cell cultures is because one can't predict the effect that a drug will have on the entire human body, because of the interactions between cells and the hundreds of cells in the body.

Another example of human damage through animal testing can be seen in the production of aspirin, aspirin saves many lives every year, but the release of aspirin was delayed as the tests on animals showed it to be unsafe.

Why do they Do It?

One of the main reasons for vivisection is the legislation that says biomedical companies must test their products on animals before they can be put out on the market, they just have to pick the right "model" or animal that doesn't react badly and they've proved their product is safe. Without animal testing, companies wouldn't be able to release as many drugs because animal tests would no longer be there to "pass" them, and it would be harder to to "prove" that a drug was OK for human consumption.


Notorious vivisectors include Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) and the multimillion dollar corporation Proctor and Gamble (the creator of pringles, bold, fairy, daz, pantene and sunny delight.

Current Issue: The Diaries of Despair

HLS has recently been the subject of a large scandal: The diaries of despair case. This series of experiments involved two species: Pigs and primates, and was designed to find out if xenotransplantation (the transplantation of organs from one species to another) is viable. Genetically modified piglets, who were taken by sezarian from their subsequently slaughtered mothers, were dissected and their organs were transplanted into primates.

Every primate died in pain, with labels such as "fits","in spasm" and "vomiting". One monkey had an organ transplanted into it's neck so the vivisectors could study it being destroyed by it's body. These experiments have now ended in England and vivisectors now admit that it was leading down a blind alley. The organisation Uncaged Campaigns are calling for an independant judicial inquiry: An investigation into the reason why the home office allowed these blatantly cruel and at times genuinely illegal experiments to continue despite their investigations. Having fought for a long time, a panel of lawyers finally granted legal aid having credited their case with the label "high public interest".

Final Note

This entry was going to be an unbiased view point, but after hours of searching, I could not find any substantial reasons for the continuation of vivisection over research into the unfunded alternatives.

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