Autobiograpy of a Revolutionary: Essays on Animal and Human Rights by Roberta Kalechofsky  

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Autobiography of a Revolutionary: Essays on Animal and Human Rights

by Roberta Kalechofsky,,

Copyright 1991 Roberta Kalechofsky

This is the full text of the book, in one file. The print version is available from Micah Publications, 255 Humphrey St., Marblehead, MA 01945,  Roberta's other work includes: Orestes in Progress, Justice My Brother, A View of Toledo, Solomon's Wisdom, The Martyrdom of Stephen Werner, and Bodmin 1349.

Micah Publications also publishes Jewish vegetarian and animal rightsbooks, such as: The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook, Vegetarian Judaism--A Guide for Everyone, and Haggadah for the Liberated Lamb. For a full list with descriptions, see

Table of Contents

About the Author
Roberta Kalechofsky is the author of seven works of fiction, a monograph on George Orwell, poetry and two collections of essays. She has been published in quarterlies, reviews and anthologies, and was the recipient of Literary Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Council on the Arts.

Several of her stories, and two novellas, La Hoya and Stephen's Passion, have been translated into Italian and published in Italy. La Hoya received excellent reviews in major publications, such as Corriere Della Sera., and was included in a college curriculum in Italy under the title, Veduta di Toledo.. Stephen's Passion has also been included in a college curriculum in courses in American Fiction in the University of Florence, under the title, La Passione Di Stephen. Her novel, Bodmin, 1349: An Epic Novel of Christians and Jews in the Plague Years, was included twice in a college curriculum in the United States.

She began Micah Publications in 1975 and has received publishing grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, in addition to her literary fellowships. As a publisher, she created The Echad Series, which includes five anthologies of Jewish writing from around the world, and has published 40 different titles in poetry, fiction, scholarship, vegetarianism and animal rights. She is active in the animal rights and vegetarian movements and began the organization, Jews for Animal Rights, in 1985, and coordinates publishing projects with this organization.

She has also been a contributing editor to various magazines, such as Margins, and On The Issues, and taught at Brooklyn College for four years.

She was a participant in a round-table discussion, "Please Use Other Door: Literary Creativity and the Publishing Industry," with Cynthia Ozick, Hugh Nissenson, Gordon Lish, Elizabeth Sifton and Robert Boyers, which was published in RSA Journal, #3 (March, 1992).

She graduated from Brooklyn College and received a doctorate in English literature in 1970 from New York University.

A critical essay on her work can be found in the Dictionary of Literary Biographies, Volume 28: Jewish Fiction Writers. A list of her published work and/or extended resume is available upon request.

Text on back cover:

In fourteen essays that explore the Anti-vivisection and Animal Rights movements in their relationship to religion, experimentation on human beings in the Nazi concentration camps and elsewhere; the Women's Movement; pornography; and the reform movements in the 19th century, Roberta Kalechofsky broadens the concept of rights from a political context to a socio-biological context.

Roberta Kalechofsky is more than a scholar of the highest rank. She is a visionary and a poet. Her work consummately combines that marriage of passion and intellect, of the heart and the mind, that is the hallmark of all liberation movements. Her writing inspires no less than it instructs. All who are privileged to read the fine essays collected here stand in her debt.
-- Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights

I have seldom encountered a contemporary American author as responsive to broad, fundamental historical issues as Roberta Kalechofsky, and as interested in investigating the complex, and often undetected epistempoligcal factors that influence human actions.
Mario Materassi, Editor, Shifting Landscape: The Published Short Wirtings of Henry Roth 1925-1987


I wish to thank the Culture and Animals Foundation for its moral and financial support in allowing me to bring these essays out of their various drawers into publication, and especially to Tom Regan for his faith in my ability to deliver the message.  And to my husband, whose faith in my message is matched by his endless patience in dealing with the nitty gritty of typos, proofreading, and a wife who has a love/hate relationship with her computer.  More importantly, I am in ever-loving indebtedness to his prevailing good counsel.

I am grateful to Professor Hans Jonas for his generosity in permitting me to quote so liberally from his book, The Phenomenon of Life: Towards A Philosophical Biology published by University of Chicago Press, 1966.  The excerpts of poetry in "When We Walked on The Moon" are from Inside Outer Space: New Poems Of The Space Age, edited by Robert Vas-Dias, DouEl-eda-y, 1970.

The following essays were first published elsewhere, or presented as talks:

"Autobiography of A Revolutionary," Between The Species.  Vol 5, no. 4,1 Fall, 1989.

"The Social and Medical Antecedents to the Nazi Experiments in the Concentration Camps," Holocaust Scholars' Conference, Anne Frank Institute, Philadelphia, 1988.

"The Animal Estate," by Harriet Ritvo, On The Issues, Vol.  IX, 1988.

"Dedicated To Descartes' Niece: The Women's Movement and Anti-vivisection in the 19th Century,," presented at the Culture and Animals Spoleto Festival For Animals, October, 1990.

"Metaphors of Nature: Vivisection and Pornography--The Manichean Machine," presented at the Society for Ethics and Animals, American Philosophical Association, December, 1988.  Published in Between The Species, Vol. 4, no. 3, Summer, 1988; On the Issues, Vol.  IX, 1988; Behavioral & Political Animal Studies, Vol. 1, no. 1, July, 1988, Hamilton, New Zealand; Etica & Animali, Vol 11, no. 1, Spring, 1989, Milan, Italy.

"The Seed of Peace: Vegetarianism in Prophetic Writing," presented at The International Vegetarian Congress, Israel, Spring, 1991.

My debt to Coral Lansbury is special.  Her book, The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian Engla re-arranged the social map of late Victorian England.  It brought into focus the dramatic impact which the emergence of the practice of vivisection had on the Women's Movement and on the many other social iysues of the day. The vivisection controversy has been too long relegated to the dustbin of that kind of history which becomes a footnote.  Coral Lansbury returned it to where it belongs in the main text of Victorian history.  We shall miss het: This book is dedicated to her and to the old brown dog whose statue has been returned to Battersea Park, where it belongs.

Introduction: My Good Works Resume

Like Frances Power Cobbe (see page 101) and others in the Animal Rights movement, I am often assailed by the question, "Why don't you do something for the human race?" No one ever accosts people on golf courts or at baseball games with this demand.  So I take it that it's not the observation that I am leading an idle life that annoys my assailants, but that my interest in animal rights arouses something akin to sibling rivalry in them--a threat to their status! (Species rivalry?)

A cousin asked me why I wasn't doing something for mothers on welfare, a friend asked why I wasn't involved in inner city problems.  It so happens that I have been and am involved in causes that may (probably not) propitiate my inquirers.
I was a volunteer teacher for a Head Start program in Lynn, Massachusetts for two years.  One of my pupils was a mother on welfare, who subsequently passed her high school equivalency examination, got a job, and got off welfare (not all due to me), and it also happens that I worked on welfare legislation during my years of involvement with the League of Women Voters, as well as helped initiate recycling in my town.  The number of non-animal causes I have been involved with include gun control laws (to keep human beings from shooting each other), Civil Rights, Interfaith dialogues, feminism, and emigration of Soviet and Ethiopian Jewry.  My membership in non-animal rights organizations includes the National Writers Union, Amnesty International and the Anti-Slavery Society.

This is a bare outline of my "good works" for the human race and, like Frances Power Cobbe, I would hope it would suffice to persuade the public that there is no antithesis between involvement in the Animal Rights movement and concern for human affairs.  Indeed, quite the opposite:

The rise of the Animal Rights movement is embedded in the 18th and 19th centuries' general concept of "rights.' People like Harriet Beecher Stowe and Thomas Paine understood that animal rights was a category of general rights.  In 1796, John Lawrence, a gentleman farmer in Great Britain, framed a concept of animal rights based on the revolutionary ideas emanating from France and the United States.

No human government, I believe, has ever recognized the jus animalum which surely ought to form a part of the principles of justice and humanity .... I therefore propose that the rights of Beasts be formally acknowledged by the State and that a law be framed upon that principle to guard and protect them from acts of f lagr ant and wanton cruelty, whether committed by their owners or others.
The founders of the Anti-Slavery Society in Britain took cognizance of the rights of animals.  These two causes matured together, along with women's rights, the struggle for prison reform, and to eliminate child labor and child abuse.  Animal Rights is part of the great social reform movements of the two last centuries.  In Shridath S. Ramphal's article "Lifting Slavery's Curse" (Anti-Slaverv Rei)orter, 1990), the son' author refers to Brian Harri s splendid 5FFa-se, the
"genealogy of reform.' This genealogy includes Animal Rights.
From the beginning ... the anti-slavery cause was supported by those for whom it was only one aspect, though very often a central one, of a whole panoply of desirable social reforms which encompassed such issues as education, peace, land reform, reduced taxation, f ree trade, reform in factories, feminism,, the alleviation of cruelty to animals and pacifism.
The difference between animal abuse and other worthwhile causes today is that animal abuse remains institutionalized with powerful economic and political entanglements.  Thus, it resembles slavery rather than child abuse, and thrives on what Roger Sawyer, in his article 'The 150th Anniversary of the Anti-Slavery Society," (Anti-Slavery Reporter, 1990) describes as the peculiar difficulty stemming from a credibility gap.  Who would believe that there are today about 200 million slaves in the world?  And who would believe that eminent academic institutions conduct "stress tests" where animals are flayed alive in the name of science.  Governments don't fund child abuse and scientists don't receive grants for conducting stress experiments on children.  Child abuse is terrible when it happens, but random.  Animal abuse, like slavery in a slave society, is a fundamental underpinning of evil throughout society, paid f or and voted for.  Like the struggle against slavery, Animal Rights is part of the great attack upon the oldest of class presumptions--that there may be masters and slaves and trafficking in living flesh.


These papers were written over several years, often for occasions remote from the thought of publishing them collectively.  Every effort was made to harmonize the style of a paper meant to be heard with one meant to be read, and to eliminate repetitious points.  It was difficult to be consistent with the spelling of terms such as anti-vivisection

(Anti-vivisection, or antivivisection?) since they were spelled variously in quoted material.  The term, "science" in these essays should not suggest mathematics or physics, but medical research.  However, since, in the 19th century, medical research frequently included anthropology, sociology, chemisty and biology, the general term, 'science" was used.  Occasionally, more material was added to an essay as further information became available.  In one particular case, in retrospect, I should have expanded the issue of Jack the Ripper in "Metaphors of Nature--Pomography and Vivisection." It seems now more likely that Jack The Ripper was the famous Dr. William Gull, a notorious spokesman for vivisect ion.  The case of Jack The Ripper has attracted commentators for decades, for implicit in these murders was not only the issue of vivisection, but the omnipresent evil of poverty, with the consequent preying of the powerful upon the powerless.


The British novelist, Joyce Cary, once asked why so many of us make a fuss about "the mystery of evil." Good, he pointed out, is as much of a mystery as evil.  It should come as an exalted surprise that in these decades characterized by "me too" values, that so many people willingly undertake the work of reform on behalf of creatures who can never vote for them or repay them, motivated by revulsion to cruelty and sympathy with suffering.  These motivations inspire the genealogy of those reform movements which stand apart from other political movements and self-serving ideologies.

Autobiography of a Revolutionary

My membership in the Animal Rights Movement was unpredictable.  I did not join the movement. was catapulted into it.  I did not go looking f or it.  I did not know it existed.  I turned a page in a book, I turned a comer in the universe and was confronted with a terrible evil.  But now I know, and my life has changed.  An immense detour in myself, foremost as a writer, has developed.  I ache for my old themes, the material of Jewish-Christian relations I explored in Bodmin, 1349, or the first five or so centuries of Christianity I had come to know so well I could itemize the goods laying on the wharves of Ostia where slaves and animals for the gladiatorial odmbats disembarked from foreign shores, to die for the entertainment of an over-ripe civilization. worry about whether I will ever again have time to write about these themes and ages, the centuries which formed my first notions of barbarity, of cruelties in well-worn traditions.  Ah! the blessings of an historical framework, even for barbarism.

The 20th century is hard on writers. depleted our stock of language about evil. It has depleted our stock of language about evil. Hemingway turned his back on language after the first World War, George Steiner wrote his elegy on language after the Holocaust.  Time and again, I think how useful "anti-Christ" (as the antithesis to good) was to Christian medieval writers.  I need a word to describe 'Unnecessary Fuss" as the polarization of whatever I might mean by God.  Blasphemy, like evil, is in the dustbin.

When the cultural force of a word dies, even a dictionary definition is useless.  My Oxford Universal Dictionary defines "evil" as: "A. adj. the antithesis of Good.  Now little used, except in literary English." Is it then a term used only by archaic writers?  If so, what word shall 20th century writers use to denote the dismantling of the universe as known by atavistic believers in a creative force once called God, called Ya-wah, called Shaping Genius, Source of Breath, Soul-Stuff, called Life-Force, Providence, Covenantal, the Promise-Never-to-Destroy-Again, called Voice4n-TheWhirlwind, In-'Me-Thunder, From-The-Mountain, Fatherof-Mercies, Sheltering Wings, Pillar of Fire, I-WhoWill-Be-With-You-Always-Breathing-With-You4n-YourDoings.  Yes?

I grew up in a patchwork of traditions and beliefs, lucky to survive the crush of contradictions in my family and in my culture.  Animals had little to do with the first thirty-five years of my life, so that it is a marvel that they now have everything to do with the Jewish upbringing I had the first ten years of my life.  My parents were separated when I was a year old, my mother an aspiring modern Jew, my father the only son of Orthodox Jews who regarded modernity as one more phase to be tolerated and ignored in the history of the Jewish people.  Real history for them was the line of development from God to Adam and Eve to the generations of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to Moses, to me.  The rest were passing fancies.  I never heard of Darwin until I got to college.  In place of "knowledge" I was raised to believe that God knew everything I did, and everything I did mattered to God.  That impression of a direct line between me and God f aded as I matured, but enough remained so that when it was evident that my husband and I were going to marry (there was no formal declaration of this, just a sliding towards inevitability), I told him that if he was going to marry me, he should be prepared to know that I had a destiny to fulfill.  He asked me if I knew what it was.  When I told him I didn't, he shrugged his shoulders, and decided to take his chances anyway.  He did not know what I was talking about.  Neither did 1.

The years that were responsible for this peculiar slant were spent in a partly rural neighborhood of Brooklyn, populated by Christians and Jews from Eastern Europe, Polish Catholics and Russian Orthodox Slavs with Mongolian faces.  Sum m er nights, in the democracy of heat, everyone sat outside on folding chairs and gossiped.  Sum m er nights, too, we were periodically invaded by a menace, our equivalent of Skinheads, who would set bonfires on nearby empty lots and perform rituals I was forbidden to watch.

Milk and fruit and vegetables were delivered by horse-drawn carts. (True mechanization did not begin until after the second World War.) Some people kept gdats or a few chickens in their backyards.  When the animals were killed, I did not see it.  I did not go to the slaughterhouses which were small, local places at the time.  When my grandmother brought home a dead chicken and placed it on her lap to pluck its feathers, I did not relate it to living ones.  The act of violent death was secret to me 9 the dead and the living separate creatures, until one night I bit into the forbidden apple and went where I was told not to go.  I stole out of the circle of night gossipers to watch these other human beings from another world at their bonfire ritual,% racing ddgs and daring one another to leap over the flames they had made.  The night crackled with a contagious violence.  The dogs on their leashes went wild with frenzy when a kitten was caught, bound by her paws to a spit, and placed over a bonfire to burn.

I have a memory of not feeling anything, except that I should report "this thing' at once--I was definitely not grown-up enough to deal with it. have a memory of myself running back, confidently, to the circle of grown-ups sitting in the shadow of the tree,% to deliver my r-eport, with a curious primness about how I went about the business of reporting evil.  Directly--as I had been told to do.  Opening my mouth.  Saying: "Dear Editor, I wish to report an evil in my neighborhood.  Surely, you will print my letter, and inform the world." There was a pause in the gossip, nothing more.  Only the breezes stirred.  The sounds that remained of the incident were the mewing of the kitten and the frenzied barking of a dog.  I did not know then that I was witnessing a common ritual in brutality, unpretentious in its mechanism, no supporting vested interests, no class conflicts, no ideology, no religious motivations, most likely rooted in the need to master death by becoming a technician of the process, practised by those to whom death is an obsession; and that the reaction of those to whom I delivered my report was equally commonplace, the hiatus in conscience through which history pulses.

A dozen years went by before I thought about that incident again.  I had become a writer, self-consciously, with the objective of being published, being read, becoming famous, writing prose that would do what I wanted it to do-- change the world.  I did not want my writing to reflect it, to "hold the mirror up to nature." I wanted to re-write history, smash the mirror and put it back together again in language that would compel change.  I could not recover from Eden.  I was hopelessly naive.

The first story of mine to be published dealt with this early incident.  It was called "To Light A Candle"--a mawkish title--in which the observer of the night's auto da fe holds her finger in a candle flame to experience the flame, to identify with the victim.  Motivation unknown.

The world changed.  The small, rural neighborhood disappeared in to concrete and high-risers.  Horse-drawn wagons, backyard goats and chickens disappeared.  I rarely saw animals again except when we "went to the country," a momentous excursion in the era before thruways and super highways. formed a love of nature, of clouds, of climate, of oceans and mountains, rainfall, wind, the rhythm of seasons and growing things, the response of adolescent body to sultry night.  It was a nature devoid of animals, except for an occasional muzzled bulldog terrier (favorite breed at the time).  Cows in a country field terrified me.  I couldn't tell them from the bull, and the bull had a bad reputation.  Animals belonged in cages or in books or on a leash.  I did not know they existed in any other way.  Tarzan and Cheetah were a myth.  Sundays were spent desultorily in parks and zoos with my father, whose visiting rights entitled him to that, and me to throwing peanuts at the elephants and watching the monkeys masturbate.

This prolonged ignorance about animal life began to disappear when my husband taught me how not to fear dogs.  Being a jogger and a biker, I was made miserable by dogs who ran after me. My husband taught me how to talk to them. Instructed that almost any dog I would meet on a city street would most likely be domesticated, I learned how to say sternly, "Go home," the only two words I knew in their language, but they worked.  To me, they worked like a miracle.  Dogs wagged their tails and trotted away. (This technique does not work with rapists.) Dogs, I learned, were sociable creatures.  They understood language in a context.  My next step was to pat the dogs I spoke to.  Friendliness became an open sesame to the animal world.  The dogs along my jogging route became part of my landscape of nature, the gardens and early morning sunlight I loved to see.

A friend once asked me where I got my love of nature from.  I told him from the Bible, but after I le ft my grandparents to live with my mother, around the age of ten, I no longer lived in "Bible time," but in a "fashionable" neighborhood, remote in sentiment and social habits from my grandparents'.

In my senior year at college, I took a course in the Bilble more out of curiosity than loyalty.  We read Genesis, the prophets, tsalms, the Book of Job, and parts of the New Testament.  Professor Rypins told us, in his introductory lecture, that we were the first class in the entire country to take a course in Bible literature at a secular college, and that he had struggled for twenty years to have such a course included in the curriculum.  He beamed with satisfaction and said, 'You are all revolutionaries.'

I do not know why the others were there, my motives were desultory, and I did not feel entitled to his praise.  Nor could I share his enviable love for the Book of Job which, he told us, had sustained him through many vicissitude& I looked forward to sharing this sustenance--I could use help--but received a shock when I realized I was on the wrong side of the argument: I identified with the counsellors and not at all with Job.  Educated in commonsense thinking, their arguments seemed reasonable to me compared with Job's accusations or with God!s response to Job:

Where wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth?

When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy

Was this an answer to the problem of injustice and evil?  I wanted to kick Job.

That same year I also took a course in Modem European Fiction.  We read Gide, Kafka, Proust, and Malraux.  Something in that reading diet made me sick. was seized, internally, by incoherence and dropped out from the course though it was a dangerous thing to do in my senior year.  But I could not read about the aberrations of Baron Charlus, the muffled, oblique world of Kafka, the bloody world in Man's Fate where violence becomes a means of psychological reification and an estheticized technique, without a sense of terror that the human race had been remade according to laws I could not recognize.  I wrote a letter to my professor which said essentially, "I do not understand the 20th century and cannot read its literature."

The crisis about whether I would graduate passed.  My professor charitably gave me an "A" (momentary insanity is sometimes a compelling argument), but the crisis in my understanding of this century took decades.  Like most Jewish children, I knew my
history of antisemitism, blood libels and pogroms, but there was a piece of the puzzle missing for me in the documentation of the Holocaust.  Why the elaborate technology?  Why the elaborate, massive, baroque, bureaucratized technology?  Is it not simpler to kill people in their villages and ghettos, like the old-fashioned crusaders and Coss acks, than to transplant them hundreds of miles to killing centers?  In place of horsemen with cruel whips was a captur,ed photograph of a German soldier scrubbing the skin off a prisoner's back with a brush made of barbed wire.  The air is still.  'Me place is empty.  Flat ground extends beyond them.  The victim is almost dead, perhaps dead, for his tongue lolls loosely from his mouth.  The soldier does not notice.  He is very young and bored.  His gaze is distant.  Perhaps he is daydreaming about his girlfriend.

There is no bloodlust here.  Nazi honor forbade it. So, with cunning, Eichman and others could say that he "personally" was not an anti-Semite, he "personally" had Jewish friends, his "personhood" was nDt involved in the machinery of execution.  No parallel is intended here between the Holocaust and vivisection, between people and animals, but a common mentality embraces the vivisector who says he "personally" loves dogs, he "personally' has two or three pets at home, he "personally" hates pain and violence.  He does what he does constrained by an ethic different from the Skinheads of my youth.  Not until I learned the history of vivisection could I understand that emotionless gaze, the divorce between act and feeling, violence without personal involvement, which is a current in the modern sensibility.

It is a new ethos, which Hitler expressed when he demanded efficiency and rationality in matters of destruction.  A man of the 20th century, he distrusted emotionality and hated the archaic bloodlust, the sexual excitement that races through the groin in the act of killing: He sought to "purify" the S.S. of such primitive promptings.  Hannah Arendt remarked that "the concentration camps are the laboratories where changes in human nature are tested.' The technological imperative, mastered on other living creatures, had transformed our omnipresent impulse towards destruction and created a new balance between good and evil.  We shall miss the old brutalities

As with other Jewish children of my generation, the Holocaust was not a topic of conversation, except for hushed references about "disappeared!' relatives.  Before this fateful era had a name, I pieced it together by myself after my children were bom, no doubt because I became a mother.  Two unplanned journeys began for me the night I went into labor with my f irst son.  The act of giving birth astonished me.  Its physicality -was monumental.  The pain was not predicted.  The process ignored me.  No use to cry out, "I've changed my mind!" I woke the next morning, discovering dimensions to myself I (Rd not know existed.  I had read dozens of books about becoming a mother.  None of them had prepared me for the "irrational" f ever ish attachment I felt immediately for my son.  Where had it come from?  It seemed to rise from the nature of motherhood itself, a nature known to me, in this first stage, only through the literature of animals, mama bears and mama wolves who defended their cubs with their lives, birds who shrieked to frighten an enemy from their nest, who were the paradigm for a God with "sheltering wings," the pr-otectoress upon whose consuming care for her offspring is the secret of survival.

Thou art my God from my mother's belly
This identification with anim al nature, when stripped of culture, is not unique.  It exists beneath our socialized personalities and manifests itself when we are confronted with experiences common to animal& Prison literature often attests to the identification with the f ate of anim a Is.  Irina Ratushinskaya, imprisoned by the Soviets, wrote in her collection of poetry, Beyond The Limit:
We live stubbornly--
like a small beast
who's gnawed off his paw
to get out of the trap on three--
Terrence Des Pres, in his absorbing effort to understand human behavior in the concentration camps (The Survivor), uses studies of animal life to create a biosocial norm and ethic.  In one instance he refers to baboons in Nairobi Park who, after having established friendships with tourists, were shot by a parasitologist; thereafter, all baboons avoided human beings in the park.  The evil had been communicated to the others: "We learn what to fear, what to call evil and therefore what to call good, by absorbing the costly experience of others .... It is highly adaptive for animals to learn what to fear without having to experience events direct ly themselves." (p. 236)

But such connections between myself and animals were largely subliminal, until Sasha came into my life.  She was the dog we adopted to atone for Dylan, whose death was caused by our carelessness.  Dylan was ten years old when he died, suffocated in a parked car.  We had done the "reasonable" things, left the windows open enough for air, but not enough so that he could jump out, left a bowl of water which he turned over in panic, left the car parked under a shady tree--the temperature was about 83 deg ree s. In the three hours we were gone, it rose unpredictably 15 degrees.  Dylan died in my arms.  I know how a dog looks who has been subjected to a heat experiment.

Dylan had not been a loveable dog.  He was crotchety and jealous of babies, he loathed everyone in a uniform, postmen, policemen, firemen, and meter-maids.  We called him our "counter-culture" dog.  We had bought him from a kennel in the early 60's that bred wire-haired terriers (his mother had inadvertently mated with a beagle who had jumped the fence to get at her, and her offspring were a loss to the kennel), prodded by my son who insisted that if I were going to have a baby (I was pregnant with my second son), he was entitled to a puppy.  Not wishing to tangle with this logic, we brought him home a pet and named him for the poet, Dylan Thomas.

He was scrappy from the day he entered our house, always getting into trouble, always getting us into trouble.  Twice he bit our mailman.  Once he urinated into the open suitcase of a house guest. When he was five, to our horror, he jumped from the window of our car and tore the nerves in a front haunch.  The leg had to be amputated.  Dylan was unfazed, Three-legged, he sprang at horses and battled with great Danes.  Old people identified with his handicap and loved him.  One elderly lady who walked with a cane, conversed with him every morning, "I know just how you feel, missing a leg!" Another elderly gentleman, who had been born in Civil War Days, placed gifts of bones and leftovers for him in our backyard.  People called us and related sad stories of how they had put a pet "down" when he had lost a leg, believing an animal could not live on three legs.  Some of their stories were thirty years old.  Regret and guilt re-emerged in them at the sight of Dylan.  Professor White, who has done head-transplants on animals, has described affection for animals as "a special form of insanity." Our "madness" is apparently wide-spread.  His, so far, is confined to the research community.

Dylan could survive anything, except human stupidity.  He became a symbol for me, as he was for our elderly neighbors, of the life instinct, uncivil when his territory was threatened, self sufficient if left to itself.  He became the dog, Aleph, in my novel, Orestes in Progress whose nose for evil smells self destruction in his human masters.  Animals were now not only in my landscape of nature, but demanding a place in my landscape of thought.

That process became more active when Sasha gave birth to a single puppy the year after Dylan's death.  We had adopted her from an acquaintance who saved stray animals on a few acres of farmland.  She came looking for us. We were looking at other animals, more pedigreed ones.  Twice she escaped from her cage, ran after my younger son and sat down on his toes.  He pointed his ten-year old finger at her and said, 'I want this one." She had no records, no background.  She had been found on a street, deserted, thrown-away, abused.  She came to us out of the misalliance of humans and animals, and revealed to me the secret of God!s response to Job: the ingenuity of nature, the extraordinary oc)mpatibility of form and function, the near-perfect fit between mother and offspring, the incredible design repeated through millennia, with few accidents.  I would watch her sleep next to her puppy, her long white, fox-like body wrapped around her daughter, this new, know-nothing ball of fur who found her way to her teats through ancient pathways.  I watched how she went out for her walks, first surveying the scene where her puppy slept, so like any mother looking into a nursery before she leaves the house, how she returned and surveyed the scene again to make sure nothing had gone wrong while she was gone.  I read her thoughts.  They once had been my thoughts.

"With respect to the emotions of joy and sorrow, and the feeling of the mother for her young, there is no difference between the hum an and the animal.' Maimonides
Through Sasha I apprehended an order in the world, faith in creation, justice in God's design.  She too entered my writing imagination and became in Bodmin, 1349, the "mutter" from whom the heroine, Miriam learns what I had learned, and tells her estranged husband:
Her pups came out and she licked them clean and pushed them about with her tongue until they had life and began to move and found their way to her tea ts.  She laid herself down with no more ado while 1, cast out from the animal world, wandered with fear and with hunger.  But I went now with peace for I saw there was law and governance in the world, and I cared no more for what others taught of the evil that be in nature and matter, and that the soul alone can lift this evil. cared no more for what they teach for I saw that the mutter had a law that governed her.  I saw that the sun and the moon and the birds and the beasts had a law though you have taught me that they have no soul, but man who has a soul has no law that governs him.
Throughout history animals have constituted categories of thought, of joy, of perspectives on human nature.  "They are," as Penelope Shuttle has written in her poem, "The Animals from Underground,"' "the earth's hidden reserve of innocence."

Modern man also studies the birth process.  The October issue of Science, 1984 describes such a study at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, where Dr. Raymond Stark, a pediatrician, and a team of researchers wish to explore the mystery of what triggers birth.  Dr. Stark makes an incision in a monkey with a five month old fetus.  He perforates the uterus and takes out the head of the fetus, and makes an incision into its head, exposing the trachea into which he slides a catheter that will allow him to measure the fetus' breathing.  He inserts catheters into the carotid artery and jugular vein, then stitches the neck closed.  He then twirls a tiny drill bit into the soft bone of the fetus' forehead and inserts another catheter into the cerebral-spinal fluid.  Three more holes are drilled into the top of the fetus' skull for three more catheters.  More catheters are still placed in the fetus' neck, to measure electrical activity of the heart.  The fetus is now returned to the mother's uterus.  All incisions are closed, except for the catheter tubes and wires from electrodes which protrude from the mother's right side.  The mother spends the next four weeks in a restraining device, so that she cannot pull out the wires.  Dr. Stark has made twelve attempts for monkeys to deliver in this way.  All have failed.  Dr. Stark explains: "The baboons like to give birth at night when no one is around.  Because of the chair , and the catheters and electrodes, they can't properly tend to the infants without help, and they die."

Claude Bernard, the "father" of the vivisection process, has described it as "the dismantling of the living organism." In the century since he has died the techniques for dismantling animals have become ingenious and incalculable.  Not merely organs from single animals are dismantled, but whole animals are dismantled and re-assembled according to the fancies of their experimenters.  The experiments are beyond ordinary imagination, and the public is ignorant, as I was, of the subterranean world that exists in basements, in "maximum security" entrenchments beneath the campuses of many large, respectable academic institutions.

Isaiah had cursed the land because its inhabitants practised the cruelty of tearing a limb from a living animal! (24:6) This bears thinking about in relation to vivisection.  No amount of casuistic evasion can obliterate the fact that in the Torah God!s covenant includes the animal world.  No doubt there will be a great deal of squirming by many people before that plain fact is accepted for what it is.

I discovered this other world of "experimentation" rather than of 'experienc6' by accident.  The words, "animal research" had conveyed nothing more sinister to me than rats in a maze or on a treadmill.  While doing research on a German-Italian novelist, Curzio Malaparte, I read his chapter entitled "The Black Wind" in his novel, Skin.  It is about a man who loses his dog, and finds him in a research laboratory.

He opened a door and we entered a large, clean bright room, the floor of which was covered with blue linoleum.
Along the walls, one beside the other, like beds in a children's clinic, were rows of strange cradles, shaped like cellos.  In each of the cradles was a dog, lying on its back, with its stomach exposed, or its skull split, or its chest gaping open....

Suddenly I uttered a cry of terror.  'Why this silence?' I shouted.  'What does this silence mean?'
It was a horrible silence--a vast, chilling, deathly silence, the silence of snow.

The doctor approached me with a syringe in his hand.  'Before we operate on them,' he said, ?we cut their vocal cords.'

The day before I read this passage I had seen an advertisement in a newspaper about an animal rights organization, and had thrown it out with the paper.  Now I went to my garbage can, found the advertisement, and called the telephone number on it. Like so many other people, I had avoided the literature on the subject.  Only a week before I had seen a copy of Dallas Pratt's book, Alternatives to Painful Experiments on Animals in a local library, peeped into it and had-immediately shut the book.  I had said to myself, what so many others now say to me, "I can't bear to look at that.' Now the material forced its way into my consciousness.  It clutched me by my throat.  I had thought, after I had absorbed the literature on the Holocaust, I would never again have to rebuild the world I knew.  But again, everything unravelled and had to be pieced together again, had to be rethought again, particularly that such evils could take place a short distance from where I lived and I could be so ignorant of them.  Surrounded by friends who are in the sciences, I was one of those anomalous creatures Alfred North Whitehead describes in Science and the Modem World. to whom science is irrelevant To-th--eV Tnow-ledg-e-o7-the world.  My interests lay in dramas like Oedii)us Rex and Job.  My ignorance of science was "cutew-@n-d dangerous.  Like Oedipus, the circle of complicity came back to me.  Again, I had to releam the 20th century and that its chief virtue--intellectual curiosity--is our greatest danger.  Intellectual lust, as Augustine knew, is more dangerous than sexual lust.
No devil at the door.  No pacts sealed with wax And dabbled with blood.  Only the drone of minds

All but unbearable yet issuing these absolutes:
Perfections like traps, all the taut majesty

Of device.  We pray each night that we will have
A history.  We pray for all that is uninvented.
-- Baron Wormser, 'Intellectual Beauty"

It took me several years to learn how to read material about animal research "voluntarily." In the beginning, I could read only a page at a time. hated to come across it "by surprise." I had to prepare myself and learn, step by step, how to deal with my reactions to this material.  I could extrapolate from my previous ignorance of it that most Jews, like most of the public, did not know what was going on.  It was also clear that the Animal Rights movement did not understand Judaism, that the term, "Judeo-Christian" creates a harmful confusion, to the detriment of understanding the Jewish position, vis a vis animals.  Someone had to be a bridge between the different confusions.  I did not wish that someone to be me.  I was wary of creating another organization, in addition to Micah Publications, that would take me away from writing.  I knew that organizations meant hours and hours of secretarial work.  I said to myself, 'No, no, no, no, don't do it," then sent two dozen press releases about Jews for Animal Rights to the Jewish press, dreading the erosion of time this would mean.  Several weeks later I received a book of stamps from a lady (how prescient!) and a note: "God bless you for this holy work." I was hooked.

The first step towards the modern world of technological destruction was taken when Cartesian philosophy permitted us to reduce animals to a mechanistic model:

The split between mind and body, between man's "higher' and 'lower" natures, is not only a consequence but the major goal...The spirit soars, preens, odnsoles itself in a freedom gained by repressing consciousness of the body and its needs.  A short-hand formula for the whole of this endeavor would be: ... where the body was, there shall spirit be.  Western civilization is the negation of biological reality, and unavoidably, since life and death are inextricable, the denial of death comes finally to be a denial of life. [The Survivor, p. 243]
The term, 'Judeo-Christian" as used by the Animal Rights movement refers to this process, but it negates the bedrock of Jewish tradition in Torah and rabbinic literature which asserts the dignity and moral value of animal life, expressed in what may be the earliest declaration of an animal's right: "You may not muzzle the ox when it treads out the corn in the fields.' Deuteronomic law declares Sabbath rest for the animals as well as for human beings (if enforced, it would destroy the factory farming system).  As James Gaffney wrote in 'The Relevance of Animal Experimentation to Roman Catholic Ethical Methodology,' (Animal Sacrifices: Religious Perspectives on The Uses of Animals in Science).
The Mosaic law does envisage animal interests, does legislate animal rights, and, to that extent, does represent animals as moral objects ... In the Wisdom literature the underlying moral finds expression in the unfortunately neglected proverb: 'A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast.'
We have before us now two texts to evaluate:
"We are entitled to believe ... that we can create anew all the substances and creatures that have emerged since the beginning of things...."  Marcellin Berthellot, chemist, 1885
and God's response to Job:
Does the hawk soar by your wisdom
And stretch her wings towards the south
Does the eagle mount at your command?
If not now, very certainly in the near future, the answer to that question will be yes.  Will the morning stars sing at this creation?  Or do we look forward to it with dread, knowing--to paraphrase Camus--that he who knows everything can destroy everything.

Buber commented that in the Bible, the natural world is created with a blessing, but the historical world is created with a curse.  It is from the historical world of injustice that job cries out for vindication.  It is with arguments from the natural world that God  justifies Himself against Job's attacks, but it is against nature that we make our prolonged war.  Our work is cut out for a long time to come and our siege works are prepared, while the historical world still remains cursed.  The m os t radical texts for our time may be the Book of Job and that quirky, inchoate fable, The Tower-of Babel.

The Economics of Humanitarianism, or The Revolt of The Taxpayer's Conscience

It's just not possible to sin politically anymore in America, except by adding to the taxpayer's burden, and anything that relieves the taxpayer of this burden is regarded as of unparalleled virtue.  This, no doubt, is good news to a lot of people.  It is certainly good news to the medical research community which, in exchange for about four billion dollars annually out of the taxpayer's pocket, takes pains to assure the taxpayer that it tries to be thrifty with the public dollar.  A good research dog, for example, may cost as much as $200, if bred in a laboratory, whereas a pound dog, or one kidnapped, or smuggled, or brought into a laboratory from an outside 'random" source (lab jargon) may cost only $35.  That is quite a saving, hence a member from the Research Community in Massachusetts was quick to point out his concern for the public interest, warning the taxpayers that if they passed a law--which they have--prohibiting the use of pound animals, "it would cost us a great deal."

The Research Community, in pursuit of TRUTH and KNOWLEDGE as hot as hounds after the fox, wishes to spare us undue expense which, considering the fact that the public pays for the research whose financial rewards from the end products of drugs or transistors most often finds its way into the hands of private corporations, is hardly a virtue.

Still virtuously, the Research Community comes up from time to time with schemes to save us money, and if some of these schemes makes one squeamish, indeed ill, we are reminded that the savings in taxes is enormous.  Take the example of "recycling" animals for biological research which has been suggested as a way of reducing the number of animals used in the laboratories and which has the 'Humanitarian Good Seal of Approval,' since it could reduce the huge numbers of animals used for experiments: A monkey that is put on a conveyor belt and spends weeks being electrically shocked to induce epileptic fits, may then have his eyes taken out to test the effects of blindness on his sex life or his eating habits, or he may then be starved to 80% of his body weight to measure 'famine stress"; or he may be given a dose of syphilis or LSD or cocaine or anything else that ails the human race.  If he is unlucky enough to survive this long, he may wind up in a radiation lab, doing good service to the human race in our preparation for nuclear war.  But not to worry.  If this sounds gruesome, "recycling" the animal (again, lab jargon) could spare the taxpayer the cost of fresh animals.  The savings are simply tremendous.

An offshoot--or a companion activity--of the use of animals in everything from sausages to the testing of pharmaceuticals, household detergents, cosmetics, spray poisons, alcoholism, drug addiction, drug withdrawal, diet fad,% chemical warfare, biological warfare, nuclear warf are, automobile collisions, inflammatory materials, and the inexhaustible gold mine of cancer research, is the lucrative business of animal smuggling--next to drugs, the most lucrative smuggling business there is, because like cocaine, the market just can't keep up with the demand.

Unlike drugs, however, dogs and burros, horses, apes and monkeys have to be fed, watered, given enough room to breathe in, and go to the bathroom sometimes.  Just like humans.  But not to worry here either, because they're carted around the world
more like drugs, for the market, the profit, the comfort and convenience of the human race.  The economics of their transport are worked out to the penny, exactly as it was for the slave ships.  Any animal that can't make the crossing from Burma to the United States, or from Venezuela to Belgium, wouldn't be any use in the laboratory anyway.  If three monkeys die out of every four, the other three didn't cost us anything and if the journey was a legal one, the dead monkeys are tax deductible.  So not to worry.  The monkey that survives the journey of asphyxiation, starvation, and living in its waste for days or weeks is the monkey we want, the monkey that will earn our money's worth in the radiation lab.

Luck is with the taxpayer!

In the fullness of historical time, there has evolved a way to save him more research money: The data from the experiments that the Nazis conducted is still available for use.  The people have died, true!  But the data is alive.  Though it might be morally offensive to some to see a footnote to Mengele in a research paper, and the use of the data might set a precedent (or certainly not discourage the repetition of such research), the pragmatics of the economic and humanitarian arguments about research strike some as compelling.  The Research Community, fond of the argument as to whether one would rather save one's dog or one's child, can now argue whether we would rather save one dog or our sensibilities A saving is a saving.

Lest anyone think this cost-benefit approach is repugnant to the Research community, it has its precedent in the exchange our government made of justice for "information" when they agreed to drop war crimes prosecution of the Japanese in exchange for data on experiments conducted on 3,000 pri soners--many of them Americans---"our boys." Some of "our boy,-," in the Japanese camps had their arms frozen solid in various procedures.  "Chinese women were infected with massive doses of plague, typhus, dysentery ... typhoid, cholera, anthrax, smallpox...... etc., or injected with horse blood in the interest of research.

It was an idea that interested someone, like taking out the olfactory bulbs from cats to see what happens to their sex lives (the "can you make it without a smell?" experiment), and if we sacrificed a scruple about justice and a few about mercy, the taxpayer was saved a bundle.  A government official explained '%..the information was cheap, costing a mere pittance compared with the actual cost to the Japanese of carrying on the work."[11 You just can't beat a good bargain.

During the PROPET Petition Drive in Massachusetts, I and others stood on street corners and in malls, signing up people for the petition to repeal the Pound Seizure law in Massachusetts, which bad allowed animals in the pounds to be recycled out to the Research labs.  We spent hours at places like the Topsfield Fair, in front of liquor stores, grocery stores, in poor neighborhoods and in upperclass neighborhoods, and we had the opportunity to listen to many comments from 'the people in the street." Three to one, the poor were in favor of repeal.  The handicapped, the "mentally retarded7 and those who care for them or who care about them, the aged, people in wheelchairs people on crutches--the dispossessed and those who care about them--the very people upon whom the tax burden falls hardest, and those who, one would think, have most to benefit f rom medical research --- these lined up with alacrity.  There were instances when we could not supply them with pens fast enough.  They lined up in rows of four abreast and went to fetch their husbands or wives or mothers to sign the petition.  They told me stories about pets they had lost, pets they had traced and found in research labs,, dogs that had been kidnapped from their yards, cats that had strayed and had been found "before it was too late.' One elderly woman said she would sign for 'all the old people and every animal that has lost its home."

There were unsavory experiences and sad experiences people wanted to talk about: dogs that had been rescued and pets that had been dead fifteen years that still brought tears to their eyes.  And there was one dark and angry comment that goes to the heart of modern science as much as any other oc)mment one can make.  One man came up to my table, snatched the pen from my hand and said, "ril sign, I'll sign, but I shouldn't.' Puzzled, I asked why, expecting the usual slithering statement about "how else are we going to learn?"---a question that always recalls for me Gandhi's response when once asked what vexed him most: "The hardheartedness of the educated." But the man looked at me as if I were a misguided fool and only snarled more, "Don't you know?  If we don't give them all the animals they want, they'll be snatching our kids off our back porches!"

This hostile statement will be disputed here and there, but the line between animal vivisection and human experimentation is thin and has been crossed on more than one occasion, as "leaks" that surface from the Research Community from time to time inforn) us: there was, for example, the matter of the syphilis experiments conducted on poor and tmeducated Blacks during the 1930s, and the LSD tests conducted by the Army on 800 civilians, after having sponsored experiments with LSD on monkeys and cats at Tulane University in the 1950s.  Further, as Hans Ruesch reports, "The Department of Health, Education and Welfare gave millions of dollars in grants to more than 30 university researchers for LSD experiments with hum an subjects, while themselves conducting LSD tests on some 2,500 prisoners, mental patients and 'paid volunteers'." (And now incarcerates addicts and spends billions to buy out foreign drug markets.)

The progression from animal experimentation to human experimentation is not an aberration , it is a natural progression, and there is evidence that the idea of the availability of hum ans for experimentation is not unthinkable in the Research Community, if at the moment it is restrained.  Recently the effort to abolish Pound Seizure in California lost by four votes.  The Research Community, according to Animals' Agenda magazine, "staged an emotional presentation at the hearing.  One of those who testified was a heart transplant surgeon who argued, "if research didn't have pound dogs, we will experiment on people.' The verb, "will' should be chilling.

Nor should this expression, nor the progression su rp ri se us.  This position has been enunciated for more than a century, in one way or another.  C.S. Lewis prophesied:

If we cut up beasts simply because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons.  Indeed experiments on men have already begun.  We all hear that Nazi scientists have done them.  We all suspect that our own scientists may begin to do so, in secret, at any moment.
More recently, in The Place of Value in A World of Facts: Proceedii7gs- 'ZTf- the Fourteenth Nobel Symposium Stockholm, September 15-20, 1969, Jacques Monod wrote in "On Values In the Age of Science":
The most signif icant, the most profound, the most disturbing (and to many the most frightening) consequence of the development of Science lies not in the industrial and technical revolu tion, but in the agonizing reappraisal, which Science forces upon Man, of his deepest rooted concepts of himself and of his relationship to the universe .... Science, in its development, has gradually attacked and dissolved to the core the very foundations of the various value systems which, from prehistoric times, had served as ethical framework f or human societies .... To begin with, the adopt ion of the scientific m et hod, defining "true" knowledge as having no possible source other than the objective confrontation of logic and observation, eliminates ipso facto the animist assumption of t e existence of some kind of subjectivity in nature.  The absolute objectivity of Nature is the basic postulate of the scientific method....
This creates, in the words of Ivan Ilyich in Medical Nemesis, "a value-free power whose judgment of this enterprise as "narcissistic scientism' should be heeded, and should alert the public that the shibboleths of "truth," 'knowledge," and "progress" no longer mean--if they ever meant--what we have been lulled into believing they mean.  Neither should the public accept the argument that it has no control over science and research, more often stated in the self congratulatory phrase that "you can't stop progress." A public which permits an institution to flatter itself in this way has relinquished its right as taxpayer in a democracy: the right of institutions to be accountable to it.  Worse, this seemingly harmless phrase disguises a fatalism which enervates us.

Finally, "the absolute objectivity of Nature" may be a postulate of the scientific "method," but a method is not an ontological statement, it is but a method" and not a postulate of creaturely lif e. Those old perceptions of "prescientific" people that there are overlapping and over-arching values which embrace human and animal life, global orderliness and global existence--values which are not subject to facts and figures and information--return in the vacuum of value which science has bred in its rapacious and singleminded quest for value-free knowledge.

Edith Wharton, that most unsentimental woman, was once asked to list her ruling passions.  She began with 1) Justice and order,, 2) dogs, 3) books.  An excellent beginning!  In a diary entry, she spoke of her relationship towards animals: 'I am secretly afraid of animals--of all animals, except dogs, and even of some dogs.  I think it is because of the usness in their eye,% with the underlying not-us-ness which belies it and Is so tragic a reminder of the lost age when we human beings branched off and left them: left them to eternal inarticulateness and slavery.  'Why?' their eyes seem to ask us."

I have seen comparable expressions in the photographs of monkeys held in brutal restraining chairs, plates strapped to their skulls and legs through which they are electrically shocked.  I have seen photographs of chimpanzees whose necks have been broken to induce brain damage.  I have seen the melted faces of apes burned with dioxin.  I do not see the question "why?' in their eyes.  They ar,e--it seems to me--in too much pain for such speculation.  I have seen photographs of a dockside lined with the bodies of chimpanzees who had suffocated in cars and boats during their voyage to the laboratories.  These have no expressions In their eyes, only in their lifeless limbs, their pathetic, lifeless limbs, and I am haunted by photographs.  In the eyes of those who are still living I see shock, the shock of terrible bodily pain confronting their human masters, the shock of pain nothing in nature has prepared them for, and nothing in our human literature has attempted to articulate, nor can they write the record of their agony.  Nevertheless, it is through my history as a human, in this century particularly, that I cross the divide to them and understand what it means to fall into the hands of human power.

Myy friends in the Research Community tell me I am anthropomorphizing and that that is a sin against the modem intelligence.  Yes? --- and why not ?  Which of us has not experienced the shock of human cruelty?  But if human awareness of human cupidity and human atrociousness is not enough for the modem intellect, let me put the question in a modem form: are we getting our money's worth in the pursuit of life and longevity, and how would we prove it? on what chart, by what set of statistics?  Or perhaps it would be better to paraphrase a famous electioneering question: 'Are you safer now than you were fifty years ago? ten years ago? five years ago?"


1. quoted in Hans Ruesch, Slaughter of The Innocent, Bantam Books, 1978.

*Information about human experimentation in Japan is from New York Times, Oct. 31, 1972, "P.O.W. Deaths Laid to-Zer-m--Wdr Tests by Japan.

The New York Times, Sunday, April 14, 1991 cites 8.2 billion dollars ai-th-e sum given by Federal grants for medical and biotechnology research.

The Social and Medical Antecedents to the Nazi Experiments in the Concentration Camps

The 19th century was pivotal in the development of modern medicine, in the transformation of medicine regarded as an "art" into a profession regarded as a "science:' The words "art" and liscience,"in their application to this profession, were understood by nineteenth century doctors to suggest very different philosophies, which engaged different procedures and different technologies in the healing process.  The words aroused venomous internal debate in the medical profession, for at issue were the moral problematics of vivisection, human and animal, and what many conceived of as the destiny of the medical profession.

"Art" for physiologists such as Claude Bernard was equivalent to everything that was indeterminate and dif fuse in lif e, and which involved intuition, collective memory and tradition in order to resolve questions.  'Science' was determinate, it expelled uncertainty.  Claude Bernard wrote: "...the realm of the indeterminate is the occult and the marvellous .. the real and effective cause of a disease must be constant and determined .... anything else would be a denial of science in medicine." In the case of a problematic profession such as medicine, necessarily occupying the realm of ambiguity, Bernard, accredited as the "Father of Modern Nledicine," a brilliant physiologist and an eloquent writer, threw down the gauntlet to the profession: one must choose liscience' or "art" in the practice of medicine.

No one was more influential in shaping the destiny of modern medicine than Claude Bernard (1813-1878).  His writings, his life as a physiologist, his views on medical science and vivisection were decisive.  His classic, An Introduction to, Experimental Medicine (1865), was required reading as part of the philosophy program for the baccalaureat in French schools up to 1957.  As Reino Virtanen wrote of him, " ... his physiology was...a fulfillment of Cartesian mechanism.  It contains the current leading from the Beast-Machine through La Mettrie's Man-Machine....Il Following the Cartesian path, Bernard excoriated vitalism in medicine.  It was for him "...a kind of medical superstition--a belief in the supernatural.... [which] encourages ignorance and gives birth to a sort of unintentional quackery .... In living bodies and in organic bodies, laws are immutable." [1]

Such views were not stated without opposition.  Gerdy, a famous surgeon and professor in the Facult6 de M6dicine at the Charit6, attacked Bernard at a meeting, saying: "Your conclusion would be correct for inert nature, but it cannot be true for living nature.' Elizabeth Blackwell, one of the first women doctors, expressed the problem thus: "The first law of good science and all morality is to know the distinction between the organic and the inorganic." But Bernard also knew that unless he submitted the organic to the model of the inorganic, medicine would not be accepted as a science, a status much coveted.

The healing profession suffered from a tradition of anxiety that was cen tu ries old, and f rom a strenuously contradictory relationship between doctor and patient, one founded on authority and presumed benevolence on the part of the doctor, and mistrust on the part of the patient that was often suppressed hostility. [2] The doctor was indispensable--like the gravedigger--but his presence always augured something nasty.  His status was at the mercy of a force--disease--over which he had little control.  Aptly, Peter Gay has called medicine, 'A Profession of Anxiety." [3] 'Gradually, the doctor, long the buff of hostile jokes, became a folk-hero of bourgeois culture." Men of science and medicine, like Pasteur, Koch and Bernard, became national heroes, their funerals attended by the pomp reserved for victorious generals and royalty.  The transformation was electrifying, and the medical profession grasped the brass ring with what Gay sardonically called "The Flight Into Knowledge."

Experimentation--which meant vivisection--became the accepted methodology: it became an orthodoxy.  Vivisection--both human and anim al--had been practised haphazardly and intermittently for centuries.  Galen used to collect the bodies of the dead--and perhaps not yet dead--gladiators.  Dr. Henry Beecher tells us that, "Celsus, practising in Alexandria in the third century ELC. cried out against the dissection of living men."[4] Descartes cut up living, unanesthetized animals and made the practice acceptable, at least to some: There were always considerable voices of dissent and, to an im port ant extent, the history of the rise of the medical profession since 1850, is the history of the silencing of these dissenting voices.

Human experimentation was incipient in the experimental m et hod.  Claude Bernard had reservations, but wrote: "The right to experiment on humans cannot be denied as a m atter of principle."[5] In 1892, Lord Lister acknowledged, "A serious thing to experiment on the lives of our fellow-men, but I believe the time has now come when it may be tried....'[6] By the turn of the century, the American chem ist, F- E. Slosson proclaimed, '%..a human life is nothing compared with a new f act .... the aim of science is the advancement of human knowledge atany sacrifice of human life."[7] By the beginning of the twentieth century, a considerable amount of human experimentation was being practised in England and in France, and soon in the United States, but not so much that it threatened public tranquility, though it had become a class issue which led to Anti-vivisection riots in

Great Britain.  For several decades in Edwardian England, the Anti-vivisection movement was composed of members from all the social classes, including the poor and the working-class who knew that it was their graves that were being robbed for bodies, their orphans and their people in the charity wards and asylums who were the victims of this new practice.[8] Their protests were so marked that Stephen Paget, founder of the Research Defense Society (1908), an English pro-vivisection lobby, accused the Anti-vivisection movement of being a Marxist conspiracy. [9]

The problem of the "material, " or population to be used f or human experimentation vexes modern ethicists.  Unfortunately, and invariably, those used for such purposes remain the same: the unpropertied, the unintellectual, the unwanted.[10] The problem of human experimentation is a civil rights issue of unacknowledged but im posing magni tude.  The opposition determined Bernard to advise vivisectors, in his last work published posthumously, to practise their discipline secretly, and soon after the turn of the century, vivisection or "biomedical research" as it is now called, went underground and a new era in experimental medicine was born.

But prior to the turn of the century, vivisection was practised openly, indeed often in theatres where men and women could watch unanesthetized dogs strapped down and dismembered.  The literature of the day attests to the forcible impressions made on many of those who watched a vivisection experiment.  Jung, in a diary notation, wrote that he was sickened by one such exhibition and vowed never to go again.  :..horrible, barbarous, and above all unnecessary. [11] Dr. William Sharpey, testifying at the First Royal Commission Into Vivisection in 1875 said:

When I was a young man studying in Paris, I went to a series of lectures which Magendie gave upon experim ent al physiology, and I was so utterly repelled by what I witnessed that I never went back again.  In the first place, they [ the experiments] were painf ul and sometimes they were very severe, and then they were without any sufficient cb ect....He [the experimenter] put the animals to death in a very painful way. [12]
Such citations are numerous.  I quote this one for its reference to Magendie, who was Bernard's teacher and whom he called, "mon maitre," and for the observation which Dr. Sharpey expressed, similar to Jung's, that this dreadful procedure was "without any sufficient object."

Between 1860 and 1885, when vivisection gained a foothold in the academic world, its medical relevance was not at all established and often refuted.  In defiance of Koch's announcement that he had isolated the cholera bacilli and had proven that it made animals sick by injecting them into dogs, hens, mice and cats, Professor Pettenkofer of Munich heroically drank a glass of water swarming with cholera bacilli and triumphantly survived.  It was noted that epidemics of cholera and small pox came and went in cycles that defied the logic of medical determinism.  Anna Kingsford, an outspoken opponent of vivisection, asked Professor Leon Le Fort at the Faculte de Medecine of Paris, where she was taking her degree in medicine, why vivisection is insisted upon when its conclusions seem unsound.  His response echoed that of other vivisectors of the 19th century.

Speaking for myself and my brethren of the Facult'e, I do not mean to say that we claim for that method of investigation that it has been of any practical utility to medical science, or that we expect it to be so.  But it is necessary as a protest on behalf of the independence of science against interference by clerics and moralists.  When all the world has reached the high intellectual level of France, and no longer believes in God, the soul, moral responsibilty, or any nonsense of that kind, but makes practical utility the only rule of conduct, then, and not till then, can science afford to dispense with vivisection. [13]
This view, archaic as it may strike us now, was echoed liberally at the turn of the century by others, such as Dr. Mary Putnam-Jacobi of the Women's College of the New York Infirmary.  Opposing all regulation of vivisection, she declaimed, 'We have repudiated the right of the church to control the procedures and conclusions of science.  Why should we now make over this right to men immersed in business and politics.  Are they any more fitted than priests."[14] Dr. Putnam--Jacobi did not hesitate to perform toxicological experiments on la very healthy Irish boy," who had suffered a fracture of the skull, and whose case "offered a unique opportunity for the study of conditions affecting inter-cranial pressure." She administered to him quinia, brandy, belladonna, bromide of potassium, and injected atropia under his skin, for the purpose of demonstrating its effects on the subject to her students.

Such sentiments as Professor Leon Le Fort and Dr. Putnam-Jacobi were echoed elsewhere throughout the latter.part of the nineteenth century, stated openly, with little censure.  Charles Richet, an eminent physician, wrote in his published writings:

I do not believe that a single experimenter says to himself when he gives curare to a rabbit, or cuts the spinal marrow of a dog, or poisons a frog, 'Here is an experiment that will relieve or cure the disease of some man.1 No, in truth, he does not think that.  He says to himself, 'I shall clear tp some obscure point, I will seek out a new fact.' And this scientific curiosity which alone animates him is explained by the high idea he has formed of science.  This is why we pass our days in foetid laboratories, surrounded by groaning creatures, in the midst of blood and suffering, bent over palpitating entrails.

We find no hypercritical pretence here whether of utility or anesthetics, or of the comparative non-serlsibility of the animals.  The operator addresses limself to the public as frankly and as confident of their sympathy as we might conceive a devil addressing his fellow-devils to be, taking it for granted that the sentiments of humanity are as extinct in them as in himself. [15]

Such an avowal did not speak wholly for all the practitioners of vivisection, but the new practice was embraced as an ideology and a discipline in the service of cybe@metic man by many and as a necessary discipline for those who wished to be acolytes in the new science of medicine.  The grotesqueries were excused under the rubric "pour la science," and in its name an "esprit de corps" was enforced.  Magendie performed deliberately cruel experiments to prove that 'the sentimental instincts' were extinct in him as he believed they should be. Claude flemard expressed credit that he could perform ghastly experiments without feeling anything, and wrote, 'The physiologist is not an ordinary man: he is a scientist possessed and absorbed by the
scientific idea that he pursues.  He does not hear the cries of animals, he does not see their flowing blood, he sees nothing but his idea...." A gratuitous sadism was inevitable.  One experiment by Bernard is suggestive.  In wishing to determine the rate of decomposition from the digestive juices of a dog, he made a fistula in the side of a dog and stuck the head of a living frog into the opening and watched it decompose. The frog wriggled and struggled for three days until it died.  With macabre wit, Bernard referred to the frog as "the Job of the laboratory." In protest of such a discipline in the name of science, John Galsworthy wrote in a letter to The Times, 1913, "No man ever became a stoic and acquired the virtues of fortitude and courage by inflicting pain on others."

Human history often develops specialized types of personalities, such as the shaman or types of priesthood,% often justified by an esoteric knowledge and practice, by a strenuous discipline, and by the lofty goal of saving the human race from corruption or disease.  The "physician-scientist," became such a specialized type of person, and quickly evolved into what Robert Lifton has eloquently formulated as "the healer-killer" in modern medicine. [16] To Li f ton's psychological analysis, however, must be added the history and sociology of the medical profession.  The personality of 'the healer-killer" did not arise in a social vacuum, but had its r-oots in nineteenth century vivisection practice, philosophy and discipline.  By 1916, in a critique of the vivisection p ractice, Dr. Albert Leffingwell commented: ... rarely, if ever, in the history of the world has a transformation of ideals been m ore completely attained.." [17] In the process, our civilization became became transformed as well.

Dr. Leffingwell, a crusader against outrages in human and animal vivisection--though not an Anti-vivisectionist--recorded the following experiment to measure the relationship between pain and blood pressure:

The means taken to depress the vital powers were as varied as the ingenuity of the vivisectors could devise.  Sometimes it was accom plished by skinning the animal alive, a part of the body at a time, and then roughly sponging' the denuded surface.  Sometimes it was secured by crushing the dog's paws, first one and then the other.  Now and then the dog's feet were bumt, or the intestines exposed and roughly manipulated, the tail crushed, the limbs amputated, the stomach cut out.  Then came the stimulation' of the exposed nerve, carried on and repeated sometimes until Nature refused longer to respond, and death came to the creature's relief.[18]
Dr. Leffingwell tells us that the experiment was conducted on "a little dog, weighing only 11 pounds,' and that he is quoting directly from the published report of the experiment so that no one should conclude that he is fantasizing.

What astonished contemporaries who witnessed the rise of vivisection was the joining together of education and cruelty.  It was not only what was being done in the name of science, but who was doing it.  John Graham, principal of Dalton Hall in Victoria University, Ntanchester, in his testimony before the Second Royal Commission Into Vivisection Practices in 1906, expressed the disquiet of many when he said of vivisection: "This is a new incursion of -reaction into human life.  In the very highest part of human life, namely, the intellectual side, the moral side is outraged...."[19]

Leffingwell's efforts to arouse the public against the excesses of animal and human experimentation were joined by other eminent figures of his time as William James, but went unheeded.  In 1907, Leffingwell published a booklet, entitled Illustrations of Human Vivisection.  If the experiments on humans were not as grotesque as those upon animals, they e?ually embraced the new ethos.  Dr. Sydney Ringer, o the University Hospital of London, experimented with poison on children and openly wrote 'using healthy children for our experiments." The patients of ten su f fe red severe headaches, vom it ing, and spasmodic twitching of limbs.  In several of these case,% the children had been brought in already sick, some suffering from pneumonia, one from belladonna poisoning, and were subjected to experiments after they had been cured of their original illness, or in addition to their original illness.  "Dr.  Ringer's scientific enthusiasm was so great that he could not forbear making experiments upon hospital patients with a poison for which there appears to be no recognized medical use, and so rare that he was cbliged to have it specially manufactured for the occasion." His experiments were published openly in a text, Handbook on Therapeutics, in which he described using overdoses of salicin, nitrate of sodium, gelseminum, and other toxic agents on charity children, many under the age of ten.  The only criticism the publication of this book elicited was from The Lancet, which complained that such experiments would inflame the Anti-vivisectionists.  Dr. Leffingwell comments that Dr. Ringer already had the support of Dr. Keen, Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Morehouse, distinguished American doctors who had laid down "the rule that in the study of poisons 'in order to appreciate properly any toxic agent, we must follow its effects through a wide range of created existence from vegetable to man.'" [20]The Handbook on Therapeutics was not an erratic episode in human experimentation: it went through eight editions.

What disturbed Dr. Leffingwell perhaps as much as the experiments, is that there seemed to be silent public approval.  He noted experiments made in Europe which were quoted in 'an American work without expression of disapprobation," though ,

A distressing feature of many of these experiments is the fact that the men and wom en upon whom they were performed were not only ignorant, but under constraint.  In this horrible case certain patients in the hospital were not merely poisoned once, but were obliged 'on compulsion,' to undergo the convulsive paroxyms and all the other agonizing symptoms a second time.[21]
Leffingwell comments that, "It is certain that human vivisectors have given certain poisons up to a point just short of collapse.[22]

His short book is a dismal account of suffering inflicted upon the unsuspecting, often for purposes of mere curiosity, by a profession which by now assumed this right as its prerogative.  What exhausted his indignation was the fact that these experiments wer-e published not only in esoteric journals, but frequently in newspapers without disapproval, and he indicted human vivisection as "the greatest vice of modern science." . It was a short step before wholesale populations, such as soldiers, the poor, the mentally retarded and the imprisoned for whatever purpose, were being used for experimentation, done in league with or with the knowledge of eminent institutions such as The Rockefeller Insitute and The League of Nations.  The defense. of the Nazi doctors rested, for example, on the argument that human experimentation had not been considered a crime but was accepted as a norm of medical practice.  In support of this position, their attorneys exhibited three volumes recording human experimentations conducted internationally by scientifically oriented countries. Of the dilemma of the Nazi doctors, Dr. W. B. Bean observed that "The degradation of physicians in Germany exemplifies the decline and fall of a group whose moral obligations went by default in a single generation.  The house would not have fallen had not many of the timbers been rotten."[231 The prosecution correctly rebutted the argument that such crimes committed elsewhere excused these crimes, but the rotten timbers were spread far further than in Germany.  Hum an experimentation was then, and continues to be, acceptable practice in medical science, and all efforts to restrain it against incursions into human rights and human dignity have proven futile.  There are now thirty-three codes relating to hum an experimentation.  None prove adequate because one of the essential problems has not been addressed, and that is that all judgment of such ethical questions is le ft solely to the medical prof ession itself to arbitrate.  Dr. Leffingwell ended his book on Human Vivisection, in 1907, with these words:

At the beginning of a new century, we are confronted by great problems.  One of these is human vivisection in the name of scientific research.  We appeal, then, to the medical press of America to break that unfortunate silence which seems to justify or, at least, to condone it. Now and henceforth, will it not join us in condemning every such vivisector of little children, every such experimenter upon human beings?  We make this appeal to it, in the name of Justice and Humanity and for the sake of millions yet unborn.
1. Reino Virtanen, Claude Bernard and His Place In the History of Ideas. University of Nebraska Press, 1960, p. 29.
2. For a brief history of this issue, see Dr. Jay Katz, The Silent World of Patient and Doctor, The Free Press, 1984.
3. The Bourgeois Exi)erience: Victoria To Freud: .,LAucation Of The Senses,--6-xfcid Universit-y-Press, 1984.
4. Research and The Individual, Little, Brown & Co., 1970, p. 10.
5. Reino Virtanen, p. 20.
6. E. Westacott, A Century of Vivisection and Anti-Vivisection, C. W. Daniel Co., 1949, p. :ZN6.
7. John Vyvyan, The Dark Face of Science, Micah Publications, 1989, p.20-21.
8. Coral Lansbury, Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England, University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.
9. The Dark Face of Science, pp. 92-94.  The Research Defense Society was founded in 1908.
10. For contemporary discussions, see Bradford H. Gray, Human Subjects in Medical Experimentation, John Wiley & Sons, and Experimentation With Human SubJects, ed.  Paul A. Fri-und-, Braziller, 1970.
11. Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Collins, 1963, p. 104.
12. F. Westacott, p. 166-167.
13. F- Westacott, p. 166-167.
14. Dr. Albert Leffingwell, Illustrations of Human Vivisection,Vivisection Reform Society, 1907, p. 16
15. Ibid., p. 180.
16. The Nazis Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, Basic Books, 1986.
17. An Ethical Pmblem, G. Bell and Sons, 1916.
18. Ibid., p. 172-173.
19. Westacott, p. 239.
20. Human Vivisection, p. 11
21. Ibid., p. 14.
22. Ibid., p. 15,
23. NLH.  Pappworth, Human Guinea Pigs, Beacon Press, 1967, p. 187.

Humans and Animals as Victims

Comparisons of suffering between groups of people, or between humans and animals often confuse the issues and terms of the particularity of victimization and suffering; for animals, for historical reasons, are not victimized for the same reasons that people aref and women were and are not victimized for the same reasons or in the same ways that slaves were, and are.  There was never a Wansee Conference for animals, where the terms of "a final solution" were enunciated, nor can one imagine a massacre of animals in the manner and for the reasons of the Armenian massacre, though massacres of animals take place, Even genocidal strategies, such as those of Buffalo Bill, overtake animals, and often for political reasons, though animals have no politics.

But there is a paradigm in cruelty common to all historical categories: To be without protection of the law, "right--less," depleted of status or meaning, the living soul sucked out and denied reality, reduced to an object, without recourse to redress for grievances, to be compelled into com pliance for whatever frivolous or bizarre or painful purpose, to be utterly at the mercy of human brute force, whatever the cause, degree, severity, or longevity, to be beyond hearing or help or sympathy, to endure and endure and then to die!  In the third century B.C.E., the author of Ecclesiastes wrote: "That which happens to humans happens to the beasts.  As the one dies, so die the others, yea, they have all one breath." He was writing about our common destiny in suffering and death, a destiny ever more obvious in our ce n tu ry.

Nazi breeding experiments on human beings were inspired by the theory of socialdarwinism, and based on the great successes in animal breeding in the 19th cen tu ry.  Contemporary arguments which perm i t cruelty, whether in the concentration camps or in the laboratories, have the common "Auschwitz reasoning" of brutal utilitarianism: "These are going to die anyway, might as well experiment on them."

Inherent in institutionalized cruelty is the use of secrecy, a primary weapon of the cruel.  Hence, inspections are pro forma and useless.  The Red Cross reported that it saw no evil in a concentration camp after an inspection of it --- while zyklone B gas was being carried in Red Cross marked trucks.  The cruel understand the principle of camouflage.  Hence, too, evil institutions are located in architectural arrangements to hide their practices from the public, at great distances from its scrutiny, or below ground, in the basements of respectable institutions.

Reform is irrelevant.  An evil institution absorbs reforms, while secrecy, whether in laboratories, in slaughterhouses or on fur farms, protects the illusions of infallibility or the necessity for these institutions and their practitioners.  Relevant to this is the respectable status of those who com m it the cruelties.  Repeatedly, we heard, "Who could believe that in the country of Beethoven, Bach, Brahms and Goethe such things could have taken place!' And who will believe that in our own cherished, seemingly pristine academic' institutions, live animals have been flayed to death to test reaction to shock.

The subject of human vivisection is regarded as solely related to the Jewish Holocaust, as if human vivisection first arose when Dr. Karl Rascher, a Nazi doctor, made his request on May 15, 1941 from the Reich leader, Himmler, for two or three professional criminals for high altitude test experiments--and that experiments on human beings ended with the liberation 'of the camps.  But human vivisection neither began nor ended with the Jewish Holocaust.  The renowned historian of this period, Raul Hilberg, observed that the medical experiments were essentially extrinsic to the Holocaust (The Destruction of The European Jews).  Th-e Holocaust-@the destruction of European jewry--could and would have happened, given the racist politics of Nazism, whether Dr. Karl Rascher made his request or not.

The pertinent history of human vivisection begins with the history of the institutionalization of animal vivisection, with the rise of the experimental method in medicine.  It has accompanied animal vivisection ever since, and its history is more appropriately
related to the history of medicine in the last century, than to the history of Nazism.  Experimentation on human beings is tacitly accepted everywhere as a given of modern medical research.  Its ethos was expressed by Dr. Henry K. Beecher of Harvard University, in his book, Research and the Individual (1970), 'The well-being, the health, even the actual or potential life of all human beings, born or unbom, depends upon the continuing experimentation in man.  Proceed it must, proceed it will." The right to experiment on hum an beings is not questioned, what the issue involves are questions of moral restraint: how far should the medical experimenter go in u sing his "material,' the codeword used for the subject of an experiment, questions of "informed consent," and whether the rights of the indivdual should supercede those of the community--or vice versa.  Occasionally, an argument is made to justify human experimentation by equating the meaning of "experiment," with "unpredictable accident," as when a baby may fall off the examining table, with "unforeseen consequences." This reverses the meaning of "experiment," which in its classical scientific sense, meant a controlled operation--hardly a synonym or metaphor for "accident.' The desperate argument bodes no good for the scientific or moral atmosphere of experiments on human beings.

In 1967, Dr. M.H. Pappworth wrote Human Guinea Pigs to 'protest flagrant violations of "human experimentation and gave illustrations of unsavory practices from the mid-1930s to the mid- 1960s, well past the Nazi era.  The hostile reactions and arguments he met with while collecting his material parallel the reactions Anti-vivisectionists encounter:

I have frequently been attacked by doctors who contend that by such publication I am doing a great disservice to my profession, and more especially I am undermining the faith and trust that lay people have in doctors.  When I have spoken on this subject of human experimentation to medical societies, the usual reaction has been, 'This does not concern us, as we do not do such things,' and the problems posed are ignored.  Mundane, material matters of pay, status and terms of service would, in contrast, produce a lively discussion.
Dr. Pappworth particularly criticized the unholy motivation of many of these experiments, fueled by the "maniacal impulse" to publish research papers.  Indeed, except for the problem of "informed consent," the problems attendant upon human vivisection are those attendant upon animal vivisection: the moral question of whether 'the ends justify the means," of whether other moral values are to be subsumed under the driving values of medical research, of the expense, the repetition, the published jargon, and the meaninglessness of many of these experiments.  One would think that Anti-vivisectionists--of humans and animals--would have a great deal in common, but most often those who are aware of the intractable moral problems in human vivisection are unconcerned with the same problems in animal vivisection, and even hostile to the subject.

It is at the extreme level of suffering visited upon rightless creatures that the relationship between animal and human suffering is perceived, or at the extreme reduction of life, such as in a poignant photograph by Mary Ellen Mark, of an abandoned child in India, sitting in a field surrounded by monkeys with chains on their neck s. In the consolation of child and animals for one another we feel the commonality of suffering among all destitute creatures.  Such is the commonality in the laboratory world of humans and animals where both are de-creatured.

Mod Science

Several years ago, a plain grey paperback 8-1/2 X 11 size catalogue entitled WHOLERATE CATALOGUE was published,  declaring its "Power to the People" image with its counterculture title and democratic, plain wrapper cover.  But the anomalous publisher of this lackluster looking and self pronounced everyman's initiation into the mysteries of animal experimentation and techniques is Harvard Bioscience.  The introduction "proudly introduces The W H 0 L E R A T Catalogue, a unique collection of specialized equipment and information for rat researchers.  This 'everything-you-wanted-to-know' guide presents a systematic description of quality instruments "to meet the needs of our specialized customers.'"

For some of us less specialized human beings, it's far more than we would like to know.  Within its 144 illustrated pages are 1,000 assorted devices, such as the Rodent Emulsifier, described as a "heavy-duty 1/2 HP two-speed emulsifier [which] will quickly reduce the rem ains of a small anim al to a homogeneous suspension, for research involving total bone, body, and tissue." Resembling the ordinary kitchen fruit juice blender, but selling for a good deal more at $350 it "features all stainless steel, 1.2 liter container with lid, and super sharp blades."

In this same section, called Harvard Dispatchers, one can purchase guillotines for animals, in two sizes, a "Small-Animal Decapitator," starting at $288 ficonstructed of hardened and ground surgical stainless steel blades, a cast aluminum base and stainless steel ha rdw a re. 11 The buyer i s assured that "The decapitator cuts cleanly through bone and tissue, and is still sharp enough to cut hair." The Large Animal Decapitator is briefly described as "Same as the small animal decapitator, but larger.  For use with rabbits, small monkeys, and similar sized animals."

There is a delux model in animal guillotines called "the luxator' which reassuringly "provides a humane way of sacrificing small research animals without exsanguination.  A blunt bar quickly and effectively separates the cervical vertebrae,' and features a handle that 'can be relocated for left-or-right hand use." (Catalogue No. 52-9537)

Equipment in the Harvard Bioscience W H 0 L E R A T Catalogue is featured according to such research requirements as Respiration and Metabolism," Surgery, Housing, Experimentation, and Environment.  There are also books that can be ordered, and there is the handy tear out business reply card at the back -of the catalogue.  In the Environment section there is an electronic air cleaner that would be the envy of a busy housewife: "Now--get rid of that smell!  Animal room% no matter how clean, generate odor.  The odor is composed of invisible air-borne particles as small as .01 micron in diameter--particles which are not removed by inexpensive air fresheners and purifiers.  It takes a professional triple cleaning system to m ake the air smell clean." For researchers with more serious problems than animal smells, there are biohazard disposable baggies, printed with the "standard Biohazard symbol and precautionary procedures," caps, boots, sleeves and gloves to protect you against yourself, and a wardrobe of extra-duty gloves to protect you against the animals: small-primate gloves made of double thickness: "Six inch cuff... made of -split steer hide.  Glove has snap or rivet-type boot with chain sewn on back of forefinger I ' and a padded forefinger [to protect against the uncooperative primate that bites], and for those who graduate to larger monkeys, there is a provocative set of "Extremely Heavy Primate Handling Gloves." If leather gloves don't fit your style or need, there are chain mail gloves for $87.50 and New Harvard Cryo-gloves, which will allow you to handle any animal in any temperature from ultra cold -125 C to ultra hot + 261 C, "no thicker than dress winter gloves, machine washable and dryable.  Will rem ain flexible f or long periods in ultra-cold,"-unlike the animals who go stiff when put into freezer fluids.

The Harvard Bioscience W H 0 L E RAT Catalogue should be compulsory reading in philosophy and ethics classes.  No less morally disconcerting than the catalogue of macabre equipment is the introduction, filled with affable appreciation for the rat --- the indispensable tool of modem science.  The rat is used to determine human protein requirements, exercise needs, cancer agents, and even sex roles by studying rat brains exposed to testosterone or other closely related sex hormones during critical periods of its development, to see whether it will develop male or female behavior.  Assuming we still know what that i,% the rat is very important to human health and happiness and the writer's appreciation for this animal is rightly earned.

No mere 'test tube with whiskers,' the rat is the subject of a great variety of research undertakings.  Yet ... we are co ' ntinually surprised by what we learn.  In a study of inhalation toxicity of tobacco some years ago, various rodents were exposed singly in glass cylinders to cigarette smoke diluted 1:100 in clean air.  They were exposed for four hours a day for two weeks, and the experiment would have continued longer but the method had to be changed --- the rats hated the tobacco smoke and did something about it.  By the third day of the exper im ent, the rats, acting independently, kicked their own fecal material underneath the inlet tube of the cylinders, lifted it up in their mouths and hands, and patted the make-shift plaster until the inlet tubes were sealed.
How come we don't think of that when we get smoke blown in our faces?  The author knows when he has a winner on his hands.  'A species without reason?' he asks.  You bet not.  'Rats!" He says emphatically.  His unequivocal affection for an animal he is persuading others to buy equipment that will torture and kill it should make us think long and deep about the desirability of human love and the uses of human ingenuity.

The Animal Estate, by Harriet Ritvo

This is a necessary book, because animals in the modem world are endangered, because the rise of the Animal Rights Movem ent requires historical exposition, and because of both these reasons and others, all of us need to be educated about how our institutions and practices regarding animals arose.  Without an historical map we fall into glib generalities and mythic bathos.  Harriet Ritvo has drawn such a map of the Victorian Age in its relationship to its animal world: zoos, pets, hunting, vivisection, bloodsports, and cattle breeding.

Ms. Ritvo's history is embedded in the modern, industrial world, with its emphasis on domesticity, family, imperial and state institutions, and how animals symbolized, enhanced, and reflected these institutions: cattle breeding in England underwent such transformations in response to social changes.  In the 18th century, it was a rich man's sport.  Only the landed classes who had sufficient acreage, money md leisure could indulge in the sport or "art" of breeding, as it was considered.  Much cattle was bred for show, with emphasis on elegance and ampleness, so that huge, sleek fat cows often had to be conveyed by special wagons, because they were too heavy to walk.  Many of the breeders had their prize cattle painted by artists: "Such cattle became, in a sense, collector's it em s, and sales of genealogically distinguished animals began to resemble the sales of other precious objects." These animals were intended to reflect pride of lineage.

It was not until the end of the 18th century, with the advent of the cattle breeder, Robert Bakewell, that cattle was raised primarily for money rather than prestige.  Robert Bakewell, who died in 1795, "epitomized the new agricultural technologists" and was among the first to regard an agricultural animal as a machine that could make money.  Here are the origins of the factory farming mentality, reflected in the conflict between the landed classes and the new entrepreneurial spirit.  By this time, roast beef and John Bull became national symbols, much as a soft drink and a hamburger are today in the United States.

The theory of evolution gave further impetus to the breeding ambitions of squires and cattle-growers.  Breeding celebrated human ingenuity, the fact that humans could "design" animals, as they came to do in the evolving pet industry.  It also reflected the aristocratic values of their owners and endorsed ideas of racial purity, articulated into human history by the 20th century.

Similar social impulses of snobbishness and class rivalry were reflected in t he new industry of pet-breeding, with events in kennel clubs and pet shows.  Most modem dog and cat breeds trace their origins to the 18th and 19th century.  On the dark
side of this frivolous activity was the suspicion of "mongrelization." There is throughout the book a subliminal but persistent relationship between animal breeding and racism to be explored in a further study.  In this book, the wealth of material excavated from the documents of kennel clubs, diaries, memorabilia, records of animal protection societies, newspapers, journals, the daily and weekly expressions of a century and a culture, is very impressive.  One is both amused and depressed at the persistence of human vanity.  Human beings simply love prizes.  They will spend years engineering a pig who is too overweight to walk and has to be wheeled about, in order to get a blue ribbon.

That is the sad record of how we treat animals.  The malevolent record concerns bloodsports: cock fighting, bull-baiting, hunting, dog-fighting, setting fire to cats, bears, big-game hunting, vivisection, and the constant use of animals in national rivalry and for imperialistic purposes.  The persistence and numbers are overpowering.  Zoos, ill-kept and crowded, were manifest symbols of Britain's empire.  Bengal tigers and African elephants were trophies brought in from the colonies, to be admired on London streets.  Big-game hunting became a sport identified with Britain's empire, and carried out so effectively that not since the days of Rom e's imperial powers expressed in the caravans of animals it brought back from the East and Gaul, have continents been so emptied of their anim al population, as an expression of imperial dominion.  It was not unusual for a colonial officer to have killed as many as 1,000 tigers during his stay in India.  By the century's end, big game had been hunted so mercilessly, and some to extinction, that protective policies were finally evolved.

Animal protection societies grew up in response to this monumental brutality, and as an extension of other reform movements dedicated to eliminate slavery, child and wife abuse.  In the 19 th century, concern for animals was comm on to many social reformers.  However, class conflict pervaded the animal reform movement and cruelty to animals, as with breeding and cattle-raising, became a class issue, with the practices of the lower classes regarded as particularly "vulgar," while the "chase," and big-game hunting of the upper classes went uncriticized, since many of the animal welfare institutions such as the RSPCA were often presided over by the upper classes.  'The identification of cruelty as a lower-class propensity implied a rhetoric of moral distinction which potential patrons found comforting and attractive.' The practice of vivisection, uncontestably brutal (the French physiologist, Nbgendie, caused street riots when he gave a demonstration, cutting into the backs of unanesthetized dogs), presented the RSPCA and similar organizations with its gravest conflict, for "vivisection was the exclusive prerogative of the responsible and the highly educated." With pressure from other growing, more activist organizations, the RSPCA managed to prosecute one French physiologist and three English doctors in 1874, though their role in fighting this form of animal cruelty diminished afterwards.  It was inevitable that newer and more vocal organizations would arise, more 'grass roots' oriented, less rooted in upper class establishments---but that history belongs to the 20th century.  By the time the Anti-vivisection movements matured in Victorian England, they had broadened their cause into a philosophy and a crusade which "offered a radical critique of Victorian materialism.'

Nature and animals became transformed in the 19th century mind, as populations became urbanized.  Animals became symbols for women and class distinctions.  Animals entered the lives of Victorians, not only pragmatically, but as a vast metaphoric network fo r def ining 'vulgarity," 'aristocracy,' "savage,' 'catlike,' "barbaric,' "gentle,' to distinguish class and gender.  The Animal Estate is not only a history of animals in the Victorian age, but a history of its human manners and sensibility.  Even the study of diseases spread by animals, such as rabies, serves as a model for the malignancy of stereotyping: the poor were invariably condemned for keeping rabid, wild dogs, and fear of rabies rivaled fear of masturbation.  Rabid animals were 'located on a social map that connected their disease with their ownerst status.'

There was, throughout this human contact with the animal world, an "insistent retreat to the metaphoric level," invariably reflective of class snobbery or national rivalry.  It has often been said that the human is the most dangerous animal in the world.  He is obviously also the silliest.  The Animal Estate is a good scholarly read.  It is not only educational, but as entertaining as a comedy on social mores.

Animals: An Historical Perspective

It is often and erroneously assumed that sentiment and concern for animals is a modern phenomenon, inspired by the Animal Rights Movement, or related to the development of housepets in Victorian times.  Quite the reverse is true.  The classical literature of most civilizations, Eastern and Western, reveals discourse on the relationship of animals to humans, and a concern for their well-being, at some level.  While most of the formal religions demonstrate a marked homocentrism in their concept ion o f life--humankind at the apex of development--and generally an instrumentalist attitude toward animal life, the texts enforce the view, in varying degrees, that a morally good person is known by his concern for animals.

At a minimalist point, there is the early Confucian tradition, which primarily addressed hum an relationships: husband-wife, father-son, king-subject, etc., but a parable illuminates the superior moral bearing of the person who cannot bear to see the suffering of an animal.  Mencius, a disciple of Confucius, responds to a question from a king who asks why he is distraught upon seeing an ox being led to slaughter, and requests that a sheep be substituted for the ox:

Your conduct was an artifice of benevolence.  You saw the ox, and had not seen the sheep.  So is the superior man affected towards animals, that, having seen them alive, he cannot bear to see them die, having heard their dying cries, he cannot bear to eat their flesh.  Therefore he keeps away from Its cooki-oom.[1]
Buddha made a similar accommodation to eating meat and evading the knowledge of the suffering which the slaughtered animal must experience, and which a moral person would suffer on behalf of the animal.  It is a prescription for a relationship
towards animals that runs throughout the history of this subject: a recognition of human sympathy towards animal suffering, and the frequent attempt to camouflage or evade it, but not to deny it.  Denial of human sympathy for animal suffering is a post-Cartesian creation.

In Eastern religions the problem of animal suffering is addressed mainly through theories of metempsychosis.  Christianity, on the one hand, because of its stress upon human immortality, human sin and human salvation, did not integrate animal suffering into its spiritual economy.  The modern world, on the other hand, encouraged by the values of science, attempts to deny altogether both the reality of animal suffering and the reality of human distress at animal suffering, yet the art historian, Kenneth Clark wrote that "The idea that man and animals should live together in harmony lies deep in the human imagination,' [2] and the historian and sociologist, W.E.H. Lecky, in his ambitious History of European Morals, [3] believed that there is a relationship between human morality and concern for animals.

The modern Animal Rights Movement is a response to both this ancient inst inct and to the unprecedented cruelty to animal life in the modern world.  The idea that affection or concern for animals is, as the notorious vivisector, Dr. Robert White, has described it, "a special form of madness,' is a modern view, deliberately cultivated in the nineteenth century by the newly growing branch of experimental medicine which desired a free hand in experimenting on animals and whose propaganda was developed to convince the public that "sentiment for animals' was effete, foolish, derisable.  As Kenneth Clark observed, 'The love of animals is sometimes spoken of by intellectuals as an example of modern sentimentality," reminding us that the wily Odysseus wept at the sight of his old dog.

"...primitive man,' Clark writes, "was far closer to the animals than we can imagine." [4] His interpretation of such prehistoric cave drawings as at Altamira are that they are, "records of admiration," not drawings of magical rites intended to give hunters power over the animals: 'Hunting for their necessary food and admiring to the point of worship a life endowment greater than their own, men thus established from the earliest times a dual relationship that has persisted to the present day: love and worship, enmity and f ear."[ 5] The paradoxical relationship of humans to animals is uniquely skewed, demonstrating throughout history, the extremes of worship and sacrifice, affection and gratuitous torture, admiration and debasement, with a continuing escalation in the modem world towards destruction of animal life.

The Christian west was heir to two traditions concerning animals: the Hebraic and the classical Greek tradition.

Aristotle (384-322 BCE) had placed man at the head of the Scala Natura, above other animals intellectually, but in other respects similar to them.  The majority opinion, and that taken by Heraclitus (circa 540475 BCE) and then the Stoics was, however, that men and gods were entirely separated from all other living creatures by their capacity for reason.  Man alone among mortals was rational, the irrational brute creation behaved automatically and without reflection.

Heraclitus added the opinion that only gods and men possess souls and with minor variations this arrogant view has persisted in Europe for many centuries.  Reason, or perhaps consciousness, became associated with the concepts of 'free will' and 'soul.' [6]

The Hebraic view, with its accepted understanding of a covenantal relationship which included the animal world declined as Jewish learning was lost to western civilization, except in Jewish communities.  Left with the Greek classical attitude towards animals, the relationship between animals and humans in the West became one of steady deterioration, particularly under the impact of Cartesian philosophy (which basically follows the Hellenic tradition), technology, and the modem notion that concern for animal life is sentimental.  We can measure this deterioration in a not uncommon reaction to the recent law passed by the Swedish parliament, whose purpose it is to phase out factory farming of animals over a ten year period, and which granted "grazing rights" to cattle.  A sophisticated talk program such as the McLaughlin group laughed hilariously at the no tion of "grazing rights, yet the Bible's commandment that "you may not muzzle the ox when it treads out corn in the fields" is, in fact, "grazing rights.' Laughter at this seemingly 'novel' idea is a product of the debasement of our understanding of animal life.

The concept of animal rights has both a formal and an informal history, a recent history dating back about a century and a half, and a history dating back millennia, a forgotten history, r-eplete with concepts and legislation concerning animals.  This inform al history, as far as western civilization is concerned, has its roots in the Bible, though the Bible does not recognize equivalence or equality between humans and animals, and it is this issue of "equality of rights" among living creatures, human and non-human, which animates much of the contemporary movement's philosophical disputes.  The language of animal rights has its own history, reflecting and paralleling the concepts of each era which addressed itself to the problem of animal abuse.

In place of "rights' language in the Bible, there is the language of "covenant" or "contract,' and the covenantal or contractual relationship between God and the animal world is stated unambiguously time and again: i.e. the animal world is taken seriously by God and is involved in the presupposition of God!s justice and mercy working in nature and in history.

The covenantal concept and the values of justice, mercy and compassion, governed the thinking of most people who fought animal abuse up to the beginning of the twentieth century.  A religious divine such as Humphrey Primatt, who wrote The Duty of Mercy and The Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals (1834), based fits arguments-on Godrs universal goodness and justice, though he distinguished between "the circle of compassion" and 'the circle of kinship." Even the atheist Voltaire argued for animal rights on the basis of the Biblical world view.  A review of the language and literature of the animal rights concept reveals that the categories of 'compassion," 'justice and "mercy' tenaciously transcend anthropological arguments about the kinship or lack of kinship between humans and animals, the superiority of humans to animals, or whether animals have souls.
Noah Cohen in his study of the Jewish tradition with respect to animals, Tsa'ar Ba'ale Hayim: The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Its Bases, Development and Legislation in Hebrew Literature, wrote:

... the Hebrew sages considered the wall of partition between man and beasts as rather thin .... the Jew was forever to remember that the beast reflects similar affections and passions as himself .... Consequently, he was admonished to seek its welfare and its comfort as an integral part of his daily routine and instructed that the more he considers its wellbeing and contentment, the more would he be exalted in the eyes of his Maker ... Examination of the biblical, talmudic and m edieval jurisprudence concerning the lower creatures reflects a coherent system of legislation whose purpose is to defend the sub-human creation and to make humans more humane.
In assessing the influence of the Bible on human behavior towards animals, however, there are those who believe that such passages in Genesis, which speak of humankind created in the image of God, and which give humankind dominion over the world, were decisive in contributing to animal abuse: 'The Hebraic tradition ... tended to insist upon the absolute uniqueness of man, and from that it encouraged the notion that all other living creatures exist only to serve manes needs" [71
However, all world religious traditions have developed a moral system or relationship to the animal and/or plant world within the primary understanding of human uniqueness.  The Jainists who are, perhaps, the most thoroughgoing practioners of non-violence towards the animal world, accept a hierarchical system based on the degree of sentience or consciousness of creaturely life, with human beings at the apex: it is more sinful to destroy a human than a chimpanzee, more sinful to destroy a
chimpanzee than a mosquito, more sinful to destroy a mosquito than a bacterium, etc.  The system is effectively humane because Jainists are committed to vigorously expunging destructive behavior as far down the scale of life as is compatible with biological safety.

The major categories of thought which shape arguments about animal abuse today were developed in the Middle Ages, and were concerned with the problems of "human superiority," the 'rationality' of human beings as compared with the supposed "irrationality" of animals, what constitutes "necessity" in abusive treatment of animals, and whether animals partake of Gocrs redemptive mercy. (A decisive difference between western and eastern views of animals does not rest on the principle of hierarchy, but on the relationship between animals and humans vis a vis the supranatural world.) This discourse was worked out in varying ways against an anthropology which appeared to dictate human superiority and the inescapable necessity to use animal life as a resource for human survival while, at the same time, positing belief in the existence of a merciful God, who is also merciful to animals.  Thu,% in the fourteenth century, a book called Iggeret Baalei Hayy!n or The Book of Animals and Men, was published by an Islamic association known as the Society of Pure Brethren or the Brothers of Purity, to which Jews, Christians and Muslims belonged.  It set forth the classical debate between animals and humans about "superiority," but as Elias Schochet writes in Animal Life In The Jewish Tradition:[8] 'However impressive the philosophical and theological arguments testifying to man's superiority over the animals might be..." the "moving and impressive" lamentation at injustice is voiced by the animals.  The rooster laments:

At midnight I rise to pray....
But the sleeping ones lay hold of me...
They slaughter me and eat me.
Have we not one father?
Has not one God created us all'?"
Rabbi Sherir Gaon, in tenth century Baghdad, wrestled with the problem in this way:
Animals that do harrn, such as snakes, scorpions, lions and wolves, may be killed in any way.  On the other hand, living creatures that do not hurt us and that are also not needed for food or healing should not be killed and ft is even f or bidden to make them suffer .... the Creator did not deprive animals of a due reward, and we may believe that all creatures, the killing of which has been permitted, will be rewarded for their pains, for ther-e is no doubt that God the Holy One does not deny just recompense to any of His creatures.  In this sense the animal has, therefore, not been created in order that evil should be inflicted upon it but in order that good should be done to it, nor is it in any means created for the purpose of being slaughtered, although this has been permitted to man.
While this is, in many respect, a far-reaching statement, Rabbi Sherira Gaon does not dr aw t he more far-reaching conclusion that that which is permitted" does not have to be done.  There are several classical assumptions in his statement, which are substantive to most discussions about animal rights: the conjunction of 'food and healing," which historically reinforced each other as justification for taking animal life: if the one is permitted, then the other is permitted: e.g. doctors who practise vivisection justify their practice because people eat meat.  Rabbi Sherira appears to equate "permission" with "necessity,' and submits, in effect, to the category of "necessity."

The distinctions between 'harmless' animals and "harmful" animals, and "necessary" and unnecessary" thread themselves persistently through discourse about animal abuse.  Even Kenneth Clark observes that "... when we pass from the destruction of animals for food to their destruction as a source Of money-making, we may be permitted a different stance," though seen from the point of view of vegetarianism, the destruction of animals for food is simply one more use of animals "as a source of money-making," not different from the fur-trade which he rightly scorns.  Humphrey Primatt too accepted slaughtering animals for food, and regarded all other 'unnecessary' killing as demonic.  His exception rests, as does so much animal abuse, on the mistaken idea that animals are a necessary food source.  This error has had a baleful influence on past and present views about animal rights.  The two evils of animal abuse in the modern world, factory farming and vivisection, draw their justification from this argument.  'Me proponents of factory farming argue that via this method they can supply the world with a cheap source of meat protein--as if this is a necessity.  And the proponents of vivisection have drawn traditional justification from the history of butchering.

The idea of a hierarchical food chain, which appeared to endorse predatory behavior by human beings, has been accepted by the western world as an ontological "tragedy, proof of the corrupted, 'fallen" state of nature. Side by side with such statements as Rabbi Gaon's that eating m eat is not a necessity--only a "permitted" act has existed the persistent notion that eating meat is a necessity, as inherent in the nature of things as death.

Yet there was a debate in western civilization about eating meat which can be traced to the beginnings of Christianity and to the Talmudic era.  Paul in addressing a crowd, says: "If my eating meat offends you, I will give it up." The statement suggests that this subject was significant at the time. [9] The Talmud allows for the use of a beet, or a potato to replace the shankbone at the Passover seder for vegetarians.  The Ebionites, who are best described as Jewish Christians, were-vegetarians and survived in the western world until the twelfth century; the Cathars or Albigensis were vegetarians and represented a culture which stretched from Northern Spain, through the Provence into the Balkans, before they were destroyed by a crusade in
the 13th century.  For thirteen centuries, there was in western Europe a large cultural presence of vegetarians.  Prior to this, the Greeks and the Romans, before they became Christianized, were largely vegetarians.  Both Jews and Christians had to have been aware of these dietary differences.  We know now that eating meat is unnecessary for human health, and that too much meat protein is bad for human health.  How then and when did eating meat become a necessity?  Msperception and error can become institutionally entrenched simply by the dynamics of entrenchment, but work should be done on the origins and persistence of this myth before it is thrown into the dustbin of human errors, because it may illuminate the unconscious and seemingly insoluble problem of human aggression toward animal life.  Is eating meat--consuming animals--related to sacrificing animals at an earlier stage, an institution universally practised at one time.

Animal reform must begin with the fundamental question of what slaughter and abuse of animal life is actually necessary, as distinguished from that which adds to human amusement and comfort.  Are zoos, rodeos, hunting, fishing, trapping, eating meat, and vivisection really necessary for human survival?  No doubt, a great deal of prevarication will immediately invest every answer, and no doubt many positive answers will appear to partake of the inevitability of eating meat and the sacrificial systems but the debate should begin with the question: Ls there a necessity at all to involve animal life in the affairs of human life and if so, what is that irreducible quotient of animal anguish? sans symbolism, sans traditions and human habit.  There are centuries of confusion and misinformation that must be scraped away, and the suspicion that not much will remain of the "inevitability' of animal abuse after a thoroughgoing cultural housecleaning.

Another category which has caused much mischief in human treatment of animals involves the question of whether anim als are rational or irrational creatures, actually an Hellenic variant on the question of what constitutes human uniqueness.  Kenneth H. Simonsen, in his article "The Monstrous And The Bestial: Animals In Greek Myths,"[101 traces the view of animals as "savage,' 'cruel, " "sub-human,' to the classical Greek world: "It is this Hellenic, rather than the Hebraic, tradition which has associated being human with reason and restraint and 'beastliness' with passion, violence, lack of control, and brutishness." The ancient view of animals in a religion such as Buddhism which teaches noninjury to animals, is similar.

The world of animals is one of the  three lesser destinies Igatil, along with the hell beings and hungry ghosts. According to the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, a medieval Tibetan text, animals continually suffer the misery of servitude, slaughter, and devouring each other.' Birth as an animal is said to be punishment for evil deeds. [11]
This is still the prevalent view of animal life, only slowly receding as the field work Of anthropologists gives us a realistic picture of animals as they really do live their lives among their own kind, in their own habitats.  The evidence is accumulating rapidly that animals, like humans, are subject to historical stereotypes, victims of human mythic constructions about nature, the 'wild,' the 'unknown," projections of human confusions, fantasy and fears and, perhaps, most commonly, the strategy of reaction formation, a projection of our own selves on to other creatures --- the usual stuff of stereotypes.  There are few "killer" animals out there, bloodthirsty, crazed, running in packs, seeking human blood.  In An Ethical Problem, an early study of vivisection and vivisectors, Dr. Albert Leffingwell notes the extraordinary number of experiments which involve burning of animals.  "Why all this burning?' he asks, again and again.[12] Inevitably, the history of our relationship to the animal world must begin with studying ourselves.

The philosopher, Mary Midgley, has observed that the earliest history of the human race already depicts it in a "biosocial community" with the animal world: 'All human com m unit ies have involved animals."[13] As Hannah Arendt observed in The Human Condition, "We do not know a human nature apart from its earthly condition," neither do we know a human history apart from its involvement with the animal world which, in many instances and often at great cost to itself, made human civilization possible, whether in agriculture, trade, travel, or warfare.

But judging f rom past legislation and other evidence, such as the literature of ancient cultures, particularly the folk literature, and drawings such as in old Egyptian tombs of farmers tenderly carrying calves, it cannot be readily asserted that human use of animals necessarily leads to the degradation of animal status.  The distinction between "use" and abuse' can be ascertained in a society where animals have legal and moral standing.  It cannot be ascertained in a civilization such as ours where they have none.  Modern human beings find it 'quaint" and "archaic' that animals did indeed have moral and legal standing in ancient societies, that they were guaranteed "grazing rights." James Gaffney, in his article, "Ibe Relevance of Animal Experimentation to Roman Catholic Ethical Methodology,' [14], writes, 'The Mosaic law does envisage animal interest, does legislate animal rights, and, to that extent, does represent animals as moral . objects...."Lecky corroborates this tradition: '...the rabbinical writers have been remarkable for the great emphasis with which they inculcated the duty of kindness to animals.'[15] Early societies, both Hebrew and pagan, often viewed draught animals as 'fellow-laborers, and included such animals in the social and moral world of human beings.[16] Hsun Tzu (ca. 298-238 B.C.E.), a disciple of Confucius wrote: 'All living creatures between heaven and earth which have blood and breath must possess consciousness and nothing that possesses consciousness fails to love its own kind."[17]

Much of past human behavior towards animals was hardly commendable and much of it appears contradictory and obscure in motive, if not in practice: "During the 3,000 years in which animals were both sacred and beloved, they were victims of
a kind of formalized destruction which now seems to us almost incredible: animal sacrifice.'[18] Much behavior towards animals was often derelict even in the stated duties of each society: the prophets in the Bible express scorn and condemnation for human mistreatment of animals, and Isaiah made harmonious relations between the animal and human worlds the cornerstone of his prophecy.  Still this past is rich in concepts of animal right.% in models of human behavior, in structures of thought and feeling about animal life.  By contrast, the modern western world has little to offer by way of a settled system of thought about animals outside the dom est ic relationship of owners towards pets.

As reason and rationality became pre-eminently decisive as a definition of 'human," subsum ing even "soul' in the era of Enlightenment, the gulf widened between human and animal status and interests.  During the Middle Ages, it was still assumed that animals--even if they could not reason and did not have immortal souls--could experience emotion and pain.  Maimonides declared, 'With respect to the emotions of joy and sorrow, and the feeling of the mother for her young, there is no difference between the human and the animal.' Nevertheless, the following centuries witnessed one quality after mother stripped from the definition of animal: reason, intelligibility, soul, an emotional life and, finally, a biological life when Descartes, the brilliant 17th century mathematician with an inexcusable aberration concerning animal life, declared animals to be machines.

The declaration was largely the result of a theological dispute about the nature of soul and the afterworld.  It was also the end result and the beginning of an historical process for both animals and humans.  The theological problem concerned the systems of retribution and recompense, of reward and punishment, upon which the afterworld rests, and whether it could include animal life.  If it includes animal life, where along the chain of biological being does the inclusion stop?  Do snakes, rats and gnats share in salvation?  Descartes, not improperly, perceived that a salvation theology could only be properly applied to humankind, and others readily perceived that the problem could be solved by stating that animals had souls, but not 'immortal" souls.  Animated life had to be accounte 'd f or, either by an unseen f orce such as 'soul" or 'vitalism, n or something labelled the psych6"---or to be explained as a machine.  Descartes accounted for animal behavior, which evinced pain, parental affection, contentment, fear, etc., by stating that they "only seem" to have these emotions.  In reality they are 'clever machines."

This view was immediately attacked by both laypeople and theologians.  Cyrano de Bergerac wrote a satire on this view, and an animal utopia, The Empire of The -Moon,, which portrayed animals-as rational and reasonable creatures, and humankind as confused and irrational.  Theologians attacked Descartest thesis because they considered it "blasphemous to attribute such excellent actions as occurs in beasts to such a humble cause as mechanism," that 'God would be deceiving us if beasts were machines." [19] Claude Bernard had a similar problem.  Cutting open the bodies of living, conscious animals, he was struck with wonderment at the ingenuity of the "mechanism" but was determined rx)t to attribute "vitalistic" or divine cause for it:

It is as if there existed a pre-established design of each organism and of each organ such that .. it reveals a special bond and seems directed b ' y some invisible guide in the path which it follows and toward the position which it occupie&

The simplest reflection reveals a primary quality, a quid proprium of the living being in this pre-established organic harmony.... they are nevertheless surely and fixedly linked to phenomena without any possibility of a quid divinum being involved to explain.... [20]

For many the issues of "soul' and "rationality' as it affected animal cruelty, particularly in vivisection, was irrelevant.  Humphrey Primatt turned the argument upside down and declared that if animals had no soul, all the more reason to spare them pain in this world, in effect pronouncing the biological life of the animal sufficient reason for showing it mercy.  A contemporary of Descartes, La Fontaine, cried out,
They administered beatings to dogs with perfect indifference and made fun of those who pitied the creatures as if they had felt pain.  They said that the animals were clocks, that the cries t hey emitted when struck, were only the noise of a little spring which had been touched, but that the whole body was without feeling.  They nailed poor animals up on boards by their four paws to vivisect them and see the circulation of the blood which was a great subject of conversation. [21]
There are few classical Cartesians left in the animal experimentation world (though a few "closet" Cartesians do remain), but the entire tradition of animal experimentation rests on Descartes' aberration, and vivisection continues as if Descartes' judgment were still operative.  Much as people often give lip service to one point of view, but continue to behave according to another point of view, so vivisectors accept the reality of the biological life of animals, but continue their work as if this biological life has no reality.  Modem animal experimentation rests on an "as if" supposition which, in turn, has created an identity problem for biomedical research.  If animals are effective research model4 then they must be sufficiently like human beings; if they are sufficiently like human beings then they suffer pain, feel fear, experience depression.  The moral problem is insoluble, unless one asserts that animal pain is not important--a claim made by no other civilization in the past, however it mistreated animals.
The effects of Descartes' philosophy radiated everywhere.
The Cartesians sought to reduce nature to a measurable plenum governed by mechanical laws operating alike in animate and inanimate matter.  Theirs was an intellectual revolt against the non-scientific view of nature into which both neo-Platonism and neo-Aristotelianism had deteriorated. [22]
'Descartes succeeded to an extent in ridding physical science of animism-the eighteenth-century materialistic mechanists swept all soul out of their universe.'[23] It was only a matter of time before the concept of the "beast-machine" was extended to humankind, as was done by the nineteenth century physician, La Mettrie, with whom psychology became physiology, which in turn gave birth to the behaviorist school of psychology.

Under the impact of Descartes and of Darwin, the nineteenth century saw the rise of vivisection and the "science" of breeding animals for food or as pets, for entertainment, for sport, as products and as end processe4 solely as the property of human beings for human purposes, without inherent value.  "Cartesianism gave rise to "a complete 'crise de la conscience' with respect to the riddle of animal nature ...." [24] Throughout the next century, there were protests from writers such as Samuel Johnson and Alexander Pope, and by the end of the eighteenth century, a crusade against animal cruelty was led by Wesley and the Methodist Reform movement in England, whose aim it was to wean the British people from their love of blood-sports: bear-baiting, cock-fighting, etc.  But the religious debate against animal cruelty waned, as religious influence waned under the im pact of the Enlightenment.  The involvement of the established religions in this problem became non-existent, except for individual clergy who continued to argue from religious grounds.  After the end of the 18th century, the movement to alleviate animal abuse was led by social reformers who saw the cause of animal rights in the context of the abolition of slavery, rights for children and women, and the empowerment of the multitude of victims created in the wake of the industrial revolution: slum dwellers, sweatshop workers, a newly created class of modern and urban victims.

As the industrial revolution worked havoc in the lives of these, it also multiplied the uses of animals and int ens if led animal cruelty.  The modern slaughterhouse, with its semi-automatic machinery, conveyor belts, elevator and lift systems, the railroad systems, refrigerated cars, refrigeration and freezing extended the possibility of transporting and preserving meat and made the eating of meat a daily possibility, and then a seeming "necessity.' Modern transportation systems gave rise to the huge meat export industry from Amstralia and New Zealand, to the creation of vast zoos housing animals from all over the world, in climates and conditions utterly foreign to them, to the fur trade, and the importing and exporting of exotic furs.  In vitro fertilization created new industries for breeding animals both in captivity and for the farm, for sport and for the pet
industry.  Helicopters and improved rifles transformed hunting.  The animal became in the modern world totally a "thing," a 'tool of science," whether for farm or in medicine, as the slave was for Aristotle, Ila tool with a speaking tongue." Presently not a comer of the globe remains safe for animal life.  Modem technology, as the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer has written, "has made the life of every stray animal a daily Treblinka."

Reformers such as Wilberforce and Thomas Foxwell Buxton, who founded the Anti-Slavery Society in England, saw the moral relationship between rights for humans and rights for animal,% and founded or sat on the board of the RSPCA.  Many women, such as Frances Power Cobbe, who established the Anti-vivisection Society in England, were welfare workers who worked for reform for women and children.  The modem "rights" concept for animals was bom in the nineteenth century as part of the broad, great social reform movements of the time.  Laws were passed, one at a time, against cruelty towards draught animals (1822), abolishing bear-baiting (1835), but as western civilization became increasingly technological, animal ref orm, in spite of successes, often becam e a retrograde movement.  The cruelties mounted.

The modern world's testing mania has led to an exponential increase in the use of animals in the laboratory, in the testing of everything from medical drugs to household detergents and cosmetics.  Animals are starved, poisoned, blinded, electrocuted, burned and shocked in the name of science and the requirements of product liability, even though there are excellent studies which demonstrate that much of this testing is invalid.  It is well known that different species of animals show marked differences in reaction to different drug4 chemicals, poisons, etc.  Dr. Leo Friedman in Toxicology and Allied Pharmacology (16, 1969, p.498) [25] wrote that 'The most uncertain aspect of safety evaluation is the relevance of animal data to human beings.  Many examples can be cited regarding differences in species susceptibility." Richard Ryder points out that, 'Not only, however, are there differences between species, there are also marked differences between laboratories, and these too are a source of invalidation."[26] Nevertheless, the prest ige of testing, of quantitative evidence, of what is regarded as the scientific model for ascertaining reality, is so prominent in the modem world that, in spite of evidence to the contrary, experiments on animals that are both painful and useless continue in numbers that a re beyond reckoning.  The category of "necessity" is irrelevant.  Even the categories of "science," "proof," and "human health," are irrelevant, since many drug4 such as thalidomide, tested on animals, prove dangerous to human health.  The testing procedures continue from the momentum of corporate investment in laboratory machinery and personnel.  The phrase 'laboratory tested' is accepted as a seal of progress% while few know the horrors which that label conceals.

Claude Bernard de fined vivisection (animal experimentation) as 'the dismantling of the living organism.' But his definition will give an unschooled public little notion of what that means.  Here is an example:

At the University of Michigan sixty-four monkeys were addicted to drugs by automatic injection into their jugular veins.  When the supply of drugs was abruptly withdrawn, some of the monkeys were 'observed to die in convulsions'.  Before dying some monkeys plucked out all their hair or bit off their own fingers and toes.[27]
Not all animal experiments are so horrific.  Many involve "only" injecting diseases into animals, or burning off the teats of a nursing rodent to measure its effects upon her litter, or inducing heart attacks in dogs, or subjecting them to drowning experiments; bu t as Dr. Leffingwell observed in 1906, the multitudinous variety of ways of inflicting pain on laboratory anim a Is is limited only by hum an ingenuity, not by morality.  When he wrote his protests against such outrages by medical science, England consumed about 95,-000 animals a year in research and the United States less than that.  Over five million animals a year are now consumed in research in Great Britain, and the number for the United States is estimated at close to a hundred million yearly.  Furthermore, almost every industrialized country is engaged in vivisection, and the practice has now spread around the globe.  Since the Second World War, vivisection has become an international business, with breeders, shippers, and manufacturers of vivisection equipment forming a powerful coalition to protect the business which began about a century ago.  "Since the Second World War it has spread insidiously across the face of the earth infecting all of Asia and especially Japan.
Already it is in Africa (see the UNESCO Courier, May 1973) and now there is scarcely a country in the world where an animal is safe from the probe or the scalpel."[28 ]

This modern assault upon animal life, through the practices of factory farming and vivisection (which are philosophically related in their view of the animal as a "thing"), gives the modern Animal Rights Movement its urgency.  Nothing less than a total rethinking of human relationships with the animal world is perceived as necessary.  Older concepts of stewardship and religious or philosophical models are dismissed for their failure to mitigate what has become an unprecedented tragedy in animal life.  It is perceived that sentiment alone cannot protect animal life in the contemporary world.  What is required is a statement of their rights, embedded in laws.  The perception was framed in 1796 by John Lawrence, a gentleman farmer, inspired by the new ideas emanating from the revolutions in France and the United States:

No human government, I believe, has ever recognized the jus animalum which surely ought to form a part of the jurisprudence of every system founded on the principles of just ice and humanity....l therefore propose that the Rights of Beasts be f orm ally acknowledged by the State and that a law be framed upon that principle to guard and protect them from acts of flagrant and wanton cruelty, whether committed by their owners or others.'[29]
Rights for animals would involve their right to groom, to nest, to peck, to graze, to move, to nurse their young, to cohabit with members of their own species, to express their social selves, their food preferences, the right to their lives, to their liberty, to their pursuit of happiness in the context and for the purposes for which they were created.  The raison detre of animal rights is to give animals back their nature as nature gave it to them.


L Rodney L. Taylor, 'Of Animals and Men: The Confucian Perspective,' Animal Sacrifices: Religious Perlpectives = Tjle LLW _d Animals _In_ Science, Temple University Press, 1986, p. 244-245.

2. 'Animals and Men: Love, Ambition and Outright War,' Smithsonian, 8:52-61, 177.

3. Amo Pres,% Volumes 1 & 2, 1975,

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Richard Ryder, Victims of Science, National
Anti-Vivisection Society Ltd., 1983, p. 125-126.

7. Joseph Wood Krutch, The World -Qf Animals, Simon and Schuster, 1961, p. 21.

8. K tav, 1984.

9. see also Romans 14:1-23.

10. Between Dc Spccie.% Spring, 1986.

11. Chistopher Chapple, 'Noninjury to Animals: jaina and Buddhist Perspective.%' Animal Sactiflces.

12. Aa_Ethical Problem, or Sidelights Llpo Scientific aperimentation -Qn--Maa -mid Animql,% G. Bell And Son4 Ltd., 1916, p. 186, p. 190.

13. Between The Spwi" Summer, 1988, p. 165.

14. Animal Sacrifice.% pg& 149-171,

15. Ibid.  Vol 2, p. 167.

16. see Lecky, vol 2, p. 162.

17. Rodney Taylor,

18. Clark.

19.   see   Leonora    Cohen    Rosenfield,    From
Beast-Machine to Man-Machine, Oxford University
Press, 1941, for a history of this doctrine.

20. Claude Bernard, An Introduction To The Study of Experimental Medicine.  Dover Publications, p. vii and p. xiv.

21. quoted in Joseph Wood Krutch, The WorlO -d, Animal& Simon and Schuster, 1961, p. 275.

22. Leonora Cohen Rosenfield, p. 181.

23. Ibid., p. 22.

24. Rosenfield, p. 205.

25. quoted in Victiml_Q_f Science- p. 109.

26. Ibid, p. I II.

27. Victims gf Scienre p. 93,

28.Ibid., p. 95.

29. Victims of Science, p. 129.

The Animal Rights Movement and Religion

In the Animal Rights movement, there is an undertow of hostility to the established western religions, what is rhetorically called the "Judeo-Christian tradition." Some of this hostility shares common ground with other contemporary movements, but mostly the alienation from Judaism and Christianity in the Animal Rights Movement has roots in the clashes between the early Anti-vivisection movement in the nineteenth century and the organized religions in Europe, who ignored or derided the cause.  There is the long-remembered, chilling comment made by Pope Pius IX to Anna Kingsford, one of the leaders in the movement and a convert herself to Catholicism, when asked to speak out against the growing menace of vivisection: "Madame, humankind has no duties to the animals," and who opposed the establishment of a society for the protection of animals in Rome.
Cardinal Manning, however, upon hearing this remark, countered: "Humankind may have no duties to the animals, but it has a duty to itself to practise kindness on all occasions." His remark demonstrates the pattern of religious involvement in the question of vivisection.  Except for the Evangelical denominations in England who, to their credit, weaned the lower classes in Britain from their fondness for blood sports, organized religious bodies did nothing to stem the tide of animal abuse.  Justly, Al-Hafiz B. A. Masri complains in his book, Islamic Concern For Animals:
The organized religious institutions could have played an important role in educating the general public.  Almost ninety per cent of the world population owe allegiance to one or other of the major religions.  Each of these religions has the benefit of platforms wherefrom it could influence and educate captive audiences.  But, one seldom hears from their pulpits any sermons preaching the word of God about animals or respect for nature.  Perhaps the clerics of our religions are too busy preparing their
respective laities for the Life Hereafter to spare any thought for the so-called 'dumb beasts' and the ecology which sustains all. [1]
Mr. Masri targets the theological dispute which invests the Animal Rights movement: the homocentrism of western religions and its allocation of "soul' to humans.  Islam, Mr. Masri informs us, allows for a soul or psyche in animals, although 'their psychic force is of a lower level than that of human beings.[2] Classical Judaism too assigns "soul" or "nefesh' to the animal world.  The signif icant distinction between humans and animals, in Islam, is not that of soul, but volition, the ability to distinguish between good and evil and to act on it.  But human beings who lack this "willpower have no claim of superiority over animals."[3] A further curtailment of "human superiority' is that this position or gift is not unconditional, [4] a point rarely explored in Christianity and Judaism.  Though Rabbi Hanina's (5th century) comment that "If we merit it we will have dominion, if not, we will descend' parallels Mr. Masri's -theology that dominion is a correlative of moral posture, it is not current mainstream Jewish thinking.  Still, the problem of 'homocentrism" which the Animal Rights movement focuses on as the peculiar attribute of patriarchal or monotheistic religions is not an invariable and immovable theological posture and is, with its present emphasis, the result of later, scholastic philosophies of the Middle Ages.

The Animal Rights Movement, in conjunction with ecological concerns, and regardless of its past relations to organized western religions, is evoking re-examinations of theological and philosophical principles: the m eaning of soul, rationality, intelligence, feeling, immortality, and old arguments about the definition of "human," the relationship of human to animal, and of both to God.
Andrew Linzey, an Anglican priest who is currently chaplain to the University of Essex, locates Christianity's pronounced homocentrism, in its Hellenistic background, with its "language of incorporeal souls and the emphasis upon humans alone as the possessors of self -consciousness and rationality...."[5] and has traced its development from 1%..Origen, Peter Lombard, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and even Karl Barth.  'Mere can be little doubt that it is the approach of these thinkers which has vastly influenced the treatment of anim als for the worse."[6] A signal contribution Mr. Linzey makes to the problematic relations between the Animal Rights community and the established western religions is his candidness, motivated by an impassioned search for new directions in Christian theology.  He fruitfully suggests that a recognition of the claims of animals, rather than reducing human status, makes life theocentric or 'God-centered," and urges that modem Christianity requires a "cosmic dimension to sinfulness...... [7] the corollary of what Einstein has called, "cosmic religiosity."[8] To the uninitiated to new religious thought, this may sound trendy and New Age, but it reflects the realistically sobering concern that "Creation now stands in an ambiguous relationship to God."[9]

In spite of early and present lack of response in the established religions to the problem of animal abuse, the nineteenth century was not lacking for individual clergymen who outspokenly argued the case against vivisection on religious grounds.  The Reverend Lionel Smithett Lewis testified at the 1906 Royal Commission into Vivisection that "The rights of animals rest on exactly the same foundation as the rights of man--justice and mercy.' The point was the unity of divine compassion that held all creation together.[10] The eighteenth century divine, Humphrey Primatt, wrote in his book, The Duty of Mercy and the Sin of Cruel!y to Brute Animals that: 7We-may pretend to what Religion we please, but Cruelty is Atheism.  We may m ake boast of Christianity, but Cruelty is Infidelity.  We may trust to our Orthodoxy, but Cruelty is the worst of Heresies."

Many Christians understood, or feared, that the reception of vivisection as a respectable profession was a betrayal of Christian principles.  The sentiment was expressed for many by John Ruskin, upon his resignation as Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Oxford University, when Oxford offered its hospitality to vivisection:

These scientific pursuits are now defiantly, provokingly, insultingly separated from the science of religion, they a re all carried on in defiance of what has hitherto been held to be compassion and pity, and of the great link which binds together the whole creation from its Maker to the lowest creature.
Though the perception that vivisection, in some subterranean fashion, made common cause with atheism had already been voiced in the seventeenth century, immediately following Descartes' declaration that animals are machines, the established religions, as corporate bodies, ignored the problem.  Ironically--as history inevitably is--the issue of the"beast machine" was early raised within the matrix of theological discussions on the nature of immortality and the immutability of the soul.
In spite of declarations by prominent physiologists, the established churches did not arm themselves, doctrinally, against vivisection.  The Anti-vivisection movement decried the failure of the church "in its corporate capacity to fight against vivisection" and Frances Power Cobbe, one of its formidable leaders, taunted churchmen 'that they had allowed leadership on this issue to fall to the nonconformists in the movement."[11] R.D. French observes that the sectarian composition of the movement "resists any simple or clear-cut characterization, "[12] an observation still applicable to the Animal Rights movement.  Nevertheless, religious debate on the subject of animal cruelty ceased somewhere after the beginning of the twentieth century, after it had been a vigorous force in the nineteenth century in religious individuals, if not in the religious institutions.

Much of this is attributable to the loss of ground by religion to science.  John Vyvyan[13] noted that no argument against vivisection that would be acceptable to the public can be made in the twentieth century except on scientific grounds, that moral arguments do not have an equivalent public force.  The measure of the victory of science is that those with religious arguments against vivisection were rendered incoherent.  What was left of the Anti-vivisection argument was to "prove' that this or that experiment was useless.  Shaw recognized the dilemma when he pointed out that no experiment could be proven "useless,' which is the optimistic ground upon which 'basic research" proceeds.

The Jewish community had additional reasons for retreating from the debate.  Long regarding itself as having a decent record on the issue of animal abuse--Jews did not hunt or engage in blood sports--the two prevalent abuses of the Middle
Ages--[14] the Jewish community judged, somewhat blindly, that this was not an issue which should involve them in public debate with the non-Jewish community.  'Me association of shechitah (kosher ritual slaughter) by some Anti-vivisectionists with other forms of animal abuse, first in the late nineteenth ceyitury and later by the Nazis, with vivisection, sealed the lips of official Jewry.  But as French observes, "It is clear ... that the association of anti-Semitism with antivivisection was not the product of bona fide theological issues, but rather of the particular mentality of certain spokesmen for the movement."[15] Still, there were Jews who actively supported the cause and Louis Gompertz, a Jew, was the second Honorary Secretary of the RSPCA, as well a s the author of a book on the responsibility of humans to animals.

The Nazis boasted of their humane attitude towards animals and made of this position a cause against shechitah and Jewry.  With respect to vivisection, it was another instance of posturing for propaganda purposes.  An examination of a relevant document[16] reveals a good deal of initial blustering and protesting.  The statement, 'The German people particularly have always shown their great love of animals and the question of animal protection was always near their hearts ... I have therefore announced the immediate prohibition of vivisection and have made the practice a punishable offense in Prussia" is followed by the inevitable backtracking to the standard of 'necessary" experiments: "It will and must be, the tasks of the experts to state individual cases and to decide how far it will be necessary, if at all,, to experiment on animals in order to advance the knowledge of disease in humans, to produce medicines and generally to further scientific knowledge...." The Lancet for January 6th, 1934, commented that "the new German regulations governing experiments on living animals are substantially the same as those which have been enforced by the Home Secretary in this country for more than half a century,"[17] referring to the 1876 law "against vivisection" in England which was, as was the German law, largely rhetorical and unenforceable.

It is not difficult to find evidence of experiments on animals in Nazis records.

The experiments made on prisoners were many and diverse, but they had one thing in common: all were in continuation of, or complementary to experiments on animals.  In every instance, this antecedent literature is mentioned in the evidence, and at Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps, human and anim al experimentation were carried out simultaneously as parts of a single programme.[18]
In boasting of not practising vivisection, the Nazis played a sem antic gam e. Technically, toxicological experiments are not vivisection, since they do not require cutting into or "dismantling of the animal, organ by organ@" Quite a bit of painful experimentation on animals--draining of blood, electric shocking to genitals, brains and elsewhere, forced feeding of innumerable lethal objects, injections of innumerable lethal poisons, forced inhalatation of innumerable noxious chem icals, pumping air out of an animal, pumping air into an animal, blocking the birth canal of an animal in labor, rotating animals in cages at sickening speeds, radiating, starving, burning, beating, freezing--can be administered and technically not be called "vivisection," according to Claude Bernard's definition.

Thus the dialogue between Anti-vivisectionists and the established religions was severed for one reason or another.  The Anti-vivisection movement and, by inheritance, the Animal Rights Movement, received its moral inspiration in the nineteenth century from the Anti-slavery movement and similar crusades of the era.  As Mr. Gaffney observes in his essay on "'Me Relevance of Animal Experimentation to Roman Catholic Ethical Methodology": "...a modern renewal of interest in animals as proper objects of human morality arose chiefly within movements of thought characteristic of liberal social criticism,"[19] and has characterized it thus ever since.  The leaders and spokespeople for Anti-vivisection were often the leaders and spokespeople for social reform laws against wife-beating, child abuse, slavery--a background which should dispel the charge that those who are "pro-animal" are "anti-human."

The vacuum left by the antipathy of the established religions in the West to the cause of Anti-vivisection was filled by attraction towards Eastern religions, often on the illusory grounds @hat they are less hom ocentric than Judaism and Christianity, and therefore more receptive to animal concerns.  Peter Singer, the author of Animal Liberation has argued that the "Judeo-Christian religious tradition...puts animals in a fundamentally different category from human beings.  Human,% and only humans, are said to be made in God's image.  Humans, and only humans, are said to have an immortal soul."[20] Homocentrism and patriarchy, contrary to such assumptions, are not incompatible with kindness to animals, as W.E.H. Lecky, reminds us: 'That tenderness to animals, which is one of the most beaut if u I features in the Old Testament writings, shows itself, among other ways, in the command not to muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn, or to yoke together the ox and the ass." [21]

The texts in Animal Sacrifices: Religious Perspectives on the Use ( Animals in Science edited by Professor Tom Regan provide grounds for the respective traditions of Eastern and Western religious attitudes towards animals.  They do not bear out the interpretation that Eastern religions are les s homocentric and, therefore kinder to animals in p nn;ciple or in deed.  Though not being monotheistic the do not declare humans to be made in God's image; they nevertheless place humans at the apex of creation and regard animal life, in varying degrees, as instrumental for human life or human salvation.  The Hindu approach is frankly homocentric, even, Mr. Basant K. Lal agrees, "speciesist." The goal of Hindu life is moksa, or salvation.  Ahimsa, or non-violence, is advocated, not for the sake of the animal, but for the sake of the moral development of the human in self constraint.  '...non-violence is not central to the teachings of the Vedas." And "... in other writings--even in the Gita--killing (even war) is justified under certain conditions ... Hinduism in all its forms teaches that we have no duties to animals and thus implicitly denies that they have any rights.'[22]

Animals have a low status in Buddhism also.  Christopher Chapple, author of Karma and Creativity, relates that in the Buddhist religion,

The world of animals is one of the three lesser destinies [gatil, along with the hell beings and hungry ghosts.  According to the jewel Ornament of Liberation, a medieval Tibetan text, animals continually suffer the misery of servitude,' slaughter, and devouring each other.' Birth as an animal is said to be punishment for evil deeds. [23]
The Confucian tradition reveals an evolutionary progress in sentiment towards animals.  Initially, Confucius emphasized human relationships only, but Confucius' disciples throughout ensuing centuries developed a concern for animal life.

In its concept of the artifice of benevolence, Confucianism treats the issue of animal abuse, for it concerns the moral person 'who cannot bear to see the suffering of others" (animals in this context), but the preservation of the sensibilities of the moral person in such a case does nothing for the animal, for it allows for others to do the dirty work of the killing.  However, the concept optimistically affirms that the suffering of animals, directly experienced, would change human decision.  Unfortunately history does not endorse this optimism.  The plasticity of human nature which can seemingly accommodate itself to many grotesqueries, public executions, public drawing and quartering and auto da fes, argues against this.  Centuries of butchers, furriers, trappers, and hunters confronted daily with the spectacle of their deeds have not altered their ways.

A revolution in human sentiment cannot depend upon isolated human reactions, but needs the kind of missionary work the Evangelicals did in England in the eighteenth century on behalf of animals, and which the Quakers and Calvinists did on behalf of slaves in the nineteenth century in Anglo-Saxon countries.  We do not know why one person is bothered by the sight of suffering in humans or animals, and a hundred others are not, but revolutions are built on the insights of those who bear the radical sentiments.  Rodney Taylor writes that 'Mencius [372-289 BCE], a disciple of Confucius added much to the discussion of Confucian ethics and the specific relationships of humans and animals.  He defended the appropriateness of feelings of kindness towards animals in far more detail than Confucius had and with a more clearly formulated basis, by extending the principle of empathy for humans to animals: "the inability to bear the suffering of others." Hsun Tzu (ca. 298-238B.C.E.) wrote: "All living creatures between heaven and earth which have blood and breath must possess consciousness, and nothing that possesses consciousness falls to love its own kind."[24]

However, he also concluded this passage with: "Among creatures of blood and breath, none has greater understanding than man...."[25] Anthropologies which equate animal life with human life do not exist in any of the major world religions; there are no anthropologies of "equality," even in systems where there are beliefs in the unity of life.  The hierarchical pattern is implicit in the structure of Eastern religions.  In the West, this structure was protected by a belief in the unity of divine compassion and the assumption of benign stewardship.  That the principle of stewardship has failed cannot be denied; that it worked decently well in the past for Jews until recently seems probable.  That there were flagrant violations in Biblical times is evidenced by the anger of the prophets, made as often on behalf of the animals as on behalf of the poor; but a system was worked out which would, if re-invoked, eliminate many of the horrors of contemporary animal life.

James Gaffney, similarly to Andrew Linzey, gives a synopsis of the increasing anthropocentrism from Torah to the New Testament, as Christianity came under the influence of H-elTe-nistic humanism.  His remarks about Paul's allegorical interpretation of the commandment that the "ox should not be muzzled when he treads out the corn,' is to be treasured for tearing away the winding sheet of allegory that has smothered so much of the writing in the Bible:

... the passage about the ox was as nonallegorical as everything else in the book of Dueteronomy, where it is found as part of the law of Moses.  Like certain other passages in that same book, it is plainly intended to be read precisely as a piece of divine legislation in behalf of animals, despite some inconvenience to human greed.  Thus, for at least one constituent tradition of
the Torah, Paul's assumptions are simply mistaken.  It is indeed 'for oxen that God is concemed,"....[26]
The implications in Mr. Gaffney's remarks are significant for readjustments in textual readings of Torah by Christians and would constitute grounds for a renewed ecumenical approach concerning the Judeo-Christian traditions, as well as aid a dialogue between Jews, Christians and Animal Rights activists, for whom the rhetoric of 'homocentric, patriarchal Judeo-Christian tradition," smothers useful distinctions.

All the religions, Eastern and Western, reveal levels of approach to the question of anim al suffering: doctrinal and popular, clerical and lay, halachic and aggadic, textual and traditional, rule and custom.  This tension between levels of operative, permissible and ideal behavior is characteristic of all the religions.  The homocentricity of the Eastern religions is balanced by a belief in the 'unity of all living things," which makes its anthropological view attractive to people concerned with the problem of animal abuse.  What is recommended is 'a life in nature, lived with other creatures." Reconciliation between such unity and the homocentricity of Hinduism is arrived at by recommending 'an attitude of affinity with and compassion for animals."

Hindu emphasis on transcendence also mitigates interest in vivisection, since vivisection implies bondage to earthly concerns, to materialism rather than to spirit.  Similarly, in Buddhism, avoidance of death is not considered the highest goal of life.

Judaism, being a this-wordly religion, has no recourse to these arguments but, like Islam, it has a long and pronounced tradition regarding hum an responsibility for animals, articulated in its Scriptures and legislative writings.  Its tenets are unequivocably expressed in the Encyclopedia judaica under the category of 'Animals, Cruelty To.' Rabbi Bleich's summation of these laws in Animal Sacrifices, that these injunctions to practise compassion for animals is for the moral development of the human being rather than for the welfare of the animal, while debatable, is consonant with views In Hinduism and Confucianism and bears upon a central issue in vivisection-- which is necessarily cruel, if perhaps not uniformly and invariably cruel.  Vivisectors defend vivisection as "a necessary evil." Whether necessary or not, its cruelty cannot be eliminated from the system, whether it means isolating newbom monkeys in sensory-deprived steep wells for psychological testing f or "matemal deprivation," or inducing ejaculation in monkeys by rectal electro-shocking for sperm collection, or inducing heart attacks in greyhound dogs by forcing them to run in rooms heated over 120 degrees, or blow-torching unanesthetized pigs to study stress from burns.  Such steady subjection of medical students to cruelty has its labyrinthine effects upon the modem practice of medicine.

In The Nazi Doctors, Robert J. Lifton observes that "...the emergence of doctors with minimal empathy is a worldwide phenomenon.'[27] The collusion of the medical profession with torture is a subject for study.[28] During the Nuremburg trials, Nazi doctors testified to the fact that they had been led to their experiments on humans "naturally' from their experiments on animals.[29] The October, 1987 Health Letter of the Public Citizen Health Research Group, lists recent experiments on human beings: "The study, from a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, documents a large number of human experiments in which people were exposed to potentially toxic doses of radiation just to 'satisfy scientific curiosity.'" In an experiment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 'Twenty elderly 'volunteers' from the New England Age Center were injected with radioactive thorium or radium to 'examine the metabolism' of these substances...."[30]

At the Royal Commission into Vivisection in England in 1876, the Reverend Smithett warned, "The logical outcome of experiments on anim als is experiments on man.  The right to perform such has been claimed and carried out, a race of medical men hardened by vivisection is a public menace." The nineteenth century was not lacking in many such warnings.  Claude Bernard himself warned against the moral erosion in the medical profession which vivisection could encourage, but the scientific esprit carried him forward in spite of his own forebodings.

The eleventh hour has come and passed for laboratory animals, unnoticed by the religious institutions, but surely the fate of humankind bestows on them the responsibility to demand an accounting from the biological research community, even if not for the "sentimental' sake of the animals.  Secrecy in the vivisection laboratories has been the curse of the twentieth century, and few theologians or religious leaders who write about the problems of the use of animals for scientific research indicate a knowledge of what takes place there, [31] nor indicate experience with animals.  They do not argue from such factors, but from ancient texts from which they extrapolate laws and try to make them applicable to the present situation.

But a dialogue between the religious communities and the research science community is imminent, and there is the necessity of religious leaders mastering the documents of animal research.  Such recent innovations as gene implantations from human to animals, and cross-species breeding, makes it imminent, unfortunately if only to guard against further erosion of the individual texts: Islam, like Judaism, forbids cross-species breeding, genetic manipulation of species: attempts, for example, to impregnate a chimpanzee with human sperm. [32] The Vatican objected, unhappily on "homocentric' grounds: "A satanic attempt to destroy every presence of God in the Universe, destroying his likeness, which is man."[33] The Vatican has also object to the new reproductive techniques, on the "unstated" argument that these techniques mus often involve onanism.  Such new reproductive technologies also make it technically possible for a "virgin" to give birth. What, indeed , in these new biomedical contexts, do "virgin," "God's image," "birth," "species" mean? (Pope John Paul 11, however, has as his medical advisors, Dr. Robert White, who has performed head transplants on monkeys, who apparently believes he can play with Promethean fire on his own terms.) Belatedly all the religions are coming to realize that it is their own image, their own humanity, their own religions their own texts, which are now threatened as all of nature is re-arranged under the enveloping provenance of medical research.

But evidence is accumulating that nature is about to turn the tables on human arrogance.

...humanity is in course of one of the most massive and extraordinary ecological upheavals the planet has ever known .... In any effort to understand what lies ahead, as much as what lies behind, the role of infectious disease cannot properly be left out of consideration.  Ingenuity, knowledge, and organization alter but cannot cancel humanity's vulnerability to invasion by parasitic forms of life. Infectious disease which antedated the emergence of humankind will last as long as humanity itself, and will surely remain, as it has been hitherto, one of the fundamental parameters and determinants of human history. [34]
Animal research has its price tag in human lives as well as animal lives:
The rise of science gave birth to medicines and luxuries that have greatly eased human misery.  But these same advances now plague the world with nuclear weaponry and chemical warfare, increased rates of cancer and heart disease, and tragedies such as thalidomide and Agent Orange.  It might be said that the violence that was required for the development of these various substances is now being experienced indirect ly as their widespread effects of the technological age are being felt.[35]
It is this perspective, as well as a moral hatred for the cruelty to animal life, that has turned the face of the Anti-vivisection movement and the Animal Rights movement away from the West.

The Anti-vivisection movement has never ceased to wear the mantle of dismal prophecy at the cost of derision.  It is time for the religious communities to take its presence seriously, for it is those in the movement who have amassed the documentation piled as high as mountains, detailing the rivers of sperm that have flowed from shocked monkeys, the hills of eyeballs taken from sheep and guinea pigs, the fields of skin taken from living pigs, the pits of brain parts taken from baboons.  The subject of vivisection will be at the heart of the coming dialogue between the religious and scientific communities.  It is the central moral issue in the problematics of the mathematical-mechanical model, which has guided science for the past three centuries, and is radically transforming animal and human nature

T'he question of the relationship between humankind and animalkind is scarcely modern, it has been germane to most religious reflection on God's purposes for the creation.  In this context, it is embarrassingly tardy to recall the lines from Ecciesiates.


1. The Athene Trust, 1987, p.1-2.

2. Animal Sacrifices: Religious Perspectives on the Use of Animals in Science, by Tom Regan, Temple University Press, 1986, p.173.

3. lbid., p. 176.

4. Islamic Concern for Animals, p.2,

5. Christianity and The Rijzhts of Animals, Crossroad Publishing Co., p.66-67.

6. Ibid., p. 16.

7. Ibid., p. II.

8. quoted in Evelyn Fox Keller, A. Feeling For The Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock, W.H. Freeman & Co., 1983, p.201.

9. Ibid.

10. E. Westacott, A Century of Vivisection and Anti-Vivisection, C.W. Daniel, England, 1949, p.265.

11. R.D. French, Antivivisection In Victorian Society, p.228.

12. Ibid., p.348.

13. His two books, In Pity and In Anger, and The Dark Face of Science, chronicle the rise of both vivisection and the Anti-vivisection movement, from 1865 to 1965.

14. F-A.H. Lecky, History of European Morals, vol 11, Amo Press p.167: "...the rabbinical writers have been remarkable for the great emphasis with which they inculcated the duty of kindness to animals.*

15. Ibid.  Shechitah, as well as dhabh, the Muslim form of ritual slaughter, have been an issue of extreme right wing groups in Great Britian since the emergence of fascism there after the First World War, often to the embarrassment of other Animal Rights activists.

16. The Ppolitical Testament of Hermann Goring: A. Slection of Important Speeches and Articles, trans. by H.W. Blood-Ryan, John Long, Ltd.

17. See 'Me Fight Against Disease,' The Quarterly Journal of the Research Defense Society. England, Vol XXII, no.1, 1934.

18. see Eugene Kogon, The Theory and Practice of Hell, p.143 ff. and VyvTa-n, q@@-Expl-osion,' in The ..a& F&C&of Science,

19. Animal Sacrifices, p.159.

20. 'Interview with Peter Singer,' The Animals Agenda, Sept, 1987, p.7.

21. Ibid p.162.

22. Animal Sacrifices, P.199-213.

23. Ibid., p.213 ff.

24. Ibid., p. 237 ff.

25. Ibid.

26. Ibid.

27. The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and The Psychology of Genocide, Basic Books, 1986, p. 210.

28. see Eric Stover.  The Open Secret: Torture And The Medical Profession in Chile. Commiette on Scientific Freedom and REsponsibility Report, American Assoc. for Advancement of Science, 1987.

29. John Vyvyan, 'The Explosion,' The Dark Face of Science.

30. October,1987, p.12.

31. see Dr. Sisela Bok, 'Secrecy and Competition in Science,' Secrets, Pantheon, 1982.

32. performed by scientists in China, and the Italian anthropologist, Prof essor Brunetto Chiarelli of Florence University: reported in the Seventy-Sixth Annual Report of 'Me Scottish Society for The Prevention of Vivisection, p.46. The chimpanzee died in the third month of pregnancy.

33. Ibid.

34. William H. McNeill, Plagues and People, 1976, p. 291.

35. Christopher Chapple, 'Noninjury to Animals,' Animal Sacrifices, p.228.

Dedicated to Descartes'Niece: The Women's Movement and Anti-vivisection in the 19th Century

From the moment that Descartes' concept of the animal machine--legitimating vivisection--appeared in philosophical circles, there was opposition to the concept voiced by famous women of the era: Madame de Scudery, a friend of Leibniz, ran an "anti-Cartesian salon" and wrote a novel praising animal virtue, and the worldly Madame de Sevigny wrote her daughter: "...machines which love, which show preference for someone, machines which are jealous, machines which are afraid, come, come, be serious, never did Descartes intend to make us believe that."[1] Madame de Scudery wittily argued that her pets, a monkey, a parrot and a dog, demonstrated intelligence by their affection for her, . and she determinedly spoke Latin to her parrot.  More seriously, she wrote: "The tiniest monkey, by its industry and intelligence, destroys all of Descartes' doctrines." Curiously, it was this "perfection" in animals which contributed a deadly plank to Descartes' thesis, for he argued that it was precisely because animals show such perfection that it raises the suspicion of their being machines.

Among the famous many who rejected Descartes' thesis of the "animal-machine,it (Montaigne, La Fontaine , Fontenelle, Cyrano de Bergerac), and among the famous women none were more famous for her opposition than Descartes' niece, Catherine.  A poet of note in her time, her position caused "a little domestic disagreement within the family of the great Descartes, when his brother's daughter espoused the doctrine of a rival philosopher (Gassendi) rather than accept the hypothesis of the beast-machine." Leonora Cohen Rosenfield has written that "Her rebellion against animal automatism stands out in startling relief against the general pattern of fervent ado ra tion for her celebrated uncle."[2]  Gassendi argued for the principle of the "two-fold soul:" that possessed by human beings which was immortal, and that possessed by anim al life, which was not immortal.  It was a compromise position between a theological difficulty about salvation and one which would expunge vitalism from the universe and could, as Bossuet predicted it would, make common cause with atheism.

These opposing views in the interpretation of animal virtue foreshadowed the difference two centuries later between Claude Bernard.- the "father" of animal research, and Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree.  Both beheld the intricate interior of anim al life with amazement.  But where Bernard saw the possibilities of a mechanistic science in the body of the animal, Elizabeth Blackwell saw evidence of a living God.

Many who were engaged in the crusade against vivisection, notably Frances Power Cobbe and Anna Kingsford in this regard, understood the struggle in religious terms.  Westacott, in his comprehensive survey, A Century of Vivisection and Anti-Vivisection, states that the movement inherited a religious base from Cobbe.[3] After a spiritual crisis, in which she threw off her family's Orthodox Christianity and embraced Thei sm, she pointed out in her autobiography that "recognition of the claims of animals had been one of the first results of religious perception." Anna Kingsford wrote: 'qf it be necessary in order to know ... that deeds abhorrent to moral feeling should be performed, then obviously Justice is not the essential principle of the universe, and religion has no substantial basis."[4] Proponents of animal research today never address themselves to the religious aspect of the problem, but prefer to organize their arguments around such terms as "antiintellectual," "obscurantist," "irrational," and "anti-human," words that were used to describe women in the nineteenth century, most particularly intellectual women who were regarded as desexed.  Anna Kingsford's professor at La Charite' refused to record her name in his roll book, saying: "You are neither male nor female, I do not wish to write your name." Men who opposed vivisection, and this included many doctors in the nineteenth century, and virtually every writer and artist, were regarded as "effeminate," which in turn meant "anti-intellectual," "irrational,' and "sentimental." The gender aspect of the issue became prominent, while the moral and religious aspects were derided by the advocates of vivisection.  Elie de Cyon, a prominent- physiologist of the time, snickeringly asked:

Is it necessary to repeat that women--or rather, old maids, form the most numerous contingent of this group?  Let my adversaries contradict me, if they can show am ong the leaders of the agitation one girl, rich, beautiful, and loved, or some young wife who has found in her home the full satisfactions of her affections.
Reality was irrelevant to the accusation, for the women who founded and led the Anti-vivisection movement were by and large privileged, loved, dynamic, brilliant, often socially successful, like Frances Power Cobbe, and sometimes uncommonly beautiful, like Louise Augusta Lind-af-Hageby from Sweden and the majestic Anna Kingsford who, with her mass of wavy golden hair, resembled the ideal of the Pre-Raphaelite poets.  But their beauty only inspired further male derision and barbed heckling from medical students when they appeared on a platform.  The propaganda stuck because it was nourished in the soil of nineteenth century stereotypes about women, particularly about the 'derangement" of intellectual women.  The 'ideal" woman was intended as an adornment for the thirty or more pounds of clothes she wore when she was fully dressed in waist pinchers which caused fainting spells and bustles which caused kidney problems.  Enforced idleness was the suffocating condition of the middleclass woman.  It led to chronic invalidism, headaches, and physical weakness, conditions considered chief elements in the estheticism of femininity.  In her book, Cassandra, Florence Nightingale cried out against the crippling idleness which dragged women into unreality and fantasy lives, not infrequently to madness, the famous female 'hysteria' of the nineteenth century, the prescribed cu re for which was often clitoridectomy and hysterectomy.

Elizabeth Blackwell accused the medical profession of having castrated 500,00 women in Europe and was drawn to medicine because she saw it as a woman's issue.  She understood that much of what were called "female diseases" had their roots in the crippling apparel and lives women led and in the pathological relationship that had developed between women and the medical profession in the nineteenth century.

The century began with the woman as symbol of innocence and pur it y, a nineteenth century re-invention of the Roman household goddess and vestal virgin.  Medicine became fascinated with womants reproductive system during the century, and scientists lectured them on their biological destiny, which included the judgment that learning diminished a woman's capacity to bear children.  Nineteenth century science was obsessed with gender and race, legacies bequeathed to the social domains of our century, and scientists located woman, according to the evolutionary doctrine of the day, along the level of the dark races, both being seen as infantile, animal-like, and belonging to nature, while the white male belonged to civilization.  "Nature," however, was not regarded as a benign force, but as the omnipresent atavistic possibility to be resisted.  It was a short step to the identification of women with animals, and as Cynthia Eagle Russet observes, "Kinship with animals raised disturbing reflections, not least the possibility that civilization was no more than a thin veneer over the savage self.'[5] The century ended with a significant reversal of view about woman, and fearing her now as a femme fatale, a being possessed of dark animal powers.  Throughout much of the century, as Russet observes, there was "a geography of scientific misogyny, with the most overt and brutal antifeminism being voiced on the European continent.'[6]

The pronounced presence of women in the Anti-vivisection movement augmented suspicion about their allegiance to the human race, and gave rise to the notion that to protest animal cruelty is to be "anti-human, " a charge Frances Cobbe, who had spent her life in social causes and had worked several years in the slums of Bristol responded to with restrained glee:

Readers who have reached this twentieth chapter of my Life will smile, ... at the ascription to me in sundry not very friendly publications, of exclusive sy mpa thy for anim als and total indifference to human interests.  I have seen myself frequently described as a woman 'who would sacrifice any number of men, women . and children, sooner than that a few rabbits should be inconvenienced.' Many good people apparently suppose me to represent a personal survival of Totemism in England, and to worship dogs and cats, while ready to consign the human race generally to destruction .... the years which I spent ... working in the slums of Bristol, ought, I think, to suffice to dissipate this fancy picture.[7]
This extraordinary woman--of whom E. Westacott has written with disarming simplicity: "An Irish lady, Frances Power Cobbe, must forever be associated In England with the beginning of an organized movement against the cruelties of science,'[8]--was bom in 1822, a fact which gave her much pleasure, for it was in that year that the first piece of legislation, Martin's Act against animal cruelty, was passed in Parliament, initiated by a fellow Irishman.  She was also proud of her middle name and believed that her power had been inspired by an inscription on her great grandfather's chair: 'Deliver those who are oppressed from the hand of the adversary.' It was a chair she came to occupy very well, being responsible for legislation affecting women's rights to own property and to sue for divorce for reasons : of physical abuse, and for establishing Anti-vivisection as an international crusade.

She, indeed, was not beautiful, being corpulent in appearance, like Gertrude Stein.  As a journalist f or such well-known English publications as Fraser's and Comhill. she came to know almost everyone in the English literary and intellectual world: Charles Darwin, the Brownings, Carlyle, Cardinal Manning, and the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, who became her most important aid in establishing the English Anti-vivisection Society.  She could boast with justice that she was pre-eminently in a position to speak for the female intelligence since, excepting George Eliot and Harriet Martineau, she had known every prominent female writer and artist of her era.  And indeed she had!

Her intellectual appetite was formidable and versatile.  By the time she was sixteen, she was reading Edmund Spenser, Milton, Dante, Homer, the Greek dramatists and historians, and Gibbon.  At eighteen she underwent a religious crisis and became a Theist.  The first heretic in a family which boasted of five archbishops, her father banished her to Donegal, awaiting her repentance.  He, she admitted, was something of a tyrant on the model of the Roman patriarch.  Her mother is characterized as a gentle, liberal woman, a close companion to Cobbe, whose childhood on their secluded manor outside of Dublin, with four older, distant brothers, was a lonely one.  Recognizing a kindred obstinate spirit in his daughter, her father recalled her from Donegal ' whereupon she wrote a spiritual treatise, Broken Lights, and a critique of Kant, Essay on The Theory of Intuitive Morals, (1855).  Her record of the birth of this work reveals the hilarious and macabre nineteenth century concerns about female intellectuality.

I had all along told my father ... that I was going to publish a book, of course, anonymously, to save him annoyance.  When the printing was completed, the torn and defaced sheets of the MS. lay together in a heap for removal by the housemaid.  Pointing to this, my poor father said solemnly to me: 'Don't leave those about, you don't know into whose hands they may fall.' It was needless to observe to him that I was on the point of publishing the 'perilous stuff!'
The reviews amused her even more, all in the vein of The Caledonian Mercury: "It is a most noble performance, the work of a masculine and lofty mind.' When, however, the rumor of female authorship was confirmed, the reviews changed to: "Our dislike is increased when we are told it is a female (!) who has propounded so unfeminine and stoical a theory .... and has contradicted openly the true sayings of the living God!" (Christian Observer) Her comment regarding female disabilities in her youth was, 'The laws which concerned women at that date were so frightfully unjust that the most kindly disposed men inevitably took their cue from them, and looked on their mothers, wives, and sisters as beings with wholly inferior rights, with no rights, indeed."

Passionately, she urged women to fight for their rights:

Take the sorrows, the wants, the dangers (above all the dangers) of our sisters closely to heart, and, without ceasing to interest yourself in charities having men and boys for their objects, recognize that your earlier career should be for the weakest, the poorest, those whose dangers are worst of all....think of all the weak, the helpless, the wronged women and little children, and the harmless brutes, and save them and shield them as best you can, even as the mother-bird will shelter and fight for her little helpless fledgelings.  This is the natural f ield of f em inine courage. [9]
Her early career as a journalist was devoted to exposing brutality towards women, described in such language as, "not merely struck, but maimed, blinded, burned, trampled on by strong men in heavy shoes and in many cases murdered outright." Sights she was to witness in her Anti-vivisection work forced a parallel between the conditions of women and animals, and she entitled two sequential chapters in her autobiography, "The Claims of Women" and "The Claims of Brutes."

There were throughout the nineteenth century porous boundaries between the various reform causes, and those involved in Anti-slavery, prison reform, and child abuse reform were often the same people as those involved in the Women's movement, Anti-vivisection, slum clearance, and the hygiene or sanitary movement, which gave rise to our modern concept of public health.  Elizabeth Blackwell was a friend of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and two of her brothers, staunch abolitionists (as was the, whole family), married suffragettes.  One of these was Lucy Stone, who was also an abolitionist, and the other was Antoinette Br-own, the first American woman minister.  Frances Power Cobbe was instrumental in getting the first Women's Property law passed which made it possible for married women to own property, and in getting legislation passed which permitted a woman to divorce her husband for beating her.  After hearing from one woman who had said of her, that this last legislation had given her back her life and made it possible for her to live,, Frances Power Cobbe remarked, "May I not close my eyes on this world without doing as much for the animals."

She put her faith in legislation, believing that the importance of the vote was that it allowed human beings to transform vision into law.  The vote was not a right but a duty towards the betterment of the world.  With others in the coalition of nineteenth century reform movements, she located evil not in a mysterious ontology but in institutions that could and must be reformed, for as she observed: 'In almost every case it is only by legislation that the roots of great evils can be reached at all, and that the social diseases of pauperism, vice, and crime can be brought within the hope of cure."

With this optimism she set about in 1875 to introduce a bill which would reform vivisection.  Her persistent belief was that evil was a human activity, and vivisection with its insatiable cruelty was not a gift from God for the healing of human beings but the result of a demented philosophy characterized by what she called the 'dilettantism of discovery.'

For several decades rumors had come from continental Europe to England concerning horrendous experiments being performed on living animals, often unanesthetized.  During a visit to Florence, Italy, where Cobbe had a villa at Bellosquardo, she became involved with drawing up the first Anti-vivisection petition, after hearing of grotesqueries at a laboratory at the Speculo, substantiated by reputable eye witness accounts.  But the experimenter, as others, denied the accusations or claimed that the animals had been anesthetized.  Then, several years later, in The Morning Post on February 2, 1875, was a letter by Dr. George Hoggan, a former assistant to Claude Bernard, who came out of the closet--or more pertinently out of the laboratory.  His lengthy letter described the hell that Anna Kingsford was later to find in France:

I have often heard the professor say, when one side of an anim al had been so mangled, and the tissues so obscured by clotted blood, that It was difficult to find the part searched for, 'Why don't you begin on the other side?' or, 'Why don't you take another dog?  What is the use of being so@ economical?" One of the most revolting features in the laboratory was the custom of giving an animal, on which the professor had completed his experiment and which still had some life left, to the assistants to practise the finding of arteries, nerves, etc, in the living animal.[10]
His letter pointed out the hypocrisy of anesthesia which, he claimed, was 'far more efficacious in lulling public feeling towards the vivisectors than pain in the vivisected."[11]

Cobbe immediately contacted Dr. Hoggan.  Together, with Dr. Hoggan's wife, they formed the Victoria Street Society in March, 1876, known formally as the First Society for the Protection of Animals Liable to Vivisection.  Cobbe was its head for eighteen years, during which time she published The Zoophilist, an Anti-vivisection journal, and wrote The Modern Rack.  The First Royal Commission into Vivisection was established in June, 1875.  Cobbe introduced legislation to the commission and was indefatigable in collecting signatures on petitions to Parliament, including 2,000 clergy from the Church of England and 2,000 members of the Society of Friends.  'Me Commission sat for one year and interrogated 53 witnesses.  Many who gave testimony on behalf of the animals were eloquent, learned, and utterly persuaded that humankind has a duty to itself as well as to animal life to destroy the vivisection movement.  From its initial appearance as an academic discipline, vivisection had been beset by an inherent contradiction, that it is an evil which cannot be halted, for which therefore reform is the only possible r-ecou rse; however, as Anna Kingsford protested, to argue for the 'reform" of vivisection is like arguing for the "reform' of murder, to concede the principle is to concede the argument.

Frances Power Cobbe's faith in legislation and the reform process was shattered by her experience.  Her bill went down to defeat, replaced by another which allowed greater lattitude for the researcher.  'The world has never seemed to me quite the same since that dreadful moment,' she wrote.  'I was baffled in an aim nearer to my heart than any other had ever been, and for which I had strained every nerve for months ... Justice and mercy seemed to have gone from the earth." She becam e hereafter an abolitionist, forming the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, viewing vivisection as the crucible question for the coming century.

There is a prophetic peroration in her final estimate of the problem:

We stand face to face with a new vice, new, at least in its vast modern development and the passion wherewith it is pursued--the vice of scientific cruelty.  It is not the old vice of cruelty for cruelty's sake. It is not the careless brutal cruelty of the half-savage drunken drover,  the low ruffian who skins living cats for gain, or of the classic Roman or modern Spaniard watching the sports of the arena with fierce delight in the sight of blood and death.  The new vice is nothing of this kind .... Sometimes it would appear as we read of these horrors---the baking alive of dogs, the slow dissecting of quivering nerves,--that it would be a relief to picture the doer of such deeds as some unhappy, half-witted wretch .... But, alas! this new vice has no such palliations, and is exhibited not by such unhappy outcasts, but by some of the very foremost men of our time ... men addicted to high speculation on all the mysteries of the universe, men who hope to found the Religion of the Future....
The characters of the Nazi doctors, erudite and barbarous, would not have surprised her.

Bitter and disappointed at the end, she labored in a practical way better than she knew, for the legislation which was passed at least constrained vivisection in Great Britain to research purposes and restricted its use for educational or demonstration reasons.  Millions of animals, at least in England, have been saved f rom student vivisection.  Furthermore, the seeds of her work took root all over the western world, in Italy, France, Belgium, from Scotland to the United States, with branch memberships numbering in the tens of thousands and world membership in the millions. In Sweden the establishment of an Anti-vivisection League drew the attention of two lively young ladies, Liesa Katarina Schartau and EmilieAugusta Louise Lind-af-Hageby. Emilie was the more forward of the two, lecturing and writing in the Swedish press on social issues which included the women's movement, the problem of legalized Prostitution, housing and Prison reform.  As E. Westacott observes of her, "Her championship and that of Miss Schartau of the cause of the animals was ... the culmination or blessing of a general humanitarian outlook...."[12]

Both had been born to comfortable, privileged classes during the 1870's.  They had been well educated and were enthusiastic about the new scientific discoveries of the era.  In 1900, they traveled through Europe and stopped at the Pasteur Institute in France, the jewel in the crown of science at the time.  In an address delivered in Geneva in 1926, Lind-af-Hageby recounted the experience:

My Anti-vivisection life was born in the Pasteur Institute in Paris in the year 1900.  Together with my friend and colleague Miss Liesa Schartau I had decided to pay a visit to this famous centre of medical research.  We went to learn and admire.  The sights that confronted us were startling.  We found cages upon cages, vast rooms filled with hundreds of animals that had been inoculated with diseases.  They were suffering and dying.  The dead lay in some cases with the living.  Now and then the, young and amiable man who conducted us through the Institute opened the door of a cage, took out the dead body of a rabbit or a guinea-pig, and threw it into a pail under the table .... from that moment the fate of vivisected animals became my constant concern. [ 13]
Determined that their opposition to vivisection would be respected as medically expert, they entered the Women's School of Medicine in London in 1902 for degrees and subsequently wrote a book called Eye-Witnesses: Extracts from The Diary of Two Students of Physiology, later called The Shambles of Science.  The book went through five editions by 1913 and ignited protests that shook England for years.  It became to the Anti-vivisection movement what Uncle Tom's Cabin was to the Anti-slavery movement.  The focus of agitation was a chapter called 'The Vivisections of the Brown Dog," which gave an account of two experiments by two professors on the same dog, inadequately anesthetized or not anesthetized at all, in violation of regulations in the 1876 legislation that the same animal may not be used for a sequence of vivisectiorls.  The accusation led to a libel suit by Dr. Bayliss, one of the vivisectors.  The suit was dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence, but Dr. Bayliss was awarded 2,000 for damages.  A subscription fund of 5,735 was raised for the defendants and presented to Lind-af-Hageby and Liesa Schartau with a list of signatures, beginning with the name of Frances Power Cobbe.

The historical moment was apt, for the torch was handed on to two women very capable of following in Cobbe's footsteps.  They founded the provocative and influential Animal Defense and Anti-vivisection Society, which opened shops in Sloane Street and Piccadilly to distribute Anti-vivisection material to the public and the press.  The story of the Brown Dog went on to have a startling career.  Anna Louise Woodward, the founder of the World League Against Vivisection, raised a public subscription to pay for a bronze statue to commemorate the fate of the brown dog.  The statue was erected in Battersea Park
across the road from University College.  It was unveiled by the Mayor of Battersea on September 15, 1906 and bore this inscription:

In Memory of the Brown Terrier Dog done to death in the Laboratories of University College in February 1903, after having endured Vivisection extending over more than Two Months and having been handed from one Vivisector to another till Death came to his Release. Men and women of England, How long shall such things be?
It remained undisturbed for a year, until November 20, 1907, when a group of medical students decided that their reputation was being maligned and attempted to destroy the statue.  Defenders immediately appeared, and for a year and a half Battersea Park was the scene of almost nightly riots between Anti-vivisectionists and medical students.  The statue disappeared in early February, 1908, to the relief of the police, who had complained that they could no longer afford the funds to keep the peace.  A protest demonstration, attended by thousands, was held in Trafalgar Square in March, at which Lind-af-Hageby repeated the story of the Brown Dog.

The incident has inspired two books, one by Edward Ford in 1908, and more recently, The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England, by Dr.. Coral Lansbury.  The title is an indication of the coalition among classes that the Anti-vivisection cause inspired a century ago.  The statue of the Brown Dog has become an enduring symbol of vivisection cruelty, and the struggle against it, for it has been rebuilt and put back in Battersea Park, where it once stood, erected and protected with great passion.

The press took note of the riots and the trial which had preceded them, and almost all supported the Anti-vivisectionists.  As John Vyvyan notes, we can measure the moral tide by the fact that few newspapers today would consider the fate of a dog a newsworthy itern or 'would now champion a dog against a professor, or uphold the claims of mercy against those of science.'[14]

The Shambles of Science was a source of evidence during the Second Royal Commission into Vivisection, begun in 1906, and Lind-af-Hageby was called to give testimony on four occasions, demonstrating such skill and knowledge in handling the medical technicalities involved in the experiments she evaluated that one medical witness from the opposition stated that he regretted that the two girls had been admitted to medical school.

Outside the rigorous demands of giving such testimony, Emily August a Lind-af-Hageby was flamboyant and memorable.  As Vyvyan describes her, "She was one of the diminished band of speakers whom no hooligans could silence .... In those days, she was very good-looking, and when the young demonstrators were not releasing stink-bombs or shaking rattles, they were blowing her kisses.  For those with stamina, the proceedings could be fun, but her response to the kisses was blistering scorn.  She was a natural orator, dauntless under attack.'

Out of the Brown Dog agitation she helped create an organization allied to the Anti-Vivisection Council, The International Medical Association founded in 1905, with a membership of hundreds of medical men and women.' "to encourage biological research unconnected with vivisection and all 'scientific pursuits .. free from the taint ... of a painfull and violating kind."[15]

In opposition to the gathering strength of the Anti-vivisection organizations, Stephen Paget founded the Research Defense Society in 1908, and opened up a shop in Picadilly next to that of the Animal Defense and Anti-Vivisection Society.  The credo of Anti-vivisectionists which Lind-af-Hageby wrote in 1908, took note of the challenge of the Research Defense Society in language that reminds one of Antigone explaining her position to Creon in its appeal to a gnosis beyond that of state and institution:

The formation of the 'Research Defense Society' and the promulgation of its guiding principle ... viz., that 'the small amount of pain or discomfort inflicted is insignificant compared with the great gain to knowledge and the direct advantage to humanity --cannot ... stay or undermine the Anti-Vivisection Movement.  Our cause is above the objects and principles of the new Society.  Our Cause is based on the claims of morality, on the supreme and ancient faith in a spiritual law which is above science, health and sickness, even--though the Vivisector know it not--above life and death.
In a lifetime of combatting scientific cruelty and in faith to her spiritual law, she and Liesa Schartau exposed vivisection practices in one institution after another, in the United States and in Europe, and left a legacy of data for Anti-vivisectionists with which to confront the prevailing secrecy of vivisection practices.

Among other remarkable female personalities in the Anti-vivisection movement at this time, Anna Kingsford was the most memorable to her generation, not only for the combination of beauty and intellect she possessed, but also because there was a somber mysticism to her character.  She was compounded of rapture and shadow, of light and darkness.  She believed that she possessed psychic powers, and among those who were inclined to agree with her was one of her instructors, Charles Richet, a renowed vivisector.  Her thesis for her medical degree at the College de Medecine in France was on vegetarianism as the perfect healthy diet for human beings.  It also included a moral evaluation of vegetarianism, which Charles Richet, with others on her examining board, demanded that she delete.  They concurred that her "scientific" evolution of nutrition and human health was satisfactory, but moral statements had to be excised.

Even her opponents were fascinated by her, and Charles Richet hosted a vegetarian dinner in honor of her degree, while she reinstituted the deleted passages after her graduation and published the thesis with her companion, Edward Maitland, under the title, The Perfect Way In Diet.  The book gave rise to several vegetarian societies and inf luenced nineteenth century vegetarian thought.

In spite of bad health she had a will of iron and a rebellious streak which confounded her instructors.  She was determined never to engage in vivisection and to force them to give her a medical degree on her own terms, not only because she loathed the practice but because she wished to prove that one could become a competent doctor without recourse to instruction in vivisection.  She was passed from instructor to instructor, as each failed to dissuade her from her views, and her six years at the College de Medecine were a constant battle.  But she was the first Englishwoman to gain a medical degree from the Facult6 de M'edecine, and she graduated second in her class --- and she did it her way.  But of her stay in Paris, and in the Coll6ge, so close to the vivisection laboratories that she frequently heard the animals groaning, she wrote: "I have found my hell here.'

She was bom in 1846 in Stratford, Essex to a well-to-do merchant family.  The youngest of twelve children, at an early age she displayed heightened intellectual and psychological qualities.  She was writing poetry at the age of nine and getting it published.  But she was also sickly, and suffered all her life from asthma, neuralgic pains, headaches, and lung problems, which finally ended her life at the age of forty-two.  In spite of bad health, after gaining her medical degree she maintained a strenuous lecturing schedule throughout the British Isles, France, Italy, and Switzerland.  She helped establish Anti-vivisection societies in Geneva, Paris, Lausanne, and Beme.

She had married a cousin on New Year's Eve, 1867, and was blessed with an understanding and liberal husband, who recognized that her unusual qualities demanded an unusual life.  They began their marriage with the agreement that she would be free to follow her talents and destiny.  He became an Anglican clergyman, while she became involved with the Feminist movement and published The Ladies' Own Paper.  When she discovered vivisection, it represented for her the quintessence of evil as it did for others, and she devoted the rest of her life to combatting it.  Like Liesa Schart au and Lind-af-Hageby, she recognized that a medical degree would confer credibility on her protest, but since there were no medical schools in England that a woman could go to at this time (she preceded Schartau and Lind-af-Hageby by a few decades), she went to Paris.  Because her health was poor, her husband agreed that a friend, Edward Maitland, would accompany her.  He became, in due time, something between an intellectual and spiritual companion, nurse, confidant, protector, and perhaps lover.  The rest of her life and writing is inseparable from his.  She was twenty-seven when they met, he was forty-nine and a writer of note himself.  Theirs became a deeply collaborative lif e. Though the arrangement may have been platonic, it was not conventional.  Anna Kingsford found herself barred from membership in Cobbe's organization, as well as other organizations.  But in Maitland she found an indispensable support for her Feminist and Anti-vivisection work, for he was a forerunner of those who believe that humankind can only be saved by releasing the feminine energies in man.

She was driven by a spiritual hunger, which led her first to convert to Roman Catholicism and then, disappointed by official Catholic teaching on animals and by its formal dogmatic structure, to turn to Theosophy, where she had her greatest impact:
Theosophical thought was hereafter identified with vegetarianism and an Anti-vivisection position. Both Maitland and Kingsford belonged to a world unknown to Cobbe, and they influenced a public her movement overlooked, the Theosophical and Fabian societies.

Anna Kingsford became legendary in her day.  When she died in February, 1888, obituaries appeared as far away as Germany.  One admirer wrote:

Truly she was a peerless and a matchless woman .... the greatest opponent of vivisection, and the most powerful writer against it, of any in England.
Vyvyan recounts that "Edward Berdoe, a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, described her as the most learned, the most beautiful, and the most spiritually-minded woman he had ever met."[16]

She too was a great orator, and her command of language, whether in writing or speaking, invariably affected those who heard her lecture and who read her articles.  She described the poor sick as "the pauper victims of experimental medicine" and noted, as Elizabeth Blackwell did, the contempt with which they were treated.  Her writing about her work in these wards, as her writing on animal research, resonates with horror at human cruelty.

Yet a few days before she died, she wrote the following:

... this is now the eleventh month of my illness.  And all the while my spirit is alive and beating its wings like a caged wild-bird against the bars of this body of death, longing to be away, out yonder in the clear high blue of the supernal height .... O sweet, sharp wind blowing between the turfy spaces of the hills, laden with bean and clover scents, I f eel you on my face!  I greet you.  You are full of health and comfort.  Deep, deep dome of the holy sky, up there above the fir-trees, I look towards you reverently. [17]
Presciently, she had written earlier that, 'The great need of the popular form of the Christian religion is precisely a belief in the solidarity of all living things." No stranger convert to Catholicism can have existed.  She became the gadfly of the Pope, the Catholic clergy, dismissed the doctrines of resurrection, of heaven and hell, confession, and vicarious atonement, believing that one can suffer for another and with another but not instead of another.  But the doctrine of transubstantiation corroborated her belief in religious alchemy, in the transformation of earthly phenomena into spirit.  She cared nothing about the historical church or its historical personage& The history of the soul, worked out in a theory of reincarnation, was the central point of her religious life.  The mission of Theosophy, for her, was to unite science and religion, heart and mind, love and learning, nature, thought and intuition, the nournenal and the phenomenal.  In her work, Clothed With The Sun, she expressed her belief that "All matter is impregnated with spirit," and that the problem of health and disease had to address itself to the unity of body and soul.

This insight and the great moral question of whether the end justifies the means animates the debate of Anti- vivisectionists.  Religion and morality are the cornerstones of their argument.  Elizabeth Blackwell wrote: 'Methods run with the manners and customs of the ages.  In Science there is no one method that can be considered indispensable.  Attributes are indispensable, observation, industry, accuracy are indispensable, methods are not.  They may be convenient, they may be useful, they may be expedient, but nothing m ore." And elsewhere: "...what we can do, is not a measure of what we ought to do."

Born in 1821 in England, one of twelve children in a Dissenter family which came to the United States when she was eleven, Blackwell was raised mainly in Cincinnati and was the first woman in modern times to graduate with a degree in medicine.  She attended Geneva Medical School in upstate New York, where she was frequently taunted by children in the street as a freak of nature.  As a practising physician, she was among the first to accept Semmelwels' teaching that doctors themselves were spreading puerperal fever, and in a long life of delivering babies she lost only one woman to this disease.  She shared with her friend Florence Nightingale a passionate commitment to health as hygeia, to prevention rather than cure, to clean air, clean sheets, clean rooms and clean water, and to sanitation and hygiene.  In 1871 she formed the National Health Society in England, stressing preventive medicine, sanitation and public health.  In 1866 she initiated a program of visiting homes to instruct poor women in hygiene, which became the "forerunner of the vast network of district nurses, social workers, public health workers, and a host of other such functionaries,'[18] and she trained Rebecca Cole, the first Black female doctor, in this work.

In 1868 she established The Woman's Medical College and New York Infirmary.  It was the first medical college to establish a chair of hygiene, and it gave instruction In the "sanitary investigation of air, water, and soil, ventilation and heating, the study of food and clothing, sterilization and disinfectant, disposal of sewage, climatology, sanitary relation of habitations to soil drainage, and general household hygiene.[19] If all this sounds modern, it came from a woman who regarded medicine as "spiritual matemalism," who believed that genuine science was rooted in conscience, in distinction to what she called "unguided intellectual activity or curiosity." Almost her first act as a doctor was to establish a free dispensary in New York slums.

She wrote a book on the sexual education of children, which she was forced to publish herself, and other books on such subjects as How To Keep a Household in Health, The Religion of Health, Medicine a Morality, The Human Element in Sex
and Scientific Method in Biology, deploring animal research and its effects on students: "The student becomes familiar with the use of gags, straps, screws, and all the paraphernalia of ingenious instruments intended for overpowering the resistance of the living creature .... He learns also how easy it is to experiment in secret." [20]

In 1859 she was the first woman doctor to be entered in the British Medical Registry.  In 1875 she was given the chair of gynecology in the New Hospital and London School of Medicine for Women.  During the Civil War her dispensary was almost burned down twice and she herself escaped a pro-slavery lynching mob by the good fortune of someone recognizing her as the woman who was a doctor for the poor.

She did not take an active role in the Anti-vivisection crusade, but her entire career as a doctor contrasted with the growing industry of animal research, and she wrote In her multi-volume work, Medicine and Society in America: Essays in Medical Sociology, that "The subject of experimentation upon the lower animals, having two aspects--an ethical and an intellectual one .... It must be recognized that the people are absolutely in their right in refusing to submit to dictation in what concerns their relation to animal life, of which they are the responsible head."[21]

She counted among her friends and supporters Horace Greeley, founder of The New York Tribune, Henry Raymond, founder of The New York Times, the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, William Henry Channing, Florence Nightingale and Charles Kingsley.

These are the women, among others, who were called "anti-human," "anti-intellectual," "obscurantists," and "sentimentalists," as Anti-vivisectionists are still labelled.  The language of the animal research community, formulated in nineteenth century misogyny, continues this diatribe.

Descartes' determination to render life measurable, quantifiable, to suppress intimations of vitalism or soul gave science its epistemological foundation, but it created what Theodore Roszak has called "Cartesian apartheid,"[22] where 'styles of knowing" are estranged from each other.  Knowledge is opposed to wisdom, truth becomes only scientific truth, progress becomes only scientific progress, reason is opposed to sentiment, science is opposed to morality and becomes indif f erent to moral arguments.  A methodology, an intellectual tool claimed to be the established order of things, the only way of knowing.  As.jacques Maritain observed, "Henceforth, between reason and mystery, between science and faith, the antinomy is inevitable."[23] And henceforth, in the nomenclature of the nineteenth century, all who opposed animal research were regarded as backward, irrational, sentimental--in a word, "womanly." The intellectual edifice identified itself as masculine, science as masculine, logic and rationalism as masculine activities, and the medical profession cast vivisection as the apex of the scientific esprit de corps.

When Anna Kingsford presented herself at the College de Medecine as an applicant for the medical degree, one professor remarked that he supposed that now that a woman was going to medical school "we would have to allow sentiment." Her response, given later in an article, was "They speak sneeringly of 'sentiment.' The outcry against vivisection is mere 'sentiment.' Why, in God's name, what is so great, so noble as human sentiment!  What is religion, what is morality, but sentiment?"

Little has changed in the criticism by the Animal Research community of Anti-vivisectionists.  Though so radical a doctrine as the beast-machine could not be advanced without calling into quest ion cardinal religious principles, such as the nature of God, of creation, of the soul, and of teleology, physiologists drew then, and still do, their arsenal of contempt for Anti-vivisectionists from the Womads Movement which, in the ninetenth century, crossed the path of the Anti-vivisection movement with historic force.


1. Leonora Cohen Rosenfield, From Beast-Machine to Man-machine: Animal Soul in French Letters from Descartes to La Mettrie, Oxford University Press, 1941, p.163.

2. Ibid., p.112-113.

3. E Westacott, A Century of Vivisection and Anti-Vivisection, C. W. Daniel Company Ltd., 1949, p.24.

4. Ibid., p.170-171.

5. Sexual Science: The Victorian Construction of Womanhood, Harvard University Press, 1989, p.297.

6. Ibid., p.190.

7. The Life of Frances Power Cobbe By Herself.... Houghton-Mifflin, 1894, p. 556.

8. F. Westacott, p.24.

9. The Life Of Frances Power Cobbe By Herself, p.554.

10. John Vyvyan, In Pity and In Anger, Micah Publications, 1988, p.77.

11. F. Westacott, p.31.

12. Ibid., p.189.

13. John Vyvyan, The Dark Face of Science, Micah Publications, 1989, p. 31-32.

14. Ibid., p.57-58.

15. F. Westacott, p.195.

16. In Pity and Anger, p. 138.

17. Ibid., p. 153.

18. Dorothy Clarke Wilson, Lone Woman: The Biography of Elizabeth Blackwell, Little Brown & Co., 1970, p. 405.

19. Ibid., p.415-416.

20. Elizabeth Blackwell, Medicine and Society In America: Essays in Medical Sociology, Arno Press, 1972, p. 112.

21. Ibid, p.103.

22. 'The Monster and The Titan: Science, Knowledge, and Gnosis." Science and Its Public: The Changing Relationship, Daedalus, Summer, 1974, p.22.

23. Jacques Maritain, The Dream of Descartes, tr. Mabelle L Andison, Kennikat Press, 1944, p.80.

A Political History of Animal Research

At the beginning of this century, opposition to vivisection included almost every literary figure of the day, eminent clergymen, much of the aristocracy of Europe who made common cause with working class people in their opposition, and a considerable number of people in the medical world as well.  On May 16, 1907, over a thousand people attended a public debate in London on the question of vivisection and the crowd, as well as much of the press, was overwhelmingly opposed to it.  In 1909, according to John Vyvyan, the World Congress of the Anti-vivisection Movement "received the support of the whole Parliamentary Labour Party' in England and, in 1929, when the Labor Government took office, almost the entire cabinet were known to be opposed to vivisection.

How then had the biomedical community succeeded in overcoming such opposition to vivisection, and in persuading this diverse public to accept a practice it found repugnant?  It is this question which pervades Vyvyan's two studies% In Pity and In Anger, and The Dark Face of Science, which trace the rise of vivisection and the genesis of the Anti-vivisection movement which opposed this practice.

Vyvyan, who was both a Shakespearean scholar, a man of letters and a lover of science--he had begun his professional life as an archeologist and had worked with Sir Flinders Petrie in the Middle East--was a pragmatic visionary.  His opposition to vivisection was unwavering, but his probing questions were: 'By whom are governments informed?" and "To whom do governments listen?' How may the process of advise and consent be utilized by the Anti-vivisection Movement, for it was his belief that it was the movement's failure to embed itself into the political process, which partially accounted for its loss as a public force.  If there is a hero in the Anti-vivisection Movement who speaks for Vyvyan it is the Honorable Stephen T. Coleridge, great, great nephew of the poet, grandson of a judge, and son of the Lord Chief Justice of England, who referred to Ms Anti-vivisection posture as "the precious legacy of four generations." As Honorar-y Secretary of the National Anti-vivisection Movement from 1897 to 1936, Coleridge developed the policy of "gradualism' in attacking vivisection, but more importantly he uncovered the information conduits that went from the medical community to the office of the Home Secretary, and dr-ew aside the official curtains that shrouded that process.  The medical profession had learned how to become a "silent lobby,' which had captured the ear of the Home Office in Britain.  The Association for the Advancement of Medical Research offered the Home Office its services in reporting upon applications for vivisectors, and had acquired a semi-official status in the Home Office, monopolizing the decision-making process.  From 1883 on, animal resear-ch in Great Britain accelerated at a great rate.  As R.D. French comments, the medical community early on exploited "the claims of unique expertise,"[1] which suited the deferential attitude of politicians towards those in the sciences.

The opposition to the Anti-vivisection movement was busy on several fronts, not only in Whitehall.  The improvement of the "image" of vivisection began with the replacement of the word, 'vivisection," which was the term coined by the vivisectors themselves, and pr-ecise in its reference to the cutting up of living animals, what Claude Bernard called, "decomposer la m achine viviante,l the "dismantling of the living machine," the 'principle of progressive mutilation to every organ."[21 The concept which was substituted for the publically hated word was "biomedical research, which sounded modem and progressive, and shrouded the "dismantling" process of the living organism.

But further steps were required.  The public had to be persuaded of the usefulness and respectability of vivisection, neither of which were apparent to the public.  In 1905, The International Medical Association was founded as an allied organization of the Anti-vivisection Council.  Its membership was oc)mposed of hundreds of medical men and women from Britain, France and Germany, who formed the association to proclaim the uselessness of vivisection to medical progress, and "to encourage biological research unconnected with vivisection and all scientific from the taint ... of a painful and violating kind."'[3] Michael Foster, who was himself a physiologist or vivisector, could name as specific benefits of vivisection only the 'scientific ligatures,' and Bernard's own work on the glycogenic function of the liver (although diabetes remained tmtreatable for another fifty years.)"[4] Anim al research was promoted during most of the nineteenth century because of the desire of medicine to identify itself with the presumed epistemological superiority of the research method.  As Nicholas Rupke points out in Vivi.5ection In Historical Perspective[5], 'The importance attached to experimentation as a defining fea tu re of proper science m eant that anim al experimentation could be used as a legitimising factor for the professional and social ambitions of certain scientists.  France and Germany led the way." The national contexts of the development of vivisection added a com pet it ive drive to the argument in England that France and Germany would outstrip England in medical progress and that the best medical brains would go abroad to practise if England did not permit vivisection in the medical schools.  When the German scientist, Virchow, "...boasted that Germany had won the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, in part because of German medical science,"[6], another important argument, albeit non-medical, was added to the zeal for animal research.  While vivisection began in France, by the end of the nineteenth century, it was the "German model,' which set the pace for anim al experimentation.  Rupke states that "experimentation had been raised almost to the level of a fetish among the elite of French scientists at the Acadgmie des sciences,"[7] but the German achievements in the application of mechanical, electrical and chemical methods to physiological techniques "soon found their way to laboratories around the world.'[81 With the advent of bacteriology and the germ theory of disease, vivisection appeared to have acquired a medical (as opposed to philosophical) purpose, though even here the usefulness of animal research to fighting infectious diseases was debated by the Sanitary Reformers who argued as Rene' Du Bos and others have, that disease is related to a myriad of environmental and social factors.  While the Anti-vivisection movement, as well as homeopathy, made great strides in Germany, it was never possible to pass an effective Anti-vivisection law there.  Animal research gave medicine the status and appearance of a science.

The claim by scientists that vivisection produces useful results is undoubtedly true, but to say that this has been the motivation for pursuing vivisectional research is at best a half truth.  To the physiologists and to many other biomedical scientists, vivisection meant the experimental legitimation of their career am bit ioris and social aspirations.[9]
Elsewhere, doctors like Henry Bigelow, the famous surgeon in the Cardiac Division of the Medical School at Harvard, Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the nineteenth century to obtain a medical degree, and Albert Leffingwell were passionate critics of vivisection.  Dr. Leffingwell, who had written four books on "fbe Vivisection Controversy,' believed the problem made the utmost ethical claim upon the conscience of the world.  Yet he realized that, in his lifetime, vivisection had undergone a profound change in the public's mind, and wrote: "One may question whether any similar change of sentiment in a direction contrary to reform has ever appeared since Civilization began."[10] How had it happened?

The vivisection community used four weapons to reverse the tide of public sentiment.  In 1906, the Research Defense Society was founded by Stephen Paget, to 'make known the immense importance of such experiments to the welfare of mankind, and the great saving of human and animal life and health, which is already due them." The savior role was discovered for vivisection.  Added to this was the conviction that vivisection would henceforth be conducted in secrecy, that the public would be taught trust in the medical society as an inviolable pledge, and the unabashed em ploym ent of propaganda, outrageous but successful, because it drew on the current fears of the populace at the time: the Women's Movement and the rise of Mar-xism.
Stephen Paget cleverly disunited the broad class structure from which Anti-vivisection drew its support in the last decades of the nineteenth century.  The cause was a popular one with working class and unemployed people, the disenfranchised, and the politically powerless who had been preyed upon by the 'experimenters," as charity patients and orphans in public institutions.[11] Much evidence of this kind came to light during the Second Royal Commission Into Vivisection, '%..conducting of dangerous experiments purely for practice, and the innoculation with contagious diseases of young children and pregnant women..." in "free hospitals" and "charity hospitals.'[12] Anti-vivisection demonstrations in Trafalgar Square and elsewhere attracted large numbers of working class people.  Stephen Paget accused the Anti-vivisection movement of appealing to class hatred, of 'arousing the masses," and of similar demagoguery --- in spite of the fact that the membership of the movement read like a 'Who!s Who' of the aristocracy of Europe: Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon, the Duchess of Seville, the Marchioness of DonegaII, Princess Ghica of Rumania, the Duchess of Hamilton being a f ew of the titles at a single reception.  Nevertheless, Stephen Paget succeeded in an extraordinary reversal of public sentiment.  On July 9, 1909, he wrote a letter to The Times, asserting that 'it was now evident that the Anti-vivisection movement had lost its hold over educated minds, and had consequently resorted to the infamous expedient of appealing to the masses.' This view of Anti-vivisection as 'uneducated,' "hostile to modernity,' and 'hysterical,' took root.

The Dark Face of Science chronicles the decline of the Anti-vivisection -n)ovement as a public force, though it represented the greatest gathering of human beings ever to assemble on the scene of history, to fight disinterestedly on behalf of creatures from whom one could expect no rewards of status, money, power, or office.  It was thus Vyvyaes concern that those in the movement understand that passion and convictions are not substitutes for strategy.  The movement requires many kinds of talents and skills, not least of all legal skills, and a knowledge of how governments and propaganda work.  It was Stephen Coleridge's discovery that the Home Secretary had been steadily "lobbied' by those in the medical community who were pro-vivisection, which had been decisive for the change in Parliament.  Crucial battles were lost because of the failure to understand the political process, and in the meantime the argument that vivisection was not only necessary but respectable gained its foothold in the public mind, protected by the weapon of secrecy which the vivisectors now insisted upon.  Aided by this impenetrability into its practices which has fostered an increasingly uninformed public, subject to no public discussion or criticism, considering itself outside the law, abuse in the field of biomedical research is so rampant as to be now beyond the public's imagination.  As Thomas Kuhn observed in The Structure of Scientific RevolutiLonsscient if ic communities enjoy 'unparalleled insulation ... from the demands of laity and of everyday life,"[13]and peer review is often a claustrophic procedure:

If the supply of research cannot simply be allowed to follow the ephemeral demand, it seems also that we can no longer take the word of the scientists on the job.  Their evaluation of the importance of their own research must also be unreliable, for they must support their own needs, even in the most ideal situation they can look only at neighboring parts of the research front, for it is not their own business to see the whole picture. [14]
How have science, in general, and vivisection in particular, been able to persuade the public that the ordinary modes of inquiry into its operations and the ordinary standards of judgment of behavior do not apply to their activities?  'Let the public trust the scientists and trust them fully." The remark was made by ti former president of the British Medical Association in 1927 in an attack on Anti-vivisectionists.  Reverence for doctors, though it has had its "ups and downs" is an ancient piety.  In modem times, trust is given more freely to them than to any other profession, including clergy.  One by one the strands of trust, secrecy, assum ed learnedness, and respectability, were woven together, and absolute power and decision-making was granted to the vivisectionists as an extension of the trust the public felt for the medical community.  Shaw's demand that "the pursuit of knowledge should be subject to the same civilized morality and legality as any other activity," was ignored.

The problem of secrecy in science is sufficiently pervasive now so as to be regarded as a threat to the democratic process.  As Sissela Bok notes:

... a re-examination would have to consider that secrecy in science has become a vast network of practices enveloping many millions of scientists around the world .... It is hard even to understand the full scope and impact of the shift in research directions that has taken place in this century .... secrecy likewise insulates scientists from examining their own role, and from accountability to the public. [15]
The problem of  "no accountability to the public" has incalculable effects upon policies with respect to funding research projects.  In the United States, funding for animal research has been estimated to be from four to six billion dollars annually, which we give on trust to a research empire whose work is as secret as the Inquisitioes had been: unlimited and unrestricted authority, secret and secretive:
Of the vivisection of animals In England and America carried on in secret, the general public, even of the more intelligent class, has no more accurate information than two centuries ago it had of the methods of the Spanish Inquisition into the dungeons of Madrid or Seville.  How did it happen that an institution so execrated and so universally condemned to-day, managed for centuries, almost unchallenged, to exist?  Precisely as the closed laboratory manages to exist among us, because of the secrecy in which it was surrounded, and the general confidence which it claimed as its due.  Ref orm cannot make headway so long as the dungeon is dark and the laboratory is locked.  The strongest line of defence is the maintenance of ignorance, even though we have the curious anomaly, existing nowhere el se, of Science covering herself with darkness and hiding behind ignorance.[16]
One witness before the First Royal Commission Into Vivisection confessed that he could not bring himself to question the character of a research doctor and felt compelled to take his word for what he said.  Albert Leffingwell similarly commented that many doctors report themselves as being in favor of vivisection, when they have not the slightest idea of what occurs in a vivisection laboratory, but take their colleagues' word for it.  William James called it 'club opinion,' which permitted a vastly cruel institution of enormous proportions to exist upon the gullibility of the lay and professional public.

In the nineteenth century the world's interest was directed towards the infectious diseases: small pox, syphillis, cholera, bubonic plague.  Medical honor and the highest rewards a civilization can bestow went to those who could eliminate these distresses.  But the issue as to who should claim this honor has never been resolved.  Rival claims were and are made by the vivisectionists [17] and by those who know the history of public sanitation, which achieved notable development in the nineteenth century.  Burnet and White, in their book, The Natural History of Infectious Diseases, assert that sanitary habits, clean food, water, ai r, etc.  'the cult of personal cleanliness,' may be 'the best contribution the English-speaking peoples have made to humanity.'[ 181 How ironic that we now pollute these resources!  But the public's concern about environmental issues leads cnly to further assaults upon laboratory animals, not to changes that might eliminate the problem.  The cycle is: a hue and cry is raised about a chemical added to the environment, the chemical is tested on animals.  Though the testing procedure is often scientifically questionable and inconclusive, it continues for years, lawsuits are often initiated which also continue for years, while the final procedure of law enforcement is usually avoided.  Caught in this cycle of intransigence, corporate greed, public ignorance and public trust, are living creatures doomed to lives of unendurable pain in the basements of respectable institutions.

Insistence on vivisection has prevented the development of other more efficient and m ore economical (not to say more moral) avenues of approach to health care, such as paleontology, epidemiology, preventive medicine, and the use of alternatives such as computers, mathematical models, and robots, which are ultimately less costly to the public.  There is little, if any, effort from within the research community to avail itself of such altematives.[19] Contrary to the public's view of science as an "objective," "open-minded" enterprise, as Kuhn observes in his study, '...scientific training is not well designed to produce the man who will easily discover a fresh approach."[20]


There are accumulating problems throughout the whole of the scientific enterprise, which converge on the practice of vivisection.  In another precisely reasoned book Little Science, Big Science, (which every legislator who is responsible for f unding research should read), Derek de Sola Price demonstrates that "mediocre" science develops exponentially with respect to "superior" science; consequently society pays more and more for less and less "quality" science.  Science is, as he says in Science Since Babylon, "a saturated activity." [21] So also is animal research.  A very small percent of vivisection, less than 10%, has been of any use for medical research.

But rather than reform, the biological research community is now mounting another attack of propaganda.  They are prevented currently by the Women's Movement from singling out "misguided and hysterial" women ('little old women in sneakers" was the popular phrase) as the cause of opposition.  The fancier, current phrases of at t ack are "anti-intellectual, ant iscient if ic, ant ihum an obscurantism."[22] It is difficult to know whom they mean by these labels.  George Bernard Shaw?  Victor Hugo?  John Ruskin?  C.S. Lewis?  John Galsworthy?  Thomas Carlyle?  Robert Browning?  Lewis Carroll?  Samuel Johnson?  Mark Twain?  Cardinal Manning? to name a few of the "anti-intellectuals" who have opposed vivisection.  Perhaps they mean Albert Einstein as the "anti-scientific" representative who lamented vivisection, or perhaps Dr. Henry Bigelow, or Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, or Dr. Albert Leffingwell, or Albert Schweitzer, or Drs.  Dallas Pratt, Robert Mendelsohn and Robert Gesell (to name but a few medical practitioners critical of vivisection) as "anti-scientific" doctors; or do they mean Mahatma Gandhi, who described vivisection as "the blackest crime practised by human beings," as an example of antihuman obscurantism."

Does the biological community always do its research with such disregard for reality?

When Stephen Coleridge accepted the post of Honorary Secretary of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, he declared that the cause he served itrepresented the consensus of opinion of almost all the greatest names in English thought,' and he was correct.  Those who have opposed vivisection have been among this century's spiritual and intellectual mentors in every country.

How then explain the grotesque proliferation of grotesque practices?  The explanation lies in a disturbing current in our civilization.

"A new vice," Frances Power Cobbe had called vivisection, something unprecedented, and Vyvyan regarded the vivisector as a "new type of human," akin to what Elias Canetti has called "the armed intellectual," a formidable combination of secrecy, intellectual respectability and brutality.  The poet, John Powys, likened this combination to that found in the Inquisitor and saw vivisection as the third stage in three stages of sadism: torture for the sake of the soul (the Inquisition), torture for the sake of erotic pleasure (Sadean), and torture for the sake of knowledge (vivisection).  Vyvyan saw the issue of vivisection as one related to the rise of pathological violence in the modern world and to the conscience-less human experiments in the concentration camps of the Second World War.  'Psychopathic aggression has become the characteristic social sickness of our time, and the spectacular increase in the ill use of animals in science--an increase throughout the world from some thousands annually to uncounted millions--is one aspect of this complex evil.' Indeed, he asks, is it to be imagined that thousands of medical and biology students around the globe, deliberately inured to the distress of animals and in fact taught how to produce this distress, to produce pain without parallel in conscious creatures, should not be found wanting as human beings.  Among the saddest pages in The Dark Face of Science are those which recount the testimony given by students at the United States' Congressional Hearings Into Vivisection Practises in 1962:

Trying to produce convulsions in dogs is terrible. I know they wouldn't let you see that, though. Shock experiments, removal of organs, blocking intestines, or the urine outlet so that the bladder ruptures, are only run of the mill ... you'd be surprised to hear what the professors and some students can think up.

At night I think about the dogs.  Sometimes I have to walk away.  I feel so sick about the dogs.

I attended Chicago Medical School last September.  I withdrew of my own accord...One of the conditions which led to my contempt towards this school was the cruel treatment which was given to the experimental animals.

I am a student studying veterinary medicine.  I was. never and am not now in the employ of any hum ane society...'Mis is a cry and a plea from a young person still holding on to a few ideals I have grown up to believe in--and I am beginning to wonder if there is any real humane goodness among humans.  I am not a sentimentalist, a crusader, or a fanatic, but I cannot, under my code or way of human life, condone what I, in a few short years, have seen.

The situation since 1962 has worsened: "... the standards of acceptance of our most illustrious scientific institutions," Vyvyan wrote, "have remained at the level of hanging, drawing, and quartering," and its effects have radiated everywhere.  The "healer-killer" doctor, as Lifton terms the condition, has his origins in the vivisection laboratory.

In his chapter, "The Explosion," Vyvyan traces the deeds of human experimentation in the concentration camps, which struck the modern world with horror, to this background in animal experimentation.  To the question that has been posed since the end of this period, 'How were such incredible deeds done?' Vyvyan asks, "But to whom were they incredible?" The practice of human experimentation in the nineteenth century was on the agenda of experimental medicine.[23] Lord Lister who acknowledged, 'A serious thing to experiment on the lives of our fellow-men, but I believe the time has now come when it may be tried," [24] was shortly disgusted at the inroads which the idea of human experimentation had m ade in the popular imagination--no longer unthinkable or unusual.  He wrote home from the war front in the First World War of "a physiologist who wanted to come up with me so as to get at Bochs who had just been killed, cut out bits of their central nervous system, with a view to the effects of a prolonged bombardment on the nervous system."[25] Where were the outcries against such audacity?  Against the coming horror?  Where was the safety net?  The Anti-vivisectionists made statements which bear the impress of prophetic clarity.  About vivisection, Shaw said: 'It will land you in horrors of which you have no conception.' Edward Maitland lamented that 'the moral loss entailed is beyond compensation.' Vyvyan warned, "Knowledge that is acquired by satanic methods--and cruelty is satanic--is only too likely to find diabolical applications, and in that case, we already know too much." The Swedish philosopher, Adolph Leonard Nordvall, labelled vivisectors, the "terrorists' of physiology and called upon Sweden to pass an Anti-vivisection law and save "science from dishonour and mankind from barbarism..."[26]

Yet, the most desperate propaganda being currently espoused by the biological research community is an effort to link Anti-vivisectioinists with the Nazi movement.  The argument is brazen and simplistic: that the Nazis passed a law in 1933 abolishing vivisection because they pref erred to experiment on human beings.  The inference is that those who advocate protection for animals are indifferent to the fate of human beings--a variant on the "antihuman obscurantism" attack, and the "us or them" argument (your dog or your baby).  The Nazis, however, did not pass a law abolishing vivisection.  The prestigious English medical journal, The Lancet compared the Nazi law of 1933 with the English law of 1876, pointing to the ineffectiveness of both.  Both laws were strategies to appease public sentiment and merely stipulated pallid restrictions with enough loopholes to evade the restrictions.  It is, in fact, the failure of such laws which strengthens the arguments of abolitionists.  The Earl of Shaftesbury, after the passage of the 1876 law, conceded to Frances Power Cobbe, as she had always maintained, that "vivisection, in principle, could not be regulated.' So, too, the Nazi law of 1933 allowed vivisection to continue.  Much research on human beings in the concentration camps were follow-up experiments initiated on anim a Is, while other experiments were conducted simultaneously on animals and on human beings.

To the question, 'Us or Them?" 'Your Child or Your Dog?' 'The Baby or The Baboon?" the veiled but horrific answer from the Biological Research Community has often enough been "Both."

There are now several volumes on the subject of human experimentation, compiled or written in the post Nazi era.  In Experimentation With Human Subjects, edited by Paul A. Freund, [27] the eminent philosopher, Hans Jonas, formulated       guidelines concerning this subject, which have a cogent relevancy to experimentation on all creatures.  He argues that human experimentation, far from using the "expendable and disenfranchised population" in a society, should use the elite of the society, in fact the scientists themselves, in order 'to preserve the purity of the experiment,' and to ensure the utmost clarification and communicability of it.  "Identificationft should be the principle of recruitment.  "Let us note," he says, "that this is the opposite of a social utility standard, the reverse of the order of availability and expendability...." And concludes that "the inflexible principle of civilization is that 'utter helplessness demands utter protection."

It is a matter of moral urgency that we question the practice of hum an and non-hum an experimentation--the basis of modern medicine.  It is a strange religious notion which preaches that a female dog in labor may have its birth canal blocked and kept in labor until it bursts with gangrene because human beings were made in the image of God.  To assert this is to forsake moral coherence.  Hans Jonas has warned, "'Let us not forget that progress is an optional goal, not an unconditional commitment, and that its tempo in particular, compulsive as it may become, has nothing sacred about it."

It is already late.  Those who fought vivisection on moral or religious grounds, on grounds of "dogmatic humanitarianism, to as- Shaw called it, had the prophetic arguments.


I. R.D. French, Antivivisection in Medical Science in Victorian England, Princeton University, 1915, p. 217

2. Vyvyan, In Pity and In Anger, Micah Publications, 1988 p.98.

3. E. Westacott.  A Centur of Vivisection and Anti-Vivisection, England, 1949,  p. 195.

4. French, p.125.

5. The Wellcome Institute, Rutledge, Chapman & Hall, 1987, p.6.

6. Ibid., p.7.

7. Ibid., p.73.

8. Ibid., p.126.

9. Rupke, p. 9.

10. An Ethical Problem, New York, 1916, p.6.

11. see Coral Lansbury, The Old Brown Dog.  Women, Workers, and Vivisection In Edwardian England, University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.

12. F. Westacott, p.261.

13. Chicago, 1970, pgs.164-167.

14. Derek de Sola Price, Science Since Babylon, Yale University Press, 1961, p.123.

15. Sissela Bok, Secrets, Pantheon Press, p.169-170.

16. Leffingwell, An Ethical Problem, p.203-204.

17. see Dr. Albert Leffingwell, 'Unfair Methods of Controversy,' .6a Ethical Problem, p.228-253. 18. p. 106.

19. see Dr. Dallas Pratt, Alternatives to Pain In Experiments on Animals, Argus Archives, l980, and Sydney Gendin, "The Use of Animals In Science,' Animal Sacrifices: Religious Perspectives on the Uses of Animals In ScLence, Temple University, 1986.

20. Ibid., p.166.

21. Ibid., p.117.

22. see letter frorn Berkeley CamPus group, AFA&AR. in Science, vol 241, July 1, 1988.

23. see An Ethical Problem .1. p.299 ff.

24. Westacott, p.236.

25. Coral Lansbury, The Old Brown Dog, p.188.

26. Rupke, p.222-228.

27. Braziller, 1969-1970.

Metaphors of Nature: Vivisection and Pornography -- The Manichean Machine

The body has a sense of honor as well as the soul
-- Thomas Mann

Metaphors about nature are mirrors which reflect the human disposition in its relation to mysteries about the cosmos, reflections about human sexuality and the human presence in the universe.  Our attitude towards nature is the building block of our religions, often of our philosophies, and a determinant of social behavior.  Such phrases as 'dog eat dog,' 'survival of the fittest,' 'mother nature,' "the horn of plenty,' "the womb of nature," reveal a spectrum of attitudes and philosophic positions, embracing the gnostic distrust of matter as essentially evil, the ambivalence of dualistic systems which separate matter from spirit in a hierarchical arrangement, and the view as expressed in Genesig, of nature as beneficent and good.

The origins of gnosticism are obscure, though in the main traceable to Persian cults of Manichee, Zoroaster and Mazdha.  Judaism expunged dualistic traditions, which contravened the view expressed in Genesis that the creation of matter, earth, and nature "were good," and were blessed by God.  Christianity syncretized these opposing views of nature,, creating a realm of superior value for the spirit or soul, and leaving unresolved an attitude towards matter as "a necessary evil,' to be tolerated for the sake of the soul's journey, to be purified or made acceptable by the labor of the soul or by an asceticism as expressed by Thom as Aquinas' apotheosis of virginity as 'that state closest to the angels."

A third tributary to notions about the self, and its relation to nature, was contributed by the Greek chstrust of emotion, particularly sexual emotion, the view of orgasm as a form of madness, and the value of mastery and control of one's emotional life, as ripened into the Stoic philosophies.  The reverence for virginity in Christianity was derived from the Greek world view, this value symbolized by the Parthenon Temple.

The most recurring model of nature in western thought is that of a predatory hierarchy.  On this model Aristotle justified slavery, the presumption of the powerful over the weak, and even the hunting of weaker individuals by stronger individuals.  It is from this model that human beings derive their justification for hunting, and that philosophies which see the human world as divided between the powerful and the weak receive their rationalization.  The Marquis de Sade regarded nature "as a cruel mother,' crime as natural, and himself as a "natural man," though there are no analogues in nature for his sexual practices.

It is into this frame, necessarily compressed in this paper, that the mechanistic view of nature was bom,l Descartes and Newton contributing the most prominent reference points on the new metaphorical map of nature as a machine, which transformed gnostic views of nature for scientific purposes.  The value of mastery of the self, particularly of one!s sexual nature, the distrust of em ot ions, gained unprecedented significance under the provenance of this metaphor of the world as machine.  Involuntary behavior, such as blushing, sneezing, and particularly penile erection, was suspected as evidence of the vitalism post-Newtonian scientists sought to dispel.  Thus, penile erection was a central motif in the debate over free will and imagination.  The Dutch
physician and chemist, Hermann Boerhaave (1668-1738) wrote: "Here a fascinating special case arises to challenge both mechanists and vitalists, both believers in predestination and upholders of free will.' And further, 'The mysteries of erection and impotence thus provide a focal point for the controversy ... on the source of movement in the mimal body.'[1] We have here the origins of the fear of impotence and the hardened mask of masculinity of the nineteenth century.

In The Bourgeois Experience: Education Of The Senses, Peter Gay laments that 'the persistent panic Fin-the' nineteenth century] over masturbation is far easier to docum ent than to explain." [2] The explanation lies in the growing pervasiveness of the machine as metaphor for nature.

As this view was pressed with greater persistence and technological reward, the endeavor to repress human sexuality (as the subversive mark of vitalism) increased with vitriolic force, so that by the 19th century boys and girls fell victim to an hysteria about masturbation which Gay has described as 'a half century of terrorism." Young girls were put into strait jackets to prevent their straying hands from reaching "their private parts," and if this failed, were sometimes subjected to clitoral castration. Boys were outfitted with metal corsets around their penises, some with bells to warn their parents of impending danger, others, more vindictively, were fitted with spikes.

In England, the attack on masturbation was symptomatic of a profound distrust of sex, and as the ungovernable betrayal of the machine.

Heavily overdetermined, it was a cultural symptom laden with baffling meanings that reached across nineteenth-century society and down into the buried unconscious core of its most troubling preoccupation .... To masturbate--so ran the theory--is to expend I energy....The 'fabric of our machine is so constituted that essential body humors like milk or blood need to be continually restored....The terroristic prophecies, the ingenious mechanical devices and barbarous operations inflicted on masturbators, look almost like acts of revenge.[3]
If much of this activity looked like 'revenge' to Peter Gay, a good deal more of it, as practised in the overwhelming numbers of ovariotomy, looked like speci fic revenge against women to Elizabeth Blackwell, one of the century's first women doctors.  She described this operation as castration and estimated that in 1896, there were "500,000 castrated women in France and one in every 250 women throughout Furope.'[4]

'Me 19th century saw the rise in status of the medical profession, and the beginning of what became an abnorm al relationship between women and doctors.[5] Crucially for women, the development of gynecology and the creation of birth control methods transformed the century's view of woman, and the metaphorical relationship of nature and woman.  One final quotation is needed from Peter Gay's study of masturbation in this century, which also saw the rise of vivisection and pornography as expressions of similar views as he here describes:

What made physicians, in company with their pat ients, so apprehensive about masturbation in the nineteenth century was that it seemed a pointless and prodigal waste of lim ited and valuable resources leading, figuratively and often literally, to impotence.  It constituted a loss of mastery over the world and oneself.  The campaign to eradicate self-abuse was a response to that danger: a way of conserving strength and maintaining control, both highly cherished and maddeningly elusive goals in the nineteenth century.[6]
Sexual intercourse was charged with metaphors of money, to have an orgasm was described as "to spend." Whether energy or money, the driving concept is a utilitarian rationalism, the subliminal metaphor of the body is that of an efficient machine which wastes nothing and whose purpose it is to produce something.  The machine model was built on the theological just if icat ion of sex in the maintenance of the human race and transformed a theological concept into a scientific model.

The 19th century, heir to such persistent traditions, now combined in this century with scientific rationalism, saw the evolution of images regarding woman undergo a transformation from that of "household nun" at the beginning of the century to that of the female vampire who drains man of his vitality, the 'vagina dentata," of the male nightmare, the woman whose sexuality is destructive and emasculating.  Bram Dijkstra claims there was a virtual epidemic of clitoridectomy as a "cure for 'hyperaesthesia' in middle class white women.[7] The creation of effective birth control methods, far from liberating man's sexual relationship to woman in the 19th century, threatened it.  Birth control gave women sovereignty over their reproductive lives and destroyed the rationalization of sexual utility.  By implication, it gave women sexual rights equal to men.  It also threatened basic models both men and women held about nature, and which men held about their sexual authority.  Crucially, it threatened the model of sexuality as solely for the purpose of reproduction.  Tolstoy's comment in What 'Men Must We Do? spoke for his age: "Every woman, however she may call herself and however refined she may be, who refrains from child-birth without refraining from sexual relations, is a whore."[8] As the view of woman as castrating witch predominated in the last third of the 19th century, her identification with animals and "...the pervasive myth of the animal-woman'[9] likewise took root as a metaphor for the atavistic impulses believed to lurk beneath the surface of society.  'Man's fear of woman,' Gay writes, "is as old as time."[10] But its increasingly malevolent expression in the literature and art of the Victorian era, and in the growth of sadistic pornography, was new.  " century depicted woman as vampire, as castrator, as killer, so consistently, so programmatically, and so markedly as the nineteenth." [11] Other views of woman in the 19th cen tu ry included her identification with nature, irrationality and, importantly for the identification of science with masculinity, woman as the source of sentiment and emotion, the loci of the subjectivity which science felt compelled to expunge from its practice.  The Lancet proclaimed in 1870 that "...the principal feature which raises the Caucasian race above all the others is the power of the male mind to make scientific discoveries."[12]

The medical profession, whose rise in the 19th century, Gay characterizes with irony, as a "flight from ignorance" to a "flight into knowledge," sought respectability as a science.  This century became decisive for the medical profession as it struggled for and won social and intellectual status.  The battleground was fought in the laboratories, littered with the debris of dead animals.

Descartes' dictum that animals are machines more somberly and fatefully augmented the mechanistic view of the world: a classical boundary, perhaps reaching into the pre-historic mental construct of the world, was erased with that fatal view of the animal world.  Animistic man could imagine that the non-organic was organic, but not before had the obviously organic been imagined as inorganic except by schizophrenic victims, nor the historic boundary between organic life and the inorganic defined in such a way as to reduce the sources of organic life.

This reduction, enunciated in the mouth of a brilliant mathematician with his dictum concerning animals, was not an example of a philosophical eccentricity, but the acceleration of a point of view.

Cruelty to animals has always existed, but it now had the approval of one of civilization's m ost esteemed classes.  It had an ideology of cruelty, governed by the criteria of scientific objectivity.  The legacy of vivisection was to produce a pattern of individual molded by what Susan Sontag has called "disciplined inhumanity," what Rabbi Reuben Slovin has called 'willful pitilessness,' what C.S. Lewis saw as "that hideous strength.' The scientist was a specialized hum an type, described in Bernard's memorable words: 'The physiologist is not an ordinary man: he is a scientist, possessed and absorbed by the scientific idea that he pursues.  He does not hear the cries of animals, he does not see their flowing blood, he sees nothing but his idea, and is aware of nothing but an organism that conceals from him the problem he is seeking to resolve.'

His description prophesied a new type of human, and vivisection initiated new patterns in crime, flung onto the stage of the modern world, for the first time, in the person of Jack the Ripper.  As Colin Wilson remarks: "One of the oddest aspects of the Ripper murders is that the Victorians did not recognize them as sex crimes (because nothing like it had happened before) .... it was not generally recognized as a series of sex crimes for a simple reason: the Ripper killings were the first case of sex crime in the sense, that we understand it today.'[13] Like pornography and vivisection, the "pathological," or "serial sex criminal' has a history, an origin, a path of development.  Nearly all crime in the past, even violent crime, had a motive explicable by
economic or political ambition, or by known psychological forces such as revenge.  The "motive-less," criminal, who is not actually insane, is new.  Dismemberment as a sexual act is a modern pathology.  However, the victims of Jack the Ripper were not crudely mutilated or "merely" dismembered; they were neatly and correctly vivisected, a fact which has led criminologists to suspect that the murderer was, if not a doctor, someone medically knowledgeable. [14]  His obsession with female
 dismemberment as  gynecological surgery was exercised in the neat excisions he made of t heir wombs and the removal of their ovaries; with dismemberment as human vivisection by the fact that he mailed organs of one victim to a hospital.

Colin Wilson interprets the Ripper murders as a symbolic response to psychic alienation brought on by the modem industrial world: a re-enactment of psychic mutilation.  Serialized mutilations of women may have this symbolic meaning today, but the origin of this criminal pattern lies in the conjunction of vivisection and the 19th century's obsession with gender and women.  Interest in female sexuality and the reproductive organs were at their height by the mid-19th century.  For the first time since men had speculated about women, female "innards" were revealed to them, and women!s ovaries were objects of immense interest, not to say masculine entertainment.  Sara Delamont and Loma Duffinl in their study, The Nineteenth Century Woman, state that there were doctors who had performed as many as 1500 ovarian operations and handed ovaries around at medical society meetings like trophies.[15] The medical and social atmosphere was saturated with the implications of the discovery       of the female reproductive system, and the most peculiar ideas were spun out of this discovery which had implications for the definition of femininity for more than a century, including the definition of " ... all specifically female functions as pathological.... Clitoridectomy was performed as a cure for the relief of dysuria or amenorrhoea, for epilepsy, for hysteria, for sterility and insanity,"[16] even though it could be observed that men suffered from many of these diseases too.  Fantasies about the reproductive cycle perm eat ed the social atmosphere, increased the obsession with woman as mother, gave rise to such strange notions that women should not undergo education during their reproductive years, and to an esthetic of femininity as languishing weakness, which imprisoned even the best female minds of the 19th century, such as Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  As Alexander Dundas Todd states,

Nineteenth-century medical views of woments physiology present a dreary picture indeed .... In 1866, Dr. Isaac Ray stated:"With women it is but a step from extreme nervous susceptibility to downright hysteria, and from that to overt insanity.  In the sexual evolution, in pregnancy, in the parturient period, in lactation, strange thoughts, extraordinary feelings, unseasonable appetites, criminal impulses, may haunt a mind at other times innocent and pure."[Ray 1866:267]

Surgical procedures were used as remedies for these disorders.  Wom en were first defined as deviant by their behavior and then in turn this deviance was attributed to their biology, requiring medical intervention.  The reproductive organs became the primary focus for this intervention, whether the problem was defined as physical, mental, or moral.  Removal of her uterus--"what she is in health, in character, in her charms, alike of body, mind and soul is because of her womb alon6"[Storer 1871:79]--came to be viewed as an acceptable procedure for treating psychological, sexual and physiological disorders. [17]

Of the two obsessions of Victorian science, still fracturing the twentieth century, race and gender, gender was the more disturbing issue for the Victorian.  The white male could ignore 'the lesser breed&" He could not ignore the woman in his bedroom, the source of his own sexual comfort and the bearer of his own progeny.  In the heated mixture which saw a steep rise in prostitution in the 19th century and a concommittant concern with venereal disease, the unveiling of the f em ale reproductive system, the continual debates over vivisection and female suffrage, it is not difficult to work out the pathological symbolism in the mind of the person who has come to be known as Jack the Ripper, and should be known as Jack the Vivisector, to give him his proper place in the history of his era.  We do not know, however, whether he intended his vivisection as punishment or cure for the prostitutes he murdered but, given the prevailing atmosphere regarding women and sex, it may have been the same thing to him.

A further transition in criminal behavior was observed by Orwell in his essay, 'Raffles and Miss Blandish:' "Since 1918 ... a detective story not containing a murder has been a great rarity, and the most disgusting details of dismemberment and exhumation are commonly exploited.' As an example, Orwell cited No Orchids for Miss Blandish, a popular 1939 novel, in which the main character, Slim, derives his sole pleasure in life 'in driving knives into other people!s bellies.  In childhood he had graduated by cutting up living animals with a pair of rusty scissors."[18] Predictably, Slim is impotent.  Nevertheless, he manages to rape Miss Blandish several times until she comes to enjoy it.  She is also flogged, another woman is tortured with cigarettes, and a gangster has an orgasm while being knifed.  'Ultimately only one motive is at work throughout the whole story: the pursuit of power,"[19] often involved with the themes of sexual impotence and female dismemberment or torture, a power which squeezes from the human scene everything else recognizable as human, even 'normal sexuality."

Underground erotica and prostitution are normal reactions against sexual repression, dismemberment and death are not.  Even libidinal energies can have rational social patterns.  Human behavior is often a symbolic enactment, but it is also learned and imitative.  Dismemberment, once learned, became a form of modern sexual crime.  'What gave the Ripper murders their special morbidity,' Wilson writes "...was the instinctive recognition that something strange was happening, that some basic change was being signalled .... Slowly, very slowly, the 19th century was creating a new type of man."[20] And a new type of aesthetics, one in which sadmasochistic pornography, in its assault against flesh and its need to degrade and obliterate it, becomes a sexual expression.  It is the objectification of sexuality, the rendering of self into a machine.

'Nature is weary of life,' the Marquis de Sade wrote, curiously separating the two.

The identification of women with animals in the 19th century was sometimes flattering, but most often sinister.  The identification of women with the cause of Anti-vivisection has profound roots both in the era and in her gender.  Coral Lansbury saw in women's identification with the vivisection of animals their own subjection at the hands of men, in reality End in the growing pornographic literature of the age: 'Lautenschlager's Trade Catalogues of Vivisectional Apparatus were the major source of equipment for physiologists, and they showed photographs and drawings of animals fixed to boards with straps and cords, together with an array of scalpels and ovens, vices and saws .... the anim al is extended, its legs outstretched like one of the riding master's victims, and it is bound by thin leather straps." Other trade catalogues for physicians and surgeons were replete with descriptions of the new gynecological operating chairs and tables, which also showed women strapped and bound.  The equipment and operating methods of vivisection and gynecology gave birth to a new lexicon in sexual imagery which entered the pornographic literature of the era. [21]

For Elizabeth Blackwell, female abhorrence of vivisection lay in her maternal instinct.  'The profound depth of maternity in women extends not only to the relations of marriage, but to all the weak or suffering wherever found." She shared with Claude Bernard an admiration for the ingenious nature of the animal and would have seconded his description of the animal:

It is as if there existed a pre-established design of each organism and of each organ such that ... it reveals a special bond and seems directed by some invisible guide in the path which it follows and toward the position which it occupies.

The simplest reflection reveals a primary quality, a quid proprium of the living being, in this pre-established organic harmony. [22]

Both also recognized the animal as a complicated, change-able, potentially unstable model because of its re-activeness.  The perceptions about animals which determined Blackwell to denounce vivisection, motivated Bernard to master his antipathy: "With the help of these active experimental sciences, man becomes an inventor of phenomena, a real foreman of creation, and under this head we cannot set limits to the power that he may gain over nature through future progress in the experimental sciences."[23]

Gaston Bachelard is, of course, correct when he writes that, "To know facts and to make things are needs that we can characterize in themselves without necessarily having to relate them to the will to power.  There is in man a veritable will to intellectuality.'[241 But he also knows that this will, in its pure form, is rare and most often mixed with "primitive dreams." "Even the scientist, when not practising his speciality, returns to the primitive scale of values.' The 'unconscious of the scientific mind," has been composed 'of the heterogeneous nature of certain concepts, and ... convictions that have been formed in the most varied fields."[25]

The 19th century trembled with male fear of impotence and over-valuation of masculine stoicism.  Anecdotes of the "fiasco" abounded.  Conversely, the identification of women with feeling and sentiment drew the suspicion and derision of vivisectors in the 19th century.  Recall Elie de Cyon's sneer, "Is it necessary to repeat that women--or rather, old maids--form the most numerous contingent of this group?  Let my adversaries contradict me, if they can show me among the leaders of the agitation one girl, rich, beautiful, and beloved, or some young wife, who had found in her home the full satisfaction of her affections.'[26]

Karl Stern, in Flight From Woman equates hatred of nature with hatred of the female, fear of nature with fear of the feminine and points out the etymological relationship between mater and material or mother and matter.  Knowledge, he believes, is expressed through two processes: one process is by abstract logic, the other he describes as "connatural'," or "with nature, " with another creature, exemplified pertinently by the child in the womb where two creatures know each other as one. [27] An epistemology is rooted in biology.  "The certainty of the flesh ... is the foundation of all certainty...." An idea, expressed as biological wisdom in Terrence Des Pres' book.The Survivor becomes, for this century the necessary ' thread Heading us          out of the moral debauchery of experimental science as practised in the concentration camps. It  is  this "biological wisdom," --"flesh"--"matter" which became, for Descartes, the reason for doubt. Matter is for him a Manichean evil, deceptive and illusory:

Descartes, the adult and philosopher, postulates to 'doubt sensible things because they have deceived us,' and it is in this connection noteworthy that in French the word decu has the double meaning of 'deceived' and 'disappointed.' The certainty of the flesh which is the foundation of all certainty had to be conjured away--because it was here where the terror and pain of abandonment lurked.[281
The combination of res cogito and the world as machine fueled by the gnostic aversion to nature and sex erupted into what Stern calls a "pubescent Manichaeism which pervades so much of the nineteenth century .... "

The modern explosion of sadistic pornography is sometimes attributed to the classical Christian view of human sexuality.  However, the eras of theological combat with sexuality in the Middle Ages witnessed the creation of courtly love, the elevation of woman, and the love songs of the troubadors, not sadistic pornography.  Debauchery has existed before as over-indulgence by over-pampered classes, lewdness, bawdiness as in Chaucer, discomfort with sexuality, embarrassment at God's folly (Erasmus), erotic wit as in The Decameron, erotic celebration as in The Song of. Songs, but nothing like the literature of the Marquis de Sade has existed before, nor the steady transformation of eros into thanatos.  Like Jack the Vivisector, the Marquis de Sade is an index of a modern mental construct.  Gnosticism is a contributing factor to this mentality, but not a causative one.  The difference in world view is, as Henry Adams described it, between the Virgin and the Dynamo--the first symbolizing a negativity towards sex, but embodying a life force in the image of the suffering mother, reaching into the layers of connatural knowledge,, the other, a machine, a symbol of power, unfleshed, unsuffering.

The triumph of total mastery, except for the institution of slavery and tortur-e dungeons, exists in few other places.  In the modern world, the vivisection laboratory is one place.  The world of pomocracy is another.  This word, created by Stephen Marcus in ' The Other Victorians describes the pornographic world of male fantasy, where women are totally compliant and resistance to the masculine will is unknown.  'Me paraphernalia for over-powering is often similar, if not in detail, then in effectual models for over-coming any form of anim al resistance.  There are also stereotaxic devices and rape racks for women.

De Sade believed that nature was vicious and exulted in crime, and that he received his obsessions from nature.  Nature knows no such models as De  Sade described, but the modern world, in its admiration for objective cognition, does. De Sade  was, at all times, even in the sexual act, the complete investigator, himself as object, objective, himself looking at himself as object looking at his partners as objects.  Flagellation was an expression of abhorrence, it was also a requirement for reification.  De Sade whipped and harried flesh as the only means available to him to verify its existence.

The male aggression of the Sadist hero is never softened by the usual transformation of the body into flesh. He never, for an instant, loses himself in his animal nature, he remains so lucid, so cerebral, that philosophic discourse, far from dampening his ardor, acts as an aphrodisiac.  We see how desire and pleasure explode in furious attacks upon this cold, tense body, proof against all enchantment.  They do not constitute a living experience within the framework of the subject's psychophysiological unity....

The curse which weighed upon Sade ... was this 'autism' which prevented him from ever forgetting himself or being genuinely aware of the reality of the other person .... Sade needed deviations to give to his sexuality a meaning which lurked in it without ever managing to achieve fulfillment, an escape from consciousness in his flesh, an understanding of the other person as consciousness through the flesh.[29]

This flesh-knowledge in sexual union is another form of connatural knowledge: the being with another creature.  Empathy was harried from the stage of western cognition, derided as f em ale, by the requirements of ideological cruelty and the dialectics of power and science.  "The will to intellectuality' was, as Bachelard would describe it, "impure at its source."[30]

In The Psychoanalysis of Fire he undertakes to psychoanalyze "objectivity," to examine the "unconscious of the scientific mind," a task which is far from quixotic.  'The human mind," he declares, "did not begin its development like a class in physics."[31] The human mind, even in the guise of objective scientist, is never free from primitive metaphors about life, force, power, sex, fertility.

There are now experiments concerning sadistic pornography in progress.  In laboratories, nice young men are fitted with devices to their genitals to measure arousal while given videos depicting sadistic sex to watch. (Animals apparently are not used for these experiments.) Sometimes, the devices measure perceptible arousal, but no one yet seems to know what it means.  A significant change in sexual sensibility has taken place, but we do not know how to know what it means except to strap our sex organs to a machine.  We expect the machine to tell us.


1. L.I. jordanova, ed.  Languages of Nature, Rutgers UP, 1986, p.126.

2. Peter Gay.  The Bourgeois Experience: Education of The senses i6ifo-rd University Press, 1984) p. 309.

3. Gay, p.309-311.

4. Elizabeth Blackwell, Wdicine and Society in America: Essays in Medical Sociology, 2 vols., 1902.  Arno Press, 1972, vol 2, p.120.

5. For a modem update on this problem, see Alexandra Dundas Todd, Intimate Adversaries: Cultural Conflict Between Doctors & Women Patients, Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1989.

6. Gay, p.317.

7. Bram Dijkstra, Idols of Perversity, Oxf ord University Press, 1986, p. 178.

8. Dijkstra, p. 188.

9. Dijkstra, p.304.

10. Gay, p.169.

11. Gay, p.207.

12. Sara Delamont and Lorna Duffin, The 19th Century Woman, Barnes & Noble, 1978, p.49.

13. Colin Wilson, Introduction, The 'Complete Jack The Ripper by Donald Rombelow, New York Graphic society, 1975, p.11.

14. see Daniel Farson, Jack The Ripper, M. Jopseph, 1972.

15. Barnes and Noble, 1978, p.43.

16. Ibid., p.32-34, and p.42.

17. Ibid., p.28-29.

18. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, ed.  The Collected Essays, journalism and Letters of George Orwell, 3 vols, Harcourt, Brace, and Jovanovich, 1968, p.111: 212 ff.

19. Orwell and Angus p.217.

20. Rombelow, p.14

21. for an examination of this literature, see Coral Lansbury, The Old Brown Dog-.  Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England, University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.

22. Claude Bemard,.An Introduction To The Study of Experimental Medicine. Trans. H.C. Greene, Dover Publications, 1957, VII.)

23. Bernard, p.18.

24. Gaston Bachelard, The Psychoanalysis of Fire, Beacon Press, 1968, p. 12.

25. Bachelard, p. 4-10.

26. Mary Ann Elston, 'Women and Anti-vivisection in Victorian England, 1870-1900," Nicholas Rupke, ed. Vivisection in Historical Perspective, Croom Heim, 1987, p.265.

27. Karl Stem,Flight From Woman, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1965, p. 54

28. Stern, p.100.

29. Simone de Beauvoir, Marquis de Sade.  Selections from His.Writings, Grove Press, 1953, p. 32-33.

30. Bachelard,  p.l.

31. Bachelard, p.57.

The Phenomenon of Life, by Hans Jonas

Since its publication in 1966, The Phenomenon of Life, a series of essays by Hans Jonas which merges "philosophical biology" with an exploration of modern nihilism, appears to have been neglected by both philosophers and biologists, no doubt because philosophers and biologists have yet to speak to each other very much.  Jonas, however, believes that the 'crisis of existential loneliness" in modern life is related to the rise of mechanistic biology and the pre-emption of "soul' from the universe.  In tracing the exile of "soul" and the triumph of the mechanistic universe, Jonas offers an emancipating philosophy from the cul de sac of historic dualism, as well as suggestive perspectives on animal life.

Jonas, the pre-eminent historian of gnosticism, believes he has discovered in modern humankind's alienation from nature "a modem nihilism infinitely more radical and more desperate than gnostic nihilism ever could be for all its panic terror of the
world and its defiant contempt of its laws." In tracing our dilemma, "death' and "matter" are subjects of ontological pre-eminence, and the emergence of life from non--life is depicted as creation's greatest adventure, signaling both a 'necessary freedom" and a direction in creation.  Jonas argues that the trajectory of human history since the Renaissance has been to reverse this movement, to redefine life as non-life.  Thus he begins the account of human history:

When man first began to interpret the nature of things--and this he did when he began to be man--life was to him everywhere, and being the same as being alive.  Animism was the widespread expression of this stage, "hylozoism" one of its later, conceptual forms.  Soul flooded the whole of existence and encountered itself in all things.  Bare matter, that is, truly inanimate, 'dead' matter, was yet to be discovered--as indeed its concept, so familiar to us, is anything but obvious.  That the world is alive is really the most natural view, and largely supported by prima facie evidence .... Earth, wind, and water--begetting, teeming, nurturing, destroying --- are anything but models of imere m at t er.' Thus primitive panpsychism, in addition to answering powerful needs of the soul, was justified by rules of inference and verification within the available range of experience, continually confirmed as it was by the actual preponderance of life in the horizon of its earthly home .... to early man') standing on his earth arched by the dome of its sky, it could never occur that life might be a side issue in the universe, and not its pervading rule.  His panvitalism was a perspective truth which only a change of perspective oduld eventually displace.  Unquestioned and convincing at the beginning stands the experience of the omnipresence of life.
Death, of course, was always present but at this early stage death was anomalous and was that which had to be explained.  The metaphysics of early panvitalism led to a denial of death by postulating an afterworld: a continuation of lif e. Thereafter, 'Modem thought which began with the Renaissance is placed in exactly the opposite theoretic situation. "Death is the natural thing, life the problem."
 From the physical sciences there spread over the conception of all existence an ontology whose model entity is pure matter, stripped of all features of life .... This denuded stratum of all reality could only be arrived at through a progessive expurgation of vital features from the physical record and through strict abstention fr-om projecting into its image our own felt aliveness.
In the process the ban on anthropomorphism was extended to zoomorphism in general.  What remained is the residue of the reduction toward the properties of mere extension which submit to measurement and hence to mathematics ... this means that the lifeless has become the knowable par excellence and is for that reason considered the true and only foundation of reality.  It is the "natural' as well as the original state of things.  Not only in terms of relative quantity but also in terms of ontological genuineness, nonlife is the rule, life the puzzling exception in physical existence .... Life's place in this world has shrunk to that of the organism, a problematical speciality in the configurations of extended substance.  In it alone do 'extended" and 'thinking' being meet, after they had first been sundered into two ontological spheres of the world.  Their meeting in the organism then becomes an insoluble riddle.
"Panmechanism" is the felt condition of the modern human being, and hence our existential loneliness, believing ourselves to be the only creatures in the world to which we "safely" (i.e. respectably) attribute life.  The decisive victims in this process are the animals.

Jonas believes that a significant step towards "desouling" the world was the creation of a transcendent God by Judaism and opposes this God to Plato's God in Timaeus.  But the Hellenic world was already conversant with atomistic hypotheses, and given the Greek unprecedented development in mathematics, logic, the syllogism, and rationalism, the western world may well have divested itself of pantheism without the advent of Judaism.  His declension of this history overlooks the fact that to the psalmists and the prophets (as later, to St. Francis) nature was never "mere" nature or 'only' nature, as he ascribes it to Judaism, but lisacre(f nature because it was the handiwork of God.  It was the same "orderly," 'harmonious" "enduring," "endlessly" assuring source of lawfulness in the universe as it was to Plato.  If pantheism endowed the universe with soul, it also encouraged the degradation of the gods (as Plato knew: Plato's God was not the gods of the everyday Greeks who 'worshipped Homer's gods, whom Plato regarded as an embarrassment.  And so it goes.) Judaism made God the principle of eternal continuity and lifted it out of the Heraclitean argument.  As Jonas points out in another context, "What is itself mortal cannot well be the vehicle of immortality." Every concept of God has its problems, whether pantheistic or transmundane: the human race surrenders          some portion of the world to whatever deity or deities it embrace& We need to know, in addition to how panvitalism was ousted from the world, how the sacred was ousted from nature, and tenderness ousted f rom the concept of God; whether, given the combination of a transmundane God and the Pythagorean theorem, it was only a matter of time before this would have happened.  But then Jonas would be forced to concede that mathematics is more powerful than God, a proposition that would contradict his findings in his chapter, "Is God A Mathematician?  The Meaning of Metabolism." The significance of the title is that "inward' functions, such as metabolism and irritability, not res extensa, are the modus operandi of life: hence, if God were a mathematician, God would be ignorant of the essence of life, which is "Inward" and "subjective." As Jonas states, "Mathematics is added to life." It is not life, and a mathematical description of life subjects life to a "nothing but" condition.

Breathtakingly, Jonas posits anthropomorphism as a central feature of life which, he asserts, had been unfairly ousted by rationalism (along with the concept of teleology).  Declining battle, science achieved victory over these concepts by ridiculing them: 11 ... the exclusion of teleology is not an inductive result but an a priori prohibition of modern science .... Anthropomorphism, at all events, and even zoomorphism in general, became scientific high treason.' The irony is not lost on Jonas, that anthropomorphism, long regarded as "the sin of sins" is now rampant in the language regarding machines.  Animals must be divorced fro m the linguistic categories of life, but machines are welcome.  Why, he asks, do we withhold from other creatures what we know to be true about ourselves, and why should knowing an inner reality for ourselves be the basis for denying it to other forms of life?  For Jonas science's dogmatic materialism and its metaphysical assertion of "the causal redundancy of mind' rests on a hidden agenda, that its very existence depends on the metaphysical assumption that it cannot entertain the notion of "mind" as reality.  It therefore, at fi rst, placated dualism, then engulf ed i t into dogmatic materialism for the sake of its industrial potential and 'methodological benefits," whence mind became associated with the occult.  Jonas believes that humankind was fated to become trapped in metaphysical dualism, but that science's destruction of classical dualism is " of the greatest usurpations in the history of thought." The purging of anthropomorphism has exacted a price from humankind: "So radically has anthropomorphism been banned from the concept of nature that even man must cease to be considered anthropomorphically if he is just an accident of nature.''

But Jonas knows that there is no return to panvitalism or to a pre-dualistic universe.  Ontology must be established within materialism, not over against it or in ignorance of it.  Parallel to his history of the reversal of balance between the signficance of life and death Is his account of how life arose from non-life.  Jonas does not believe evolution was chancey.  Matter was forged with la genuine potency' for life, which must be included in the very concept of physical substance.  How else could life arise from non-life?  He challenges science and philosophy to reintroduce teleology.

Furthermore, the tool for eliciting life from non-life is an inner subjectivity common to life from a one-cell animal to human beings, which 'stands under the concept of freedom....if mind is prefigured in the organic from the beginning, then freedom is.' Coyly, Jonas admits, 'These must sound strange words to most readers, and I do not expect it otherwise." Then tightens the vise of his argument: "The biological, chemical nature of all life is to exhibit an inner irritancy, to retreat from pain and extinction,, to strive for balance and biological coherence (a grand phrase) through metabolic processes which establish a life-giving interchange between organism and organism and organism and environment." Through bodily experience, organisms come to know "a world of force and resistance, action and inertia, cause and effect." By asserting that the self (of all animal life) exists in "the intensive-extensive body," Jonas argues Whitehead!s case that "the inorganic could not have become organic except by way of an "inward event,' and re-legitimizes inwardness and anthropomorphism; for Jonas argues that we may not exclude animism from the ontological evidence: human inwardness, which "represents the maximum of concrete ontological completeness known to us," need not withhold inwardness from other forms of life." (An article by Gareth B, Mathews, "Animals and the Unity of Psychology," published in Philosophy 53, 1978, points out that behavorist psychologists cannot interpret data on higher primates without the use of the "anthropomorphic key.") To be fair to his argument, Jonas also states that in the contest bet ween idealism and materialism, materialism "is less in danger of lying to itself," but that if idealism can be bribed, materialism constricts and excludes whole portions of life. (Some would call this a form of "lying to itself.") Jonas concedes too that a denial of causality leads straight to solipsism, but argues that "the primary aspect of causality is not regular connection, not even necessary connection, but force and influence.' In this concept of causality, 'Reconditions take the place of essence as the originating principle .... Organism and environment together form a system and this henceforth determines the basic concept of life."

It is often assumed that the "New Age" quest for a new spiritualism is anti-scientific, though the "motto" for the New Age was proclaimed by the astronauts who first ventured into space.  In an interview with Life magazine after their return, when asked how they felt when they looked down upon earth, one astronaut responded that he was overwhelmed by the fragility of the earth and how everything upon it appeared inter-connected.  Those words, "fragility" and "inter-connected" mark the quest for a new orientation.  Human beings can assert that they are the most important form of lif e on earth, but we know that the earth is our life-support system and without it we die.  We are saved from succumbing into mere matter by a trillion inter-connected forms of life.  The Cartesian view of inconsolable apartness is obsolete.

In its ontological version, the problem of relation revolves around the classical concept of sel f-contained, inactive substance--'that which requires nothing bu t itself in order to exist (Descartes)...'substance conceived on that model admits of external relations only and by def init ion excludes all self-transitiveness.  To release -'being' from this imprisonment in 'substance is among the m ajor preoccupations of modem ontology.  Further, the homelessness of 'force' in the system (just one aspect of that imprisonment) raises the issue of 'anthropomorphism,' whose banishment from exterior knowledge is far too much taken for granted as the proper thing in scientific epistemology.
The "fiction" that human beings alone possess mind or inwardness can be maintained only by asserting that human beings are radically and ontologically different from all other creatures, so different as to have been created under a different sign of creation, perhaps by a different creator from the rest of creation.  In opposition to this theological conundrum for Biblically-based religions, Jonas states that the theory of evolution 'undid Descartes' work more effectively than any other metaphysical critique.' Far from degrading human beings, Jonas argues, Darwinism returned us to our home and mitigates our sense of ontological loneliness.

In Jonas' philosophy of biology, inwardness is not an accidental feature of organized life.  Biological life are organized 'for inwardness, for internal identity, for individuality." The inward, subjective feature of organized biological life becomes the locus of the life force, standing Cartesianism on its head.  "...determinism in its scientific sense can only mean a description of matter and has no possible application outside it." In his analysis of inwardness and metabolism, Jonas gives us (since we are in need of one) a useful distinction between the machine and a living organism, wresting animal life from the Cartesian curse:

We have to realize the all-pervasiveness of metabolism within the living system.  The exchange of matter with the environment is not a peripheral activity engaged in by a persistent core: it is the total mode of continuity (self continuation) of the subject of life itself.  The metaphor of Iinflow' and 'outflow' does not render the radical nature of the fact.  In an engine we have an inflow of fuel and an outflow of waste products, but the machine parts themselves that give passage to this f low do not participate in it: their substance is not involved in the transformations which the fuel undergoes in its passage through them .... Thus the machine persists as a self-identical inert system over against the changing identity of the matter with which it is 'fed',,, and, we may add, it exists as just the same when there is no feeding at all, it is then the same machine at a standstill .... But metabolism is more than a method of power generation, or food is m ore than fuel...its role is to build up originally and replace continually the very parts of the m achine.  Metabolism is thus the constant becoming of the m achine itself--and this becoming itself is a performance of the machine: but for such performance there is no analogue in the world of machines.
Descartes' "beast-machine" is a denial of biological life, and medical science's continuing use of laboratory animals as a model of biological lif e is a contradiction of biological life.  "The anim al automata, though entirely determined by the rules of matter, are yet so constructed that their functioning suggests to the human onlooker an inwardness analogous to his own without their possessing any such inwardness." (Paradoxically, as science seeks to know humankind via the animal model, humans become am ong those things that "are-lower-than-man.') In addition to inwardness (mind and a subjective self) animal life possess, in common with humankind, a relationship to space and motion different from that of plant life.  For Jonas, it is movement, not reproduction, which def ines the 'higher" forms of life:
-- appetition is the basic condition of motility, pursuit is the primary motion.  Though appetite is common to all life, the motility of animal lif e, in translating appetition, makes a visible difference between animal and vegetable life.  Animal appetition consists in the interposition of distance between urge and attainment ... to experience the distantly perceived as a goal and to keep its goal qualify- alive, so as to carry the motion over the necessary span of effort and time, desire is required....The great secret of animal life lies precisely in the gap with which it is able to maintain between immediate concern and mediate satisfaction, i.e. in the loss of immediacy corresponding to the gain in scope....'Distancel In all these respects involves the subject-object split.  This is at the bottom of the whole phenomenon of animality and of its departure from the vegetative m ode of lif e .... the immediacy of plant life knows of no such split and therefore offers no room for these modes ... In short, the indirectness of animal existence holds in its wakefulness the twin possibilities of enjoyment and suffering, both wedded to effort.  The two evolve together, and the liability to suffering is not a shortcoming which detracts from the possibility of enjoyment, but its necessary complement.  The suffering intrinsic in [normal] animal life is not that of pain (which is occasional and concomittant) but that of want and fear, i.e. an aspect of appetitive nature as such.  Appetition is the form which the basic self-concem of all life assumes under the conditions of animal mediacy, where it emancipates itself from its immersion in blind organic function and takes over an office of its own: its functions are the emotions.  Anim al being is thus essentially passionate being.
Animal life enters into the dialectic of life through locomotion and space, with a modality common to human beings, from which plant life is exempt.  Jonas wrote The Phenomenon of Life seeking an ethics 'founded on a principle discoverable in the nature of things," for the view from outer space has taught us that 'only an ethic which is grounded in the breadth of being, not merely in the singularity or oddness of man, can have significance in the scheme of things."

The Seed of Peace: Vegetarianism in Prophetic Writing

The relationship of food to social justice was observed by several prophets, such as Zechariah and Isaiah and the symbolic use of foods such as "milk and honey," 'wine, grains barley,' "oil,' etc. are found throughout Biblical literature, but it was Isaiah who made this insight central to a unified vision of moral good, and understood that the relationship of food to social justice rested on the apprehension of agriculture as culture.  Not, perhaps, until the work of Wendell Berry in the 20th century, is there again an exposition of the relationship of agriculture to culture, to moral sanity, to sound economics or 'the holiness of economics,' and the holiness of daily life as celebrated in Zechariah and Isaiah.  "...agriculture," Wendell Berry has written in words Isaiah could agree with, "is an integral part of the structure, both biological and cultural that sustains human life and that you cannot disturb one part of the structure without disturbing all of it..." [1]

Hosea too, Yehuda Feliks points out, "...has an intimate knowledge of every detail of agricultural work, and he is particularly fond of figures drawn from the operations of ploughing and threshing."(11:24, 11:14, X:11)[2]

An important principle in Hosea's prophecies is that life should be severely simple.  The peasant's life on the land develops this characteristic and provides the basic needs of man .... In his vision of the future, he sees a return to the simple and modest life of the peasant: 'And the earth shall respond to the corn and the wine, and the oil, and they shall respond to jezreel.[3]
This shared insight has nothing to do with bucolic or pastoral nostalgia, and there is an important difference between Isaiah, Hosea, and Berry, in that Berry does not indicate an inclination towards vegetarianism and Isaiah does.  However, Berry is the most elegant spokesperson and writer today for the pre-industrial f arm, the merits of sm all scale farming, and the biblical virtues of agriculture, sum med up in his title, The Gift of Good Land.  His work is a judgment on ihe-industrialization of agriculture, including the notorious factory farming system, and a modern insight into the meaning of 'the promised land."
The story of the giving of the Promised Land to the Israelites is more serviceable than the story of the giving of the Garden of Eden, because the Promised Land is a divine gift to a fallen people.  For that reason the giving is more problematical, and the receiving is more conditional and more difficult.  In the bible's long working out of the understanding of this gift, we may find the beginning--and, by implication, the end--of the definition of an ecological discipline. [4]
Such an ecological discipline was already worked out by Isaiah, who immediately set the dimensions of his argument at the beginning, Book 1:1-20, with a condemnation of the sacrificial cult and the elevation of moral praxis, whose reward is simply that, "You will eat the good things of the earth,' and whose punishment for refusing is that 'If you refuse and disobey, you will be devoured by the sword."

This simplistic-sounding antithesis is a matured, unified vision of the relationship of nature to history, and of Yaweh as the Lord of nature presiding over a humankind as the victim of "the rage of nations." Blessing, as Gerhard von Rad in The Message of th Prophets points out, was understood "in a completely material way as agricultural prosperity."[5] And agricultural prosperity was understood as confirmation of Yawch as the Lord of creation and as a bulwark against the destructive forces of history.  Feliks writes,

 ... the seed is connected, in a borrowed sense, with justice, loving  kindness, iniquity, toil and truth. Zechariah, however, used the expression, 'seed of peace' in a concrete sense, namely that the seed brings peace or that the seed which yields a plentiful c rop testi fies to the peace and tranquility abroad in the country.  Isaiah had prophesied: 'And the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness and quietness and confidence forever,' and he concludes: 'Happy are ye that sow beside all waters.' We have here scriptural verses which envision truth, righteousness and peace to be connected with the seed and the work of sowing, an idea expressed so succincntly by the Prophet Zechariah in the words: 'the seed of peace.'[6]

T'he ensurance of these values rested with the peasant and his way of life, values and traditions that were constantly being threatened by the rich upper classes who bought up the farmlands and turned the peasant, keeper of "the ancient tradition," into a lessee.  This upper class, in Isaiah, is identified with the institutions of temple and palace.

Scholarly exegesis and opinions about the subject of the condemnation of the sacrificial cult in prophetic writing is extensive, ranging from the opinion that the prophets did not indict the cult 'in principle," but only provisionally as being useless if not accompanied by moral living, to the opinion that several of the prophets at least, such as Amos, First Isaiah, and Hosea did condem n the cult in principle. [7]

When one recalls that such cult practices and animal sacifice were the norm of civilization throughout the world at this time, and were the most forceful institutional reminders of the combined powers of priest and nation and the traditions of the cu I tu re, such criticism of animal sacrifice as expressed by Isaiah, Micah, Hosea, and Amos is bold, courageous% extraordinary, and unparalleled anywhere at this time in their world.  We can reconcile divergences of opinion by resting the case with a statement from the Encylopedia Judaica on this issue: "Both views .. are constantly debated.  What can be said with certainty is that the prophetic attacks on the cult did introduce a new principle into the religion of Israel."

The prophets are not regarded as unique for nothing.  Certainly Amos, First Isaiah, and Micah already understood that ritual was irrelevant to moral behaviour and,, understanding that, understood that the cult was a secondary force to the working out of Yaweh's designs for the Hebrew people.  But Isaiah not only regarded the cult as secondary, he regarded it as an impediment to social justice, for to him social justice was not expressed in the institutions of palace and temple, which reinforced each other in concepts of national might,, upperclass luxury and self indulgence, but in daily living and the virtues of frugality and small scale propriety.  In working out this ethic, diet becomes determinative in Isaiah not only of morality but of national destiny.  All the prophets, in fact, offer nothing more than a good bounty, the joys of good agriculture, as the blessing
of a virtuous life.  Such a modest reward is startling to a modem sensibility.

Thus it is inevitable that the peasant class or the plowman is Isaiah's moral lynchpin, and he extols him in language matched by Berry's praise of the farmer, stating that the skills of the plowman are so ex ac ting that God Himself instructs him. (28:24)

Does he who plows to sow
Plow all the time,
Breaking up and furrowing his land?
When he has smoothed its surface,
Does he not rather broadcast black cumin And scatter cumin,
Or set wheat in a row, Barley in a strip,
And emmer in a patch?
For He teaches him the right manner,
His God instructs him.
So, too, black cumin is not threshed with
a threshing-board
Nor is the wheel of a threshing sledge rolled
over cumin
But black cumin is beaten out with a stick And cumin with a rod
It is cereal that is crushed.
For even if he threshes it thoroughly
And the wheel of his sledge, and his horses
overwhelm it,
fie does not crush it.
That, too, is ordered by the Lord of Host4 His counsel is unfathomable,
His wisdom marvellous.
Such a passage set against the tradition of the peasant or farmer as yokel--and written by a citified statesman--suggests the depths of Isaiah's vision of agricultural culture as basic to moral health.  It requires comparison with Wendell Berry's statement
that "...a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist." As Rad comments, Isaiah "makes the multifarious and carefully considered actions of the farmer's sowing and reaping into a transparent parable of the divine act ion in lAstory.'[81
Isaiah's interest in the plowman and agriculture also derived, as does Berry's, from the fact that he lived at a time when the traditional agricultural basis of Judea was dissolving into a kind of latifundia arrangement.  'Me economic basis of the nation was shifting from farm to city, and the social basis of agriculture was being left in the hands of absentee owners whose values were those of agribusiness.  'Cursed be those who remove the boundaries and enlarge their lands," Isaiah cries, aware as Berry is that size and scale are crucial agricultural values.  Prior to this shift, Judea's agriculture, its viticulture, hill culture and terrace culture were f am ous throughout the Babylonian world, and its products revered.  Judea was far advanced in agricultural skills and Isaiah's admiration of the plowman was not empty nostalgia for a passing way of life.  He believed that the safety of the nation depended upon agricultural sanity.

His urgency derives from his knowledge of the relationship of war to agriculture.  The Hebrews, as all the civilizations at this time, would experience the devastation of their agricultural life during wartime, since it was common strategy for invaders to practise a scorched earth policy by driving animal herd,% chariots and horses across the farmlands in order to destroy them and the agricultural basis of the culture.  The relationship of war to agriculture was constantly imminent, and the plowman was the minuteman of his time, frequently called upon to use threshing board and hoe as weapons to defend himself.  Agricultural tools were interchangeably used as war weapons and the farm was often the battlefield. That compelling vision of peace: "They
shall beat their swords into ploughshares," was no rhetorical device but the advocacy of a strategy suggested by the historical climate in which the emergence of huge empires, such as Assyria with its imperial claims, posed a new historical problem for how Yaweh!s people would survive as Yaweh's people, that is with social justice as the raison d'etre of survival.

There was, as all the prophets noted, "the realm of general history," as Rad calls it, poignantly summed up by Isaiah in the phrase, "the rage of nations," and generally regarded simply as chaos.  Nations came and went, and in their brief or longer reigns nations ravaged other nations.  Opposed to this was the realm of Israel's specific history, called into existence by God, Lord of nature, creator of the world.  Isaiah's counsel to "trust in Yaweh" means to trust in the Creator of nature.  The concept of the "saving gift of the land" emerges in Isaiah not only as a pattern of righteousness, but as a strategy of foreign policy: a sane agricultural policy makes you independent.  Isaiah waged ideological war against the idea of alliances as a means of defense.  Nations and kings will betray you, but the land never will.  "Trust in Yaweh" meant precisely trust in God, as Creator of nature, of agricultural blessings.  Nature, in the prophets, is not wilderness, but the harmony of human life with nature in a celebration of mutuality.  In a magnificent passage, Isaiah sums up the meaning of this way of life for survival in a world of devouring nations:

You shall triumph by stillness and quiet,
Your victory shall come about
Through calm and confidence. [30:15]
The two famous passages, the "Immanuel" passage and the "lion and the lamb" passage have been accepted as prophecies of a Messianic kingdom, but little attention is paid to the difficulties of interpreting the specifics of diet in these passages.  Let us take the first passage.  Isaiah is being interviewed by the king, a harried Ahaz, who wishes to know what to do about the impending Assyrian invasion.  Isaiah responds:
Assuredly, my Lord will give you a sign of His own accord!  Look, the young woman is with child and about to give birth to a son.  Let her name him Immanuel. [By the time he learns to reject the bad and choose the good, people will be feeding on curds and honey.] For before the lad knows to reject the bad and choose the good, the ground whose two kings you dread shall be abandoned.  The Lord will cause to come upon you and your people and your ancestral house such days as never have come since Ephraim turned away from Judah--that selfsame king of Assyria! In that day, the Lord will whistle to the flies at the ends of the water channels of Egypt and to the bees in the land of Assyria, and they shall all come and alight in the rugged wadis, and in the clefts of the rocks, and in all the thornbrakes, and in all the watering places.

In that day, my Lord will cut away with the razor that is hired beyond the Euphrates--with the king of Assyria--the hair of the head and the hair of the feet, and it shall clip off the beard as well.  And in that day, each man shall save alive a heifer of the herd and two animals of the flock. [And he shall obtain so much milk that he shall eat curd& ] Thus everyone who is left on the land shall feed on curds and honey. For in that day, every spot where there could stand a thousand vines worth a thousand shekis of silver shall become a wilderness of thom bush and thistle.  One shall have to go there with bow and arrows, for the country shall be all thom bushes and thistles.  But the perils of thom bush and thistle shall not spread to any of the hills that could only be tilled with a hoe, and here cattle shall be let loose, and sheep and goats shall tramp about.[9]

Quite a response to a desperate king who has just asked for advice about how to defend himself against an invader!  Unless we assume that Isaiah is utterly mad (in which case it is unlikely that Ahaz would have consulted him), we must make sense of this
riddle,, but  the riddle is so elusive that most commentators prefer to ignore it, except for the historic words, "Look, the young woman is with child and about to give birth to a son." The other set of interesting words, 'curds and honey" has left little comparable historic resonance, and interpreters and translators have yielded two opposing readings and several interpretations.  The line, "By the time he learns to know good from evil, people will be feeding on curds and honey," can also be translated as: "He will feed on curds and honey until he learns to know good from evil.' In the first reading, "curds and honey" becomes symbolic of wisdom, in the second symbolic of ignorance.  Vegetarians (though not vegans) may be tempted by the first reading, but should be warned that reference to 'curds" often meant an oversupply of milk, which suggested that agricultural land had been overrun by grazing milk animal& On the other hand, curds and honey" was long regarded as the food of poverty, and would commend itself to Isaiah.

James W. Ward [10], deals extensively with the riddle, noting that this little dietary injunction has perplexed commentators, but then he himself decides that this diet is simply arbitrary: "...the choice of particular foods was probably irrelevant since what mattered for the effectiveness of the sign was that the diet be arbitrary and be maintained consistently until the child expressed his own wishes." [11] This interpretation is more difficult than Isaiah's original passage, for there would be no use in maintaining an "arbitrary" diet "consistently," and if it is arbitrary, why should Isaiah bother to cite it.

This little passage is packed with puzzles which we will not solve at this point, but let us understand that diet is never arbitrary in Isaiah, nor in the other prophets nor in the whole of the Bible.  It is always intrinsic to the entire range of social conditions at any given stage of writing, and always redolent of social and moral commentary. In the second passage, we read familiarly:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb
The leopard lie down with the kid,
The calf, the beast of prey, and the fatling together,
With a little child to herd them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
Their young shall lie down together,
And the lion, like the ox, shall eat straw.
As the diet in the first passage is not arbitrary, neither is the diet nor the pairs of animals in the second passage arbitrary.  They signify predator and prey, domestic animal and wild animal or, in fact, the domestication of the predator.  But how explain the lion's diet?  It is as much of a puzzle as the statement in Genesis that all animal life was created to exist on a vegetarian diet.  Feliks states that "teven" or "chaff' is erroneously translated as it straw," when it actually "forms a very important  ingredient of the food of domestic animals.
Teven is the product of the threshing floor.  Af ter threshing has been completed and the grain extracted, the remnant consists of the fine components of the wheat or barley stalk which have been crushed in the process.  Its food value is considerable.  This is not the case with straw, which is the residual grain stalk with its crude components, some of which are unsuitable for animal food.
Sometimes "teven' is mixed with "mispo" which is made of grain, barley or pulse.  Sometimes chickpeas are added, and this mixture, Feliks says is "a delectable food for animals...which Isaiah mentions (XXX:24) as denoting plenty, saying that this mixture shall be f ed to 'the oxen likewise and the young asses that till the ground.''' [12]

I do not know if lions would be satisf led with this mixture, but the point again is how specific and knowlegeable Isaiah is about diet, how much is lost in translation, and how much restoration work must be done before the full implications of Isaiah's references to diet are understood.

If we question his lack of reality in the messianic passages, we must question it in Genesis. for human history does not record a nature without- predation yet it is this view of nature that governs the Jewish concept of time.  Isaiah could resolve the radical duality at the heart of existence only in a vegetarian-agricultural framework.  Diet functions both utopianistically and as a practical guide.  Isaiah's prophecy moves bet ween an achievable present and a supernatural order.

Wendell Berry's otherwise fine essay, The Gift of Good Land presents an opposing paradigm: "That is not to suggest that we can live harmlessly, or strictly at our own expense, we depend upon other creatures and survive by their deaths.  To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation."

This is the dark paradigm at the heart of our present culture, perhaps traceable to the symbolism of animal sacrifice, which must be disassembled.  The "blood" of creation must be replaced with the soil of creation, for it is out of soil and earth, air and water that we are created, and it is to earth that we return.  Most creatures do not live off other creatures.  Much of life is not predatory.  Isaiah believed it was possible to live otherwise, by a principle of least cruelty, of minimal expenditure of resources, by the better ratio of energy to reward that soil yields than that blood yields, because his faith in Yaweh as Lord of nature was boundless.  The seed, as a symbol of life-giving energy, is more potent than the atom; it does not entail ambiguities of destruction.  It is more symbolic of life than blood, containing within itself the perpetual source and resurrection of all life.

1. The Gift of Good Land, North Point Press, 1981.

2. Nature and Man In the Bible: Chapters in Biblical Ecology, Soncino Press, 1981, p,151

3. Ibid., p.150.

4. Ibid., p. 169

5. Gerhard von Rad, The Message of The Prophets Harper & Row, 1972, p.252

6. Ibid., p. 170 and elsewhere In Feliks.

7. Most relevant readings are in Hosea 7:12, 14:1, Amos 5:20ff, Isaiah 1:11-17.

8. Ibid. p.153.

9. Jewish Publication Society, 1972, 7:14-23.

10. Amos and Isaiah, Abingdon, 1968,

11. Ibid, p. 212.

12. Ibid., p. 43-44.

When We Walked on the Moon: An Epilogue

On July 21, 1969, when two astronauts were on their way to the moon, I was standing on a very long line with my two sons, ages six and ten, waiting to get into the Hayden Plantarium in New York.  Hundreds of us were there, a spontaneous community pulled together by the occasion ,, to gather at the door of the institution which could express our need to communicate with this event.  We believed that the human race was crossing a rubicon, that nothing could ever be the same again.  Beyond that our expectations had no content The event could not furnish us with a projective memory.  It was not rooted in anything from the past that we could identify with.  We did not know what emotions to call upon and repeated the cliches, "unprecedented," "epoch-making," "nothing will ever be the same again," "we're crossing a rubicon."

Some events, like war or an earthquake, proclaim their value for human destiny, for good or evil.  However peculiar or disastrous they are, there is a peg of memory to give it a human contour.  Even when Columbus arrived in the western hemisphere where things were very different from Europe, they were not so different as on the moon, not so different as the dif f erence between lif e and non-life.  He saw flora and fauna, felt the warmth of the sun, was bitten by insects and spotted human beings, and though these looked different from the people he was used to, he took some home as slaves, knowing they'd be useful.  But the moon was naked of human connection as nothing in human history had been.  There had been no deaths here, no births, no mournings, no enmities or loves, no wars, no lost children, no griefs.  Nothing.  For centuries we had
invested the moon with fantasizings.  Now we were faced with its nothingness.

My own mythic compass was gravely disoriented because I took the fact of two men walking on the moon personally, like two strangers clomping around in my bedroom, rifling through my belongings.  My moon was my personal possession, the mentor of my moods and sexual seasons.  It had been with me from the day of my birth, along with the sun and the stars, but having first place in my recognition of the power of heavenly bodies to disturb.  The sun is radiant but mostly diffused throughout the day so that it rarely commands attention, except for unusual sunrises or sunsets.  Its force of mystery is cftminished by its usefulness for life and growing things.  Necessity saps its drama.  As for the stars, I was only later to trace their patterns, the big dipper, the bear, the dog, the crab, the goat and the lion, and was vexed that people saw shapes that I did not
However, you can't miss the moon.  Its light is never diffused throughout the sky.  At m ost, on windy nights, it may be temporarily broken up among storm clouds, or on sultry August nights bleed red into the ocean.  But the ability of the moon to re-collect itself and ride out from behind winter clouds, becoming again the biggest fact in the sky, expresses its cosmic supremacy.

Unlike the sun which makes the earth familiar, the moonts light makes everything unfamiliar, faintly ominou,% transforms trees into sentinels, faces of lovers into masks.  Whatever its light touches on the earth, a patch of snow or a swath of ocean, becomes translucent while everything else around is drained of color.  Houses, trees, road.% rocks lose dimension.  'Me dark becomes darker, the edge between light and dark sharper, razor-thin.  It is the tense contrast that confronts and amazes, the antithesis of mental states: sensual and cold, voluptuous and untouchable, luminous and dark, declaratory as a searchlight and
as silent as the sphinx.  It is the way everything becomes darker in spite of so much light.

Like Adrienne Rich, "I had been standing all my life in the/ direct path of a battery of signals/ the most accurately transmitted most/ untrarislatable language in the universe." (Planetarium) I was heir to a poetic tradition founded on the unknowable side of the moon, on the permanence of mystery.  How would we fare, those of us whose esthetic had been shaped by the moon, when the "ineffable" and the unknowable" would be swept from our psyches like yesterday's news?

according to the latest
report in the times, the
backside of the moon has
only one cheek. i did
not want to know this,
venus de milo being
bad enough.

l i po, in
the depths of the
yellow river, making
love to the moon, did you
not discover this? did
not your hand at some
point stray around, gripping
her tighter, only to discover

-- Joel Oppenheimer, Wrong Again

We had to come to terms with this event.  Satire would not make the fact go away.  We could not get around it, switch to another channel and watch somebody else!s news.  Unlike discussions about war and famine, about whether it really happened, or will happen and how many died or would die, and who caused it if it were to happen, this fact was unambiguous, without a shade to hide it in.  During the week of July 21, 1969, it was the biggest fact in the world.

A guard appeared to inform us that we would not all get into the Planetarium for the first show, and perhaps not for the second or the third.  The line was too long.  Some of us might not get in at all.  I panicked and hailed a taxi, rushed my sons home to watch the moon landing on our television screen, for their sakes, not for mine.  They would grow up in a world of moon landings, I was shrinking into a past of incoherent Jobs.

Their future interested them for eight minutes, then they wanted their customary programs.  But the future held them by other rules.  There were no other programs to watch, not that day nor the next day, nor the next.  Every station reported the same news about the moon landing in the same way, by similar reporters with similarly excited expressions, reading similar reports in similarly excited voices.  We saw the astronauts tumble about like children four thousand time.% we heard their reassuring voices for one hundred hours.  Tedium soaked through the rooms.  Frantically, my children searched every day for Captain Kangaroo and their beloved puppets.  Living lives conditioned by media habits as rooted in us as the tolling of Big Ben for Londoners, we watched two thousand re-runs of the moon landing until our bones dried and became dead and bleached.
Then it was over.  The babble ended and media predictability returned.  All the programs went back to being what they were, banal, tender, comic, silly, trivial.  Thank God.  We shrank back to normal size, no longer distended out to the moon.  The men in the space suits came back to earth and revealed themselves to be companionably human.

...Sure thing:
you know me

how we grew up together
went to the same high school
dated the same girls, monkeyed with cars

you know how I see things
(or maybe you don't
I can't quite recollect)

Anyway, how I see it is:
rocks lots of rocks
dust lots of dust
rocks and dust lots everywhere
quite a sight but nothing like home
you can take my word for that

"Such persistent blandness of thought!
such unwholesome wholesomeness!
as though engaged in making your life worthy
of a small town on television!'

-- Jack Anderson, Aesthetics of the Moon

Travel agents and real estate speculators bubbled for a time and then subsided.  July 21st never became a holiday, and people go to work on that day as on any other day.  I myself have trouble remembering the event, and when I look up at the moon and think that human beings walked on it, it seems unlikely.  The moon repels the idea and looks as it has always looked: inviolate.  It apparent ly absorbed the astronauts like momentary cosmic dust that blew across it.  I was invaded, but the moon was not.  Human history made no impression on it.  When now I see a photograph of the astronauts in their space suits tumbling about, I think of Icarus and Daedalus falling through the sky.

This has left me with a disturbed view of history, worrying about how fact and fiction become each other, how they're supposed to be different, but are like Siamese twins with a common blood supply.

I am haunted by history that no one pays attention to, by shadows and hairline fractures, by what gets lit up and what lays in the dark beyond the reach of light, by liaisons in imageries and undercurrents in fashions.  Space suits remind me of the suits animal handlers wear in research laboratories.  The anim al handlers claim the animals don't suffer, but they wear heavy gear that covers them from head to toe to protect themselves against bites and scratches.  They live inside protective arm or like the Conquistadors whose heroism was spoiled by their cruelty.  The doctors claim they burn, poison, gas, starve, drown, irradiate, suffocate and freeze the animals to save the human race.  Who gets to say this is shit?  Who gets to say that people like Julius Caesar who read sheevs liver to plot his army's tactics, were wrong?  Who would tell Julius Caesar?

Years later, after the lunar landing, I went to see Space Odyssey 2001, my better judgment overcome by the blitz advertising.  It was, as I anticipated, a dull movie, brilliant and boring.  I do not like life in a space capsule anymore than I would like it in a closet,, even though it would be a tremendous achievement to live in a closet for three weeks. fell asleep at the movie, but was not embarrassed because when I awoke everyone else around me was sleeping too.  My sons, older now, told me everyone else was on dope.  That was the real trip.

I thought about those thousands of people whose job it is to watch dials and beeps and graphs and someone else's pain blip across a screen in code for tons of hours a day.  So that's how they do it! thought.  They must be on something.  That's why they don't see the agony around them.  The anim als' pain is real to me, even in a photograph, but they claim it doesn't exist.  They say the animals are jolly happy.  We must have become two different types of human beings, living in two different worlds, with two different sets of circumstances.  One of us is living in a space capsule on megadrugs, a computer for a heart, blood replaced by phosphorescent glue, travelling at the speed of light where reality becomes a smear and the earth loses its definition among so many stars.

The skies are populated with astronauts and animals, the dog, the bear, the goat and the lion.  Watch for them, Buck Rogers, at the next full moon when the eye of the dark night is upon you, and confusion shatters the modernist vision with the hammer of justice.  privacy statement