it is good to remember that Ruskin resigned from Oxford over vivisection
and that Wagner recommended frightening vivisectors.
Queen Victoria, Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, Dickens, Tennyson,
Browning, Ruskin, Voltaire
on opposing vivisection
than countenance vivisection, while the classical musician Richard Wagner
whose music is played around the world 135 years after his death
said vivisectors must be frightened.
This dog, so very superior to man in his affection, is seized by some barbarian virtuosos, who nail him to a tble,
and dissect him while living, the better to show you the mezeraic
veins. All the same organs of sensation which are in yourselves
you perceive in him. Now, you automatonists (machinists)
what say you? Answer me. Has nature created all the springs
of feeling in this animal that it may not feel? Has he
nerves to be without pleasure or pain? For shame! Charge not Nature with such weakness or inconsistency.
from Dictionnaire Philosophique
I would rather submit to the worst of deaths, so far
as pain goes, than have a single dog or cat tortured on the
pretence of sparing me a twinge or two.
-from a letter to Miss Cobbe-
(vivisectors don't eliminate pain.. they multiply it)
I could think he was one of those who could break their
jests on the dead,
And mangle the living dog that had loved him and fawned
at his knee,
Drenched with the hellish oorali.. that ever such a thing
(in The Children's Hospital)
(oorali: a poison used on arrows)
We shudder but to dream our maids should ape
Those monstrous males, that carve the living hound
(Descartes nailed dogs' paws to a table)
According to an official report, nearly one hundred cruel
experiments have bee made upon the 'lower' animals for the
purpose of investigating the subject of suspended animation.
The necessity for these experiments I despise. Man has no
right to gratify an idle and purposeless curiosity through the
practice of cruelty.
from -All The Year Round-
Musician Richard Wagner:
(whose music is played around the world 135 years after
The thought of their sufferings penetrates with horror and
dismay into my soul, and in the sympathy evoked I recognize the strongest impulse of my moral being, and also the probable
source of my art. The total abolition of the horror we fight against must be our real aim. In order to attain this our opponents, the vivisectors, must be frightened, thoroughly
frightened, into seeing the people rise up against them with
sticks and cudgels. Difficulties and costs must not
-in a letter to Ernst von Weber-
(who resigned his chair as Slade Professor of Fine Arts
in 1885 at the University of Oxford, as a protest against
These scientific pursuits are now defiantly, provokingly,
insultingly separated from the science of religion; they are 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
creatures. (speech at Oxford 1884)
What is alleged in defence of these hateful practices everyone
knows, but the truth is that by knives, fire and poisons, knowledge is not always sought, and is very seldom attained.
I know not that by living dissections any discovery has been made by which a single malady is more easily cured. And if the knowledge of physiology has been somewhat increased, he surely buys knowledge dear who learns the use of the lacteals at the expense of his own humanity. It is time that a universal
resentment should rise against these horrid operations, which
tend to harden the heart and make the physician more dreadful
than the gout or the stone.
-in The Idler-
If vivisection be right, then has the world existed and
mankind striven and suffered in vain.
-In a letter to the Examiner 1876-
AIR CHIEF MARSHAL LORD DOWDING
(commander of the Battle of Britain)
I firmly believe that painful experiments on animals are morally wrong, and that it is basically immoral to do evil in order that good may come--even if it were proved that mankind benefits from the suffering inflicted on animals. I further believe that in the vast majority of cases, mankind does not so benefit, and that the results of vivisection are in fact
misleading and harmful.
(speech in the House of Lords June 18 1957)
(Dowding's wife Muriel formed Beauty Without Cruelty,
a manufacturer of cosmetics with no animal products.)
(Dowding told Adela Rogers St John, Hearst reporter, that so many planes
landed back in England with dead pilots while tailgunners
and other crew reported angels flying the planes, that
he had to accept this.)
(There is an inconsistency in saying that one cannot do
evil to bring about good.. in relation to vivisection
opposition, but not in relation to pacifism.)
The Queen has seen with pleasure that Mr Gladstone takes an interest in that dreadful subject of vivisecting in which she has done all she could and she earnestly hopes tht Mr Gladstone will taken an opportunity of speaking strongly against a practice which is a disgrace to humanity.
-letter to Gladstone-
These quotes are from a pamphlet published by Scottish Society For
The Prevention Of Vivisection