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“It is just not adequate for scientists to argue that there is a quantum difference between the moral status of humans and other animals if they are unable to give reasons for such a belief and defend their reasons in the arena of modern philosophical debate.”
* In “Of mice and men – a critical evaluation of Animal Research”
- first record of vivisection?
Alcmaeon of Croton - C. 500 BC - brain, not heart the central organ of sense, optic nerve function
Hippocrates - born in 460 BC. Observation and study of human body. Rational explanation for disease.
Aristotle (c. 350 BC)
- Man rational and therefore at head
- great compassion for animals
- man has a duty of kindness to humans and animals
- compassion for animals
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
- only humans are rational.
Animals exist for human needs
and have no moral status /soul
Almost half of Europe’s population wiped out. Local, regional or pan- European outbreaks for next 200 years.
Hunts - mass extinctions
Animals for sport Bull baiting
- renewed interest in
Science and Philosophy
- animals treated as rational beings - tried and sentenced, especially when suspected of being mediums for witches.
- sparrows excommunicated
Expanded on Christian humanist philosophy
- the soul distinguishes the human from all other animals
- 'beast machine'
- unoiled cogs of robots
William Harvey (1578-1657)
Demonstrated blood circulation
using vivisection (C. 1620)
A significant increase in vivisection followed
Samuel Johnson in The Idler (c.1770)
"Among the inferior Professors of medical knowledge is a race of wretches, whose lives are varied only by varieties of cruelty; ............the truth is that by knives, fire and poison knowledge is not always sought and very seldom attained. .......and if knowledge of physiology has been somewhat increased, he surely buys knowledge dear who learns the use of the lacteals at the expense of his humanity."
"the miserable torture of vivisection surely places the body in an unnatural state".
Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke
Concern for welfare of their subjects but
convinced that the costs were justified.
"The question is not - Can they reason?
nor Can they talk ? but Can they suffer?"
1790's - agitation for anti-cruelty laws. (butchers convicted after cutting off sheep's feet).
1822 - Martin's Act
Offence to wantonly abuse, beat or ill-treat any animal the property of any other person or persons.
1835 - Joseph Pease
- others property clause removed.
Francois Magendie convicted after cutting off sheep's feet). - 1820's
- public lectures and demonstrations involving vivisection
Marshall Hall (1830s) convicted after cutting off sheep's feet).
5 guiding principles - basis of 1876 CAA
1. Is the experiment necessary ?
2. Does it have the possibility of achieving the desired result?
3. Can the protocol be modified to reduce discomfort?
4. Has the experiment been done before?
5. Will the protocol produce valid results?
1824 - convicted after cutting off sheep's feet).SPCA founded by Richard Martin
1835 - Royal patronage
1840 - RSPCA
1850's - anaesthesia.
- RSPCA object to vivisection
1874 - Victoria objects to vivisection
1875 - Bill presented to Commons
1876 – Cruelty to Animals Act
Canine distemper vaccine
Insulin for diabetics
Heart and lung machine for open heart surgery
Drugs for gastric ulcers
Improved treatment for asthma
Coronary bypass surgery convicted after cutting off sheep's feet).
1900sCorneal transplantsLocal anaesthetics1920sInsulin for diabeticsCanine distemper vaccine1930sModern anaestheticsDiphtheria vaccine1940sBroad spectrum antibiotics for infectionsWhooping cough vaccineHeart lung machine for open heart surgery
1950sKidney transplantsCardiac pacemakersReplacement heart valvesPolio vaccineDrugs for high blood pressureHip replacement surgery
1960sGerman measles vaccineCoronary bypass operationsHeart transplantsDrugs to treat mental illness
1970sDrugs to treat ulcers, asthma and leukaemiaImproved sutures and other surgical techniques
1980sDrugs to control transplant rejectionCAT scanning for improved diagnosisLife support systems for premature babiesDrugs to treat viral diseases
1990sFeline leukaemia vaccineMeningitis vaccineNew drugs for some cancersBetter drugs for depressionCombined drug therapy for HIV infection
(1975) Animal Liberation convicted after cutting off sheep's feet).
- Peter Singer
Proposed that moral consideration should transcend the species boundary to include all sentient animals.
Called for reasoned intellectual debate
'If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration. No matter what the nature of the being, the principle of equality requires that its suffering be counted equally with the like suffering of any other being.'
'Animals, it is true, lack many of the abilities humans possess. They can't read, do higher maths, build a bookcase or make baba ghanoush. Neither can many humans, and yet we don't (and shouldn't) say that they therefore have less inherent value, less of a right to be treated with respect, than do others.'
Ethics must widen the circle from the narrowest limits of the family, first to include the clan, then the tribe, then the nation and finally all mankind.'
........'By reason of the quite universal idea of participation in a common nature, it is compelled to declare the unity of mankind with all created beings.'