1882: "Pardon me for saying that 'if the rose would smell as sweet by any other name,' surely the blood of tortured animals would also retain its repulsive odor under any other designation." Perhaps Mr. Bergh and Miss Cobbe vaguely apprehend that, should the intelligent people of their respective lands once realize that three fourths or more of what are indiscriminately stigmatized as vivisections are absolutely painless, their denunciations would have little weight, their occupations would be gone.
Specific repressive legislation is commonly directed against the ignorant or the vicious. Laws for the suppression of vivisection stand almost alone as aimed against those who are charged with the mental and physical welfare of the community, and whose official positions and social relations would enable them to further materially the general objects of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I am not aware of any action upon the part of the teachers of this State respecting Mr. Bergh's efforts to deprive them of the most effective means of illustrating physiology, but the sentiment of the medical profession has been clearly expressed. As stated by Dr. Dalton, and in the "Medical Record" for February 28, 1880, and February 10, 1883, Resolutions affirming the value of experiments upon animals, and deprecating legislative interference therewith, have been adopted by seven medical schools of the State, by the State Medical Society, and by sixteen organizations representing various localities or special branches of the science. It is hardly to be expected that many physicians or teachers will enroll themselves under the banner of humanity to animals so long as the same staff carries the black flag of anti-vivisection, which in their eyes is inhumanity to man.
Few educated persons doubt that experimental physiology has practically contributed something to human welfare, and the probability or even possibility that knowledge so gained might save the life or the health of a single child must be felt, at least by the parents of that child, to justify the sacrifice of "a wilderness of monkeys," not to mention lower forms. Naturally, therefore, among the writers in favor of vivisection, nearly all have confined their arguments to the medical and surgical advances which have been made or aided thereby. Some (Dalton, Foster, Leffingwell, and Yeo) have implied, perhaps unintentionally, that physiology appertains only to medical science; while others (Owen, Tait, etc.), defenders as well as opposers of vivisec-
- "Experimentation upon Animals," chapter iv.
- According to the Report for 1882, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals contains four hundred and two members or donors. Four of them are physicians.
- Richard Owen, "Experimental Physiology, its Benefits to Mankind," etc., London, 1882; Lawson Tait, "The Uselessness of Vivisection upon Animals as a Means of Scientific Research," "Transactions of the Birmingham Philosophical Society," April 20, 1882; G. F. Yeo, "Vivisection and Practical Medicine," "Popular Science Monthly," March, 1883.