Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/191

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VIVISECTION IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK.

1. The object of an experiment may be the advancement of knowledge by research, or its diffusion by teaching.

2. In respect to the infliction of pain and death, experiments are of four kinds: (1.) The animal has been recently killed; (2.) The animal is rendered insensible by anæsthetics and killed before revival; (3.) Anæsthetics are used during the experiment, but the animal revives and endures the healing of wounds; (4.) Without anæsthetics, the animal is subjected to cutting operations, or to the effects of poisons or of insufficient food.

3. All experiments at Cornell University belong to the first two groups. Of all the experiments performed during the past year in the State of New York, whether for research or instruction, probably less than one tenth would come under the fourth class, and not more than one tenth under the third. In view of what is learned from these experiments, the total amount of pain and death inflicted is insignificant.

4. It is desirable to make a verbal distinction between painful and painless experiments, and to adopt a single term in place of the phrase experimentation upon animals.[1]

5. Over and above the utilitarian argument drawn from its subserviency to medical science, physiology should be pursued and illustrated experimentally like chemistry or physics, because it is a most interesting and suggestive branch of knowledge.

6. In the State of New York are very few men whose natural and acquired powers of body and mind qualify them to determine when painful experiments are required, to perform them successfully, and to wisely interpret the results. Such men, deserving alike of the highest honor and the deepest pity, should exercise their solemn office not only unrestrained by law, but upheld by public sentiment.

7. All teachers of physiology, from primary schools to universities, should illustrate their instruction by experiments upon animals, chiefly if not wholly painless.

8. All experiments should indirectly inculcate humanity to animals. The victims should be treated with respect on account of what is learned from them, and with gentleness because "cruelty to animals is the beginning of cruelty to man." Even the administration of anaesthetics should cause the least possible discomfort.

9. The abolition of vivisection in the State of New York is demanded by a single individual, who has not as yet displayed the necessary qualifications for dealing with so large a problem. The laws proposed by him are vaguely framed, and inconsistent with his own utterances upon the subject.

10. A single physician has advocated legal restriction of painful

  1. Such a term is zoöpery, from the Greek ζοον, an animal, and πεὶραω, I experiment. By inflection we get zoöperal, relating to experimentation on animals, and zoöperist, one who performs such experiments. In this connection, it is to be noted that many experiments are upon dead animals, and some involve no cutting at all.