Viva La Vegan!

Hi good people, sorry again for the length of this, we will get through it. I had the good fortune to interview Dr Andrew Knight ( last month and he has just written what I consider to be the best anti animal experimentation book ever writtten. it is not disturbing (no pics or descriptions of vivisection) but it  thoroughly defeats the claim that humans benefit from animal experiments. I know that human health may not be our real interest but if we are to stop animal experimentation it is imperative that the population realises that they are not being saved by it...and in fact are being harmed in myriad ways.

Last month I looked at claims made by Oxford University of claimed benefits to humans as a result of animal experimentation, here is the second of 3 instalemnts responding to those claims. I don't want to take credit where it is not due so again, the sites I referred to for this information are I apologise that the graphs are not shown, please paste the URL to find them.

Oxford Claim: Within the living memory of many people diseases such as polio, turberculosis, leukaemia and diphtheria killed or crippled thousands every year. But now, doctors are able to prevent or treat many more diseases

While I have focussed on historical claims recently it is important to note that nothing has changed when it comes to basing human medicine on animals. No species is predictive for humans. After going our seperate way from primates 7.5 million years ago and mice 70 million years ago, needless to say they have not become predictive for us recently. The most comprehensive evidence of the impossibility of basing human medicine on other species has been collected by Dr Andrew Knight in his new book "The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments". This is a must read for all opposed to animal experimentation who wish to present an argument that actually works. While humans believe that they benefit from animal experiments we may have to stare into vivisections ugly face forever. Let's dispel this myth. Please buy it and request your local library has a copy too.

Reply: As stated earlier polio research was delayed for 29 years due to misleading results from monkeys, again, Dr Albert Sabin, creator of the oral polio vaccine...
"... prevention [of polio] was long delayed by the erroneous conception of the nature of the human disease based on misleading experimental models of the disease in monkeys."
Sabin, Albert, MD statement before the subcommittee on Hospitals and Health Care, Committee on Veterans Affairs, House of Representatives, April 26, 1984 serial no. 98-48.

It is worth noting that vaccines are safer and more efficacious for humans if made without animals. As indicated bove even primates are of no value when it comes to making human vaccines. For example so far 80 AIDS vaccines have been monkeys. NONE of them have worked in humans.

"Animal models are not suitable for predicting the immunogenicity of therapeutic mAbs [monoclonal antibodies] in humans, and transposition of the immunogenic potential of therapeutic antibodies in animals to the human situation has no scientific rationale, even in primates" - Loisel, S., M. Ohresser, M. Pallardy, D. Dayde, C. Berthou, G. Cartron, and H. Watier. 2007. Relevance, advantages and limitations of animal models used in the development of monoclonal antibodies for cancer treatment. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 62 (1):34-42 2007 was generally accepted that predicting human immunogenicity, even in non-human primates was rare and thus, the predictive power of preclinical immunogenicity is low. Bugelski & collaborators from Centocor, US FDA, GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen & Pfizer. Predictive Power of Preclinical Data for Human Immunogenicity of Macromolecules: Proceedings of a Roundtable Discussion. (Discussion sponsored by the Immunotoxicology Technical Committee Health & Environmental Sciences Institute/ International Life Sciences Institute) 2004


"Scientific medicine has taken credit it does not deserve for some advances in health. Most people believe that victory over the infectious diseases of the last century came with the invention of immunisations. In fact, cholera, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, etc, were in decline before vaccines for them became available - the result of better methods of sanitation, sewage disposal, and distribution of food and water."
Alternatives in potency testing of human bacterial and viral vaccines.

  Vaccine   Alternative method   Reference   
 Diphtheria   Vero cells
 Toxin Binding Inhibition   Kreeftenberg et al. (27)
Hendriksen et al. (28)   
 Tetanus   Lf test
 Toxin Binding Inhibition   Lying (29)
Hendriksen et al. (30)   
 Rabies   Antibody binding test
 ELISA   Barth et al. (31)
Adamovicz (32)   
  Yellow Fever   Plaque counting assy   WHO (33)  
References: 27. Kreeftenberg JG, van der Gun JW, Marsman FR, Sekhuis VM, Bhandari SK, Maheswari SC: An investigation of a mouse model to estimate the potency of the diphtheria component in combined vaccines. J Biol Stand 1985;13:229-234.
28. Hendriksen CFM, van der Gun JW, Kreeftenberg JG: The use of the Toxin Binding Inhibition (ToBI) test for the estimation of the potency of the diphtheria component of vaccines. J Biol Stand 1989;17:241-247.
29. Lyng J, Bentzon MW: Quantitative estimation of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids. 1. The flocculation test and the Lf-unit. J Biol Stand 1987;15:27-37.
30. Hendriksen CFM, van der Gun JW, Marsman FR, Kreeftenberg JG: The use of the in vitro Toxin Binding Inhibition (ToBI) Test for the estimation of the potency of tetanus toxoid. Biologicals 1991;19:23-29.
31. Barth R, Gross-Albenhausen E, Jaeger O, Milcke L: The antibody binding test, a useful method for quantitative determination of inactivated rabies virus antigen. J Biol Stand 1981;9:81-89.
32. Adamovicz P: The use of various immunochemical, biochemical and biological methods for the analysis of rabies virus production in tissue cultures. Develop Biol Standard 1984;55:191-197.
33. World Health Organization: Requirements for Yellow Fever Vaccine. WHO Technical Report Series 594.
The Effects of Immunization on Public Health
Undeniably, mortality rates were already declining before the introduction of immune therapy and prophylaxis at the end of the nineteenth century. (Table 3 shows mean annual mortality figures of two cities during successive historical time periods.) This increased life expectancy, due primarily to a reduction in deaths from infectious disease, is chiefly attributed to improvements in nutrition, living and working conditions, hygiene, and sanitation.” Prof.dr.Coenraad F.M.Hendriksen
Netherlands Vaccine Institute (NVI)
 Claim: leukemia
Reply: The US National Cancer Institute also undertook a 25 year screening programme, testing 40,000 plant species on animals for anti-tumour activity. Out of the outrageously expensive research, many positive results surfaced in animal models, but not a single benefit emerged for humans. As a result, the NCI now uses human cancer cells for cytotoxic screening.
Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science, Volume II Animal Models Svendensen and Hau (Eds.) CRC Press 1994 p4.
DAVID KORN Chairman of the National Cancer Institute's (sometimes known as the National Mouse Institute) Advisory Board says:
"For 35 years U.S. scientists labouring in the National Cancer Institute's screening programme have injected more than 400,000 chemicals into leukemic mice, hoping to find chemotherapies that would help solve the riddles of cancer... We've been using the wrong system as the screening device…The new system which is being employed at the Development Therapeutics Programme in Frederick, Maryland, uses an arsenal of automated devices and computers to test potential cancer-fighting drugs on real human cancer cells grown in laboratories rather than on mice.  This enables scientists to test more than 300 chemicals a week.  Many of these drugs had failed in the past when tested on mice."
("Giving up on the Mice.  Scientists Searching for Cancer-cures Try a New Tactic", Time Magazine, September 17 1990.)
*note: these 2 references give different figures for duration of ‘research’ and number of chemicals used. I would regard the quote from David Korn as being the more credible.

Claim: life-saving operations - all thanks to research which at some stage involved animals.
Reply: "Animal research was NOT responsible for the development of coronary bypass surgery.  In 1961 in France, Kunlin first used a portion of a person's own vein to replace obstructed arterial segments.  This gave birth to arterial bypass surgery for different parts of the body, the heart included.

By contrast, Beck of Ohio and Vineburg of Canada took their theories to the animal laboratory in search of surgical answer to the complications of coronary artery disease.  Each devised more than one procedure, envisioning success from their findings in animals. Not long after, their recommended operations were performed on thousands of human patients.  What were the results?  To say the least, unworthy.  To put it bluntly; a fiasco, a total failure.  I am witness to this event and the least I can do is speak out.  Animal experimentation inevitably leads to human experimentation.  That is the final verdict, sad as it is.  And the toll mounts on both sides."
Dr Moneim A. Fadali. For 25 years one of America's leading cardiovascular surgeons.  This highly respected doctor is also: Diplomate to the American Board of Surgery; Diplomate to the American Board of Thoracic Surgery; Certified with the Canadian Board of Surgeons; Certified with the Royal College of Surgeons, Canada; twenty-five years on the clinical staff of the University of California where he currently practises.

Experiments on dogs to develop transplant techniques were disastrous.  Hundreds of dogs were used yet the first human patients died because of complications which arose when the technique was applied to the first human patients.
(Dr Albert Iben, Stanford University cardiac surgeon reported in the Erie Daily Times, May 23 1968.)
By 1980, 65% of patients survived more than a year as a result of increased skill gained through clinical experience.
(Lancet, March 29 1980, pages 687-688.)

Dr Forssman used his own forearm to develop cardiac catheterization and his technique was completed through clinical trials with human patients.
(M. Beddow Bayly, Clinical Medical Discoveries, NAVS, 1961.)


Doctors Ivan Magill and E.S. Rowbotham, working with World War I casualties at Sir Harold Gillie's plastic surgery hospital in Sidcup, Great Britain developed the technique of delivering anaesthetic gas through a single endotracheal tube under positive pressure controlled by the patient's breathing.  They performed no animal experiments.
(R.G. Richardson, The Surgeon's Heart: A History of Cardiac Surgery, William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd, page 101.)

Fibrillation of the ventricles is life-threatening.  Reverend John Wesley in the 18th Century through clinical observations successfully used electrotherapy to stop fibrillation in human patients.  More than a century later in 1899 Presost and Batteli "re-proved" what Wesley had developed, by using electric shock to reverse ventricular fibrillation in dogs.  William B. Kouwenhoven of Johns Hopkins University is sometimes credited by pro-vivisectionists for developing a closed-chest defibrillator for dogs and then for human use in 1957.  However clinician Dr P. Zoll had developed closed-chest resuscitation on patients in 1956.  Once again Kouwenhoven repeated what Zoll had discovered through human observations and falsely credited animal research for the advance.
(L. Wertenbaker, To Mend the Heart, the Viking Press, 1980, page 178.); (J.H. Comroe, Exploring the Heart: Discoveries in Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure, W.W. Norton and Company, 1983, page 159.); (L.E. Meltzer, Textbook of Coronary Care, The Charles Press Publishers Inc., A Prentice Hall Company, 1980, page 4.)

For "restarting" the heart once again animal experiments gave misleading results.  Though a technique was shown "effective" in animals, it was discarded for use in humans because of "many problems, consisting of pain, burns and inability to keep up continuous stimulation for a prolonged period".
(W. Lillihei, "The Treatment of Complete Heart Block by the Combined Use of a Myocardial Electrode and an Artificial Pacemaker", Surgical Forum, 43rd Clinical Congress, Vol. VII, American College of Surgeons, Chicago, 1957.)

In 1935 Dr Claude S. Beck pioneered the surgical technique to increase the blood supply to the heart muscles when blood became blocked in the coronary arteries.  Beck whose success was based on clinical observations said though he had conducted thousands of animal experiments they were useless, that his only useful knowledge came from clinical studies.  The Beck operations were carried out for 25 years before being superseded by the clinical development of new operations.
(T. Preston, Coronary Artery Surgery: A Critical Review, Raven Press, 1977, page 9.)

Scientists at the Middlesex Hospital and Medical School recently isolated individual heart cells from human heart muscle.  These cells are useful in research into heart disease and in the preservation of heart (myocardial) tissue for cardiac surgery, with the advantage that results are directly applicable to patients because as the researchers stated: "... it is difficult and often misleading to extrapolate experimental results in animal tissues to man."
(T. Powell, et al, BMF, October 17 1981, pages 1013-1014.)


It is emphasised in many sources that medical progress has been delayed because of the vast difference in dogs and human beings and that dog experiments were a failure in this area.  The conduction system in dogs is less likely to clot than in human blood; dogs walk on four legs, thereby placing less stress on the circulatory system than upright human beings; the ventricles in dogs are opposite to the human system; and animal recipients of artificial hearts are healthy before the operation.  There are many other variables noted elsewhere in this work.  The first recipient of an artificial heart, Barney Clark, survived a miserable 112 days kept alive against his wish to be allowed to die, until he expired from kidney collapse.
(C.F. Scott,"Appropriate Animal Models for Research on Blood in Contact with Artificial Surfaces", Annals N.Y. Academy of Science, 516, 1987, pages 636-637.); (C.F. Scott, The Physiologist, 31 (3), 1988, page 53.); (Hans Ruesch <> , One Thousand Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection, 1989, page 28.)

Elsewhere in this work it is recorded how the discovery of insulin <>  and the success of open heart surgery <> , and organ transplants were developed despite confusion arising from experiments on dogs (and other animals).  As revealed under the section on congenital heart defects the success of the "blue baby" operation was developed through clinical observation of human patients.  Similarly the pacemaker for complete heart block was developed through investigation of those afflicted with the condition.

Each of the techniques made to contract or stimulate the ventricles in attempts to "pace" the human heart was tested on dogs and shown "effective", even heralded as a success, however they were "quickly discarded in patients because of the many problems, consisting of pain, burns and inability to keep up continuous stimulation for the prolonged period". Dr C. Walton Lillihei pioneer of the pacemaker, seeing his method which was developed on dogs fail to cross the species, devised, through observing his patients, a method of "stitching electrodes directly on to the heart, leading them through the chest and running a pulsed current through them".
"The development of artificial pacemakers for complete heart block grew out of direct studies of human patients suffering from ventricular septal defect."
(W. Lillihei, "The Treatment of Complete Heart Block by the Combined Use of a Myocardial Electrode and an Artificial Pacemaker", Surgical Forum, 43rd Clinical Congress, Vol. VIII, American College of Surgeons, Chicago, 1957, page 360.)
Also refer L. Wertenbaker, To Mend the Heart, The Viking Press, 1980, page 181; and R.G. Richardson, The Surgeon's Heart: A History of Cardiac Surgery, William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd, page 101.

The heart-lung machine was the most critical development in open-heart surgery for it takes over the function of the patient's heart and lungs during open heart operations.  John H. Gibbon of Philadelphia, U.S.A. who developed a heart-lung machine on dogs abandoned his project when two patients died, admitting that it was unsafe for human beings.  J.W. Kirklin of the Mayo Clinic, without the use of animals and using careful clinical trials made a heart-lung machine which was successful on human beings.
(H. McLeave, The Risk Takers, Holt, Rinehard & Winston, 1962, page 70.)

Journal of the American Heart Association titled Stroke.  In issue 7:14 of 1976 an article headed "Clinical Relevance of Experimental Stroke Models" by G.F. Molinari says the following:
"The way researchers 'simulate' a stroke in an animal is by the application of microsurgical spring-clips to an artery.  The clipping itself affects blood vessels in ways totally artificial and never seen in blood vessels of human stroke patients."
In the May 1989 issue of Stroke, Samuel Neff of the New England Medical Centre wrote:
"The repeated failure of laboratory-proven stroke therapies in human beings can be due only to the inapplicability of animal models to human cerebrovascular disease."
Less than a year later, in January 1990, in Stroke, David O. Wiebers and his colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Iowa wrote a substantial and comprehensive article in which they called the relevance of information from animal experiments "dubious". They cited a review of experimental treatments for stroke over the past decade extracts of which read:
  1. "Of 25 treatments which worked in animals, not a single one worked in human studies."
  2. "Human strokes are complicated by underlying artherosclerosis, genetic factors, chronic hypertension, diabetes, smoking and medications, all of which can have important effects and cannot be duplicated in animal studies."
  3. "Attempts to cause strokes in animals are highly artificial and can send armies of researchers down blind alleys, wasting precious time and money."
In a further issue of Stroke, July 1990, Weibers wrote:
"Dozens of treatments tested on animals did not work in people."
He, along with his team of researchers, cautioned against the assumption that information from animal experiments is relevant to the human disease.  In the same issue, Justin Zivin and James Grotta agreed that:
"Drug studies in animal models have not... translated into effective therapy in humans."
Stroke journal, which is the most relevant and weighty source of information applicable to the subject states in the above article:
"Conclusions arising from the whole Stroke debate were that reliance on animal models impede rather than advance scientific progress in the treatment of stroke."

"Basic physiology tells us there is no suitable animal model for strokes because, unlike humans, animals have a collateral vascular system in their brains which allows blood to bypass clots; therefore they do not have strokes in the way humans do, nor are the effects from stroke the same.  In addition, many domestic animals have a retermirable system of blood vessels which effectively filters out blood clots and other substances that might otherwise flow to the brain."
(J. Moossy, "Morphological Validation of Ischemic Stroke Models", Cerebrovascular Diseases, edited by T.R. Price and E. Nelson, New York, Raven Press, 1979, page 7.)
I will respond to the remainder of Oxfords claims next month.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been involved in animal issues for 22 years since seeing a film of monkeys in brain research in 1988. Animal experimentation has been the area which concerns Douglas the most but he has been involved in all types of animal issues over that time. Douglas will be a regular contributor to Viva la Vegan! and hopes that he can help people to use the most effective anti-vivisection arguments and action. Contact Doug This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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