Vivisection

"Caught in the Act" by Melody Macdonald

Animals have been treated in unspeakable ways by the patriarchy.

It was only when women entered the field of science that anyone began campaigning against vivisection, (which is “the cutting of or operation on a living animal usually for physiological or pathological investigation” ) Until women tried to put a stop to it, men were going along their merry way torturing animals. .

Is it a coincidence that it was a woman, Frances Cobbe, who founded the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection? Considering that men have consistently held a disproportionate amount of social, political and economic power, I find it extraordinary that it fell to women to fight against this heinous crime; that it was women who were compassionate enough to try to put an end to the suffering inflicted by men.

I can just imagine the reception she received from the men she was fighting against in 1885

“For Cobbe the huge and compassionate response of women to the suffering of animals was a vindication of her belief that they would be the moral and spiritual regenerators of society- a society that should cease to degrade itself by the deliberate infliction of cruelty on animals.

However, Cobbe’s tireless work against vivisection wore down her health and strength and by the end of the 1880s she left London for the seclusion of Wales…” (Helen Rappaport, Encyclopedia of women Social Reformers)”

The bold I have highlighted tells me she experienced the usual abuse and ridicule that women face when they oppose men. They probably thought she was mad.

Vivisection is an unspeakable crime. I cannot bring myself to elaborate further on what exactly it involves. If it wasn’t for women like Cobbe, perhaps men might never have learned that putting animals through needless excruciating pain was unacceptable. Are they devoid of humanity? Who knows? Perhaps the men in white coats should answer that question for us themselves.

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