Richet, Charles Robert - The A Pros And Cons Of Vivisection - It is our duty to have sympathy for, and to abstain from indifference and cruelty in our dealings with all living creatures
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The A Pros And Cons Of Vivisection' By Dr Charles Rlchet Professor Of Physiology In The Faculty Of Medicine Paris 1908
May [I] be permitted, … to express the high moral esteem which [I] feels for all those who, nobly enamoured of a very high ideal, deny to men the right of inflicting suffering, or even death, upon animals? There is not a more generous thought than this. Without doubt it is our duty to have sympathy for, and to abstain from indifference and cruelty in our dealings with all living creatures : might does not constitute right. Man is stronger than the animal ; but this superiority of power, this might, does not constitute a right to act contrary to moral obligation.
Morality does not consist solely of duties towards human beings ; it is more general : it extends to every being capable of suffering. The physiologist is not an ignoramus, neither is he a barbarian ; and he has right well understood this duty.
Physiologists have concluded that experimentation upon living animals is necessary, and it is the many reasons which have led them to this opinion which I propose to set forth. But it will, I hope, be quite understood that my defence of vivisection implies no contempt, no raillery, no unfriendly sentiment towards those who oppose it.
My opponents are not always courteous or loyal in their polemics ; but that is of no importance ; and I shall reply only to such objections as are potent, able, and rational. In other words, I shall take from among the arguments of anti-vivisectionists those only which can be called legitimate, those which deserve to be studied methodically and profoundly by every man of good faith. I shall deliberately put on one side both abuse and nonsense.
I quite believe that, even to-day, here and there in the laboratories of physiology, young men may be found who are no doubt enamoured of science, but who have not sufficiently reflected on the nature of pain, and consequently, through lack of sympathy, are callous and indifferent about inflicting useless, or almost useless, tortures on innocent animals…..
I maintain that no experimental physiological demonstrations which involve suffering should ever be performed.