VIVISECTION


That brings me to the last of my descriptions of vivisection. It is an immoral practice because it is based upon the untenable theory, the immorality of which the whole world is agreed, that the strong can exploit the weak to the advantage of those in power.


Dr. ALLINSON has said that mass thought, the idea that the majority must necessarily be right, is shown to be a pure fallacy. Any of us who have read our history books knows that majority thought is hardly ever right. Look back over the views which men, and women have held, not only stupid men and women, but, in some cases, the most intelligent and cultured men and women, who have held majority ideas, and had belief in creeds which to us to-day seem absolutely incredible.

Take the witch trials, which are well worth reading, as an example of this extraordinary idea of mass or majority thought. In the days of the witch trials it was not only the uneducated and the unthinking, but the highest legal brains of that age, who had the duty of sifting the evidence in those trials, who one and all believed that witches existed, that they rode on broomsticks, and met at the crossroads the Devil, who came to tempt them, and show them the way to bewitch the rest of the community.

Chief Baron Hale himself said that witches existed and that of this there can be not doubt, for Scripture itself has shown us so, and men women with their own eyes have seen them. To-day, of course, that sounds extraordinary, but it is not one wit more extraordinary than the belief, not only held by the medical profession, but by the public in general, in this illusion called vivisection.

anybody who gives the subject a moments study will see at once that every argument, scientific, moral and social, proves that vivisection is a pure illusion, that it has always been an illusion, and so long as it exists will continue to be an illusion. As I came along to this meeting I read on one of those wayside pulpits these words: “Learn first and then think for yourself.” Now, these meetings are called each year, that we should learn first. They are not profitable unless those who speak, and those who come to listen, having learned first, go out and think for themselves, for this age in which we live suffers the greatest danger from mass thinking.

It is an age of mass production, it is an age of mass everything, and the reason why it is more dangerous in this age to be under a spell of any kind is because science had given us the means and the power of exploiting, if we will, that dangerous thing called mass psychology, and mass thinking. The newspaper of our day, that enormous power which controls the thoughts of nearly every community living under it, is a most dangerous thing not well used.

Broadcasting, a wonderful instrument given by science, but terrible if not properly used by Man, or used to exploit that dangerous thing mass thinking. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, we must think, if ever the world is to think at all to-day, for ourselves. But we must first educate ourselves, learn our subject and then, having learnt it, make up our minds as to what our views shall be. This, and this alone, is true liberty, and this talk about the freedom which we possess to-day is an utter illusion unless we possess the power to learn first, and then think for ourselves afterwards (Applause).

Now, having said that, I would like for a few moments to deal with this question of vivisection. What is vivisection? I do not mean what it is technically, or what it is by the meaning of the dictionary, but what is it as it appears to the public-to the mass thought of the people? It is the belief that by experimenting upon animals who are in the power of man, we can gain some advantage to ourselves.

It is that appeal which is made by the medical profession, it is that appeal which is made by the vested interests which lie behind this thing, and which, in my opinion, is the strongest force which keeps vivisection living to-day. (Hear, hear). It is the appeal, which is strongest to us all.

I do not mean in vivisection, but once those how desire to exploit their fellowmen have found the means whereby they can appeal to that lowest instinct in the human heart-that by the suffering of some other living thing, that by the sacrifice of something which is in our power, we can gain something for ourselves-once appeal has been made it is very difficult to resist when we put to the temptation. We here may think that we are strong, and it has not temptation for us, but we are only a small gathering.

Out in the great world there are men and women who have not learned yet what this thing means. When the hour comes, and they believe themselves to be in danger that is their weakest moment. They succumb, and we should not blame them, nor thank God that we are not as they. In the minds of the public the appeal made on behalf of vivisection is a very plausible example.

Dacre Fox