Hans Ruesch


VIVISECTION – Questions and Answers



Q: Would you prefer that humans were experimented on, rather than animals?


A: Far from it. On the contrary, we wish human experimentation to cease. Experiments on humans are constantly being performed, and precisely because animal experiments are inconclusive. Any claimed need for animal experiments would thus be invalid.


Q: How, then, are we to develop new drugs?


A: Your question assumes that we actually need ever more new drugs and that animal tests can give us accurate information about their effects. Both assumptions are false.


Q: Are you saying, then, that we do not need any more new drugs?


A: Only the pharmaceutical industry needs more and more drugs to replace those whose uselessness and dangers can no longer be hushed up. The vast majority of the 205,000 medicaments and their combinations, which have so far been developed, have already been withdrawn. Animal experiments led the naive researchers to the wrong conclusions.


Q: How many drugs do we actually need?


A: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a list of around only 250 essential drugs. Even this modest number is ten times higher than that specified by the medical commission of Chile's President Allende, who was himself a doctor. There simply are not enough illnesses for the more than 60,000 medicines which are today on the market in Germany, for instance, or for the 6,000 or so in Switzerland, although again and again new illnesses are created by these new medicines.


Q: Is it possible to establish the efficacy of a medicament without doing animal experiments?


A: In point of fact, most of the few medicines which have provable therapeutic value were never tested out on animals at all. They are of plant origin and were known as early as antiquity, when, very sensibly, people did not test them out on animals.


Q: Haven't these useful medicines also been taken up by the pharmaceutical industry?


A: A few, it is true; but in quite the wrong manner. In order to mass produce them (that is to say, in order to make money as quickly as possible), the drugs industry has synthesised these healing agents -.... attempted to reproduce them artificially  but with the usual devastating results.


Q: Can you give more information on this?


A: Rauwolfia serpentina is a native Indian herb of the apocynaceae family which has been used for centuries and contains various therapeutically important alkaloids, including the blood-pressure lowering reserpine and the heart-regulating ajmaline. In its natural state this medicinal herb contains numerous trace elements and salts, which make it easily assimilable, in addition to the usual "vital" substances which chemical analysis simply cannot lay hold of and thus not reproduce. Then the businessmen of the laboratories set about isolating reserpine, creating it synthetically and prescribing it in its pure form, until 20 or more years ago it became clear that this artificially produced preparation i.e. the chemical imitation of the valuable natural product  causes breast cancer and severe depression in humans conditions which years of animal tests had been unable to predict and which are not caused by the natural plant.


Q: But supposing for a moment that we had to test out a new medicine, shouldn't we first try it out on animals?


A: Certainly not. All the numerous drug disasters of the last few decades only occurred because of reliance on the results of animal experiments. Before the massive introduction of animal experiments there were no drug catastrophes.


Q: Cannot animal tests tell us, for instance, whether a new drug will cause birth defects?


A: Not at all. They only lead us astray, as happened in the Thalidomide case, which was only the first and best known example, but by no means the only one of its kind. Thalidomide was, on the basis of animal experiments, specifically and expressly recommended for pregnant women. Since then animal testing has much increased, under the pretext of avoiding further tragedies, but unfortunately the very opposite result has been achieved: malformed babies have enormously increased (for more details, see Hans Ruesch's SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENT, chapter entitled "10,000 Little Monsters"). Conversely, if aspirin had first been tried out on animals, this most frequently used and (relatively) most harmless of medicaments of the 20th century would probably never have got onto the market, as it spells death for many animal species. Thus animal experiments can also block the possible use by us of valuable medications.


Q: So you regard research using animals as erroneous?


A: Thousands of medical experts not subservient to the pharmaceutical industry will confirm this view most emphatically. But they are not allowed a voice by the venal media, who are in the pay of the chemical industry, and the mass media only ever disseminate the untruths that come from the industry's spokespersons.


Q: Why, then, do the Health Authorities require animal experiments?


A: The so called Health Authorities employ medical pseudo-experts who are forced on them by the chemical industry. Animal experiments only serve an alibi function. Whenever a new drug disaster strikes, the manufacturers can exculpate themselves by insisting that they had conscientiously carried out the "statutory safety tests". But they fail to disclose that it was they themselves who demanded that these misleading and deceptive tests be enshrined in law.


Q: Do you mean to say that these tests do not guarantee public safety?


A: Worse than that  drugs tested in this manner have caused a whole host of new, previously unknown illnesses.


Q: For example?


A: Subacute myelo optic neuropathy (SMON for short) is a completely new and severe disease of the nervous system which has led to paralysis, blindness and even death in tens of thousands of human beings. It was caused by medications containing the chemical, clioquinol (developed in Basle), and this drug was spread around the whole world under false pretences. It was established in a court of law that clioquinol possesses no therapeutic value whatsoever. So deadly "side effects" without any benefits except, of course, for the manufacturers.


Q: Another example?


A: Stilboestrol, a synthetic hormone tested on animals for decades and specially recommended for pregnant women to prevent miscarriages, was later proven to cause cancer in those women's children, particularly their young girls (for details, see SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENT, chapters entitled, "Cancer causing Drugs", "The Stilboestrol Case" and "Sorcerer's Apprentices"). These are only a couple of examples (out of many). The American FDA, a kind of medicine police, recently admitted that in any given year around one and a half million Americans have to be hospitalised because of the adverse effects of medicines. And once in hospital, as is well known, their health is frequently damaged further by wrong therapies, which can even kill them.


Q: Is this true of Europe too?


A: Of course. And above all in those countries where the propaganda of the chemical industry and the doctors, in collaboration with the state authorities, have succeeded in palming off "official" medicine onto the superstitious public as a kind of new religion. This is the case here too.


Q: Do you mean to say that people are being deliberately misled?


A: Precisely that. In the interests of the chemical industry. Jobs are more important to governments than the people's health. That is why as early as infancy the population is made dependent on medicines. The parents help along with this too. Of course they were themselves brought up in this way. A congress of specialist German doctors for internal medicine in Wiesbaden, Germany confirmed in 1977 that 6% of all illnesses resulting in death and 25% of all organic diseases are caused by medicines. Moreover, 61% of all deformities at birth and 88% of all still-....births are caused by drugs. According to Professor Hoff and many other health experts, therapy damage is today the most frequent cause of illness.


Q: How about in Switzerland?


A: How could it be any different in a land dominated by the chemical industry? In Switzerland there are, in percentage terms, just as many instances of harmful therapy and just as many venal politicians, opinion formers in the media and journalists as in other industrialised nations. That is why CIVIS has set itself the task of publishing and disseminating sources of information like the present one.


Q: Is the war against cancer, heart disease or high blood pressure possible without animal research?


A: Although millions of animals are sacrificed each year in research on cancer and circulation ailments, these illnesses are constantly increasing. Their causes are well known and could be avoided by preventative measures, which are in fact the only valid approach and do not cause dangerous side-effects. But of course there is no money to be made out of prevention. So people are wrongly persuaded that they don't need to make any personal effort or sacrifices to stay healthy  all they need do is swallow pills, which the philanthropic pharmaceutical industry puts at their disposal. The taxpayer picks up the tab.


Q: Hasn't diabetes been cured through animal experiments?


A: Diabetes is one of those illnesses which are best avoided by preventative measures, namely a suitable diet. The longterm use of animal derived insulin (a catastrophically harmful approach) leads to blindness, circulatory and other problems and early death, as well as encouraging the insulin-user to neglect the appropriate diet. What is more, long term insulin use leads to the total atrophy of the already malfunctioning pancreas gland. No wonder that since the introduction of insulin, diabetes has not decreased but increased enormously. Now can we speak of success here?


Q: Wasn't penicillin discovered by animal experimentation?


A: Penicillin was discovered by pure chance and would probably not have been employed as a medicine, according to statements by its co-discoverers, had it been first tested as intended on guinea pigs  since penicillin is fatal to guinea-....pigs. But at the time there were no guinea pigs available in their laboratory, so mice were used instead and they weren't killed by it.


Q: But is it not true at least that the correct dosage had to be tested out on animals?


A: How can that be true when some animals can tolerate 100 times more or less of a given substance than human beings? In any case, to this day there is still no universally "correct" dosage of penicillin. Some people are extremely allergic to penicillin and can be severely harmed by it, while it remains ineffective in others. Moreover, more and more doctors are agreed these days that penicillin has caused more harm than good.


Q: How is that possible?


A: The thoughtless, massive over prescription of penicillin, using it even as a preventative medicine, has over time led to the development of particularly resistant strains of bacteria which are immune to all penicillin treatments. The same applies to other antibiotics produced after penicillin and its antibiotic offspring began to lose their efficacy. It is one of the achievements of modem medicine that it has succeeded in creating ever-weaker human beings, and ever stronger strains of bacteria. "Antibiotic", by the way, means "hostile to life". And it is no secret that all these wonder drugs have only worked wonders for the bank balances of their manufacturers (for details, see SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENT, chapter entitled "The Pushers").


Q: What types of non animal methods of research exist?


A: The most important is intelligent clinical observation, which has solved so many major medical problems in the past. Further, one can use human cell/tissue/organ cultures, painlessly available from biopsies, aborted foetuses, umbilical cords, placentas, etc. They all produce more reliable results, precisely because they are of human and not animal origin. Also, computer technology is now highly developed in this field. Computers can be used not only for diagnosis and data analysis, but also in areas of the testing of medicinal preparations, conditioned reflexes, kidney function, heart disease and growth studies (for details, see SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENT, chapter on "Alternative Methods"). These methods are not only more reliable, but also more economic than animal experiments.


Q: Then why are they not more widely used?


A: Mainly because our teachers have not been adequately trained. They are still living in the last century. The use of progressive research methods needs to be learned; it requires hard study and at least average intelligence whereas any idiot can cut up or poison animals and report what he sees. Whether such experiments have any validity for human medical research is of no interest to these gentlemen. Clearly, there is no obstinacy greater than that of academics mired in their set ways. But in addition, over the last few decades a gigantic industry has developed around animal research: manufacturers of restraining devices, cages and torture instruments, as well as animal breeders, all of whom together constitute a most powerful lobby who influence the media and the politicians.


Q: Is it not true that today's higher life expectancy is due to vaccination?


A: Medical historians take a different view, since the decline in the infectious diseases and the increase in life expectancy set in half a century before the introduction of mass vaccinations. They were the result of improved hygiene and better general living standards.


Q: Were not the great plagues and epidemics defeated by vaccination?


A: All the great plagues and epidemics evinced a certain cycle. Inoculations were only introduced when the cycle was already approaching its end. The devastating bubonic plague of the Middle Ages disappeared on its own without medical intervention and long before there was any talk of vaccinations. Puerperal (childbirth) fever which in earlier times snatched away the lives of so many newborn babies and their mothers and for a long time diminished general life expectancy was defeated solely by the hygienic measures introduced by Semmelweis many decades before Pasteur (for details, see SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENT, chapter entitled, "Surgery").


Q: Was not smallpox, at least, conquered by vaccination?


A: Quite the opposite. Great Britain abolished compulsory smallpox vaccination towards the end of the 19th century, because its dangerous nature had rightly been recognised: and even in the 20th century Britain had fewer cases of smallpox than those European countries which had compulsory vaccination (for details, see SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENT, chapters entitled, "Vaccines and other Confusions" and 'The Giants with Feet of Clay").


Q: Is it then not possible to establish beyond doubt whether an inoculation has achieved its purpose?


A: Proof of this can never be forthcoming. To get a statistically sound answer one would have to expose a large number of unvaccinated persons to a dangerous infection and then compare them with a corresponding number of vaccinated persons who were exposed to the same infection but had been vaccinated.


Q: Doesn't the rapid population explosion in the Third World prove that vaccination protects against disease?


A: The introduction of mass vaccination programmes is always accompained by improved hygienic measures and better living conditions. That more food and less filth have a positive effect on life expectancy is obvious.


Q: So it is not possible to prove any positive effects from vaccination?


A: That has never been achieved. The only thing that can be proven is the numerous instances of severe vaccine damage. Whole volumes have been written on this and are to be found in medical libraries. But we are not here questioning whether vaccination is useful or not, but whether animals need to be used. And again and again vaccines not developed on animals have shown themselves to be less dangerous.


Q: For example?


A: To produce vaccines one requires basic biological material, which does not necessarily need to come from animals. Thus, in the ex Soviet Union almost all vaccines were developed using duck eggs; and this certainly not because the Soviet authorities were great animal lovers (in the Soviet Union there were very few pets, due to the enormously high animal tax imposed there), but because this production method had proven itself as much less dangerous for the user.


Q: Wasn't polio eliminated thanks to experiments on monkeys?


A: That is propaganda, deliberate misinformation. Precisely the opposite was the case. Massive polio vaccination programmes were only introduced when this extremely rare infectious disease was already dying out. Polio declined in all the countries that did not vaccinate against it, just as in those which did. These latter, however, witnessed a renewed flaring up of the illness every time after vaccination. Brazil was hit particularly badly, since there had previously been almost no polio at all in that country, until mass vaccination was undertaken.


Q: Did polio vaccination really cause provable health damage?


A: Certainly. In 1983, for instance  some 30 years after the allegedly so successful action against polio  there were major polio vaccination scandals in the USA, Great Britain and New Zealand. Of particular interest is the fact that the tissue cultures derived from monkey kidneys (upon which Salk and Sabin based their vaccines) proved to be very dangerous, and were so precisely because they were of animal origin. Recognition of this fact led to the production of a new vaccine, which derived not from animals but from human cell cultures (For details see SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENT, chapters entitled, "Alternative Methods" and "Cancer Causing Drugs").


A letter in the "Swiss Observer" stated some time back that to this day it is not possible to prove the presence of tuberculosis in a patient without doing animals tests.


This and similar medical nonsense is propagated by Dr Carl Stemmler, collaborator on the "Swiss Observer" a newspaper which likes to present this gentleman as a great animal lover, evidently all the better to deceive the public on the subject of vivisection. Stemmler is a passionate advocate of animal experiments and was for years president of the state commission for the control of animal experiments in the city of Basle: that is, a commission which routinely approved even the most senseless, most cruel experiments. Unfortunately, public opinion is helplessly exposed to the deceptions of such pseudo experts, since all other sources of information and contrary views are denied free expression.


Q: Is it not true, then, that one cannot prove the presence of TB without animal tests?


A: It is most definitely not true. In earlier decades they knew no other method than injecting a small amount of material including the phlegm, saliva, stomach juices and urine of a patient into guinea pigs and then waiting for weeks to see whether they developed TB. The results were as always with vivisection unreliable. But since then, more skilled researchers have developed a means of culturing TB bacteria "in vitro'" i.e. outside the animal body in an artificial culture medium, so that examination now proceeds using the microscope alone and the animal tests have been obsolete for well over 20 years.


Q: Okay, granted that animals are useless for human medical research. What, though, about surgery? Surely a surgeon needs to practise his manual dexterity by operating on animals?


A: Allow me a counter question: Would you let yourself be operated on by a vet? Why not?  We shall answer you with the words of Lawson Tait, the famous British surgeon, who at the end of the 19th century developed fundamental operative techniques which are still in use today. After years of experimenting on animals, Tait gave up this method and started to speak out forcibly in a veritable campaign against vivisection. He wrote, for instance: "As a method of research, experimentation on living animals has led all those who have practised it to quite wrong conclusions, and the reports abound with cases where not only animals are uselessly sacrificed but where, because of the errors, humans have been added to the list of sacrifices too." A whole host of authoritative surgeons of today and yesteryear have expressed similar views.


Q: How, then, does a surgeon develop the necessary manual skill?


A: Abel Desjardins, the best-known French surgeon of his time and professor of surgery at the University of Paris, answered this question unequivocally and logically. In a lecture in Geneva he stated, amongst other things: "First one must be an assistant to an experienced surgeon for a long time. Then one takes up simple cases under the supervision of one's teacher, who can warn about every wrong move or give advice. Gradually one moves on to more difficult cases. That is the true method of training up a surgeon, and I state categorically that there is no other. Any training based upon operations upon dogs cannot but lead to lamentable errors. The surgeon who knows his art cannot learn a thing from such exercises, and the trainee does not learn correct surgical technique from them but becomes a dangerous surgeon." (For details, see SLAUGHTER Of THE INNOCENT, chapters entitled, "Surgery", "Surgical Training", and "Major Surgeons Speaking").


Q: If the situation really is as you state it, why are these facts not more generally known?


A: Because public opinion is manipulated by the vested-interest groups of the chemical industry and the doctors, who constantly back each other up. In Switzerland, for example, the chemical industry is well known to be the dominating force, with the pharmaceutical branch being the most lucrative. The chemical and arms industries are not subject to the politicians, but rank above them in real power. They also influence the attitudes of the opinion forming Press, which depends for its survival on advertisements  approximately 80-90% of all ads stem directly or indirectly from big business, which exerts an effective form of censorship, so that our ads (the ads of CIVIS) are simply refused by the great press barons of Switzerland, even though we are trying to point out the deplorable state of affairs that exists in matters of public health.


Q: Do you mean to say that not even doctors are all inspired by high ideals but are manipulated by industry?


A: Exactly. Through generous endowments to universities, the chemical industry buys the indebtedness and dependency of relevant university departments, not to mention the doctors, who have become assiduous propagandists for the disastrous but lucrative products of the chemical industry. Intelligent, brave and honest doctors who prescribe cheap, tried and tested, safe natural medications are denounced as "quacks" by the chemical pushers who dominate orthodox medicine, and nature cure physicians are often thrown out of the medical fraternity altogether. By means of generous donations, the financial powers of the chemical industry have won over the leaders of all the big animal-protection societies and have even bribed the leaders of some anti-vivisection societies, so that they now see their main role as hushing up the truth about vivisection's uselessness and ever attendant dangers. In other words, their task is to hold anti-vivisectionism in check.


Q: How can that be done?


A: By asserting that at least a certain percentage of animal experiments "are still essential" and that one cannot therefore press for total abolition. But through this means, any experiment can be justified, since it is the pseudo scientists of the chemical and medical industry who claim the right to decide what is and is not "essential". Experience has shown that for them everything is ultimately deemed "essential". That is why we insist on total abolition of all animal experiments, instead of regulation, which already exists and has proven itself utterly inadequate. The vivisectors are only too keen to "regulate" themselves.


Q: Didn't the Swiss Academy of Medical Science recently publish certain ethical guidelines to protect laboratory animals?


A: That is revealed as just another deceit when one realises that this highsounding organisation, disguised as a "Foundation", was actually set up by the chemical industry and is financed by them: their only purpose is to propagate their harmful, sickness-....generating poisons.


Q: So you don't ascribe any philanthropic motives to the chemical industry?


A: What would YOU say about an industry that does not hesitate to dump drugs onto the peoples of the Third World  drugs which have long been withdrawn from the manufacturers' own markets because of their devastating side effects?


Q: Haven't the chemical firms in Basle threatened to relocate their factories abroad if vivisection is abolished?


A: That is just empty propaganda to intimidate the politicians and the people. Organisations which have succeeded in foisting poisons and carcinogenic ''medicines'' as "anti cancer" drugs onto the world will certainly manage to sell less dangerous products if they wish to. We do not demand that they stop selling medicines, but that they change their methods of research. The turnover of Basle medicines could even become greater if on the packets was written: "The efficacy of this medicine has not been tried out on animals."


Q: Another point occurs to me: the rhesus factor was discovered by animal experiments, as the name indicates.


A: Not at all. The rhesus factor, like everything else, was first discovered in the human being and then sought after in the animal. In 1939 Levine and Stetson had discovered a new antigen (substance that causes the formation of antibodies in the blood) in the serum of a woman who, after a still birth, had had a blood transfusion from her husband, with grave consequences.[1] They described the agglutinin (substance that causes the sticking together of red blood corpuscles) without giving a name to it. Had they done so, the "rhesus factor" would have a different name today. A year later, Landsteiner and Wiener discovered that when one injects blood from the "Macacus Rhesus" monkey into the peritoneum of a rabbit, an agglutinin appears in the blood of the rabbit which is similar (but not identical) to the agglutinin described by Levine and Stetson, and they gave it the designation, "RH", which is short for "Rhesus".[2]


Q: A final question: Why don't you concern yourself more with the well being of humankind rather than that of animals?


A: From all that has been said so far you will be able to see that we are also concerned for the good of humanity, and actually a lot more than the chemical industry, the media, the doctors and the governments all put together. With such organisations, the "good of humanity" and "our children" are welcome pretexts for boosting their own power and wealth. This question is usually put to us by people who have never done anything for either animals or people. There are adequate statutes in our legislation for the protection of people. But the same legislation has seen to it that not the laboratory animals but solely their torturers and ruthless exploiters are protected.  And animal experimenters exploit humanity too.


Q: Do you believe that all this can be changed? If so, how?


Only through a thorough re-education of the whole population. And that is precisely what CIVIS is attempting to achieve. Would you like to help us?


[translated from the German by Tony Page, of UKAVIS, 1998]






[1] Levine P. Stetson R. 1939: “An unusual case of intra-group agglutination”, Journal of the American Medical Association, 113, 126.

[2] Landsteiner K., Wiener A. S. 1940: “An agglutinable factor in human blood recognizable by immune sera for Rhesus blood”, Soc. Exp. Biol. Med., 43, 223.