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A Dog's Life


In newspaper advertisements and in mailed leaf-lets, the melancholy faces of cocker spaniels and kittens have recently appeared to ask you for mercy. Their appeals are translated into English by the anti-vivisection societies, now embarked on a new crusade to keep pets from the torture chambers of Cruel Science. The text accompanying the melancholy faces tells you that the trusting friend of another child has fallen into the clutches of the "remorseless experimenters."

The image of doctors muttering midnight incantations over the sufferings of mute beasts is ridiculous enough to make most non-Hearst readers laugh at the anti-vivisectionists. They should. Two years ago the anti-vivisectionists paraded a steady stream of pet-owners to the State House for hearings on the Miles-Nolan vivisection bill. They have now a marshaled stack of theological arguments, most of them stating that the merciful shall obtain mercy, and that what has been formed by God should not be deformed by man. In some places the anti-vivisectionists have become powerful enough to curtail medical research.

Through such medical research the lives of thousands of diabetics have been saved and prolonged, since the effectiveness of insulin was discovered partly through experiments on dogs. Animal experimentation has saved human lives in other fields as well. Medical witnesses have repeatedly emphasized that general anesthesia is always employed in animal operations, and that most of the animals killed are strays which would die merely in the name of sanitation, rather than science. Furthermore, clerics from all major denominations have contended that no theological tenets oppose regulated vivisection.

In New Jersay, where vivisection is outlawed, there are no medical schools. A similar threat to medical research exists in this Commonwealth. No one will condemn the Friendship of a Boy for his Dog. But it must be kept clear that this has little to do with the present campaign. Medical research is facing quiet strangulation. It is research which can easily balance a human life saved for every animal killed.

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