Monsters

The hardest thing about doing what I do is trying to write relatively calmly about things that quite literally make the blood boil. Sometimes after I’ve written a piece, such as this one, I feel the need for a long hot shower, because you have to spend so long immersed in the vile excrement of the 1% that you wonder if you can ever be clean again. I’m sure that many others know what I mean.

Nothing better illustrates the unsuitability of the 1% to their self-appointed role as lords and ladies of the universe than their complete and utter contempt for the feelings of anyone or anything other than themselves. To these people nothing matters except MORE for themselves: more money, more power, more everything; and anything that might interfere with their grasping ambition, that might possibly want a tiny share of our life-sustaining planet’s bounty, must be ruthlessly crushed. As an anonymous wit once pointed out, at least these guys are democrats – they believe in one man one vote: one man, ME; one vote, MINE. Of course there’s nothing new in this, even Adam Smith, hardly the wild-eyed radical, observed over two hundred years ago that,

‘All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.’1

It’s bad enough that the 1% are permitted to treat other human beings with the arrogant contempt that enables them to visit global slaughter and misery upon those who, apart from their inability to protect themselves from the attentions of the 1% are otherwise completely indistinguishable from the 1%; but what’s at least as contemptible (possibly more so) is their attitude to other living creatures. To the 1% the only relevance of other living creatures is their value as tradable commodities. If they have no value as tradable commodities they have no reason to exist.

The 1% are kept safe and sound in their positions of supreme arrogance by a combination of powerful allies such as the military, police, judiciary and politicians – the leaders of whom are either one percenters themselves or who profit very handsomely from their relationship with the 1%. But arguably the most sinister of the 1%’s powerful allies is the mainstream media, because it’s the mainstream media who control the information received, and the opinions formed by the 99%. Take for example a nasty little piece by one Tom Whipple that appeared in the highly prestigious Times newspaper on 15 March titled “Defences come down as animal testers dare to say they’re proud”.

The piece opens by describing how beagle puppies, bred in captivity, are trained almost from birth to willingly co-operate with those who will torture them, how they are trained to “offer a forelimb. Then they move to the more advanced training: offering up their jugular – so they can get used to having their blood taken; sitting still with a mask on their face – so they can receive medication”.

The article goes on to note that,

“Last year 3,000 dogs were used in medical research – as well as several million mice”.

The revolting and utterly useless practice of vivisection – live animal experiments – recently passed through a slightly turbulent period of its disgusting history when the fantastic work of animal rights activists – real heroes of the people – brought the despicable trade into the public spotlight with their increasing number of confrontational campaigns and daring direct-action exploits. Although no human beings were ever intentionally harmed by these brave people – unlike the uniformed pseudo-heroes we’re all conditioned to worship – they have unfortunately been effectively routed by the awesome power of the 1%.

By using laws intended to prevent serious crimes, the lackeys of the 1% (specifically the police, judiciary and the mainstream media) slowly crushed the life out the magnificent animal rights activists by demonising them as hard-core criminals, terrorists even. It’s an ancient tactic of the 1% going back at least two hundred years and more, when huge numbers of political activists from Luddites to Chartists – true champions of the people – were convicted of trumped-up crimes and transported to penal colonies all around the world, often for the rest of their lives.

Take for example the recent story of Debbie Vincent, an animal rights activist recently convicted of “conspiracy to blackmail”, and told she “faces a long jail term”.

The “conspiracy to blackmail” for which she was convicted consisted (according to the Daily Mail) of acting with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), which, “blackmailed companies that traded with HLS by threatening to post their details online – helping others to mount attacks – unless they agreed in writing to stop.”

In other words Debbie Vincent was guilty of that most evil act – threatening to reveal the truth… and we all know where that leads: ask Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, to name but a few other hardened criminals.

The Daily Mail piece is the typical sort of hatchet-job we expect from the mainstream media lackeys of the 1%. It wallows salaciously in the fact that Debbie Vincent was once a man – as if that has some sort of bearing on the case, and accuses her of being a long-term terrorist, using the following headline:

“Sex-change soldier who became an animal rights terror commander: Activist spent a decade masterminding attacks on supplies to animal testing lab”.

Now back to the Times article…

As can be seen from the title of the piece, it’s mainly about those who get paid to conduct experiments on live animals. Referring to the persecuted feeling these people have had for some years thanks to the efforts of activists such as Debbie Vincent, Tom Whipple quotes one Val Summers, “one of only two to give their name” during a visit by the Times to the Harlan beagle breeding facility “near Huntingdon”. Ms Summers spoke of the difficulty to,

get people to go from where we have been over the past 20 years – where you don’t even tell your next-door neighbour what you do for a living – to being proud of what we do…We’re fighting back, saying what we’re doing is good.

We’re then treated to the vivisectionist’s version of the arms dealers’ argument – that if we don’t sell guns to people someone else will; or the bankers’ argument for why their top executives must be paid obscene salaries, that otherwise they’ll take their brains elsewhere; for Ms Summers tells us that,

“If they stop animal breeding in the UK, ironically what will happen is it will go abroad – to countries with worse standards.”

Mr Whipple reports the words of an anonymous employee at Harlan beagles: “We’re proud of what we do… but when I go to dinner parties, I say I’m a housewife.”

That’s seems a very strange kind of pride to me.

To Mr Whipple’s credit (this must have been a pretty tough assignment for him), he did ask one relevant question:

“If you are a beagle, I ask the technician who tells people she is a housewife, surely this is not the life you would choose?”

To which the technician replies:

“I’m not sure that’ something I would like to comment on.”

I bet.

Mr Whipple concludes his piece by quoting one Steve Owen, chairman of the Institute of Animal Technology, who claims to love the monkeys he tortures, then murders when they’re no longer fit for any more useless experiments:

“You always have to remember the higher goal.”

The Times article is used for an editorial piece titled “Animal Rights and Wrongs”, and is subtitled “The harsh truth is that vivisection if often the lesser of two evils” just to make it clear where The Times stands on this monstrous practice.

The editorial takes the position of providing “harsh truths” and “hard facts” such as “the hard fact is that [animal experimentation] has helped deliver, along with numerous other pharmaceutical victories, a vaccine for rabies and a means of regulating diabetes.”

Now the Times has always been fairly flexible with the “facts” it chooses to use, and this particular example is no exception; because the really harsh truth and hard fact is that no life-saving drug has ever been invented that could not also have been invented without causing suffering to any living creature. No drug is ever approved for public use on humans until it has been trialled on human beings suffering with whatever condition the drug is supposed to treat – which is, after all, the only really significant test that needs to be done.

The sanctimonious claptrap of the Times editorial would be a good deal easier to stomach if it wasn’t so hypocritical. This apparent concern of this great newspaper for “saving or improving countless human lives” might be believable if a similar interest were shown in saving or improving countless human lives by standing up and opposing illegal wars in other people’s countries – instead of supporting them.

The vivisection industry serves only one purpose, and it’s exactly the same purpose as every other corporate monstrosity that plagues the planet: maximum profit, in this case drug companies’ maximum profits. The cost in lives lost and suffering inflicted is completely irrelevant – except for their impact on the bottom line.

Vivisection is an abomination. The people who have anything to do with it are all monsters. The apologists for it such as the politicians who licence it and the 1%’s mainstream media lackeys who lie about it are monsters; and the 1%’s mainstream media lackeys who savage fine and brave and caring souls like Debbie Vincent are monsters. They all put enormous strain on my opposition to vivisection, because a very large part of me would like to see them all treated in exactly the same way as Harlan beagles are.

Time for a long hot shower.

  1. Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Bantam Classic Edition, p. 525. []

John is a writer and political activist based in England. He can be contacted through his website. His main contribution comprises three free-to-use works-in-progress: The People’s Constitution, The School of Kindness, and EnMo Economics . Read other articles by John.