Baltimore Evening Sun (29 July 1911): 6.


The sewers still languish, but the sewage disposal plant is practically completed. Why not use it–to deodorize the water supply?

From “An Appeal for the Defenseless,” by Charles Bell Taylor, M. D., F. R. C. S. E., a pamphlet now being circulated by the New England Anti-Vivisection Society:

It is not true that Pasteur has discovered a cure for hydrophobia. Pasteur does not cure hydrophobia; he gives it.

An admirable example of anti-vivisectionist flapdoodle, by one of the most eminent sophists of the movement. As a matter of fact, every intelligent human being must be well aware that Pasteur never made any claim that he could cure hydrophobia, that not one of his followers has ever made any such claim for his serum, and that, so far as is known, no unmistakable case of hydrophobia has ever been cured, either with that serum or with any other agent. What Pasteur actually claimed was that he could prevent hydrophobia--and an overwhelming mass of proof shows that his claim was well founded. In brief, the hydrophobia serum is not an antitoxin, but a vaccine. It is designed to prevent, not to cure, and to attack it on the ground that it doesn’t cure is just as sensible as to attack Jack Johnson on the ground that he is not the Archbishop of Canterbury.

And yet the anti-vivisectionists continue to circulate such nonsense, and what is worse, it undoubtedly makes an impression upon the ignorant. The philosophical doctrine of the economy of means seems to be in hopeless opposition to their habits of mind. It would be easier for them to stick to the truth, and probably a good deal more effective, and yet they prefer to go beyond it. It is not sufficient for them to show that vivisection, in improper hands, may degenerate, and actually has degenerated on occasion, into filthy and useless cruelty, nor to argue that, in any hands, it violates the transcendental moral code which all of us praise and none of us follow. Such proofs and arguments, being more or less sound, fail to content them. On the contrary, they constantly proceed, first, to the contention that all vivisection is intolerably cruel, and, secondly, to the contention that it is always useless. Both propositions are absurd.

That absurdity is so patent, indeed, that not many reasonably intelligent persons fail to detect it, and the anti-vivisectionists seem to be aware of the fact. How are you going to convince a man that the use of aninials in the laboratory is without value when he already knows that smallpox vaccine comes from cows, that diphtheria antitoxin is horse blood, that hydrophobia vaccine is manufactured in the veins of guinea pigs, that salvarsan was perfected by experiments on chickens, mice, rabbits, dogs and monkeys? The more earnest anti-vivisectionists here strike out boldly. That is to say, they simply deny that any of these agents will do the things that it is said to do, and then they back up that sweeping denial by denying that it will do a lot of things that no sane man ever alleged, or even imagined, that it would or could do. Witness, Dr. Charles Bell Taylor and his asinine attack upon Pasteur and the hydrophobia vaccine.

In other words, anti-vivisection, as it becomes militant, shows an almost irresistible tendency to gather in the whole body of quackery embraced in the New Thought. The anti-vivisectionist, forced in self-defense to deny that smallpox vaccine has any prophylactic value, finds himself straightway in the camp of the anti-vaccinationists. And from denying that human beings have any right to sacrifice guinea pigs to save their own lives, he quickly proceeds to denying that they have any right to sacrifice hogs and sheep to fill their stomachs--and thus he becomes a missionary of vegetarianism.

Each branch of the New Thought tends to feed all other branches. The anti-vivtsectionist is almost always an anti-something else. Examples quickly come to hand. Dr. Hawden, secretary of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, is also it frenzied anti-vaccinationist and an ardent advocate of various food reforms. Dr. Joseph Oldfield, another eminent British antivivisectionist, is also the boss evangelist of “fruitarianism,” and author of the profound theory that tuberculosis is always caused by eating meat. Dr. J. D. Buck, of the American lodge, is also a theosophist. Ella Wheeler Wilcox is also a palmist and an all-round New Thoughter. Mrs. Diana Belais, president of the New York Anti-Vivisection Society, is also a director of the League for Medical Freedom, an organization chiefly made up of mental healers. George Bernard Shaw, author of a drama attacking medical research, also conducts jehads against beefsteaks, starched collars and shoe-blacking. Alfred Russell Wallace, the scientific whale of the movement, also believes in spooks. And so on, and so on.

But it is not so much when they emit childish pseudo-science and vain denials that the anti-vivisectionist rabble-rousers are most absurd, as when they pull out the Vox Celeste stop and appeal to the heart. I have before me a pamphlet entitled “Vivisection: an Enquiry into Its Real Nature,” by the Rev. J. Todd Ferrier, bearing the words “With the compliments of the Maryland Anti-Vivisection Society.” In this curious tract the author seeks to prove that the lower animals have souls and that, in consequence, it is murder to kill them! Says he:

What is revealed to us * * * shows us that these Creatures are living souls and not mere transitory lives; that their forms in their original state performed a most beautiful service in the evolution of spiritual being upon this Planet; that in origin all Creatures were potentially Human. * * * Nay, we would even venture the statement that more than one of the present Orders of the Creatures were once upon the Human Kingdom.

But how to prove it? The reverend gentleman tries in two ways, first by arguing from the undoubted evolution of physical forms, and secondly by citing the testimony of “the late Seeress and blessed champion of the defenseless, Dr. Anna Kingsford,” who was “permitted to visit the Physiological Laboratories in Vision, or, as some would express it, in her Astral Body.” What Anna saw there was that each animal enclosed “a human shape” and that when the vivisectors began work that human shape would “writhe and moan!”

Impressive evidence, you must admit! And in distributing it, and other such nonsense, the funds of the Maryland Anti-Vivisection Society are obviously well spent.

The object of human effort in this world is to make the ultimate embalmer acutely conscious that his client honors him. And that is also the sum of its rewards.

A boom by any other name will last as long--but not a day longer.