Vivisection Meaning – Define Vivisection

In Simple Terms …

The cutting into or other use of living animals in tests for the purpose of increasing medical knowledge.

A Brief History

The term ‘vivisection’ was first used way back in the 1800s to characterise live dissection for experimental purposes. The word was created by opposing activists who were against the practice of animal experimentation. Vivisection was mainly outlawed on humans but Celsus (a notorious Roman physician) stated that 3rd century Alexandrian physicians used to regularly perform them on criminals. However, using this practice on living animals was commonplace, with the majority of early researchers considering it to be completely acceptable … bizarrely believing that animals did not feel pain. Even the individuals who were opposed to vivisection were not sympathetic to the animals – they were more concerned about the negative affects that this would have on the experimenter. They were also concerned that the animals suffering during the procedure didn’t represent ‘the normal state of the body’.

During the rise of experimental physiology in the 1860s, an anti-vivisection movement began. British journalist Frances Power Cobbe was the driving force behind this when the British Victoria Street Society was founded in 1875. This paved the way for the 1876 British government’s ‘Cruelty to Animals Act’. This law restricted the use of live animals for experimental reasons.

Vivisection Meaning in Modern Terms

Many articles say that to define vivisection literally means the cutting up of a live animal. However, over the years it has become a general term for many types of animal experimentation.

The truth is that inside many laboratories around the globe, a countless amount of animals are treated in a cruel and unscientific manner. In the next 10 minutes alone, over 2,500 animals will be abused in vivisection research labs. Annually, over 150 million animals including dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits, rats and mice are subjected to painful and inhumane experiments.

To make matters worse, these so-called experiments are not even trust worthy. The main issue with this type of research is that each type of animal will respond to drugs and chemicals in different ways. As a result, animal testing is an unreliable method for predicting effects in human beings. This fact alone renders vivisection and animal experiments as unreliable, unnecessary and cruel.

Despite this fact, animals will go through immense pain to simply test everyday products used in the home, at work, in your garden and in your car. They also have to suffer in chemical, biological and ballistic warfare research.

In the United Kingdom alone, more than 2.5 million vivisection procedures take place on many types of animals per-year. To make matters worse, there is an unnecessarily high amount of wastage in the labs, meaning that animals are simply disregarded and killed for little reason.


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