In this paper, I examine the discursive tendencies employed by British antivivisectionists
during the greater part of the nineteenth century to bring French experimental physiology into disrepute.
Still another factor that contributed to an erosion of the antivivisectionist
cause was the successful effort of physicians to mobilize popular support for vivisection by expanding the debate from the pages of scientific journals to publications such as Popular Science Monthly, Harper's Magazine, and the Ladies' Home Journal.
Public concern over vivisection was making itself known in the 1870s through the emerging discourse of antivivisectionist
In addition to vivisectors such as Bernard, Victorian society also gave birth to legislation against animal cruelty, with the SPCA founded in 1824, the Vegetarian Society in 1847, and the antivivisectionist
movement during the 1870s.
Traditionally, the term antivivisectionist
has been used to identify those persons with more than a mild objection to the use of animals in medical and scientific research.
This, concluded the New York Times, was the "whole secret of the antivivisectionist
At the other extreme, there are ardent and vocal advocates of animal rights, those broadly in the antivivisectionist
tradition, who claim that at least certain animals, if not all life, have an ethical significance comparable to our own.
And the comments of some of the leaders in the antivivisectionist
movement suggest that they are motivated more by personal needs to win a power struggle against the leaders of the biomedical community than by humanitarian concerns for either people or animals.
Not unlike hydropathy and homeopathy, naturopathy drew from the ranks of German healers, philosophical idealists, spiritual and mental healers, vegetarians, botanics, antivaccination and antivivisectionists
, and individualists who rejected authority, including licensing, in their endorsement of "every man his own physician.
While these research successes were being celebrated, abuse and exploitation, resulting in violations of human dignity and disrespect for morality, were starting to surface in the field, and by the 1890s, antivivisectionists
were already calling for laws to protect children because of the increasing numbers of institutionalised children being subjected to vaccine experiments in Europe and the USA.
As a result, he was attacked, at least twice physically, by antivivisectionists
As Chien-Hui Li puts it, antivivisectionists
, despite the lack of institutional support from churches, took the initiative upon themselves in turning to the Christian tradition in their attempt to make sense of and deal with the moral issues posed by new developments in the field of physiological science.