Both sides in the vivisection controversy found evolutionary doctrines of the relationship between man and animals a weapon of debate to be used gingerly: such doctrines could be adduced both in support of the validity of extrapolating experimental results obtained with animals to human beings and in support of arguments on behalf of animals as "our weaker brethren" or "our dumb fellow creatures," frequently put forth by antivivisectionists.
Antivivisectionists made persuasive use of evolutionary theory in challenging the ethical principles of experimental physiologists.
1) As with the eclectic language of the social critical tradition employed by other antivivisectionist writers, The Hunting of the Snark brings a variety of discourses and perspectives to bear on the allegedly disinterested disciplines in the burgeoning life sciences.
Huxley himself noted the elusive nature of the controversial creature when he and his professional colleagues in the life sciences sought to head off the antivivisectionist opposition by proposing a bill for limited legislation of the practice.
Wells's concerns have much in common with recent feminist critiques of science, and also connect The Island of Doctor Moreau with the feminist and antivivisectionist positions prevalent at the time he was writing.
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.
27) Lansbury notes that many contemporary antivivisectionist novels chart a progression of scientists who move from experimenting on animals to experimenting upon and often killing their wives.
A limitation of Victorian antivivisectionist rhetoric is that it sometimes used language of essentialism and women's 'natural' capacity for kindness.
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.
Another leading antivivisectionist is Ingrid Newkirk, the codirector of PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The circle of violence is completed when, like the antiterrorist, the antivivisectionist engages in threats and acts of terrorism (as distinct from destruction of property and assuming protective custody of animals) against biomedical researchers in the name of animal liberation.
And simplistically to claim that the antivivisectionist is sentimentally misguided and cares more for animals than for people is a gross injustice to those whose ethical sensibilities are clearly beyond their critics' comprehension.