Monday, April 26, 2010

Dealing with Vivisection

 "Vivisection Victims #809,689,432 & 3"
Plate size: 18" x 24"
Aquatint Etching

Keeping with themes that define my work and that mean the most to me, I am working with an issue that invariably cuts to the heart of how misguided and immoral we can be as humans. I am specifically referring to vivisection, torture of animals in the name of science. The word "vivisection" literally means "the action of cutting into or dissecting a living body."

Non-human animals are so completely at our mercy that they become easy victims of a multi-billion dollar industry that profits from and justifies its horrific practices by using the defense that it is all done for the good of humanity. I find it ironic that one of the practices that turns humans into monsters, vivisection, is referred by some as necessary and good, proclaimed as something done in service to all.

I have nightmares after seeing hidden videos of what goes on behind closed doors in animal laboratories. It's amazing that we're into the 21st century and these barbaric practices that date back to ancient times still exist and constitute a profitable business for corporations, universities, animal dealers, cage and food manufacturers, animal breeders and transporters and scientists receiving grants.

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that "crush videos" are legal. I am compelled to make a declaration of my own. Cruelty in all its forms needs to be prohibited and not promoted in any civilized society of humans.

You may be familiar with the quote by Gandhi:
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." 
Or this quote by George Bernard Shaw:
"The Anti-Vivisector does not deny that physiologists must make experiments and even take chances with new methods. He says that they must not seek knowledge by criminal methods, just as they must not make money by criminal methods. He does not object to Galileo dropping cannon balls from the top of the leaning tower of Pisa; but he would object to shoving off two dogs or American tourists."
I just couldn't have said it better myself.