The History of Vivisection
The use of animals for experimentation began centuries ago, first as a study of the physiology of the animal and its organs, and then as a model for learning about the function of human systems. Human cadavers were used to study the structure of the human body, but using live animals allowed scientists to see how blood flowed and organs worked in a way that would generally not be tolerated in a human, although history has many instances of human vivisection as well. Many early vivisectors were themselves appalled at what they were doing for the sake of their experiments.
A thorough treatment of the history of vivisection was published earlier this year by Nuno Franco, Animal Experiments in Biomedical Research: A Historical Perspective. This article details the earliest known use of animals as experimental subjects through relatively modern times, including the advent of the anti-vivisection movement.
Understanding the history of how animals have been used in the name of science is helpful in understanding how to change attitudes and how to move forward in advancing better, more humane science. If you have an interest in the history of vivisection, this article provides a well-researched and written treatment of the subject matter.
© 2013 by Nuno Henrique Franco; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article, Animal Experiments in Biomedical Research: A Historical Perspective
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