Today's news about those people made ill by drug trials really proves
how useless and dangerous it is to test drugs on animals, as these drugs
have been. Animal testing gave no hint of their effects on humans -
cardiac arrest, multiple organ failure, bodies swollen out of
recognition and next of kin told they may die soon.
BUAV and others need to get on the news and point out that these
effects AND WORSE are what animals endure day in and day out in labs.
Yet the BBC had some apologist on, saying this proves the need for more
testing on animals. When will we ever learn ??!!
Life is hellish here just now. It is the only appropriate word
because it refers not to my lot but the miserable animals. The past week
has seen the worst weather since I came here and the plight of the sheep
in these fields reaches rock bottom. Last week I walked up to the farm
to pay my rent and found no-one around so I nosed about. In the
open-fronted tractor shed I found a pile of 8 dead sheep, obviously from
exposure. Dumped like rubbish, which is all they are to these "caring
farmers", left out in all weathers and of so little monetary value that
they are given not a stick of shelter. So these gentle animals, caked
with mud, eyes bloodshot, came to the end of their wretched lives.
Humanity has turned its back on creatures like these. Where is
compassion ? I even want to ask, where is God ?
I think that woman at Peterhead who wept at your programme was really
despairing for all the other animals who never know care in their lives
and have even less chance of receiving dignity in death.
This farmer, my landlord, seems a harmless type although I saw his
nasty side last autumn when I got in the way of the harvesting while
looking for my cat, but he has a wife and polite children and yet he can
treat animals like this and send those who do not die of cold to their
deaths on a daily basis.
It reminds me of the episode of World At War dealing with the
Holocaust. At the end, Olivier said in his commentary, "After another
day overseeing the murder of thousands of Jews, SS officers would leave
the camps and return to their homes and families." That comparison again
! Well I don't know how people can sleep in warm beds when they know
this is going on around them but this farmer is in his big house with
lights blazing in every room and central heating. As I freeze in my
cottage with mildew on the walls, I am glad I am so uncomfortable. It
makes me at one with the sheep but still I cannot bear to think of them
out all night freezing.
I can do no more about this than I can about any other animal abuse
these days, because if I make waves I will have no home, damp or
otherwise. BUT I went back for my video camera and filmed those sheep
and when I get on my feet I will send the tape to NOWALES, the only
group I still follow, for whatever use they can make of it.
A month earlier I asked one of the farmhands about a sheep that had
got out of the fields and was wandering on the road. He laughed:
"They're doing that a lot just now because the neeps are done and
they're looking for food." So there you have it: hungry animals are a
joke. Next time you hear about caring farmers, remember this.
Well it is all about sheep so far, James, and none of this was a
surprise to me but it is still painful to see it close-up. Feel free to
quote any of this if it serves any purpose whatever!
Yes, well thatís what Iíve precisely done, Stewart. Indeed, you and I
were fellow buddies protesting two decades ago outside Marishal College
Ė a notorious vivisection laboratory Ė in Aberdeen. You were at the side
of me with your gorgeous little dog. However, Stewart, our prayers and
protests were not in vain. As you know, that colossus of evil is now
My dear friend let us never minimise what prayers, protests and
persistence can truly accomplish. Hereís a photo below of the two of us
taken all those years ago:
Yours in our Great Cause, James