Animal Padre's
Christians Against All Animal Abuse
"Christ’s redemption is for the whole of creation!"

From Spring 2009 Issue

Editing Out Controversy, ‘Nursing Standard’ Style

Like so many other magazines, the editors of this publication appear terrified of frank, open, fair and honest fact. They appear to be of that insipid variety akin to even so many ‘men of the cloth’ which I sum up without difficulty as: moral jelly fish. In other words, void of all backbone. Well, admittedly the Nursing Standard allowed dear Cynthia O’Neill - of past Hillgrove fame - to submit a most enlightening article – Good for them! – but when I submitted the following below, you’ll be surprised to know how much of it they edited. I appreciate that mine was a lengthy letter, but what appeared was far shorter than other letters

As One’s Letter Was Sent ::

Dear Cynthia O’Neil is to be commended for affirming that animal experimentation is bad for patients. I would even go a step further and highlight how it is bad for all who condone, practice and promote the same.

Indeed, as a retired hospital chaplain conversant with the Judeo-Christian Faith, I see the wisdom behind those two symbolic trees of Genesis: the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. Yes, of how in God’s order the former must not be indulged in until the latter has been well assimilated. Sadly,. However, we’ve so often put the cart before the horse: we use our quest for knowledge and research to maim and trample others rather than to protect the most vulnerable. Might becomes right; wrongly balanced education turns little rascals in to big ones; and, so often it applies to the outcome of research as well.

Let us never forget that the likes of a Dr Joseph Mangelle – one of a whole host of others! – was a deeply respected member of his medical fraternity; and one who always worked strictly within the laws of his country. The fact was that he conveniently conditioned himself to believe that the, mostly, Jewish inmates of the concentration camps were vermin, as are mice and rats. Consequently, he could gratify his lowest instincts through rationalizing that such research would possibly benefit a ‘supposedly’ master race. Well, as we all know, by half a century later history had pronounced its own just verdict

It is my contention that one-day history will pronounce a similar verdict on all those who have profited through vivisection at the cost of losing their very souls! Indeed, to horribly abuse weaker species than our own – yes, and including those we conveniently refer to as vermin! – is to blunt our noblest and most precious human qualities: those virtues which the Good Book refers to as ‘fruits of the Holy Spirit’. Indeed, to trample these under foot, and replace them with a cold, clinical callousness. Is lethal indeed. It becomes but one step away from premeditated cruelty.

The supreme analogy of Christianity is that of a member of a master species being prepared to lay down his life for that of a much inferior one: the Good Shepherd prepared to suffer and lay down his life in order to rescue a wayward sheep! Consequently, more will be lost than gained by furthering any form of research that is downright cruel. There have to be better ways: those that a God of love can smile down upon in blessing!

Surely if those decades used in cruel research had been dedicated to humane alternatives, then we would not be in the heartless mess we have ended up in today! This is not to say that one or two breakthroughs have never occurred through pursuing cruel means. A few must have done; just as was no doubt the case in those diabolic Nazi experimental blocks! Yes, but surely – from a broader view – the reality of a greater loss than blinkered one track minds could comprehend?.

It is not without significance that a past breed of consultants I occasionally encountered - aloof, void of any bedside manner, and quite contemptuous towards both nurse and patient alike – had been, previous to their graduation, avid enthusiasts for animal expertimentation! Consequently, I’m glad to learn of Cynthia O’Neill’s ‘Nurses Movement For Responsible Medicine’. At a time when compassion, empathy and sensitivity towards vulnerable patients needs to be the hallmark of NHS practice, neither medics or nurses can afford to become desensitised through condoning that barbaric, outmoded and morally obnoxious pseudo-science: vivisection.

Rev. James Thompson

( Chaplain of St Luke’s General & PsychiatricHospital,  Huddesrsfield within the 1970s.
Senior Episcopal Chaplain Of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary,
Woodend General & Cornhill Psychiatric Hospitals within the 1980s)

As Ones Letter Was Published:

Cynthia O’Neill is right to argue that Animal experimentation is bad for patients.. I am a retired hospital chaplain and was pleased to learn that she has created: The Nurses Movement For Responsible Medicine.

Compassion, empathy and sensitivity towards vulnerable patients should be the hallmark of all health professional’s practice. I do not believe such values are in keeping with vivisection.

- The Rev. James Thompson.

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