Listening to the incoherent ramblings of a career vivisector may not be as nauseating as observing and reading about the atrocities they commit on innocent lives, but it is offensive all the same.
Vivisectors often fit the profile for anti-social personality disorder, they lack the ability to empathize and thus a job where they torture innocent beings for money is very appealing to them. Lying about their torture, showing contempt for their critics, being cowardly–this is all part of the standard vivisector profile. Yes, there are some who either fall into the career through ignorance and peer pressure, but the ones with moral decency remove themselves from it.
Then there are vivisectors like Dario Ringach, who is a proud torturer of innocent lives and is so deluded he thinks he has the intelligence to talk rationally in defense of atrocities. His main argument in favor of vivisection is not new–vivisectors can be creative in designing torture but not in reasoning and ethical deliberation. He says that animal rights activists are hypocrites for protesting animal research since they have used medicine that involved vivisection, regardless of whether they approve of that research or not.
If we ignore his loose definition of the word hypocrite, and his dubious claim that nonhumans are necessary for human research, in essence he is saying if you participate in a society where an activity you oppose is occurring or has occurred, you do not have a right to oppose that activity. In other words, no one can oppose anything they object to in society. This means that we cannot be opposed to the research conducted by Ringach’s kindred spirits–such as Dr James Sims who experimented on slaves and was awarded with the AMA presidency and a statue. How can we when we have benefited from that research? Unlike Ringach and his mutilations of nonhuman animals, no one could argue that using humans for research cannot be useful. It also means the experiments on prisoners done by Dr Mengele cannot be protested because that research was kept and used by scientists. Or the influenza research conducted on mental patients by Dr Salk. Or the research conducted by Pfizer scientists on African villagers.
To Ringach, by way of his ethics, such research is justified.
But Ringach also throws another tired argument—the supremacy myth aka the Human Supremacy, Human Exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny-Chosen Species myth. While his previous argument justifies experimentation on humans, he also claims that humans are special and deserving of double standard morality. I.e. torturing nonhumans in ways we wouldn’t do to the most despised of criminals. We caution that Ringach claims this with his second argument but we do not actually know if he truly believes that. After all, he already has proven he has no qualms about torturing innocent lives for money.
So let’s puncture Ringach’s delusion which is common among those who are apologists for torture and oppression.
Ringach the psychotic ethicist claims that humans as a group have superior moral worth.
The criteria cited to prove human supremacy include mind, intelligence, soul, creativity, Divine specialness, Evolutionary specialness, survival of the fittest, moral reciprocity, or an unspecified faculty X. It really doesn’t matter what is cited, they are all as much subjective personal opinion as the importance given to skin colour or gender or a particular interpretation of scripture. Nature does not confirm this alleged superiority through natural phenomenon like weather, gravity, earthquakes etc. Humans are not given VIP status–indeed–humans may build a skyscraper and end up more vulnerable to death than the occupants of an ant hill.
And the most obvious proof that human moral superiority is fantasy is that humans can and do routinely exploit other humans. Ringach’s like-minded colleagues Sims and Mengele are proof of this fact.
Ringach is correct that humans are special–but not in the way he suggests. Humans are capable of amazing acts of torture, inventing new misery–both psychological and physical, and taking pleasure from causing that suffering.
Humans do not even serve a stewardship function like worms or bees–the world would be fine without them.
If the world lost worms and bees, life systems would collapse. No wonder people have to claim an invisible mute deity or deities has ordained humans superior in moral value even though we have so many examples of humans slaughtering each other in the name of those same deities due to differences of opinion on religious trivia.
Vivisectors are violence addicts. You cannot expect rational conversation from such a person. They are a contagion of their own—get enough of them in a room and their psychosis will spread–infecting the entire institution.
They pretend to be vanguards of progress and some technological Nirvana, but in reality, they are the same as ancient Roman temple priests cutting open birds for a sky god, promising spiritual and social benefit.
Vivisection is a fraud by the simple fact that any experiment carried out on nonhuman animals must be “fact-checked” on humans, and not even the most crazed supporter of nonhuman animal torture for medicine would deny that a drug tested on humans is less desirable than one tested on rats or monkeys. Only a fool would claim a giraffe is the ideal anatomical model for an elephant, which is exactly what your average vivisector claims.
Our society needs to regard them the way it now claims to regard child molesters -as something chronic but unsavory, a social and moral embarrassment. We do not tolerate child molesters taking the public podium to throw insults and ridicule at critics let alone attempt to justify their acts–may the day come when we feel the same about vivisectors and the filthy twisted understanding of altruism they infect society with.