Cynthia O’Neill, a much respected leader and campaigner of the
modern scientific anti-vivisection movement, died on
30th November 2015, age 77.
Cynthia O’Neill nee Carstairs started her SRN training in 1956 at Hammersmith Hospital, London. After qualifying in 1959, Cynthia went on to do part I of her Midwifery training at Queen Charlottes Hospital, and part II at Thorpe Coombe in the East End of London.
After further Queen’s Nurse and Health Visitor training in London, Cynthia went to work as a Queen’s District Nursing Sister, Midwife and School Nurse in East Sussex in 1961. She married in 1969, giving birth to twins Brendan and Rosalind a year later.
On retirement, Cynthia wrote and lectured on nursing history. Besides her autobiography, 'When The Nightingale Sang' (ISBN 0-9515655-3-2), she wrote two books on nursing history: 'A Picture of Health; Hospitals and Nursing on old Picture Postcards' and 'More Pictures of Health'.
Towards the end of her nursing career, Cynthia became concerned over the adverse effects of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccination. She later consulted with Joy Palmer, founder/director of Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine (DLRM), on this matter (see Cynthia’s tribute to Joy, the words of which can equally be applied to Cynthia herself). It was through Joy and the doctors and consultants of DLRM that Cynthia became fully aware of the danger to human health due to the testing of drugs and other substances on animals. But Cynthia's attention was first drawn to the subject of vivisection in 1991, following the disappearance of her cat Snowy, in broad daylight from the garden of her Oxfordshire home. Cynthia became determined to act against vivisection. She soon found that her cat was not the only one in the area to disappear. The following is from the book, 'A Cat in Hell’s Chance' written by the Hill Grove campaigners, edited by Anny Malle and published by Slingshot Publications: ISBN –0951 565524.
'Despite the fact that the cat wore a home and address tag, offers of a large reward, the circulation of hand bills and posters, local radio reports and requests from listeners, no one found Cynthia’s cat or the one belonging to her neighbour, which disappeared on the same day. It was from Cynthia’s involvement with the people that she met while searching for her cat that a small group of people got together and began to research the use of cats for experimentation in Oxford. This group then embarked on a campaign against the use of cats in experiments.
Cynthia reported her suspicions about the theft of her cat to the police, who failed to act. "It was strange", she said, "how they can justify spending millions to stop cats being rescued from labs, breeding farms etc. but are unable to even make eye contact with someone who reports the theft of an animal".
The book, 'A Cat in Hell’s Chance' is an account of Cynthia's campaign to shut down Hill Grove cat breeding farm. The book tells of the setbacks Cynthia suffered. The intrigues of which she became a victim, the injustices, the hardship, the deceptions, the wall of administrative rules and regulations, followed to the letter by the police. You can see as well the way she progressed in her struggle for justice, through the steady increase in the number of supporters to the joy of final victory. It was in April 1996 that the campaigners founded their own anti- vivisection organisation ACT-AV (The Active Campaign to Abolish Vivisection).
Cynthia knew what she was up against when she decided to make a stand against the horror. Without Cynthia, cat farmer Christopher Brown would still be selling kittens to the torture labs. "Bred to perfection for over 25 years", as he advertised in the Laboratory Animal Buyers Guide in 1996.
In his forward to 'A Cat in Hell’s Chance', the late Hans Fischinger stated:
"In 1883 Victor Hugo exclaimed: "Vivisection is a crime!" Since then this crime has collected all the superlatives; it is the most horrible crime, the longest ongoing, the biggest numerically and to many the most disturbing. It is as well the greatest money-spinner, the best kept secret, and perhaps the most notorious legal crime, blessed by both the Church and the State. Vivisection is a crime most in need of abolition, and I mean total abolition.
Don't ever believe that you cannot do something about it. 2000 years ago Christ said to his Apostles: "If you have faith, you can tell this mulberry tree, 'lift yourself up with your roots and plant yourself in the sea' and it will do it!" Cynthia O'Neill is a person who has proved that apparently impossible things can become reality. She stood up against intimidation, physical violence, death threats, poisoning and the destruction of her belongings in her fight to close the cat breeding centre at Hill Grove Farm; nothing diverted Cynthia from her goal."
It was in 2007 that Cynthia founded Nurses Movement for Responsible Medicine (NMRM) and during which another famous Hans, the great Hans Ruesch, paid tribute to her (as shown after the tribute to Hans).
1938 – 2015
NB: See Cynthia’s video via our Home Page.
. . .
Dr Moneim Fadali was a Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeon, Poet and Philosopher. He was Patron of Doctors in Britain Against Animal Experiments (DBAE)/Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine (DLRM), later becoming President of DLRM. Dr Fadali was Patron of Nurses Movement for Responsible Medicine (NMRM) from 2011 up until his death on 23rd August 2017.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt in July 1934, Dr Fadali graduated from the University of Alexandria in 1957 and later moved to the USA. He published several books of poetry and philosophy in addition to professional papers, and was Diplomate of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Canada, in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians Member, California Medical Association Member, Los Angeles County Medical Association Commissioner, Medical State Board of California.
In his book, Animal Experimentation: A Harvest of Shame, Doctor Fadali exposed the futility of using animals to assess the human condition. He stated the following concerning this:
"The very word vivisection is its own condemnation. Vivisection is wretched fraud, counterproductive and damaging to human health and well being. It is cruel and detestable. Animal experimentation has no scientific proof, no religious basis, no philosophical merit, no ethical vindication and no health reason; therefore it must be banned, stopped. NOW."
Dr Fadali was a frequent guest on radio and television nationwide where his progressive view on the environment and the human condition were sought. We were very proud to have such a kind and brilliant gentleman as our patron.
Dr Moneim A Fadali
July 1934 – August 2017
. . .
Hans Ruesch, founder of the modern scientific anti-vivisection movement, died on
27 August 2007 aged 94.
Hans Ruesch was born in Naples in May 1913. The son of a Swiss father and an Italian mother, he attended school in Naples until the age of 12, although Hans was officially a Swiss citizen on account of his father, and an agreement existing between the two countries. After this period in Naples, Hans went to Switzerland to resume his studies where he learned to speak several languages, including German, French and English besides his native Italian. By the 1930's he was indulging in his passion of motor racing, and in 1932, at the age of just 19, was racing with MG, and then later with Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and in the 1950's, Ferrari. Overall he won 27 races. In 1937 he wrote his first novel, appropriately named The Racer, and which in 1953 was made into a film starring Kirk Douglas, The Racers. In October 1938 he emigrated to the USA to pursue a literary career writing short stories in English for Redbook Magazine, Colliers, Saturday Evening Post and Esquire. He returned to Europe in 1946, and following an accident stopped racing to write a string of successful books which were translated into numerous languages, starting with Top of the World in 1950, and South of the Heart (or The Great Thirst/The Arab), The Stealers, The Game, and Back to the Top of the World. In 1960 Top of the World was also made into a film (The Savage Innocents), this time starring Anthony Quinn, the book itself having sold 3 million copies.
By the early 1970's Hans was living in Rome, and having studied medicine went on to edit a series of popular books called the Health's Handbook.
It was at this time that Hans discovered the existence of vivisection after being shown a kitten by an acquaintance. The cat had scars all over its body and had apparently been rescued from a vivisection laboratory. Immediately it dawned on him that it was exceedingly unlikely that medical progress could ever be, or have been, achieved by doing such things. The fact that ill-health has rocketed since then, and the vast numbers of people being injured or killed by the product of the vivisection laboratories, shows how right he was.
An earlier episode in his life was also said by Hans to be a reason for him taking up the anti-vivisection cause, and that was the death of his baby brother, Konrad, some fifty years earlier. Konrad had been killed by a drug containing arsenic and mercury and tested for 'safety' on animals. The drug's development won a Nobel Prize for Paul Ehrlich, being hailed a 'magic bullet', and known in its development as '606', the 606th arsenic and mercury preparation tested on animals.
The discovery of what passes for much of 'modern day medical research' affected Hans greatly, and in 1974 he stated that he would never again write fiction whilst vivisection continued. It was then that his Center for Scientific Information on Vivisection (CIVIS) organisation was born, and true to his word he spent the last 30 years of his life disregarding advancing old age and numerous court cases, in his unending struggle for the abolition of vivisection.
It was two years later, in 1976, that Imperatrice Nuda was published, first in his native Italy, and then in the USA in 1978 as Slaughter of the Innocent, the first book to denounce vivisection. It has been said by many that one will never be the same again after reading Slaughter of the Innocent, and the subsequent foundation of many anti-vivisection leagues the world over following the book's publication is testimony to this, and it is true to say that the book is as relevant today - perhaps more so - as it was then. In 1979 Hans came to the UK to speak at two protest marches against vivisection, first in Cambridge in May, and again in October at Oxford.
This was followed up by Naked Empress, or the Great Medical Fraud, in 1982, and this brought further to light the great harms being done to mankind and medicine because of a medical establishment that has become controlled by the pharmaceutical giants, and consequently turned its back in the search for health, instead replacing it with a search for grant money, profits and prestige.
The book 1000 Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection followed, showing that throughout history there has always been doctors who have seen through the vivisection scam. He was also responsible for the second translation (the correct translation) of Professor Croce's book, Vivisection or Science, into English, as well as numerous Foundation reports, and other publications. All have been translated into various languages and published in numerous countries worldwide.
In 1985 Hans was a key figure in the Swiss Referendum Against Vivisection, when on December 18th a third of the Swiss population voted in favour of abolition. In October 1987 he helped launch the International League of Doctors Against Vivisection, of which he was made Honorary President.
However, besides the huge, damning body of evidence against the pseudo-scientific practice of vivisection that Hans has collected and disseminated world-wide, he has also done the anti-vivisection movement the great service of exposing possibly the biggest hurdle in the fight to end vivisection, and that is the majority of the big, well-established 'anti-vivisection' organisations whose annual incomes are proportional to their failure to even come close to achieving what a single man has so successfully achieved, virtually alone, and with a modest expenditure.
All of the details of the suppression of his works by a media who years earlier had so enthusiastically published his novels, as well as certain supposed 'anti-vivisection' organisations who one would presume, if they were genuine, would welcome such invaluable material, is all covered in the CIVIS Foundation Reports. The preface to the latest edition of Slaughter also covers these issues to some degree, and it is to the credit of Slingshot Publications that this book remains in print.
In 2003 Hans's contributions to humanity were recognised by being included alongside Shaw, Orwell, Herodotus, Carlyle, Hoyle, Plato, Sartre, Aristotle and Ruskin, amongst others, as one of history's luminaries in Stuart Hirschberg and Terry Hirschberg's book, 'Past and Present, Ideas That Changed Our World' (ISBN 0-13-097948), which gives fourteen pages of excerpts from Slaughter.
Slaughter of the Innocent inspired the late Dr Robert Mendelsohn, author of several books exposing the true nature of 'modern medicine' to state quite correctly of Ruesch that "…all of us…including future generations, are in his debt."
1913 - 2007
|Note:||The founder of NMRM, Cynthia O'Neill, had the privilege and honour of speaking with Hans Ruesch. It was in Switzerland that Cynthia received a standing ovation after having given a speech to the Swiss People on the medical and scientific fraud of vivisection. The great Hans Ruesch, then 94 years old, a frail and dying man, contacted Cynthia and asked her to visit him, which she gladly did; Hans had previously had to turn away several people who had actually requested to see him. Cynthia will treasure this meeting for the rest of her life. Hans's last words to Cynthia were: "Vivisection will only be abolished when the public demand it."|
See Books section for details on how to obtain books by Hans Ruesch
. . .
The following is an extract from the Eulogy for Hans Ruesch,
delivered by his Son-in-Law, James Mellon
Lugano, Switzerland on 17 September 2007
When I think of all the tiresome people whose daughter I could have married, I thank Almighty God that my father-in-law was Hans Ruesch! I got more stimulation from talking to him for half an hour than to some people for their entire lives.
He was a complicated and brilliant man and one of the few truly original thinkers that I have known. He was a driven individual - a man of many parts: a suicidally daring auto racer, the author of six delightful novels, and of course the pioneering scientific and medical reformer whom the world remembers and will not be able to forget. And what I particularly respect is that he achieved excellence in every field of endeavour where he exerted himself. He never did anything badly or with half a heart.
It was not until late middle age that he embarked on the crusade which made his name a household word in so many countries - his fierce, implacable attack on the practice of animal experimentation. It is for this, more than for his novels or his victories at the track, that Hans Ruesch will be remembered.
Dozens of American companies are now experimenting on human tissue samples, instead of on laboratory animals. And most important of all, a study by the National Academy of Sciences, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Environmental Conservation, now favours the elimination of animal experimentation in favour of testing on human cells. The truth continues to emerge, as it always does, no matter how many liars, greedy opportunists and fools attempt to conceal it.
Hans Ruesch succeeded in demonstrating that vivisection - the term that he expanded to include all animal experiments - has resulted in so much false and misleading information that literally millions of people have lost their lives, on account of it, not to mention the untold number of animals that have suffered deaths which are too gruesome to describe and too numerous to count. On balance, animal experimentation has been a crime against humans and animals, alike. It has been a crime against life.
That the cruel folly of this malpractice is at last being recognized by its true, ugly face is what my father-in-law devoted thirty years of his life to achieve. And, happily, the uphill battle that he so resolutely waged with pitifully inadequate resources and against heavily-entrenched and formidable opponents was not fought in vain.
My dear friends and relatives, the Pharaohs of Egypt did not all live to see their pyramids completed, and what saddens me about Hans Ruesch's life is that he did not live to witness the final, complete vindication of his beliefs. But we can take a large measure of consolation from knowing that he died secure in the conviction that his message had been delivered to a world that desperately needed to hear it, and that no power on Earth could any longer prevent it's eventual acceptance, universally.
I will close by saying that it beggars my imagination to find words which would adequately express my pride at having been the son-in-law of this remarkable man.
. . .
The following tribute to Joy Palmer, Co-founder/Director of
Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine (DLRM),
formerly DBAE, was given at her funeral on
21st May 2007 by Cynthia O’Neill, S.R.N., S.C.M., QN., H.V.,
founder of NMRM
“Thank you, Joy. So much you achieved. Co-founder of DBAE, now known as Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine. You, put everything, yes everything and more into the great cause.
Knowing the fraud and uselessness of vivisection causing such damage and death to humans you would never ever compromise. This took great courage.
Joy’s message and aims of DBAE were clear “for the total and immediate abolition of vivisection on scientific and medical grounds”. A great leader. An inspiration to us all. A true anti-vivisectionist.
Well done thou good and faithful servant...”
1921 - 2007
“It is important to understand that it is not only qualified doctors and lawyers who are, in ever-greater numbers, taking on board the responsibility of abolishing vivisection, on scientific grounds: this responsibility is also being increasingly accepted by society at large. We must always remember the fact that sections of the public are capable of recognising and understanding the flaws and dangers of such research. They therefore have as much right, and indeed duty, to be involved in this campaign as have the professionals. We all have a share in the responsibility – though our detractors would have us believe that the lay-person hasn’t the wit or the knowledge to understand what is going on!”
Extract from Joy Palmer’s Introduction to DLRM’s
Fourth International Scientific Congress, Vancouver 1997
(for complete introduction speech, see Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine on our links page)