Animal Research and Antivivisectionism: Historical Antecedents

  • Mary T. Phillips
  • Jeri A. Sechzer


The use of living animals for experimentation is documented as early as the second century ad. The Greek physician Galen (Claudius Galenus, ad 129–c 200) is considered the first to use the method of vivisection for scientific investigation. Galen was born in Greece and at about the age of 30 moved to Rome, where he gained great fame as a physician. During this period, autopsies were not permitted in Rome, and experiments on living animals became necessary.2 Galen performed experiments on pigs and monkeys, injuring, destroying, or removing various organs to judge their function. He also used animals to study the effects of spinal cord sections, chest perforations, and arterial ligation.


Animal Welfare Animal Research Living Animal Experimental Medicine Ventral Root 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary T. Phillips
    • 1
  • Jeri A. Sechzer
    • 2
  1. 1.New YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry Edward W. Bourne Behavioral Research LaboratoryNew York Hospital-Cornell University Medical CenterWhite PlainsUSA

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