The Civil Abolitionist

         Winter 2003-2004  v.14  no. 3

CivAb index

AV activists prevent proposed Cambridge primate lab

BSE update and review  by Michael Greger, MD

Veterinarian challenges AVMA humane standards by Peggy Larson, DVM

Europeans unite for responsible toxicity testing

First SARS, now avian influenza


      Drug company suppresses unfavorable findings

      Popular statin drugs implicated in memory loss

      Drugs found in recycled drinking water and wild fish

      Vulture deaths in India attributed to Diclofenac/Voltaren

      Hormone therapy found to increase Alzheimer's risk

       Another crime by Monsanto by Robert Cohen


      "Back to sleep"

      Swedish study determines fats and fiber affect incidence of

             post-menopausal breast cancer

      The hygiene hypothesis

       (Space on this page in this issue was devoted to European campaign for

               responsible toxicity testing.)


Beside the Hemlock Garden on Lives and Rights by James Strecker

Mosaic Press $16 Canada / $12.50 U.S.

This volume consists of over 70 poems selected from some of the author's 20 previously published  books, disturbing poems meant to shock the reader into awareness of  the contrast between comfortable common perceptions and stark reality.

   The poems are wide-ranging, some having been written in Europe and Africa. A couple are in French. They expose the dark currents underlying  illness, feminism, music and art as simply typified in  the brief "Epiphany"

               "On a bird-watching

               tour to Point Pelee.

               a complimentary lunch:

               chicken sandwiches."


Sue Coe's cover painting sets the scene well.  She depicts a group of animals huddled together as in a "peaceable kingdom" scene, but the kingdom they share is anything but peaceable.  They are surrounded by dead tree stumps with buildings burning in the background.  Yet, in the middle of their circle, a flower has reached up through a crack in the rocks, a symbol of hope that the destruction can be overcome.

    The last poem, which lends its title to the book is about the prolonged suffering of Asian moon bears virtually immobilized in cages with catheters draining bile from their gall bladders to be used for human folk medicine.  Their plight is so painful that some try to kill themselves to escape the torment. 

    Yet, like the flower growing from the rock, the Chinese government is now working with organizations to rescue and rehabilitate the bears, and compensate their "farmers".  It has closed down 38 farms and has pledged to close the remaining 200 odd before the Olympic Games in 2004.

    Ingrid Newkirk's assessment of the collection is particularly apt:  "Deep, dark, grief-riddled and true to the core.  A testament  to how truth can break to the surface, having had to push through the scum of convenience and weeds of complacency."

MAIL BAG letters from

      Helen Fullerton, PhD, Wales

      Kiyoshi Osada, Japan

      Dennis Stuart, Germany

      Rose Hicks, South Africa

      Elizabeth Rhodes, North York, Ontario Canada

Yurko case hearing in March

GM corn doubles death rate in Canadian chicken trial

U. of Virginia Med School curtails dog experiments

US and Canada have yet to adopt strict measures to detect BSE

Research  animal use declines in New Zealand.

CivAb index