Can a Pig's Ear Become a Silk Purse?
An Animal Rights Article from


Javier Burgos, President, The Nature of Wellness, 1996 SUPRESS, Inc.
April 2010

Animal experimenters are at it again. Duke University Medical Center and Nextran Corporation, a bio-technology company, are planning to use pig livers to "help" patients whose livers have failed and who are near death. Doctors at Loma Linda University in California have also announced that they are now planning to transplant pig hearts into human beings.

Leonard Bailey, the Loma Linda University surgeon who performed the 1984 baboon heart transplant into Baby Fae, announced shortly after Baby Fae's death (she died after 20 days) that the operation had been a great success. In 1992, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center transplanted a baboon liver into a 35-year-old man. When the unfortunate man died shortly after the transplant, the surgeons involved also stated that the operation had been a great success. There is no doubt that these are the kind of "successes" - which the biomedical research wizards have been piling up since 1905 when interspecies transplantation was first tried - that justify these new attempts to transplant pig hearts and livers into human beings.

Transplantation: An Automatic Admission Of Failure

The baboon and pig heart and liver transplants are two clear examples of the madness of transplantation in general, and xeno-transplantation, or interspecies transplantation, in particular. Let's begin by facing the facts:

Transplantation is an automatic admission of failure. It is a total and obvious failure in the field of prevention because the disease that destroyed the heart, the kidney or the liver was not prevented. It is also a failure in the field of treatment because giving up on the sick organ simply means that no one knows how to cure it. And the chance of finding any real cures is zero, simply because we keep financing experimental research (vivisection or the artificial and violent attempt to recreate human disease in animals in the lab) to the almost total exclusion of the only real solutions: Prevention and clinical research (the study of human beings who have acquired the disease spontaneously).

The pseudo-scientific mentality that promotes the cruel hoax of transplantation is part and parcel of the vivisectionist mind set. The message that transplantation sends to doctors and scientists is that they shouldn't waste their precious time preventing disease or looking for cures. Instead, they are urged to promote the "spare parts" mentality, which promises instant health upon replacement of the sick organ with a healthy one.

Likewise, the message conveyed to the general public is that it is not really important to eat right, exercise, or to avoid harmful habits such as drinking and smoking. After all, when the heart, kidneys, and/or liver give out, the patient can always go to the local hospital and get a brand new one. This Cartesian theory equates life with inanimate matter and views the concept of organ transplantation as a purely mechanical task, much like replacing a carburetor in a car.

Three different kinds of transplants have been attempted. First, the transplantation of human-to-human organs. Second, artificial organ transplantation. And third, xeno-transplantation or interspecies organ transplantation. None of these represents a viable solution to the manyhealth problems that plague humankind.

Human-To-Human Organ Transplantation

Aside from the fact that human-to-human transplantation is not a real solution (only an extremely limited number of people qualify to undergo such grueling operations, there is limited success after the operation, there are multiple side-effects from huge amounts of medication, it requires unbearable financial cost), the biggest problem with transplanting human organs is that there aren't enough of them to go around. For example, we lose more than 3,000 Americans per day to cardiovascular diseases. Considering that fewer than 2,500 human heart transplants are performed every year in the United States, it becomes evident that transplantation - even if we considered it a success - cannot begin to make a dent in the problem.

Animal experimenters claim that the "success" of human-to-human heart and liver transplantation is due to animal experimentation. But this statement is totally groundless. There isn't a single animal that has survived for more than a few days or weeks the transplantation of a heart or liver from another animal of its own species, or a different species. Furthermore, this fact clearly illustrates the point that vivisection is not only useless but also counterproductive: A procedure that may enjoy a certain modicum of success in humans (such as human-to-human heart transplantation) always proves to be a total disaster with experimental animals (such as dog-to-dog, rat-to-rat, or baboon-to-goat heart or liver transplantation). It is important to point out that all the experimental animals that were subjected to heart transplantation at the hands of Leonard Bailey died. Yet Dr. Bailey didn't hesitate to perform the infamous baboon heart transplant on tiny Baby Fae. Likewise, the researchers that performed the first baboon-to-human liver transplant on the 35-year-old man at the University of Pittsburgh, did hundreds of animal experiments before attempting the transplant. And again, they went ahead with the operation even though not a single experimental animal had survived the ordeal.

Researchers maintain that they use animals in their "research" because it would be "immoral" to experiment on people. But their main justification for using animals is not moral, but rather, "scientific:" They insist that animals are very reliable models for human beings. According to this premise - the fundamental tenet of vivisection - neither Leonard Bailey nor the surgeons from the University of Pittsburgh should have proceeded with the transplants involving the human subjects, because all the animal experiments that preceded them were dismal failures. Instead, they chose to ignore the results of their own experimental research on animals. The reason for this has to be that the researchers themselves know full well that the results obtained from animal experimentation cannot be extrapolated to human beings. Incredibly, the futile exercises in butchery performed upon Baby Fae and the nameless 35-year-old man are not considered"immoral," let alone unscientific, by these high priests of the church of veterinary-based human medicine.

Artificial Organ Transplantation

The medical and scientific communities have come to realize that human-to-human transplantation is a dead-end street with limited possibilities to make big money-limited by the number of suitable organs available. It is because of this pesky limitation that they have been trying to come up with the ultimate solution: An endless supply of organs which would allow them to perform huge numbers of transplantation operations. The number of such operations would only be limited by theirown greed and irresponsibility.

The first attempt went to the heart of the American dream: Cranking out endless numbers of artificial hearts would allow the "scientists" to "save" the lives of millions of people around the world while making billions of dollars. On top of that, they would receive the eternal gratitude of the human race for such a priceless gift of humanitarianism. But the dream soon evaporated when, beginning with dentist Barney Clark in 1983, all the recipients of the Jarvik plastic heart died, one after another.

The reasons for the failure of plastic hearts are very simple. Among others, the brain and the nervous system can no longer control the beating of the heart, which must be powered by a machine. The machine always makes the heart beat at the same rate, regardless of whether the owner of the new plastic heart is agitated or at rest. This alone has tremendous implications that modern science cannot even begin to grasp. Besides, the rejection problem cannot be solved unless massive amounts of immuno-suppressant drugs are administered. This causes the patient to die from all kinds of infections because the immune system is invariably knocked out of commission by the drugs. These persistent problems led the FDA to shelve the Jarvik plastic heart in 1990. Back to square one.

Interspecies Organ Transplantation

The next best thing to having an endless supply of plastic hearts is to have an endless supply of animal hearts. So the dream of xenotransplantation or interspecies transplantation makes a lot of sense - if you have been trained to believe in fantasies. But there is a snag: Each species of animal is a totally different biomechanical and biochemical entity. Hearts and livers from baboons and pigs were created to work within an infinitely and exquisitely complex physiological web we have chosen to call "baboon" and "pig." The surgeons from both Loma Linda University and the University of Pittsburgh who engaged in xenotransplantation demonstrated their utter ignorance and contempt for the most basic laws of nature just by attempting the animal-to-human transplants.

"Transgenic" Interspecies Organ Transplantation

But in order for the biomedical empire to keep the support and allegiance of millions of people, it must keep the sense of wonder and wizardry alive at any cost. Hope cannot be allowed to die. Consequently, the "miracles"and "breakthroughs" that are always "just around the corner" must be created on an almost daily basis. Hence the flat refusal on the part of the biomedical empire to give up inter-species organ transplantation, one of the flashiest, most flamboyant and headline-grabbing activities ever undertaken by their "researchers."

Ideally, every new and impending "breakthrough" must be slightly different - and certainly more esoteric - than the previous one. Different enough to make it look "new and improved," enough to keep hope alive. In the case of the latest project to transplant pig hearts and livers to humans, the new spin on it is that the pig organs will supposedly be "transgenic." This simply means that the organs in question will be a "combination of animal and human genetic material," which, according to the researchers, will be less likely to be rejected.

It is the untenable premise that human medicine can be based on veterinary medicine that has led the biomedical establishment to engage in all kinds of mind-boggling absurdities, including baboon-to-human bone marrow transplantation as well as artificial and inter-species organ transplantation. It is also this mentality that fuels the very fashionable genetic manipulation (i.e. "pig organs laced with human genes"), which, like all fantasies, is based on wishful thinking rather than on cold, scientific facts.

True Science Must Prevail

Little wonder that what is euphemistically called "health care" has become the biggest threat ever to both our personal and economic survival. After decades of massive animal-based research at a cost of countless billions of tax dollars, crippling and deadly diseases of all kinds are affecting an ever-increasing number of Americans. In the U.S. the annual "health care" price-tag has already surpassed the $1.000,000 mark - more than 15% of the American economy. It is conservatively estimated that, beginning in the year 2000, the annual U.S. health care bill will reach the $2 trillion mark, and an incredible $16 trillion a year by the time the year 2030 rolls around - a staggering 32% of the projected U.S. economy. [Sally T. Burner, Daniel R. Waldo, and David R.McKusick, "National Health Expenditures Projections Through 2030, Health Care Financing Review 14, No. 1 (Fall 1992), pp. 1-29.]

There is only one possible cure: a drastic reduction in the number of sick people. This can only be achieved if sanity is allowed to prevail and we are somehow able to bring about the creation of a true health care system. But for this new system to work, two things must happen: Prevention and clinical research must be its center pieces and animal experimentation must be forever abolished.

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