Light in Dark Places: Anti-Vivisection from the Victorian Era to Modern Day

Suffragettes were not only pioneers in their fight for the right to vote but started the anti-vivisection movement in the Victorian era. The founders of the animal protection movement were known as “humanists,” and were active in many social justice arenas.

As the industrial revolution changed the world, medicine was also revolutionized, and the live experimentation on animals swept Europe and America. The opposition movement was born out of outrage at the unfettered animal experiments carried out by medical researchers and students alike.

Authors, artists, suffragettes, trade unions, doctors, lords and ladies alike joined the affray in voicing their opposition to animal experiments. Iconic writers such as Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw and Lewis Carroll penned seminal essays against vivisection.

Learn more about the anti-vivisectionists of yesteryear through current day in this retrospective, “Light in Dark Places,” which looks at the visionary individuals and organizations that brought and continue to bring the plight of animals in labs to the surface. Please note, this exhibition seeks to document the history of a social justice movement and is family friendly.

“Light in Dark Places” is curated by Julia Orr and involved the participation of American Anti-Vivisection Society, National Anti-Vivisection Society, New England Anti-Vivisection Society, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, PETA, Beagle Freedom Project, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, The Ernest Bell Memorial Library, and White Coat Waste.

We are grateful for the following content contributors: Robert Ingersoll, Kim Stallwood and Drs. Gary Steiner, Diane Beers, Ray Greek and Hilda Kean.

Online Gallery Coming Soon

This exhibition is sponsored by:

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Dates: May 10 - August 3, 2014

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