Women of Interest—Emilie Augusta Louise “Lizzy” Lind af Hageby

Women of Interest—Emilie Augusta Louise “Lizzy” Lind af Hageby

Definition of anti-vivisection

opposed to experimentation on living animals especially when considered to cause pain or distress to the subject: opposed to vivisection

Emilie Augusta Louise “Lizzy” Lind af Hageby was a staunch supporter of the anti-vivisection movement and, in 1906, was co-founder of the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society.

Lind af Hageby was born on September 20, 1878, to a wealthy family in Sweden.  She was the granddaughter of the chamberlain to the King of Sweden and the daughter of a renowned lawyer.  As a result, Lind af Hageby was able to access the kind of education that was unavailable to most women at that time.  She attended the London School of Medicine for Women along with Swedish social activist Leisa Katherine Schartau.  The women both attended University College in London to further their education on anti vivisection.  Following graduation, they published a diary of their experiences The Shambles of Science: Extracts from the Diary of Two Students of Physiology.  In the book the women claim researchers vivisected a dog without sufficient anaesthesia.  This accusation resulted in a scandal known as The Brown Dog Affair.

The Brown Dog Affair was a controversy which was ongoing throughout Britain from 1903 to 1910.  The trigger for this event was allegations that William Bayliss of the University College of London performed an illegal vivisection on a small brown dog.  Bayliss claims the dog was adequately anaesthetized, while the Swedish Activists, including Lind of Hageby, claim the dog was conscious and struggling in pain while a group of 60 laughing medical students watched.  This event resulted in a libel trial and rioting in the streets by medical students.  The jury believed Bayliss’s account and awarded him 2000 pounds plus 3000 in costs.

Following the trial Lind af Hageby’s book The Shambles of Physiology was withdrawn from publication and all remaining copies were given to Bayliss’ lawyer.  She later republished the book taking out the chapter about the dog and replacing it with the events of the trial.  As a result the government set up the Second Royal Commission on Vivisection in 1907.  Lind af Hageby continued her work on anti vivisection and in 1909 she organized the first anti-vivisection conference in London resulting in amendments in the fight to end vivisection.  In 1911 while living with Margaret Damer Dawson, Commander and founder of the Women Police Service, the women organized the International Congress of Animal Protection Societies in London.

From 1954 until her death on December 26, 1963, in St.  Johns Wood, London, Lind af Hageby managed a 237-acre animal sanctuary near Shaftesbury, Dorset.  She died at her home leaving 91,739 to the Animal Defence Trust, which continues to provide grants for animal protection concerns.

Many of her books and writings can be found on Amazon.