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Big Thorn in Big Pharm’s Side Dies

Written by PETA | August 30, 2007

Editions/Creative Commons

Hans Ruesch, author of the bestselling book against animal experiments Slaughter of the Innocent, has died at the age of 94. Born in Italy, Ruesch shared a love of auto racing with PETA’s president: Between 1932 and 1937 he won 27 Grand Prix races. In 1937 he wrote the novel Gladiators, which was inspired by the popular race car driver Rudolf Caracciola. The book was made into a movie. He then wrote Land of the Long Shadows about the Innuit, which sold millions of copies and was also made into a major movie starring Anthony Quinn and Peter O´Toole. At 60, he started his fight against the pharmaceutical industry’s experiments on monkeys and other animals, calling it scientific fraud. He wrote Slaughter of the Innocent, Naked Empress, and The Pharma Story. He had to fight long legal battles with the pharmaceutical industry before he could publish his first book in Switzerland, where he lived. Many people joined PETA in the early ’80s after reading Slaughter of the Innocent, now out of print.

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  • Kay says:

    Please be aware than Hans Reusch’s great book ‘Slaughter of the Innocent’ is once again available in print. It has been re-published by the maverick author of ‘Dirty Medicine’, Martin Walker, by his own Slingshot Publications in the UK.

  • georgie cameron says:

    I knew Hans personally and we lost a great man in the AV movement. I know someone who has a few copies of “Slaughter of the Innocent” in Australia. If you are interested you can email me at

  • Alison Rogerson says:

    I did not know that Hans Reusch had died and I am just so sad and sorry about this tragic news. It was back in the early 1980s that I was involved in the animal rights movement in Glasgow Scotland and I drew great inspiration from this giant of a reformer. His books made very disturbing reading though a necessery contribution to the animal rights movement who are in need of solid evidence. I hope and pray that we will have someone to take his place for the voiceless.

  • anna salmaso says:

    What was the relationship between Hans Ruesch and Milly Schaer Manzoli?

  • Paul Narramore says:

    My particular interest is in motor racing and I’ve been able to find so little about his early racing history. Does anyone know details of his funeralburial please as I wish to write a memorial page for him? Paul

  • J. B, Suconik says:

    The greatest tribute to Hans Ruesch will consist in unflinching determination to persist in the quest for justice for animals.

  • Adela says:

    THANK YOU HANS RUESCH for your firm consistent discovery AND publication of the truth against animal vivisection all in detail. For denouncing the medical and pharmaceutical industries as the exploiters they are of both nonhuman animals and humans. Your departure is a great loss for all in the animal rights movement but thanks to your works we will carefully reread study and follow up your works to continue your wonderful efforts to liberate all nonhuman animals! Rest in Peace!!!

  • SE says:

    ThanksAna. Pls contact BAVA re purchase of ‘Slaughter’in the US. I’m sure they’ll be able to help

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    It seems you can also order the book from Lifeforce in Vancouver Canada. I phoned them up and they indicated the title is new and in stock. Price was 8.50C AN plus shipping. Here’s the link httpwww.lifeforcefoundation.orggallery.php

  • Susan Davis says:

    I am glad to see a tribute to the father of our movement even though it should have been on the front page not the back! Hans Reusch was a man of great courage conviction intelligence and insight. He has been the lone voice crying in the wilderness for too long it is time for everyone to speak out for LAB animals!!!!!

  • Ana says:

    SE I took a look at your websitefabulous!!!! I am an abolitionist so I was greatly pleased to read the site. Can “Slaughter” be ordered in the USA??? Through a bookstore or abolitionist org? Thanks for the info of how to purchase “Slaughter”.

  • Gemma Davies says:

    Hans Ruesch was my inspiration. “Slaughter of the Innocent” was this first animal right’s book I read. It changed my perception towards animal suffering and I am iternally grateful. What a man. Gemma Davies East Croydon Surrey UK

  • SE says:

    thanks for yr storyanimalfriend! For anyone interested the latest edition of ‘Slaughter’ 2003 by Slingshot publications 444 pages Preface by Marco Mamone Capria PhD University of Perugia Italy and Martin J Walker MA London England. The latest edition has a slightly larger typeface than previous editions but retains the page layout thus ensuring continuity of reference. To order Slaughter of the Innocent Please send a chequePO for 11 per copy to BAVA PO Box 73 Chesterfield S41 0YZ. It is the policy of the BAVA to sell all educational materials at cost price and so prices shown are inclusive of PP.

  • Tina says:

    The AR movement has lost a great man. I love reading about people like Hans Reusch. The AR movement has had a very rich history. He will be missed.

  • E.Huiberts- Belgium says:

    Deardear Hans Ruesch. What a terrible lost! What a wonderfull man this was. Thank you for fighting against the abusive vivisection industry! You will always be my inspiration. I am fighting for animalsrights too Hans because of the books you wrote ! R.i.p dear friend

  • cd says:

    great man will be remembered.

  • carolyn says:

    Rest in peace sweet man

  • animalfriend says:

    SE thank you for commenting! here i think it’s the moment to write a little bit more fact is that hans ruesch was traumatised by the bad treatment of animals! i approached him for to offer my help but he was very carefull about who he was putting inside because swiss pharma industry is a real mafia! during national voting for or against vivisection happened the following hans ruesch and franz weber who actually started the initiative were invited to the tvstudio! for the public they said that the studio would just receive people from the town of solothurn where the studio was! so as i imagined the strategy of the chemical industry we went to the studio and said that we are against ruesch and they let us in immediately! inside ready for tv were sitting all the heads of the basel pharma industry! that night on tv we were inside but we had a hard fight because they didn’t let us to talk free! always when we wanted to put a question to a vivisector they asked us before what we wanted to say! if we didn’t say exactly that thing they took the microphone away! the day of the actual voting the bureau for to put the vote was inside zurich railway station. when i appeared you cannot imagine whom i saw behind the desk for to count the votes! mr salzmann from zurich university grundlagenforschung the guy who killed the vivisected animals of vivisector dr. konrad akert! when i asked him why he was sitting there he answered me with a dirty smile on his face do you live behind the moon? for this i emigrated to france! i never forget this what happened in switzerland in 1985! of course we lost we had just 30 pct of the votes and the big pharma bosses laughed about us! this was really a dirty rascal play you hear me yes it’s me again claudia marrapodi! i never shall forget you switzerland never! about hans ruesch infact he discredited all of us insiders but milly schaer is a really great woman and does everything for the animals and i was a close friend to her husband! but we have to understand hans ruesch because it was hell he lived inside because he had to look at all these horrible pictures and to go undercover to these places! i was also undercover once so i never believe the pharma industry anymore! if they are so scientific why then is it that all the animals they are experimenting on are living in such dirty abandoned places!!!??? so i hope i could give to you all a little image of those times!!!

  • Miranda says:

    I’m terribly sad that Hans Ruesch has died he’s taught me so much and I’ll never forget him!

  • SE says:

    animalfriend how wonderful that you got to work with HR!your experiences will be valuable for historians of the AV movement re Milly Schaer Manzoli HR discredited her in Civis Bulletin no.10 199091can be read on BAVA websitealong with other individuals and societies. Arguably the most important part of his work was alerting genuine AVs to infiltrators phoney AV societies and their methods a major reason vivisection has not yet been abolished

  • observer says:

    yes a sad loss but he left an outstanding legacy to the ages that will live forever.

  • SE says:

    HR will go down in history as the father of scientific antivivisection Also encouraging that a passage from ‘Slaughter’ is included in a book called ‘Past to Present Ideas that changed our World’ aimed at college students for discussion critical reading etc so hopefully new generations of young people will learn about his revolutionary work

  • 007 says:

    thank you SE. I am glad to see this book is still available. it is a sad day for animal rightsindeed Nadine. Yes Dee… may his work live on!

  • Ana says:

    Wonderful Books and a wonderful advocate for animals!!!! Chala McCormick a jerk ate a jerky!

  • keith says:

    Nice ” One ” Dee North..

  • dee north says:

    Thank God there are heros in this crumbling world. The public needs to know exactly how we are lied to over charged for medical needs.We are being fed poisons in our air food and water. Go vegetarian. That’s the first step. Thank you Mr. Ruesch for all you have done for the animals. May your work live on. GOD BLESS YOU!

  • keith says:

    A Man Of Giant Stature among the Animal Welfare Brigade. Hans Ruesch Shone Light Like A Beacon In The Wilderness. ” Long Live Peta Ingrid Newkirk.”

  • alex says:

    my cat georgie 14died exactly one day before him

  • SE says:

    new edition of ‘Slaughter’ is available from Slingshot Publications

  • antonio says:

    A truly great manGod bless you!

  • Nadine Zimmer says:

    This is a sad day for Animal Rights. Hans Reusch was a great man!

  • Chala McCormick says:

    Oh my god wow I feel soo bad for these animals i cant beleve i ate that jerky wow this is flippin’ sad.

  • animalfriend says:

    i’m so sorry to hear this news above all because i knew hans ruesch personally and we worked together during a great campaign against vivisection in 1985 in switzerland! he was an astonishing personality and he never rested! always when i saw him he talked about the animals suffering and i was with him when we looked his famous film ‘the suffering of the animals’! he was a vegetarian and his secretary made me a vegetarian! she had a sister and the two women were the daughters of a butcher but they gave all their life for the animals! hans ruesch also worked together with dr. milly schaer manzoli who wrote interesting books against vivisection too! so just i want to thank hans ruesch again for all he did for the suffering creatures during his lifetime and i’m sure that god shall receive him in his heavenly abode! i shall never forget you you are a hero!

  • Susannah S says:

    Sorry to see that this great man has died. That was an incredible book and a legacy of compassion he left behind.