November 1, 2021 - 12:01pm

October saw party conference season finish in the UK, the death of Colin Powell, legal conflict between Poland and the EU, and the murder of a sitting British MP.

But elsewhere — especially in the expanding digital ecosystem of Substack — writers and journalists less tethered to the news cycle have been following their own interests, and producing superb work. Over the course of the month, UnHerd staff collected some of the best new writing.

1. Anthony Fauci Has Been Abusing Animals for 40 Years

Journalist and filmmaker Leighton Woodhouse investigated Dr Anthony Fauci and The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’s long history of experimenting on animals. Estimates of the number of animals experimented on each year in the United States range from the tens of millions, to over a 100 million, most of them paid for with tax revenues. The NIH, run by Fauci since 1984, spends more than $40 billion a year on medical experiments.

Fauci has been testing on animals for close to four decades, and failing to produce results for just as long. In the 1980s, he infected chimps with HIV in his quest for a vaccine that still doesn’t exist. When that approach failed, he proposed moving on to other animals. As recently as 2016, he was still touting the likelihood of a new HIV vaccine based on animal studies. After a drug taken for intestinal illnesses showed promise in suppressing HIV in monkeys, Fauci personally flew to Boston to deliver the good news to the drug maker’s executives. Two years later, it turned out to be another dud.
- Leighton Woodhouse

Does cancellation work? Author Freddie deBoer, who has some experience of being hounded, suggests that those who think it doesn’t have it all wrong:

Canceling often works; it just doesn’t work remotely consistently, and doesn’t work at all against the rich and powerful, making it regressive, fickle, and cruel. Besides, you only notice the ones who stick around, not the successfully canceled. Either way you should probably get your story straight about whether canceling doesn’t work or is a righteous tool for liberating the oppressed.
- Freddie deBoer
2. First Comes Love. Then Comes Sterilization

Over at Bari Weiss’ Common Sense, Suzie Weiss wrote about the young women in America who never want to have children. The essay is full of extraordinary stories of women like Isabel, 28, an anti-natalist who lives in southwestern Texas and has just been approved for a laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy — the removal of her fallopian tubes.

Isabel is planning a ‘sterilization celebration’ at a local sushi joint. There will be lots of booze, a smattering of friends, and her brother and his husband, who are also child-free. “I don’t want to work my life away,” says Isabel, who hopes to retire in her fifties or earlier.
- Suzie Weiss
3. Walking America: Buffalo

Chris Arnade walked through Buffalo, and found an American city beginning a tentative recovery from deindustrialisation. N.S. Lyons wrote about the strange return of gnosticism. Ian Leslie wondered why we instinctively avoid thinking about sex and gender.

4. Pessimism as a spur to action

James Meadway wrote about the era of ‘cheap things’ coming to an end. Why has the price of coffee, milk, sugar, wheat, oats and orange juice shot up 63% since 2019? Extreme weather conditions. Economists and governments, Meadway argues, are being far too optimistic about the future.

5. Our Anger Problem Is Making Me Angry

How did America become so angry? Author Matt Labash charted the emotional temperature of the United States by writing about his father. Stoic, cool, and ex-military, Labash’s dad never seemed upset or surprised by anything:

The point is, my father – respectable military officer, pillar of his church, apple of his grandchildren’s eye, a half-interested, not terribly-fanatic conservative most of his life – had now been seized by The Fever. Anger Fever. As has a good chunk of the rest of the country, many of our countrymen suffering the same side effects that hyperpyrexia (or a very high fever) brings: dizziness, sweating, rapid breathing, nausea, changes in mental state, extreme confusion… get the idea.
- Matt Labash

His father wasn’t an outlier. “Roughly half a decade or so ago, I started noticing that everyone began to believe that their political opinions were the most interesting things about them.” Of course the truth, as Labash sadly notes, is “usually exactly the opposite.”