The use of animals in the classroom for the purpose of dissection is no longer a necessary or ethical practice when the conditions endured by these animals, or new alternative developments, are carefully considered.
Each year, 5.7 million animals, from frogs to cats, are senselessly destroyed for classroom dissections. However, if more teachers and students were aware of how these animals suffered, and the horrific conditions they endure prior to arrival on the lab table, I'm confident this practice would decline immensely.
In 1990, an organization known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) led an investigation into the Carolina Biological Supply Company, America's largest supplier of dissection materials. They uncovered vicious animal mistreatanent, including undercover video footage revealing cats being shoved into crowded gas chambers and animals moving while strapped to embalming racks. PETA is not the only organization investigating animal mistreatment. The World Society for the Protection of Animals exposed gruesome killing methods in 1994 and 1995 being used on cats shipped from Mexico to the United States.
Currently, many new alternatives to dissection are available. Computer graphics have become very useful alternatives to actual dissection. However, many dissection advocates feel that these programs are an inadequate substitute to hands-on experience. In the past ten years, studies published in both educational and biological journals show that alternatives are just as effective as practice on animal subjects. Innovative programs available on CD-rom, including "The Digital Frog," "Dissection Works," and "The Ultimate Human Body," provide an effective option.
Dissection alternatives are also more environmentally sound. They eliminate the use of carcinogenic chemicals (such as formaldehyde) to preserve dead animals. Also, these alternatives are more cost-effective. The computer programs are reusable, unlike animal specimens. Many permanent models and computer programs may be purchased for under $1,000, a considerable bargain when compared to the annual cost of purchasing animals for dissection purposes.u
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
Schools should ban the dissection of animals. There are many other ways that students can be taught about the anatomy of an animal that does not involve taking innocent lives. It's cruel and not needed. Most of the kids don't really pay attention anyway. It's also not very pleasant for them.
Ban Animal Dissections
Animal dissection labs are an unethical and unnecessary part of the secondary school biology curriculum.
The millions of animals that are dissected each year in education systems are subjects of severe animal abuse (PETA paragraph 1). Many of these animals are sold to schools from fur companies, pet stores and, many times, slaughterhouses (PETA paragraph 2). Animals are often stockpiled on top of one another and shipped in crowded containers with no temperature regulation, food, or water (NEAVS paragraph 4). Animals are treated unjustly, and by buying these dissection sets, it is funding and promoting the abuse of animals.
Millions of frogs are harvested every year from the wild for dissection purposes. This means that, along with all of the other ways humans are impacting frog populations, such as global climate change and pollution, humans are also destroying their populations (NEAVS paragraph 7). In the school curriculum, children are taught about the biodiversity crisis and all of its negative aspects, but at the same time, students are encouraged to contribute to it.
Many animals taken for school dissections, especially fetal pigs, are by-products of the meat industry. Almost all of the pigs slaughtered for human consumption are raised in crowded, confined conditions. Not only are their lives substantially shortened, but they are also deprived of space, fresh air, and fresh forage. The fetuses used for dissections are taken from pregnant sows at the slaughterhouse (Humane Society paragraph 4). By continuing with animal dissections, school boards are promoting the mistreatment of the animals raised for the meat industry.
It is not necessary for students to dissect animals in order to see what the insides of the animals look like. If a student were to pursue a career in a field where this is needed, they would have the opportunity to dissect human cadavers in University. However, very few students who participate in these labs in high school will actually go down these career paths. The only thing that an animal dissection lab teaches students is that an animal’s life is disposable and unimportant.
Buying animals for all biology classes can be quite costly. The cost for a high school dissection set can be over $1000.00. However, this is only a one-time purchase. Three years worth of frogs can cost about $1500.00, and for fetal pigs almost $3000.00. However, nowadays there are so many educational, interactive dissection programs that can be used instead, such as Digital Frog 2.5, V-FrogTM, DissectionWorks CatWorks, and many more (Animalearn). With the technologies and programs available in schools to aid with virtual dissections, the money spent on buying dissection sets can clearly be put to better use.
"Animals in Education." New England Anti-Vivisection Society. N.P., n.D. Web. .
"A Cost Comparison Between Animal Dissection and Humane Educational Alternatives." Animalearn: Animals, Ethics, and Education. The Science Bank, n.D. Web. .
"Dissection: Lessons in Cruelty." PETA. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, n.D. Web. .
Kerry, Krigger. "Frog Dissections." Save the Frogs. N.P., n.D. Web.
Children are tomorrow's future, they cannot practice Violence
Dissections teach children to abuse animals. The knowledge that dissections can bring is valuable in many job positions, but it also teaches how to hurt and kill innocent animals. Thirteen percent of all students who have dissected have been caught be police in their areas abusing live animals with the same techniques taught in school. This lesson is cruel and gross to many kids, and the amount of online dissections lessons are growing every year. I think that even learning this gruesome tacks online can teach a child to enforce pain onto an animal.
Cruel ad Evil
Killing and then dissecting the animals is just plain evil. Imagine you were a frog or toad or fish. Would you like being killed just so students can dissect and study you? I wouldn't so you probably wouldn't either. However, dissecting owl pellets are okay because the dead animal inside the pellet was not killed by us humans.
It Teaches Kids
Without animals being used in schools, students would not be able to correctly learn anatomy and physiology. Also, do you want students studying to become a doctor spend their entire schooling without seeing first hand what they read about in the text books? Animals are used to help better society.
Yes to Dissection
I like fried chicken so yeah. Totally for dissection. I have nothing else to say so I'll just write random things?
The only one who has been a while long time to go back and forth between the two countries have been a long time ago
I love you so much fun and I have to be a
Don,t be so cruel
We are the next generation of this world. We don,t want to practice this violence they are the innocent creature who also have the right to live in this world .There are many other way to teach students without harming the innocent creatures. Some children may feel uncomfortable of killing. So don,t be cruel
This is Barbaric... Not necessary in this day and age.
Thee are other ways to learn about animal anatomy in this day of computers & science. Raising animals in a lab and keeping them in cages just so our kids can see their insides in inhumane. What are we teaching the next generation? That killing in the name of science is ok. This sounds like the Scientific Inquisition for animals.
Animal dissection is a disturbing way to learn anatomy (in the lower grade levels) that is unquestionably inappropriate with so many humane alternatives available.
I'm a surgeon. I also happen to love animals. I refused animal dissection up until medical school- and then, when it was necessary, I took part in gross anatomy... & it never had any adverse consequences. I was NOT at a disadvantage when compared to those that had opted to dissect animals before professional school. Dissection is 100% unnecessary in the lower grade levels. It may train children to disregard and devalue animal life (and natural resources) and exposes them to formaldehyde (a known carcinogen).
They Should Get Rid Of Dissection
Dissecting animals is so inhumane. Especially since many of these animals were killed just so these students can see their insides. And many students might not know this and do the dissection because it's a part of the curriculum. I didn't know this until recently and so I've performed dissections that I now regret. Also, for me, dissections never even really gave me a good idea of the biology of the animal because I had no idea what I was looking at. I think diagrams and other ways that don't require killing animals would be much better options.