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From 170 different species, millions of these helpless creatures are being dissected in schools each year. The American Anti-Vivisection Society states, in one year, over 12 million animals are used in high schools alone. Some of the most commonly used animals are frogs, mice, rats, worms, cats, rabbits, baby pigs, dogs, and cows. Most schools and universities purchase these species when they’re already dead, but they were killed to be dissected. Many of these animals are purchased through slaughterhouses and fur farms, but animals like cats are purchased from "Class B" dealers who take animals from shelters or "free to good home" ads. In other countries, cats are purchased in Mexico, then killed by drowning or slitting their throats, then sent to the US. In some facilities, they put the frogs in bags while they're still alive, killing them by suffocation. Some rats are embalmed while they're still alive. This is animal torture and abuse. These animals are deprived from a real life and raised to do what? Be cut open for 30 minutes and then thrown away.
Not only are these dissections inhumane, many students find it traumatizing to cut into an animal that was once alive, all for a biology grade. I know in my anatomy class in high school, I had to dissect a baby pig, cow lungs, cow eyes, and a frog. Do you want to know how they get the fetal pigs? They actually take them out of the mother before they're even ready to be born and killed that way. Imagine the mother's reaction when her babies are physically ripped out of her for a biology class. This suggests to students that animals are throwaway objects, only to be used for studying, when there’s been research showing the impact animals have on our world.
With the elimination of frogs that could break up the food chain of a whole ecosystem. Mice and rats prevent overgrowth of unwanted plant species within our ecosystem. Earthworms have a huge impact on the ecosystem because of the physical, chemical, and biological changes they make. They're sometimes called the "ecosystem's engineers." Cats and dogs are our companions—why would we want to kill them? Rabbits cut back on waste production. Pigs and cows have an impact on local and industrial communities. As you can see, the animals we're killing pointlessly really do have impacts on our ecosystem. I guess this is just another way humans are destroying the world we were given.
With today’s technology, there are programs that are made available that allow individuals to dissect animals virtually. These virtual dissections are also great for the economy because of the unlimited use that comes with them. The animals schools purchase for dissection can only be used once, whereas if they were to purchase a website subscription, there is unlimited use. This allows students to understand the fundamentals of biology without butchering the insides of a once human companion.
18 states currently have the "Student Choice Law," which allows students to say "no" to dissecting and demand an alternative. If enough students say no to dissection, our schools will have no choice but to make an alternative. I remember doing this in seventh grade. We were going to dissect earthworms; this was the first thing I would be dissecting. I was completely against it because I thought it was inhumane and pointless with today's technological advances. My mom wrote a note to the teacher and I told my life science teacher numerous times I wasn't doing it. She actually called my mom, and if any of you know my mom, she's just not a woman you disagree with. Moral of the story was that my teacher then pulled up a virtual earthworm where I got to dissect and pull back the skin and look inside. I could do as much as everyone else could, if not more with the program I was using. Everything was still in tact—whereas my friends butchered their projects—I could easily see everything I was doing.
Overall, dissection has a negative impact on students. It can cause many psychological problems, as well as physical. The chemical used to embalm the animals is called formaldehyde. This chemical can cause damage to eyes, can produce a severe case of bronchitis, and instigate an asthma attack. With multiple exposures to the chemical, students are more likely to develop lung, nasal, or throat cancers.
I know people may argue that especially in college it is sometimes necessary to cut open things to learn, especially for anything medical. If you think about it though, what human's insides look like a frog's? It would be much more effective if all nursing students just worked on human cadavers from people who donated their body to science willingly.