Are you a student who doesn't want to dissect animals in the classroom? Do you want to find out how to become a conscientious objector to classroom dissection? If so, read on.
Visit Cut Out Dissection at PETA Kids .
Read other students' concerns about dissection and download guidelines.
The following are a few of the many hints from PETA.
How to Answer Common Arguments Against Alternatives to Dissection
-You're just being squeamish.
Feeling that dissection is wrong has nothing to do with being afraid or squeamish; for many students, it is a violation of deeply held principles. It is also OK to feel squeamish about doing something you find morally offensive.
Students aren't qualified to determine whether or not dissection is a necessary part of the curriculum.
Students are entitled to speak up when asked to do something that violates their ethics. If they are "qualified" enough to participate, they are "qualified" enough to decide whether they object to participation.
There is no substitute for hands-on experience.
Actually, there are many substitutes for hands-on experience. But using detailed models of animal anatomy and computer simulations both provide hands-on experience.
There are no suitable alternatives.
The Alternatives in Education Database, from the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, and the Norwegian Inventory of Audiovisuals (NORINA) contain thousands of alternatives to animal use in education. (Most instructors who use this argument haven't considered any particular alternatives, so ask which specific alternatives the professor has considered and rejected and why.)
Consider this sample choice policy for students:
Sample Student Choice Policy
1. Alternatives to dissection must be available in all classes for students who choose not to dissect.
2. The responsibility for creating an alternative lies with the teacher, not the student.
3. Requiring the student to watch others dissect an animal is not an alternative; the student must be allowed to leave the room while the dissection is taking place.
4. Students will not be penalized or ostracized in any way for choosing the alternative exercise.
5. A student's choice to dissect or not to dissect shall be respected by all school faculty, and the student shall be treated in a nonjudgmental manner. A student must feel free to choose an alternative to dissection without fear of being singled our or pressured.
6. All students must be informed in writing of their option to choose not to dissect at the beginning of each semester during which dissection is scheduled, a minimum of three weeks prior to the dissection.
7. Those instructors that still teach dissection in their classes must verbally announce the policy to all students on the first day of the semester and on the day of the dissection.
Visit the New England Anti-Vivisection Society for more information about a variety of services to protect students' rights to choose humane alternatives to specimen dissection. This Fact Sheet offers general guidelines intended for students who wish to choose an alternative to specimen dissection.
And remember: Communication with advisors, teachers, principals, and, especially parents, is always an essential component of the dissection choice process.
Explore the myths vs. realities of dissection.
Go to the Kids Corner of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society for links to all kinds of fact sheets and help for kids who don't want to dissect.
For students, their teachers and parents:
Learn about a Humane Science Curriculum.
Download Resources (pdf format):
Humane Biology Leaflet
Humane Biology Poster