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Is Animal Dissection Still Necessary? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   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 work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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dancergirl1227 said...
May 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm
Thank you for this article! It was very helpful for a project that we're doing in Biology. 
 
lollololololo said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm
=)         
 
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