Animal dissection desensitizes children


Lennon Custer , Staff Writer

  Growing up, I always knew that I was going to have to dissect an animal during school. I had seen it in movies and read about it in books. It was something I dreaded, especially when the unit was introduced to our class in seventh grade. I was horrified to be informed that not only would we be dissecting a frog, but a worm and a fish as well.  I managed to avoid dissection again until my freshman year, when my biology teacher proudly admitted that we would be dissecting a fetal pig. I was disgusted, at this point I had been a vegetarian for a year, and I didn’t understand why my grade should be dependent on something I felt morally against.  

  Naturally, my first instinct was always to avoid dissection. It went against my morals. I cried every single time that I had to dissect, failed the quizzes, shivered at the thought of it, forced my partners to do most of the dirty work. The quizzes I failed brought down my grade. But not only did the prospect of dissecting animals gross me out and affect my grades poorly, the ways animals are obtained for some dissection is sinister. 

  Undercover agents discovered that many animals supplied for dissection come from specific breeding facilities that are purposed to provide animals for experiments. Many other animals supplied are lost companion animals that are stolen and brought to these centers. Several animal supplying centers remove animals from gas chambers and proceed to inject them with formaldehyde; which is known to cause a painful death. By doing this, it is also a blatant violation of the Animal Welfare Act; yet what consequences are being enforces on these companies?  

  Some may argue that the act of dissection is beneficial to students who are hoping to pursue a career in the medical field by aiding them in understanding basic anatomy, yet by introducing dissection to young kids as ‘science’, we are desensitizing children and teaching them that it is okay to harm animals. Many well-known companies test their products on animals, and not many people refrain from supporting these companies by not purchasing their products. Instead of dissecting real animals, we can create virtual dissection sites that still provide students with the experience and knowledge from dissection without putting animals and students in an uncomfortable position.  Animals are just as alive are humans are, and our society needs to begin to cherish that.