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| Animal Dissection in Schools Essay

Schools are learning places where our young generation’s future is molded. Efforts should be made to install positive traits of animal caring in students. Schools can provide a platform for enlightening young children to take care of animals and make this world a better place for the animals as well as the humans, so that both these inhabitants may live with each other in a friendly and non threatening environment. But instead of making schools a means of awareness for children of animal rights, the schools themselves are creating examples of animal mistreatment and cruelty. Animal dissection has become a common laboratory activity in recent times, where thousands of animals are slaughtered daily by the very own students that should be taught to take care of animals and respect them. Across the country, more dissections are performed than ever before, according to the advocates and critics of dissection. The nonprofit Humane Society estimates that 6 million vertebrate animals are dissected in U.S. high schools alone; the number of dissections of invertebrate animals is probably comparable (Strauss). It was reported that 75-80% of the country’s biology students dissect frogs (Orlans, 1988). No thought is being given to the fact that when a young student starts dissecting animals from an early age how will they grow up to be animal caretaker. They would view the animals as things to be cut and dissected.

Important Role of School in Instilling Good Habits in the Children Towards Animals

Schools that are a source of education and help in shaping up the personalities of future humans should play an important role in instilling good habits like kindness towards animals in the children. Instead, the same schools have become the animal slaughterers by dissecting thousands of helpless animals daily and the sad truth is that these animals are killed at the hands of the same students that should be taught to take care of animals and respect animals as our co livers in this world.

Some of the major impressions that using these live animals for dissections in biology laboratories shall imprint on the mind of young children, corrupting them for ever, are:

1. Teaches violence

An act of cutting a frog, cat or pig in a laboratory is an act of violence against animals. The teacher may think it is a teaching tool and dissecting animals and giving student first hand feel of the animal body parts shall increase their knowledge and understanding but the truth is that it gives and underlying message that cutting up animals to serve their purpose is okay. The teacher is in actuality involving these young children in an act of violence and later on they would think it okay to harm animals because they have been taught to do so in school.

2. Teaches cruelty to animals

The dissection of harmless animals teaches cruelty to children towards animals. Once a child has killed an animal on a laboratory board he sees how easy it is to inflict injury on a harmless animal that is smaller than him. It instills a cruel behavior in children. Often older students make fun of the dead animal and respect is lost for animals among students.

3. No significant gain in knowledge

With the advancement in science and technology the same lessons can be given to the student with simulation software and a better understanding of the body parts of vertebrate animals can be gained without performing this animal slaughter. There is no extra gain in the dissection act except for hardening the child’s sympathy level and make him cruel and heartless.

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4. Reinforce that animals are objects

The most obvious lesson that the teacher give to the student through animal dissection is that animals are there only to serve human and human may use them for any purpose they want. Play with them if they like or cut them in labs if they like. This awakes the sense of power in children and they are more likely to hurt animals just to prove their authority.

5. Not of significant use for all students

The dissection of animals at smaller grades is usually not beneficial as many of these students go in different field later in their studies and only a few of the students that choose biology as their subject may benefit from the experience of dissection at an early grade. For other students it is done and forgotten later without any real benefit.

6. Emotional disturbance

When students are forced to do something that may seem revolting to the student or he may not be comfortable with the idea of opening up a once live creature. This may lead to emotional disturbance in the child. These problems may seem insignificant at this stage but may create problems for the child in later life. In a recent teen survey, 86 percent of the students polled said that schools should give students the option to use alternatives to dissection (the science bank)

From the above analysis it is quite clear that performing animal dissection in laboratories in lower level grades in school does not help children gain any significant knowledge but instead it instills in the child feeling of power and superiority against children and teaches them to be cruel with animals.

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