Dissection & Vivisection

Choosing NOT to Harm Animals in the Classroom

For many students, harming animals for educational purposes is a violation of deeply held principles and ethics. The students have a right not to be forced to violate their beliefs in order to receive a quality education. They are entitled, and should be encouraged to speak up when asked to do something that violates their ethics.

In some cases, students are protected by state laws or student choice policies that give them the option to choose a humane alternative to harmful animal use. Sometimes, however, the student is not always aware that these laws or policies exist. It is important that students know that they have a number of humane alternatives available to them, and that every year countless students are educated at top schools and universities without dissecting or harming animals.

If you do not want to dissect or vivisect and need help, there are many ways Animalearn can assist you. Contact Animalearn at info@animalearn.org or 800-729-2287.

The following is a sample letter for a student who wishes to inform his/her teacher that he/she would like to use an alternative to dissection. Sample Letter:
Letter to instructor (adapt to fit your situation):

Date
Name of instructor
Dept. Name
School Name
Address

Dear ____:

My name is ____ and I am enrolled in [name of class]. I have recently learned that all students are required to participate in the dissection of a frog. I will be unable to participate in the dissection(s) because of my sincerely held religious and moral beliefs about the sanctity of all life.

I respectfully request to be able to utilize an alternative to dissection that will not involve my direct or indirect participation in the dissection of any animal that has been killed for the purpose of a classroom dissection or as a by-product of the slaughterhouse industry. I can obtain the alternative from a free loan program, or use one that you recommend/ provide for me.

Please respond to me at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

(Your signature)

Your name

The following is a sample letter to the editor for a local newspaper or media outlet. It can be used to inform others in the community of facts about dissection. Make sure you adapt the letter to fit your situation. Sample Letter:
Letter to the editor

Date
Letters to the Editor
Name of Newspaper
Address

Dear Editor:

Animal dissection, a primitive exercise first used in the early part of last century, is still being used in some [name of school] classes. In recent years, dissection has been increasingly scrutinized both for its educational worth and for the immorality of unnecessarily cutting up animals.

Biology is the study of living organisms or beings and should teach respect for life, not devalue it by treating living beings as disposable objects. It is possible for compassionate students to study biology in a humane manner, without having to dissect animals. There are sophisticated computer simulations, video discs, and models, that have been developed to meet the educational needs of students and are readily available and easy to use. Comparative studies published in research journals show that students who use alternatives perform as well or better than students who participated in traditional dissection.

Sincerely,

(Your signature)

Your name
Daytime phone number