CON: Dissection an outdated method of learning biology

By By Aaliyah Jones
Riverside High School
FlipSide file photo Dissection is often part of high school science curriculum, but should it be? Two FlipSiders debate the topic.

It’s a typical day; you are at school, and it’s time for science class. You walk in, and the teacher tells you to take your seat. Then he says it’s Dissection Day.

These days are common in high school science curriculum, but not all students like to participate, due to the gross-out factor of tearing apart an animal, ethical concerns or other reasons.

More than six million animals each year are dissected for education. The American Anti-Vivisection Society estimates that 170 different species are used, including cats, frogs, fetal pigs, earthworms, rats, mice, pigeons and turtles.

Animals for dissection are dead, but it’s still a cruel procedure, even before it gets to the dissection. For instance, cats used in dissection are normally purchased from Class B dealers, who may get them from a variety of legal – or illegal – sources, like purchasing them from animal shelters or even stealing them.

Think of a cat walking down your street one day and in your class the next; it’s hard. Dissection can be a traumatic experience for some students, making it difficult for them to concentrate on the lesson. That trauma can be increased if they discover their animal was pregnant before death.

Dissection is a cruel and outdated curriculum procedure that needs to be replaced. Alternatives exist, including:

1. 3D software: These are interactive and life-like programs that simulate a real animal and supply you with the tools to virtually enact the procedure without hurting a real animal.

2. Life-like models: These plastic animals act as real animals with detailed pieces like organs, skeletal parts and more, so you don’t have to dissect a real animal to look at its insides.

3. Relief drawings: These are 3D guides of animals that illustrate in detail their body and all the parts that make it up.

4. Video simulations: These videos demonstrate the exact procedure you would do on a live animal, showing all the organs on screen without the bloody mess.

To conclude, animal dissection in school curriculum should be replaced. The trauma corrupts the learning process instead of increasing it. The age of technology has created new options so that no one should have to experience the trauma of animal dissection.

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