Arghhh, couldn't do dissection - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 03-02-2005, 04:51 AM
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At uni we've been doing dissection for the last 4 weeks, wk 1 was a fish, wk 2 was a frog, wk 3 was a rat, and today was a chick. I really don't agree with the use of animals in dissections, but after i thought about it long and hard i decided to carry them out. By not carrying them out i wasn't going to save any of the animals, as they were just placed at every seat on every desk, and i made sure of that. I also thought that if i didn't go there'd be an animal wasted that died for nothing, at least if i went it'd be useful to me. I've never did a full animal dissection before, so i was going to do them and never have the need to do them again. I wanted to make a moral stand but i couldn't see how it would help in this situation, except maybe put my mind at rest.

So i dissected the fish and the frog no problem. When i went to the rat dissection, anyone with fur allergies weren't allowed in the room, and i've had a pet rat which i was allergic to, so i couldn't do that one and have to do an essay instead. I was a little bit concerned about todays chick dissection before i went in, but i wasn't expecting to feel how i did. I've been feeling a little bit low anyways with relationship problems, but it was just so sad!! Loads of dead fluffy yellow chicks, i couldn't stop thinking about how they all died for us to cut them up. As the demonstrator was explaining the risks (which btw was the possibility of catching bird flu!, why the hell the dissection went ahead i don't know), i could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. So i went to tell the demonstrator i couldn't do it, i could barely get the words out, i was sweating and shaking a little, and trying not to cry.

So now i have to do an essay on bird respiratory systems.

What also made me angry was my friend, who came in and took one look at the chicks and was like "awwwww no". This is a friend who has a chicken sandwich almost everytime we go for dinner at uni, chickens that are only 2 months older than those on the dissection bench.
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#2 Old 03-02-2005, 08:04 AM
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Wow, that really is sad.

Personally I think you should have refused to dissect any of the animals on general principle.

The "they're already dead" argument is one that I hear from meat-eaters all the time when they are trying to convince me to have a piece of meat.
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#3 Old 03-02-2005, 09:46 AM
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I always got out of doing it in school...yes I would have to watch and do the reports, but no one could 'make' me do it. Even though I wasn't veg back then....
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#4 Old 03-02-2005, 09:50 AM
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I could understand how it made you sad. I'm very glad though that you have the option of doing an essay instead of dissection. It's a small milestone. It used to mean failure or a trip to the principle if a student refused to dissect an animal.

I never did understand why dissection was used in general bio classes. My father was a bio teacher and he had text books with plastic overlaying sheets that showed everything: musculature, organs, nerves and skeleton.

With computers doing an even better job nowadays I just don't see why dissection is still done.
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#5 Old 03-02-2005, 10:36 AM
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PeTA has helpful information about this (for grade school, high school, and college students I think): "Classroom Dissection: Cut It Out!". They describe different strategies for "conscientious objection" to dissection, and I think they have info about the legal rights students have in different states.

About the argument that the animals are dead anyway... this might be a valid argument in some instances. Fetal pigs are a byproduct from hog slaughter operations, and I think some classes use mink from fur farms, so maybe using them doesn't cause any additional animals to be killed. I think male chicks are culled from egg producing facilities (one reason I've cut way back on eating eggs); it could be that the chicks in your class were obtained that way. It still would make any animal lover very sad, though, and it should not have been required.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#6 Old 03-03-2005, 03:34 AM
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If enough people opt out on moral grounds, the institutions would be forced to change. I don't care where they got the animals - I would not do it.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.


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#7 Old 03-03-2005, 04:11 AM
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Yeah I don't think I'd do it either, unless I was going to vet school or med school.
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#8 Old 03-03-2005, 08:11 AM
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Disection is a waste of an animal's life and time in class for people who are not going to do further study in biology and medicine. That would be for most classes in any grade or high school and most colleges. I've had to do disections on animals and I couldn't imagine starting to do surgery on a living animal without having done disection to know anatomy and texture of various tissues. However, I'm part a very small group of people who can do lots of good because I've done the bad. It's only because of that focus that I could go through with disecting a dog, donkey and sheep in vet school. At least the school attempted to reduce the number of animals that died by reusing specimens and using animals that died for unrelated reasons (like severe illness).
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#9 Old 03-03-2005, 08:18 AM
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I'd say it's well worth writing an essay to do the right thing, which it sounds like you did, Star*Lass. I once took an Anatomy class that was pretty much a good class, until the day the teacher announced we'd be dissecting, and pushed in a cart of cats that were sealed in little bags. I didn't do it, and after being talked to by the teacher about how I was wasting the opportunity, and the school board's money (no mention of the poor cat's life) he let me out of it with a C for the exercise and a writing assignment. I think it took me an hour to do the writing, but it was worth it to have not compromised my beliefs.

Good call!
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#10 Old 03-03-2005, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ~Brandon View Post

I'd say it's well worth writing an essay to do the right thing, which it sounds like you did, Star*Lass. I once took an Anatomy class that was pretty much a good class, until the day the teacher announced we'd be dissecting, and pushed in a cart of cats that were sealed in little bags. I didn't do it, and after being talked to by the teacher about how I was wasting the opportunity, and the school board's money (no mention of the poor cat's life) he let me out of it with a C for the exercise and a writing assignment. I think it took me an hour to do the writing, but it was worth it to have not compromised my beliefs.

Good call!

A C?!?!?!?!? Man I'd raise all hell if I got that kind of a grade for not doing something because it was against my beliefs, especially if I did a comprable writing to make up for NOT CUTTING UP A DEAD CAT.

...sorry I got a little carried away

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#11 Old 03-03-2005, 08:28 AM
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Oh, *Star*Lass* -

I agree with Dancefool - it's cool that an essay is an option these days. And maybe your friend will now be more receptive to you pointing out where the food on his/her plate comes from? That could be a positive out of the whole sad situation.

(And hey, I don't think *Star*Lass* needs to hear why s/he shouldn't have tried to go through with the dissections. Not in this support thread anyway. S/he did say, "but after i thought about it long and hard" about it.)
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#12 Old 03-03-2005, 08:37 AM
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I've dissected a fetal pig, a cat and a shark and participated in viva sections on a brain dead frog and turtle as a biology major. It sucks, but there is really no substitute. Physically cutting and touching and feeling is completely different from looking at pictures or using computer tutorials. But CheekyWiskers has a good point that it's a waste unless you're actually going to use the knowledge for something. One way to deal with the situation is to share an animal with another person so you won't have contributed to "demand", but in a way you still endorse the practice. It's a tough call.

Hopefully in the future they will use animals that have died of natural deaths or animals that have been humanly raised and killed.
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#13 Old 03-03-2005, 12:46 PM
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My boyfriend is going into med school, so he's been having personal issues with it. We've decided that it's probably necessary to commit this deed in the short run so that he can help people in the long run, but that still doesn't make either of us comfortable with it. Actually he talked his prof out of a dissection this week. He reminded her that it wasn't really necessary in this particular instance, and in this case, it wasn't.

I do believe that in situations other than say med school, students should do a simulation or write a paper. I honestly got no more out of my middle school frog dissection (before I was veg) than my simulated pig dissection in high school. As in, I don't remember a thing about either!
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#14 Old 03-03-2005, 01:27 PM
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I am nervous about taking biology next semester. I go to a private university, so I don't think they have to abide by the same laws as public schools do regarding this kind of thing. I'm so afraid I'll either have to dissect or get a zero. I honestly think that right now, my decision is for the zero. Maybe if I have a good teacher, he or she will let me write a paper. I sure hope so.
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#15 Old 03-03-2005, 02:31 PM
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Actually Highly respected medial schools like Stanford and Yale have changed from cutting Millions of animals open to 'look inside" and are now using computer programs to teach biology.

It is time for everyone to stand up against this cruel and brutal practice.I am sorry you are feeling low hun,but that is a natural reaction to the barbaric practice they have pushed you into.

I believe it is time for all students to stand up and walk out of these classes~and ask for computer programs,videos and such.

I have seen the video's from the bio-labs that create these animals..and stacks upon stacks of frogs,birds,pigs cat's and dog's.

This is outrageous and up to each one of us to stop it.

I recommend you take this low feeling, and turn it inot action~ and fire off an angry letter to your school officials regarding the practice~that has harmed you mentally,and that kills Billions of helpless animals every year.Turn this awful feeling into action against this practice!
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#16 Old 03-03-2005, 03:45 PM
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Thanx for everyones responses, it's nice to see fellow veggies opinions on this situation. I've been feeling a little guilty, having gone through with the fish and frog dissections, but getting upset over the chick. I feel like i've went against my beliefs, i'm really not the type to distinguish between animals. I presume it's because, as a veg*n, you read/see a lot about chickens, and i've been reading up on a lot of things lately. Once i'd explained why i wouldn't do it, i left the practical and cried in the toilets. I think i would have reacted the same way to the rat if i'd have been able to take part in that dissection.

I'm not sure what type of job my future holds, so i've no idea if the dissections will be useful to me right now.

qetta, i've had many converstions with my friend, one of them today. Her mother is a pescotarian because she is against mass production (i've tried telling her that fish are mass produced too!). Today she was telling me that she is also against mass production, and when she can afford to she will buy organic chicken etc. (which i think will also be mass produced soon, if it isn't already). So i asked her why she doesn't make a stand for her beliefs, and stop buying mass produced meat until she can afford to buy organic. Because she "loves meat". I loved me some meat too when i was an omni!

Bumble, they actually didn't force anyone to do them. The week before they started they told us all that if anyone had any problems and wont do them for any reason to email the module leader to sort something else out. So i guess it was my own fault for thinking i'd be ok when i wasn't.
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#17 Old 03-03-2005, 10:02 PM
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I had to do a fish dissection and cow's organ (I can't remember what it was) in Biology last year. The teacher was pretty good about me not doing it I'm glad you got through it! Don't worry most of us have been there before
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#18 Old 03-06-2005, 12:08 AM
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I'm so sorry about your experience. It's still difficult to speak up when there are so many willing participants in these classes! Going back a number of years, when I was 13, part of Science class was to dissect a rat. Thankfully I was allowed to sit outside while the lesson took place after talking to my teacher the day before. I know that for alot of students worldwide this hasn't been an option. I remember years ago a friend of mine was telling me that at Uni in Psychology she had to take part in the rat experiments or would fail! While the rats were not harmed in the experiments, they were killed after. She said she didn't get anything out of the experiments at all and was really upset about it.
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#19 Old 09-01-2005, 03:11 PM
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This year we have to do a fetal pig. It's not for a while though, so I have no idea if I'll be allowed to write a paper instead.

When I was in World History today my teacher mentioned that next year in AP Euro it's a REQUIREMENT to eat spam when we go on a trip to Europe. WTF? How can a school REQUIRE someone to EAT something, especially some form of meat (whatever it is)?????? That's completely sick, just sick.

The other day we were reading a poem about a meat-packing factory too. Is my school pro-carnivore or something? I'm only a freshman, but so far I have not met another vegetarian/vegan there that I know of...

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#20 Old 09-01-2005, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by OhSewRetro View Post

When I was in World History today my teacher mentioned that next year in AP Euro it's a REQUIREMENT to eat spam when we go on a trip to Europe. WTF? How can a school REQUIRE someone to EAT something, especially some form of meat (whatever it is)?????? That's completely sick, just sick.

Are you sure it wasn't some kind of a joke?

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#21 Old 09-01-2005, 07:28 PM
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luckily i had a friend in my zoology class, so when we had to do dissections i doubled up with him and he did the dissecting and i did the note-taking. it was still terrible even though it was just like earthworms and stuff.. honestly though i must say i'm surprised that so many of you have had to do dissections, i just had no idea that there was so much dissecting going on in college......maybe that's just cause i went to a liberal arts school and we barely even had a science department....
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#22 Old 09-01-2005, 07:39 PM
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I had to dissect as well for AP lab. We had a group of 3 or 4 work on one cat and the majority of our labs involved the cats one way or the othertwo semesters with the same cat, which was really gross by the 2nd semester but i was glad they weren't bringing in more animals. I did talk to my prof at the beginning of the first semester and there wasnt a way out of it. Plus my lab partners were pretty lazy and I had to do most of the work. The sad thing is that I found myself desensitized to the whole process by the end of the year. That was a weird sensation since I was already a veg*n for more than ten years at that point.

I agree with Hummusisyummus in that there really isnt a comparison using plastic models and visuals. And I agree with kpickell because whats the point of bothering unless a person is going to vet or med school.
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