Veterinary Med School - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-04-2015, 06:26 PM
Sirstompely
 
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Veterinary Med School

Hi, I'm new to the boards but I've been vegetrian about 5 years and vegan about a year. I'm going to be applying for veterinary med school and I was wondering what your guys thoughts were on disections used for medical research to train new vets. This is the one concern I have and I don't know what to think.
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#2 Old 11-04-2015, 08:01 PM
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Can you outline what some of those research directions are? As a non-student, I'm pretty much in the dark, about what you want to discuss. What are you concerned about?

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#3 Old 11-04-2015, 08:10 PM
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Haven't been accepted yet so I can't say specifically but essentially I can relate it to doing disections in biology classes. Part of our studies will be doing lab disections to learn the anatomy of animals and practise procedures. I am conflicted because although my job (if I complete the schooling) will benefit animals, I'll be learning and doing research from lab animals. I was looking for another vegans view on this.
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#4 Old 11-04-2015, 09:03 PM
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It's easy to do a search for veterinary schools that no longer kill animals (usually dogs) for "instruction", along with other ethical concerns. PCRM used to have a list of veterinary schools that use modern ethical methods for teaching, but I don't know if they still do. IDA has some information, as does PETA (ugh). Use "ethical veterinary schools" or "humane veterinary training" for search starters. In addition, you can easily check the catalogs for the schools you're interested in. The course descriptions will tell you what you need to know and if not, a simple phone call or two will get you to the answers.

The ethics and values of the veterinarians who treat my companions are extremely important to me. My primary veterinarian is a well-known holistic vet who's been my vet for over 20 years. He's in another part of the country and can consult via phone, but for emergencies I need a local veterinarian. I generally only use veterinarians who attended schools that do not kill animals, etc. I've never encountered a vet who wasn't forthcoming about what school s/he attended. And I do my own research on the school.

I also have three questions for potential new vets:
1 - Do you euth on demand?
2 - Do you perform cosmetic procedures on animals?
3 - Do you have a problem with my also working with a holistic veterinarian?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, I keep looking.
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#5 Old 11-04-2015, 09:11 PM
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I can certainly understand why you would feel conflicted. I'm assuming you have a particular school in mind? Presumably, any class dissections would be performed on already dead animals. Where are they getting them from? The real question is, do they also keep live animals, and perform experiments on them? In any event, I would want to know as much about an organization, before I committed to joining them.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#6 Old 11-05-2015, 03:36 AM
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I have very little experience with this, however, when I was in college I had to take an anatomy and physiology course. The first time I signed up I learned quickly that we would be required to dissect a cows brain and eye and other animal parts. I was really upset (this was not in the course description when I signed up) and talked to the instructor about my ethical beliefs as a vegan and if I could do other projects in place. She would not budge. She also said, and at least she was honest, that the animals came from factory farms and slaughter houses and were byproducts. She even gave me the information regarding the source where the animals were supplied from (which also supplies these animals to high school student classes). Apparently the school also uses euthanized animals from shelters. I promptly found another instructor for the course that used only online simulations for the anatomy/physiology lab. I could not stand the thought of exploiting an animal to learn. I know of another local college that uses human cadavers and I would have had no problem with that because those humans gave their permission before they died (and they weren't exploited when they were alive).

I think if I were to major in a subject that involves the possibility of using animals for research, I would have to do a LOT of research before hand on how to deal with this and minimize that possibility as much as possible. I have donated and supported organizations like PCRM that are working to find other solutions to animal research.
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#7 Old 11-05-2015, 04:09 AM
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In nursing school, they let me just watch the dissections rather than taking part. (I was still an omni then but thought dissections were unnecessary and gross.)
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#8 Old 11-05-2015, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. The only problem I have with finding a new school to apply to is that there are only about 2 or 3 veterinary med schools within a resonable distance of where I am. I can go anywhere for my undergraduate but it's the med school that I'm limited on. I'll definetly be looking through each school's course guide lines so I can avoid this as much as possible. The school I want to attend has a veterinary hospital on site where people can take their animals to get checked up etc and they only need to pay for the medicine (so it's a lot cheaper) and I know the students learn by watching those vets work on those animals.
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#9 Old 11-05-2015, 02:44 PM
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In high school biology classes we always did disections in partners and I'd have them do it or when we did do it ourselves for tests (to name the organs etc) my teacher would disect it for me. I always hated seeing people disrespect the animals because they thought it was funny. That's why I'm concerned about vet school. It seems so contradictive to have meat eaters disecting lab animals so they can save animals because they "love" them.
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#10 Old 11-05-2015, 07:12 PM
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Hello, vet student here. I'll try to make this as brief as possible (because I don't want to post some essay here) but keep in mind that I go to university in Australia, so some things may not apply to the courses over in Canada.

Ok, so I'm only finishing my 3rd year now, which means I'm halfway. And I've only been vegan for 7 months, so before that I was a full on meat-eater/leather-wearer for my first years. The animals that we dissect are from zoos/wildlife parks that have died naturally or been euthanised (from old age or health reasons) but most are greyhounds that haven't cut it on the track. Perfectly healthy dogs. When it's brought up why they were euthanised, none of the students are ever happy about it. But the way I used to look at it was that these dogs would be euthanised either way, so what's wrong with vet students using them for education reasons? By the way, we do have greyhound adoption programs in the country but there are FAR too many greyhounds, so the industry really needs to be stopped.. Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent here. That's how I used to see it, but then a lovely lady linked me to this article she wrote
http://www.hsvma.org/humane_veterina...s#.VjwDr_krLIU

And it definitely changed my mindset. I'm actually planning to put it forward to the uni next year and ask if we could start sourcing our cadavers ethically. I won't say much more on that because that article says enough, I think

I have bigger issues with other things in the course, such as lab experiments and placements. Lab experiments can involve us dissecting muscles out of toads and stimulating them to observe their contractions. I never even gave things like this a second thought before, but since being vegan I've started seeing things differently and it's just so freaking unnecessary. You know when organisations are like 'dissections can be replaced by computer simulations' and all that? Lots of our lab experiments are a perfect example of that! My uni has a thing where you can object to course practicals for ethical reasons and I wish I had done that a few times this year.. I definitely will next year. Maybe you should look at whether your surrounding universities offer that same policy?

And I'm also required to do placements on farms. I've seen some awful things. But I have to participate and all that because I get graded on them..
I don't know if I answered your question, but maybe I gave you something to think about? Also, if you haven't heard of Andrew Knight, look him up. An Australian vet who was one of the first to object to animal use in his degree and advocates for human research. A lot of information here, as well:
http://www.humanelearning.info/index.html
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#11 Old 11-07-2015, 11:02 AM
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Thanks so much! This is really interesting and good to hear from a vet student. I definitetly want to look into what options the schools here can offer me. I find it so unnecessary to do some of the things they do. I'll look into these articles thanks!
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