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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is really long! Sorry about that.<br><br><br><br>
I'm taking a human biology class at a community college. It's a prerequisite for a physiology class I need to take. I had a choice between human bio and anatomy and I chose human bio because I thought I wouldn't have to dissect animals.<br><br><br><br>
Not so. In the beginning of the semester, my human bio lab teacher told me that we were going to dissect a sheep's heart, eye and brain, as well as a fetal pig. Actually, we're dissecting the pig twice, on two different days.<br><br><br><br>
We're allowed to miss two labs. Any more and it starts to negatively affect our grade. I decided that, push come to shove, I'd be able to handle the heart, brain, and eye, as long as I didn't have to touch it or do any cutting, just watch as my lab partners held and cut. We're dissecting the fetal pig in a few weeks and I've decided that on both the days before, I'm going to suddenly come down with a mysterious illness that will render me incapable of being in the same room with a dead baby porcine that was murdered in the name of science (in other words, I'm just going to ditch those labs, using up the 2 days I'm allowed to miss).<br><br><br><br>
However, a week or so after, we're having a practicum, which is kinda like a big, interactive test. For the last practicium, bones and sheep hearts were laid out on the tables and we had to lable the bone, or the heart valve, or it's function, or something like that. I asked my teacher and she said that the practicum after the pig dissection will be the same thing.<br><br><br><br>
In other words, I'm going to walk into the classroom on Practicum Day and there will be poor little dissected baby pigs laid out on the table with toothpick flags poking out of their organs and I'll be expected to walk around the tables and identify their speen, the function of the pancreas, etc.<br><br><br><br>
How am I going to handle this? I'm afraid I'm going to walk into the room, see all those little pigs and either vomit or (most likely) cry. I can get out of the actual pig dissection by just not going to class (but I'll have to research the organs and such on my own, of course), but there's no way I can get out of the practicum. I've talked to my teacher about my anti-dissection views and she's been really supportive (talked to me about computer programs and other alternatives), but she won't be pleased when I don't show up for class those two days and I'm quite sure she won't let me out of the practicum.<br><br><br><br>
If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it.
 

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Can you take this up as a 'rights' issue?<br><br><br><br>
Some schools are extremely careful about not 'excluding' or 'discriminating against' students on the basis of their beliefs. For example, at my university, teachers *have* to accommodate students who miss a class for a religious observance, once the student follows certain steps (letting the teacher know well in advance, making up the work at another agreed-upon time). Students cannot be penalized for their beliefs say there is an exam on the day they must miss for a religious observance. Teachers are obliged to let them sit it at another time, and teachers may not reduce their grade. I think some primary and secondary schools have a similar policy when it comes to participating in various holidays and allow students who don't believe in/observe, say, Xmas, to be excused work and activities connected to it without penalty.<br><br><br><br>
Point is, your dissection dilemma is not based on laziness or just wanting to skip classes it's an ethical position, and is of equal importance and value to someone who does not want to participate in or must be absent from something on the basis of religious (or nonreligious) values.<br><br><br><br>
Can you speak with to someone higher up in the school's system about alternatives that will not force you to sacrifice either your values or your grades? If your teacher has provided you with alternatives, like computer programmes, its clear that you can learn what is required for the course without the dissection; perhaps you can pick up extra work elsewhere to compensate for the missed labs. See if your teacher (and as many other sources as you can find look in academic journals, perhaps) can say that yes, you can learn everything you would learn and be tested on everything needed in the class through non-dissection methods. Build a strong argument that you can complete the course requirements without the dissections.<br><br><br><br>
If your school has a student equity board or something of that sort, they may also be of use.<br><br><br><br>
I'm sure others who have actually dealt personally with this issue will jump in with their own experiences and advice.<br><br><br><br>
If this is really not something that can be worked around at this college, it may come down to deciding whether you want to continue with this line of study despite your feelings on dissections, or whether you feel the good of doing the dissections in order to complete your studies can outweigh the bad. If your school ultimately cannot work for and with your beliefs, I wonder if there are schools where this level of biology is covered without dissections.
 

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I feel for ya <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Here's my suggestion:<br><br><br><br>
Jaali has made many useful points and suggestions. I echo those points. Schools are obligated to accompany all religious/ disability/ medical needs. They have to offer something else that you can do to satisfy requirements. I have opted out of every single dissection assignment I've ever had in all schooling including college. There have been essays to write research to do or computer simulations to meet these assignments. Try that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
I will say that if you've already brought up your beliefs to your professor you may have problems skipping school those days unless you do the rest of the assignments. Be upfront and pro-active, stand firm in your beliefs (if that's truly how you feel), and do your best with any other options you may have.<br><br><br><br>
Other than that Jaali said it all very well. So.... Good Luck and let us know how it turns out <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I would simply say I dont take part in anything like this..<br><br>
And I would not go.. There is NO way id take part in that sort of HORRIBLE<br><br>
so called excersise.. NO WAY....<br><br>
Simple as that. If my grades suffered then so be it..<br><br>
Thats my opinion...
 

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Isn't it a bit premature to go on about equity boards and the like? The original poster hasn't yet *spoken* to the professor directly about her issues with the practicum (or the intent to ditch on moral grounds).<br><br><br><br>
I teach at university. I am responsive to moral objections, presented in an honest and polite manner, even if I disagree with them. From what the original poster said, this instructor's attitude might be similar.<br><br><br><br>
On the other hand, I'd be affronted, mad, and as uncooperative as possible if the student had _not_ tried to talk to me about it directly, but had instead jumped right into legal complaints.<br><br><br><br>
Please, talk to the instructor first. Don't borrow trouble.
 

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You need to talk to your teacher. Tell her your situation and that you can't emotionally or physically handle all of this. She might be very understanding and help out. I never took bio in high school because I refused to dissect anything. We did frog dissection in middle school, but my group members did all of the work because I refused. I stepped outside during most of it. I'm taking Oceanography right now, so I don't have to worry about it.
 

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when I took biology in HS my dad wrote a note to the teacher stating I cannot participate in any dissection due to religious reasons. I love my daddy.<br><br>
I know you're in college so maybe you could ask if there's another assignment you could do to make up for any lost marks
 

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Talk to your teacher.<br><br>
At my uni level human biology paper we did one animal dissection thing, dissecting deer joints, but most other practical stuff involved human specimens, plastinated.<br><br>
I suppose I just find it odd they are using so much animal material when they could probably quite easily get human specimens? I'm not sure how easy it'd be where you are though.<br><br>
Good luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":shy:">
 

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This is an interesting topic since this is also a very REAL dilemma that I will be dealing with next semester, I am a premed student, but I absolutely cannot dissect.<br><br>
I was wondering if most universities have alternatives for students who chose not to dissect due to moral reasons. I hope USF (uni of south florida) has some alternatives, due to its large student population...if not, I think I'm going to have to stir things up and do some protesting. haha.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck to you and your exam. If I were in your position I'd make it very very clear on how unethical I think dissection is, and that you're willing to do a written exam (maybe labeling a picture?) As long as you show a genuine initiative to succeed in the class you should be fine, especially if your prof. has already been very supportive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you, everyone, for your replies!<br><br><br><br>
I spoke with my bio lab teacher on Monday after class. She announced in class that Baby Pig Mutilation Day Part 1 is next Monday, I thought it was the Monday after next, turns out she changed the schedule.<br><br><br><br>
I walked up to her and asked if I could possibly work on the computers with computer dissection programs while the other students were dissecting their pigs. She thought for a second and said "I think I can work something out." I said "Great." She thoughtfully added "Well, you'd still have to do the practicum exam...Hmmm...would you be okay looking at pictures?" I hesitantly said "Yes." Actually, I wouldn't be okay looking at pictures of dissected pigs, but I'll rather have to look at pictures than the real thing. She said that she'll try to "come up with something" so that I can take the practicum exam (at least the pig portion) online! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hamster.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hamster:"> She didn't guaranetee anything, but I'm appreciative that she's at least going to try. She also made a comment about how every semester, there's at least one student who objects to dissection.<br><br><br><br><b>ilikemangos,</b> I'm a dietetics (nutrition) major and I plan on eventually getting my masters degree in dietetics and becoming a registered dietitian. I spent the first 16 years of my life wanting to be nothing other than a veterinarian, but in 10th grade, I realized I would have to dissect animals in vet school and I realized I had to change my plan. Eventually, I decided on dietetics. And here I am, dealing with animal dissection regardless.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElliottsMom</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
when I took biology in HS my dad wrote a note to the teacher stating I cannot participate in any dissection due to religious reasons. I love my daddy.<br><br>
I know you're in college so maybe you could ask if there's another assignment you could do to make up for any lost marks</div>
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That's awesome! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> I bet my parents would have done that for me if I had asked. I wasn't a veg back in HS.<br><br><br><br>
What's dumb... my teacher in middle school (when we dissected the frog) told us that if we didn't want to do the assignment, we would be stuck doing a ton of book work in the library for hours. That's not fair.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tymps</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br><br><br><b>ilikemangos,</b> I'm a dietetics (nutrition) major and I plan on eventually getting my masters degree in dietetics and becoming a registered dietitian. I spent the first 16 years of my life wanting to be nothing other than a veterinarian, but in 10th grade, I realized I would have to dissect animals in vet school and I realized I had to change my plan. Eventually, I decided on dietetics. And here I am, dealing with animal dissection regardless.</div>
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Oh no, that's what I might do. My whole family knows how obsessed I am with nutrition. I don't think I could handle the animal dissection though... The reason I haven't picked a career path yet is because I have so many choices and I'm not sure what each career requires me to do (training wise). I will keep this in mind when considering being a dietitian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>danakscully64</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Oh no, that's what I might do. My whole family knows how obsessed I am with nutrition. I don't think I could handle the animal dissection though... The reason I haven't picked a career path yet is because I have so many choices and I'm not sure what each career requires me to do (training wise). I will keep this in mind when considering being a dietitian.</div>
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Here's something I've recently been learning and should've done:<br><br><br><br>
If you want to go into dietetics, choose a program carefully. My bio lab teacher told me that more and more college are getting away from dissection and using computer programs and other things. I think she told me that Cal State Los Angeles doesn't do any dissection at all. As a dietetics major, the only dissection will be in bio and anatomy classes, classes like that. If you persue a career in dietetics (and I think you should), talk to your science teachers about dissection alternatives. Also, before you sign up for a class in which you think you might have to dissect, talk to students who've already taken the class with that teacher. Ask them if they had to dissect and if alternatives were an option. Also, before you enroll for the class that you want to take, consider contacting the teacher (either through e-mail or in their office). Tell them you're thinking about taking thier class, but you object to dissection and you'd want to do an alternative if you took the class. If they don't offer an alternative, talk to another teacher who teaches that same class.<br><br><br><br>
Also, I remembered something last night, a minor detail. When my bio lab teacher asked "Would you be willing to look at pictures?" I responded "That would be preferable."
 

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Thank You, Kelly. Your information is VERY VERY helpful <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
A funny response would have been "Would you be willing to clean up my throw up and pay for my therapy?" *hehe* I wouldn't recommend actually using that response though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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