How You Can Help
What Teachers Can Do
Due to the many negative aspects of dissections, teachers are strongly encouraged not to utilize these for lessons, but instead choose an alternative. These include computerized virtual dissections, anatomical models, films, websites, and plastinated specimens. A list of alternatives is available here.
Animalearn is the largest lending library of humane science products in the United States. Animalearn loans out a variety of frog dissection software as well as realistic models.
Visit their website here.
Should educators decide to use dissections in their teaching arsenals, they should be respectful to the fact that many students are uncomfortable and unwilling to participate in dissections for personal, ethical, or environmental reasons. Teachers should provide students an alternative choice that gives them the right to opt out of dissection (without negative consequences) and use another method instead.
What Students Can Do
Students who are concerned over the ethical and environmental issues surrounding dissection are encouraged to ask for an alternative. For secondary/high school students, it is recommended that they find out about the dissection policies and alternatives when they begin their courses. This will give students some time to organize themselves to request an alternative. Below is a sample letter that can be presented to teachers/school boards outlining the issue.
Dear [teacher/school board]
After careful consideration, I have made the choice not to take part in the dissection of any amphibians and request an alternative assignment with the use of computerized virtual dissections, anatomical models, films, websites, and/or plastinated specimens. My decision is based on the fact that dissection contributes to negative effects on the ecosystem as amphibians are harvested from the wild. This is a serious conservation concern as it depletes wild populations, and spreads diseases when animals are unnaturally displaced. Even if the animals are captive-bred, I do not feel it is ethical to use amphibians that are reared purely to be killed when several alternatives exist. I hope you will give me the opportunity to show you that with the alternatives mentioned above, I can complete all assignments with an above satisfactory understanding and performance.
Students who are entering post-secondary education (college/university) are encouraged to correspond with their institutes of interest to find out about their dissection policies and if alternative methods are allowed. For those that do not allow for alternatives to be used, students are encouraged to enroll elsewhere. Furthermore, students should voice this desire to find another education centre to the colleges/universities that will not allow for humane alternatives to be used. If schools learn that students are turned away by their archaic policies, they may re-think them! Along with the above letter, at the request of students Frog Conservation 101 is also able to provide teachers with additional information on the negative aspects of dissection and share more insights on humane alternatives and resources.
Students who are interested in this support can inquire here.