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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Debate: Should schools ban animal dissection?

Class 5 students from a Mumbai school debate on the need to discontinue animal dissections

debate Updated: Aug 23, 2019 01:06 IST

Hindustan Times
Suyash Tripathi (left) and Adhikesh Nair debate for and against banning animal dissection in schools.
Suyash Tripathi (left) and Adhikesh Nair debate for and against banning animal dissection in schools.(HT Photo)
         

FOR THE ARGUMENT: Suyash Tripathi, Class 5, Radcliffe School, Kharghar

Animal dissection is dismembering of the body of an animal to study its anatomical structure. This is not a suitable method for children to examine the internal organs of animals. This act encourages students to abuse and disrespect animals.

As per the latest UN response, slaughtering animals is harmful to the greenhouse footprint. Schools are supposed to create a better future for our environment and world but instead, they are creating examples of cruelty and mistreatment.

One of the worst things that may happen to students while completing the brutal act is that they may end up contracting an infection. The risk of infection is very high as animal bodies are full of bacteria that can be harmful to humans. This method also may make the student feel uncomfortable with the idea of opening up a living creature.

Animal dissection used to be a very common lab activity and schools would especially purchase animals for this purpose. This method is not only harmful, but also an expensive method. In one single year, schools could end up spending around ₹70,000 on lab animals. Some of the most prestigious medical schools in the world like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford use 3D imaging and virtual dissection instead of working on living animals. The demand for animals for dissection encourages people to breed and sell animals illegally. We should let animals live freely like we do and enjoy their lives. We don’t need to kill animals daily because virtual dissection and 3D imaging are cheaper and harmless.

We should take care of animals and respect them because we wouldn’t want to give people rides and do labour. So if we don’t like it, animals won’t like it either.

So, for a better future for our children, we should take care and respect animals.

AGAINST THE ARGUMENT: Adhikesh Nair, Class 5, Radcliffe School, Kharghar

First let’s look at what animal dissection means. It is the practice of cutting open a completely healthy animal to study its anatomy.

Looking at this practice in a logical way, not all students are comfortable performing animal dissections, but they are essential for the purpose of learning. There are two sides to every coin. In the same way, animal dissection gives a sensory and hands-on experience that most visual learning cannot.

It is the human tendency to remember things that we can touch and interact with. Animal dissections are an excellent example of this, and they give a better learning experience that can help in future classes. Dissection is an approach to science that creates a long-lasting impression and students gain much from the experience. This includes respect for life and the necessary skills that will be useful in higher-level classes.

The actual working and tangible results on the animal allows the student to gain a visual understanding of the true positioning of organ systems and the feel of the organs. The 3D view and texture-friendly experience is not offered through textbooks or on screens. Models and papers do not do justice or serve as a sense of discovery.

Most students are aware of the requirements and do not complain about it. In addition, many classes have debate-style conversations to see if dissection is appropriate for the students. Hence, to conclude, animal dissection may not be the best way to study anatomy but clearly it is the better way.

First Published: Aug 23, 2019 00:55 IST