Animal Dissection Should Be Banned from K-12 Schools?
"Con": Animal dissection should not be banned from all K-12 schools.
Debate-Related Definitions and Boundaries
Animal Dissection: Dismembering a live or dead non-human animal for any purpose, generally associated with the sciences.
* Positions listed above are essentially a flexible outline, but stance on the matter must be clearly defined by the opponent taking on the opposite position prior to and during the first round of the argument.
* Additional ideas related to the topic may be explored during the discussion. However, please stick to the main idea and opinions in order for a successful debate and minimal confusion.
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Argument Time: 72 Hours
Character Max: 8,000
Voting Period: 10 Days
Round #1: Claims (Acceptance)
Round #2: Warrants (Reasoning/Statements)
Round #3: Refutations (Rebuttals)
Round #4: Conclusions (Rebuttal/Final Comments)
* Forfeited rounds will be skipped. If you forfeit, attempt to briefly make up for lost time in the beginning of your next argument, then continue with your next round.
Best of luck,
I accept, and look forward to, the debate.
My vocabulary and grammar are sophisticated. I am 13 years old, and am always complimented. So, no worries on comprehension.
The use of this method of research in schools has become outdated and pointless. According to the National Association for Biomedical Research, "Currently 16 states restrict the use of animals in some K-12 classroom settings, particularly for dissection purposes. Typical laws require that students be given a choice of alternative means of learning that do not involve using live or dead animals, such as videos and/or computer simulations." Modern alternatives include, but are not limited to, online and offline programs consisting of realistic and interactive dissection as well as other types of similar studies, such as osteology, radiology, and surface anatomy; physical models that can be taken apart, labeled, and inspected; and animal-friendly observatory operations performed by qualified medical practitioners, professors, and/or scientists. Still, there are countless other reasons to avoid dissection in school settings.
Because this is an immensely orthodox practice, many educated adults stick to the claim that dissection is the best way to study life. As maintained by the National Anti-Vivisection Society, "Studies have shown that students who have used a dissection alternative perform at least as well--and often better--in their coursework. If schools are meant solely for educating their attendants, it should seem obvious that the most successful method of study would also be the best one; it is evident that dissection is not the best practice for progressive education.
"Furthermore, it is likely that many of our best and brightest young scientists, believing that they must dissect in order to successfully complete their education, turn away from a career in science and medicine because of ethical concerns," also noted by NAVS. This chain reaction of events causes a noticeable loss in the amount of doctors in the world due to moral stance. It is widely accepted that doctors are educated people; if they believe that dissection is wrong, why wouldn"t the rest of us?
Although the alternatives are reasonable for most, a few students may learn better by hands-on-experience or may not have access to a decent substitute for necropsy. However, dissection has actually been linked to many physical and mental health concerns due to many factors, such as carcinogenic materials, transmissible diseases, dangerous tools, and desensitization to violence, in which alternatives do not contain any of these destructive links. "Aside from the obvious risk to the animals killed for classroom dissection projects, there are other risks involved. Carcinogenic materials, such as formaldehyde, are used to preserve the dead animals. Students and teachers handling these animals come into contact with these materials. In addition, disposing of thousands of formaldehyde-ladened bodies can create an environmental hazard," warns the National Humane Education Society. Again, this means that sustaining these procedures would inflict vulnerability on students and teachers, but also the environment and in turn, the rest of the world. As far as desensitization goes, the National Anti-Vivisection Society elaborates, "Research conducted at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, indicates that the more frequently people are exposed to a certain situation, the more comfortable they become with it...There is also the issue of mixed messages dissection sends about animal/human relationships. Students are taught that it is acceptable to dissect a cat in school, yet are encouraged to be loving, responsible companion animal guardians at home." Many young students may not be able to differentiate between the two and in this fault lies the possibility for children to mature into adults without empathy or respect toward nature. This can, in turn, lead to many other noxious events, usually surfacing as animal abuse. It is a well-known fact that animal abuse can smoothly transition into other heinous acts for those that are insensitive and/or mentally ill. As cited by The New York Times, "A paper published in a psychiatric journal in 2004, "A Study of Firesetting and Animal Cruelty in Children: Family Influences and Adolescent Outcomes," found that over a 10-year period, 6-to-12-year-old children who were described as being cruel to animals were more than twice as likely as other children in the study to be reported to juvenile authorities for a violent offense." Why put the entire world population at risk of these destructive emotional and physical hazards in order for one outdated, overpriced, and consumptive practice to be maintained?
Moreover, the exercise of animal dissection in K-12 schools does awfully little to no good in preparing students for further education. As stated by NAVS, "Nearly 90% of U.S. medical schools"including Yale, Harvard and Stanford"do not use any animals to train medical students...All but four medical schools in the entire country offer their students non-animal alternatives." If our finest colleges no longer ask students to dissect animals, there is no reason that pre-college education programs should require them to.
To top off this lack of educational groundwork, dissection costs much more than its contemporary substitutes, again stated by NAVS. "In these days of budget cuts and teachers being asked to do more with less, non-animal alternatives to dissection should be welcomed by school districts because a one-time investment in these materials pays off in many ways. Non-animal alternatives will last many years, and teachers don"t have to keep replenishing their supply of once-live frogs, cats and fetal pigs, which can be very costly. Non-animal alternatives are often less expensive on a short-term basis, and are always less expensive on a long-term basis." The National Humane Education Society mentions the financial matters of school dissections: "Dissection is [a] big business. Not only do millions of animals have to be produced annually for classroom dissection projects but they have to be housed, transported, killed, and disposed of. There are companies specifically designed to handle all the needs of classroom dissection projects...School systems must purchase replacement animals every year along with one-time use materials, which makes classroom dissection an ongoing budgetary expense." Not only do these costs impose even more bills on tight-budgeted schools, but the bad business procedures cause harm to the economy as well as the environment.
Additionally, the dissection of animals is widely destructive to the environment and its inhabitants. "...animals are wild caught [sic], thereby depleting them in their natural habitat. Frogs and turtles especially have seen a dramatic decline in recent decades, many of them ending up as specimens in classroom laboratories," says the National Humane Education Society. This certainly is not the only example of the harm necropsy inflicts on the earth; how much free-floating formaldehyde and similar malevolent chemical substances does it take for people to notice? Isn't biology the study of life, as opposed to death? Animal dissection has no place in a high school, let alone a middle school, elementary school, or anywhere else. The elimination of its presence in schools would benefit the school by improving the health and safety of everyone inside and out of school buildings, saving money that can be spent to further progress the school district, setting students up for success in advanced education, avoiding mental or emotional trauma in participants, and providing students with a much better chance to learn valuable information. For this topic to go ignored would be exceedingly detrimental and disappointing to creative thought, moral characters, fiscal matters, and the balance of nature and a civilized world.
I will be arguing that any experimentation involving dead animals (Like dissection) shouldn't be prohibited.
Of course, from dissection, children will be able to discover facts about the animal’s organ system. Of course, there could have been snapshots in the book, with the information about it provided. However, not only is it additionally entertaining, but children have a tendency to credit themselves from this. The feeling of satisfaction.
Of course, you’re dissecting a DEAD animal. I capitalized “dead” for emphasis, as it forms the basis of the contention. The animal is already dead. It can even have been a dead animal preserved in the ground whose body hasn’t yet fully deteriorated. That should be tolerated.
I am going to sound like a scientologist, but doctors have studied and come to the realization that when a student dissects an animal, they have a tendency to perform at least as well, often better, on their school work.
I await my opponent’s next set of arguments.
 My source where I derived my argument? You directly quoted this. I try to browse for a website saying so.
How does satisfaction at all correlate to education? How does entertainment at all correlate to education? You openly conceded that alternative methods (e.g. the book reference) are valuable and provide legitimate and sufficient information. There are many other, and often much better, ways to learn about biology.
"Of course, you"re dissecting a DEAD animal. I capitalized "dead" for emphasis, as it forms the basis of the contention. The animal is already dead. It can even have been a dead animal preserved in the ground whose body hasn"t yet fully deteriorated. That should be tolerated."
Your entire contention is that dissected animals are dead? Is this not common sense? You have provided absolutely no support to back up your claim that dissection of dead animals should be tolerated. However, I have tons of reasons why it should not be tolerated. These reasons were made clear during the warrant round, but I will briefly call upon them once more; dissection is extremely outdated, the modern alternatives are far better, it has proven to be ineffective, its place in a curriculum drastically reduces the number of medical students, it is associated with many physical and emotional health concerns, can lead to violence, does not prepare students for further education, is more expensive than the majority of all alternatives, and it harms the environment which impacts the entire planet.
"I am going to sound like a scientologist, but doctors have studied and come to the realization that when a student dissects an animal, they have a tendency to perform at least as well, often better, on their school work. I await my opponent"s next set of arguments...My source where I derived my argument? You directly quoted this. I try to browse for a website saying so."
Clearly, you did not thoroughly read what was written. Allow me to restate the quote; "As maintained by the National Anti-Vivisection Society, 'Studies have shown that students who have used a dissection alternative perform at least as well--and often better--in their coursework.'" Take note that this is providing proof that students that use more innocuous methods than dissection perform better in school, not the other way around. I genuinely and strongly advise that you be more careful in your reading, especially before quoting.
It would also be beneficial to keep in mind that while some people choose to donate their bodies to science, non-human animals do not have this choice. Since classroom sizes are generally quite large, an equally large number of animals are necessary and most animals used for dissection are obtained while they are still breathing. Some are taken from the streets as strays or even stolen from their owner's property, many are sold to schools by companies that turn dissection into a business, while others are handed over by humane societies and shelters. Theft of animals' lives in combination with students' lack of education makes for an ineffective method of study. In relation to this topic, The New England Anti-Vivisection Society has made it clear that students, as well as parents, do not wish to participate in dissection. "The growing number of court cases where students--with parental support--are filing litigation against school systems and/or individual teachers indicates that many students are not being granted dissection choice, and as importantly for the evolution of science education ethics, these same students are no longer taking no for an answer."
ClashofPassionateFury forfeited this round.
ClashofPassionateFury forfeited this round.
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