Dissection uncomfortable

Skinning a cat as a class assignment was definitely not on my list of things I wanted to do this year, or ever.

In anatomy class, students are required to perform a cat dissection. The actual dissection isn’t what upsets me, but the way the cats are treated before and during their death is what does.

The cats used come from various places around the United States. According to lcanimal.org, some of them come from breeding facilities that cater to institutes or businesses that use animals for experiments, and others are caught or taken. In some cases, the cats are stolen companions that are lost or left outside. Even some pet stores and animal shelters sell their animals to biological supply companies, which then sell them to schools for dissection.

After they’re taken to their facility, the cats are declawed and checked for any health issues.

Once the cats are the correct age or size at their facility, they are killed by gas chambers. Undercover investigators sent through PETA have revealed many instances of animal cruelty at biological supply companies during the gassing process. They documented cases in which cats were removed from the gas chambers and injected with formaldehyde without being checked for any vital signs first, a violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

Formaldehyde is a severely irritating substance that causes a painful death and is an extreme case of animal abuse when used on live animals. The investigators’ footage documents incidents where cats were struggling during injection and employees were spitting on them. This is an extreme case of animal abuse and disrespect for life that is being taken.

Classroom dissection desensitizes students to natural life. Research has shown that a great number of students at every education level are uncomfortable with the use of animals for dissection and experiments. It can create a harshness toward animals and nature and even divert some from pursuing careers in science.

Killing animals for educational purposes is unnecessary. There are many computer programs available for schools to use that are said to be more educational and helpful for students.