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Let's face it: There's something not quite right about teachers instructing students to cut into dead animals. The point of biology class is to equip students with a functional understanding of anatomy and physiology—neither of which requires dissecting animals.
Yet Project Lead The Way (PLTW)—a national company that creates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curricula for students and teachers—still embraces the dissection of once-living animals obtained from slaughterhouses in its program, including the use of sheep brains and hearts, cow eyes, pig kidneys, and fetal pigs.
PLTW's website has a headline about "reinventing the classroom experience," yet the company has so far ignored more sustainable, humane, and chemical-free models like SynFrog and other technologies as full replacements for the dissection of animals who come from slaughterhouses. The company says its mission is to empower "students to thrive in an evolving world," yet it hypocritically continues to expose them to the bodies and body parts of tormented animals preserved in toxic chemicals even though technologically superior, safer, and less costly non-animal options are readily available.
Peer-reviewed literature confirms that students who use modern dissection methods perform better in learning assessments than those who dissect animals. Studies show that many secondary school students object to dissecting animals and that doing so can dissuade them from pursuing a career in biology and health sciences. Companies and classrooms that continue animal dissection—an archaic practice that's not even relevant to today's world of modern science and technology—are failing students and educators. And of course, they're also failing animals, like pigs, who are sensitive and intelligent and even show compassion that humans sometimes lack: Pigs have been known to save the lives of others, including their human friends. It's time we humans saved theirs.
Politely tell Project Lead The Way to lead the way for students by ditching dissection and making a full transition to superior, humane, non-animal teaching methods.