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how to cut out animal dissection step by step

Step 1

Double-Check That an Animal-Free Dissection Option Isn't Already Offered

If a class includes animal dissection in its lesson plan, first confirm that a cruelty-free lesson isn't already offered to students who want to opt out. After clearly describing your sincerely held ethical, religious, moral, or other beliefs to your professor or teacher and explaining why you object to the use of animals, ask them whether the school offers other options. If your instructor says that all students must participate in animal dissection, have them state in writing that no other option is offered and why.

Use this sample letter
Step 2

Get a Syllabus for the Class You're Concerned About

Look at the syllabus for your class or another one on campus that uses animal dissection and determine how animals are being incorporated into the course of study. Check out this page to find modern replacements for the most commonly dissected species. If the list doesn't include the type of lesson that animal dissection is being used for in your class, e-mail us at [email protected] to see what options we can recommend or provide.

Step 3

Set Up a Meeting

Determine an appropriate target for your campaign. This person may be the teacher of the class that includes animal dissection or the head of the biology department. E-mail this individual and ask them to meet with you to discuss the matter. You could also stop by during their office hours to discuss it in person. During your meeting with them, be sure to have the following important things on hand.

  • Information: Having your facts straight and presenting a strong argument are crucial to accomplishing your goals. Be sure to have details about animal dissection—and the animals used in it—to support your concerns when speaking with an administrator.
  • An animal-free option: No one likes to hear about a problem without also hearing about possible solutions. Discuss the various modern, cruelty-free options that replace the use of animals for dissection but that still focus on the anatomical system being studied. It’s important to present facts that show how specific options would save the school money and provide more effective instruction than animal dissection. It’s also critical that you describe the ways in which these options could be implemented.
  • A clear list of requests with a recommended timeline: To make this process as easy as possible for administrators, present a suggested timeline for the implementation of these humane options or explain how animal dissection can be phased out altogether. Do as much legwork for them as possible—that way, they’ll be more likely to say yes. Make sure that you’re friendly and professional in your e-mail correspondence and meetings with administrators. It’s much easier to effect change on campus when the decisionmakers are on your side, so try to work with them.
Step 4

Evaluate Your Progress

Was the meeting successful?

  • Yes: Great! Share the news of your success, and be sure to thank the administrators for their decision. Check out Step 6 for ideas on ways to spread the word about your victory.
  • No: Don't sweat it. Let's get to work planning your campaign. Proceed to Step 5.
Step 5

Escalate the Campaign

Determine the reasons why your school is opposed to providing animal-free dissection options, then find relevant information or data and devise solid arguments that you can use to refute them. Inform your peers of the cruelty behind the traditional animal-dissection teaching method, start a petition to have a dissection-choice policy implemented at your school, and gather as many signatures as you can to let the administration know that students want the right to opt out of using animals in the classroom. You may also want to try organizing animal dissection–related outreach events, showing video footage from exposés of facilities that supply animals for dissection, screening documentaries, and hosting guest speakers.

use our sample petition
Step 6

Tell People About Your Victory!

Once administrators agree to implement a dissection-choice policy or get rid of animal dissection altogether, it’s time to celebrate! Be sure to post news of your campaign’s success all over your social media pages, contact campus news outlets, and thank all those involved. You could even throw a party to celebrate and invite the student body.