There is no reason why animals should be killed for dissections and used in experiments for education and training. Modern and innovative methods without the harmful use of animals exist in plenty, and have become the norm at many universities.

Ethical education without the harmful use of animals employs methods that are more efficient and more relevant to teaching objectives. Advanced computer technology offers numerous possibilities, from virtual dissections and experimental laboratories on-screen, to fully immersive virtual reality simulations of clinical procedures. Modern training aids for clinical skills and surgery practice also include microsurgery models and highly realistic mannekins with artificial organs and feedback mechanisms. Other methods are based on self-experimentation on volunteer students, with nerve/muscle stimulation using computer-linked experimental apparatus.

Ethical education may also involve animals. When veterinary students assist experienced colleagues in clinical work with real patients, they learn a broad range of clinical skills, including care for patients and respect for life - in contrast to animal experiments which teach them that animals are disposable tools. When biology students study animals in their natural habitats with non-invasive methods, they learn far more about animal behaviour than an animal experiment in the laboratory would teach them. And paralleling the dissections done by medical students on donated human bodies, veterinary and biology students can perform ethical dissections on animals that have died from illness or injury.

The use of killed animals and animal experiments will not teach students and trainees more about a subject than the ethical methods are capable of. However, the animal experiments are alone in imposing on you an attitude that animals’ lives are not important. Do we really want veterinarians, researchers and doctors who have been taught that living beings can be used and thrown away? Should animals be taken from the wild, or enclosed in tiny cages for their whole lives, never able to express their nature, just to end up on the dissection tray or prepared for invasive experiments?

Published studies have shown that knowledge, skills and an ethical awareness can be gained more effectively using progressive, alternative methods. Instead of being forced to violate their ethical beliefs, students and trainees can enjoy a better learning environment without the harmful use of animals. You have the power to bring about change. Contact InterNICHE for help in bringing the harmful use of animals to an end. Choose an ethical education!

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