Star Joins PETA Push to Modernize Science Education, Cut Animal Dissection Out of California School Curricula
For Immediate Release:
April 29, 2019
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Sacramento, Calif. – As she gears up for the final season of her überpopular hit show The Big Bang Theory, actor, mother, and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik has sent a letter on PETA’s behalf to California lawmakers urging them to vote YES on Assembly Bill 1586—the PETA-cosponsored Replacing Animals in Science Education (RAISE) Act—which would leave animal dissection out of the state’s K–12 classrooms.
“No medical schools in the U.S. or Canada use animals for their undergraduate medical education programs. If animal dissection isn’t necessary to become a board-certified physician, it certainly isn’t needed for K–12 science classes,” writes Bialik, who has a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of California–Los Angeles. “Passage of this bill would be a win for science, students, animals, and the state of California.”
Every year, more than 10 million animals are dissected in secondary school classrooms, even though studies have repeatedly shown that virtual dissection is more effective in teaching biology than cutting up dead animals is. Bialik’s letter went to each member of the Assembly Committee on Education, which is set to vote on the bill, also cosponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, this Wednesday.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org/Dissection.
Bialik’s letter to bill author and Assembly Member Ash Kalra follows.
The Honorable Ash Kalra
California State Assembly
Dear Mr. Kalra,
Thank you for your time. I’m writing as a neuroscientist, a California resident, and a parent to thank you for introducing A.B. 1586, the Replacing Animals in Science Education (RAISE) Act, in the California Assembly. I fully support this lifesaving bill and hope there will be a favorable outcome in committee and beyond.
This bill would do the following:
- Foster modern education. No medical schools in the U.S. or Canada use animals for their undergraduate medical education programs. If animal dissection isn’t necessary to become a board-certified physician, it certainly isn’t needed for K–12 science classes.
- Help animals. The act of cutting an animal open teaches children that living beings are disposable and downplays that they were once alive (and, in most cases, were killed exclusively for these exercises). Following a recent PETA video exposéof a major classroom animal dissection supplier, the company was charged with 25 counts of cruelty to animals by the Alexandria City Attorney’s Office in Minnesota related to drowning pigeons and injecting live crayfish with liquid latex.
- Help students. Dissecting animals has been shown to dissuade some students from entering science-related fields. Also, some students are uncomfortable about speaking up because of fears of potential ostracism from peers or teachers.
- Help the environment. Many frogs used for dissection are taken from the wild, disrupting the balance of ecosystems. Additionally, the chemical compounds used to preserve animal specimens often contain toxic formaldehyde, which is associated with detrimental human health effects.
Passage of this bill would be a win for science, students, animals, and the state of California.
Thank you for your consideration of this important issue.