PETA Calls On School to Adopt Modern, Humane Teaching Methods for Introductory Anatomy Course
For Immediate Release:
September 7, 2016
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Santa Monica, Calif. – Prompted by a graphic video and two students’ complaints that Santa Monica College’s Anatomy 1 course requires students to dissect cats—even if they’re ethically opposed to it—PETA sent a letter this morning calling on the school to drop cat dissection in favor of humane, modern educational software.
Video shared by Santa Monica students (available here) appears to show Anatomy 1 students dissecting pregnant cats as their professor discusses cats’ sexual reproduction, describing the animals as “hussies.” The tiny bodies and paws of the unborn kittens are visible.
“Every day, PETA hears from students who are ethically opposed to cutting open animals’ bodies in outdated classroom exercises,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “Non-animal teaching tools are effective, humane, and less expensive—and it’s time for Santa Monica College to make the switch.”
Texas A&M, the third-largest university in the country, is in the process of phasing out all animal dissection in its human anatomy and physiology course. Last year, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fifth-largest public school district in the U.S., banned cat dissection. An Oklahoma school followed suit after a notorious video of students playing the “Meow Mix” jingle and dancing with cats’ corpses went viral.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—offers dissection software through its educational grants program. Non-animal educational tools have been shown to teach anatomy as well as—and in many cases better than—dissection. They also save teachers time and money, while increasing students’ confidence and satisfaction.
Every year in the U.S., an estimated 10 million animals are used for classroom dissection, including cats, who could have once been someone’s animal companion.