Animals Suffer Needlessly
By Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D.
This letter was published March 8, 2007, in The Washington Post
"When Cutting Up in Class Is Okay" [Metro, March 5], about animal dissection in schools, said that the practice is "more popular than ever." But, as a biologist, I believe the opposite may be true. The availability of humane alternatives is greater than ever, which suggests to me that dissections may be declining.
Your piece also failed to address what happens to animals destined for the dissection tray. It's been said that if slaughterhouses had glass walls, we'd all be vegetarians. The same might be said of dissection-procurement facilities, which take millions of animals from the wild each year. Not only does this cruel industry damage the environment, it also causes animals to suffer the tremendous stress and pain of capture, handling, transportation and, ultimately, death.
Jonathan Balcombe is an ethologist and research scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. He is the author of Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good .