Fight for Animal Rights In the article “Fighting Over Animal Rights,” David Masci from the CQ Researcher, asks the question, “Are animal dissections and vivisection still necessary as teaching tools? ” Pat Graham is against dissection and responds to Masci’s question. In his first paragraph he makes his claim by stating, “The burden is on those of us who oppose dissection to illustrate that alternative methods in no way lessen academic standards. ” Graham argues that no schools, except medical schools should be allowed to use animals in labs as teaching tools.
He tries to explain that using animal labs for dissection studies harms nature and its wildlife populations by throwing its ecosystems out of balance. From my own personal experience with using animals as teaching tools in the classroom significantly improved my learning experience. By doing the dissections I was able to get hands on experience on how to work with tissues and organs and how they physically feel and look. Thus it helped me understand the human body in a much better way than if I would have used a computer program instead.
If using animals in dissections wasn’t effective, schools would have stop using them long ago. Graham believes that models and computer programs would be just as effective as using animals for study; he adds that computer programs and models would also save money by only having to purchase once and reusing them instead of having to keep spending the money on every occasion that the animals would have to be used. Using these alternatives would be just as expensive if not cheaper than the purchase of one year’s worth of lab animals.
The psychological effect on the students using animals for dissection is another way Graham attempts to support his claim. He states that “using animals for classroom experiments teaches that human interest, even curiosity, takes precedence over the life of non-human animals. ” Doing this causes a psychological dilemma to students and can overall leave a young person confused about their values. Pat Graham is the Dissection Hotline director for the National Anti-Vivisection society.
His position and where he works shows he is against using animals for scientific study even if it is believed that hands on learning on these animals are more effective than any other methods used. He attacks the Pro-dissection forces in the first paragraph, by accusing them of only looking out for their own economic interest. Graham does not show any statistics that show what he claims, which makes it difficult to convince me that pro-dissection forces are only looking out for their own interests.
In the second paragraph, once again he attacks those who agree with dissection as a teaching tool. Graham believes only medical students should require hands on experience, even though working on animals would not simulate the experience from the operating room. Once again he fails to give good statistics to back up his belief. Graham could have done a better job supporting his statements by taking a survey on students who have been in biology classes that have use animals for research.
Getting statistics from students who thought the hands on experience was a great way of learning also from those who thought the use of animals made no difference in their learning experience would have supported his claim better. Graham would have done a better job convincing me that the use of animals should not be allowed by doing so. In the second paragraph of Graham’s response, he writes “According to a 1988 survey published in the Journal of Medical Education, of all U. S medical schools, only three did not allow students an option not to participate in animal labs. Graham does not support his response by showing the survey. The survey shows that students have the option to not participate in the animal labs if they do not wish to. The students have a choice; the writer tries to argue that animal labs leave students confused about their values, but if a student feels his values are being questioned they have an option to not do the lab. Pat Graham attempts to argue that animal labs are not necessary for effective learning in the medical classroom, that animal labs are affecting wildlife populations and ecosystems.
Also student’s morals and values are being questioned. While no responsible professor would recommend the wanton destruction of animal life, many would not want to eliminate the use of animal dissections, as it has been proven for many years that it’s a very effective way of teaching and learning. Overall Graham shows he has a good heart and respect for animals but he does not make a good argument on why dissections should be completely removed from schools and how they’re not effective tool for learning.