I don’t know about you, but the idea of cutting open an animal does NOT sound fun or educational to me—especially since the animal could have been stolen from his or her home in the wild and killed for dissection! There are tons of modern, humane alternatives that actually help students learn better, yet schools continue to exploit animals for “education.” It’s ridiculous.

Luckily in my case, my 10th grade science teacher had a lot of compassion for animals, so we were given the choice to opt out of dissection—and that’s exactly what I did. Chances are you may live in a state that has a dissection-choice policy. You can see whether or not your state has one here. For those of you who don’t live in a state with a dissection-choice law or policy, your school district might have one.

rats for dissection

Left: Rat | Charles J. Danoff | CC BY 2.0 

But even if it doesn’t, don’t give up! Stay strong, because we’ve got some backup plans for you:

1. Kindly explain to your teacher that you DO NOT want to cut open any animal or be in the room while others are dissecting, for ethical reasons.

2. Ask if there’s another assignment that you can complete instead, such as a digital dissection, clay modeling, or 3-D project.

3. If that doesn’t work, take this sample letter to your principal and explain that you don’t want to dissect animals. Remember: Be polite!

4. Print out these petition sheets and state-specific leaflets and ask your classmates and friends to sign the petition to support a student’s right to say NO to dissection.

5. Ask your parents to talk to school officials with you and urge them to support your decision to save lives by opting out of dissection. Your voice needs to be heard!

pregnant rat dissection

Never give up. There are many examples of students who’ve followed the above steps and helped animals at their schools. Need more help? Check out our Dissection Kills page or shoot us an e-mail at [email protected].

Dissection Kills