Animal Writes
© sm
From 18 July 2004 Issue

Learning Without Killing
Launch of
Contact: Dr. Andrew Knight, [email protected] 

Please distribute this information on campuses that use animals in teaching!

Hundreds of thousands of animals are needlessly experimented on, killed and dissected each year in schools and universities worldwide. However, increasing numbers of students and teachers are no longer willing to harm or kill animals. Ethical, compassionate and courageous students have been the most powerful advocates of humane alternatives, and, despite frequent faculty opposition, their recent campaigns on several campuses around the world have resulted in the elimination of many labs in which animals were harmed or killed, saving hundreds of dogs, frogs, pigs, sheep, guinea pigs, mice and rats annually.

Unlike academic staff, students campaigning for humane alternatives cannot be fired, and students with a committed and professional approach and access to the resources they need have proven enormously powerful advocates of humane education in schools and universities around the world.

Created by veterinarian Dr. Andrew Knight, who won several major battles not to kill animals in veterinary school, has just been launched to provide students with easy access to the resources they need to win their campaigns. It includes books on humane alternatives to harmful animal use in education, conscientious objection student guides, lists of educational studies proving that alternative students perform at least as well as those trained via harming animals, alternatives submissions (that have already been successful in ending hundreds of animal experiments at several major universities worldwide), and the world’s largest photo gallery on the subject, including 125 high-quality photos of animal dissection, experimentation, surgical training, computer simulations, mannequins and models, preserved tissues, and humane surgical training alternatives. A memorial page contains stories from students about animals they’ve seen harmed or killed.

Said veterinarian Dr. Knight, “As a student I refused to participate in the mass killings of healthy animals that commonly occur during surgical and other veterinary training. I was penalized and threatened with failure. But I persisted, and discovered that students with a committed and professional approach can take on their universities and win! Since then colleagues have done the same at several other major universities around the world, ending many labs and saving hundreds of animal lives. I created to give students around the world access to the resources they need to win these campaigns in the face of faculty opposition. It is my hope that new people will join the growing international community of ethical and compassionate students unwilling to harm animals during their education.”

Background: Life and health sciences education has traditionally involved the harmful use of animals, and countless animals have lost their lives in attempts to teach practical skills and demonstrate scientific principles which have, in most cases, been established for decades. However, at the start of the 21st century, many thousands of humane educational alternatives exist. These include computer simulations, videos, plasticised specimens, ethically-sourced cadavers (obtained from animals that have died naturally, in accidents, or been euthanased for medical reasons), models, diagrams, self-experimentation, and supervised clinical experiences. At least 28 educational studies covering all educational levels and disciplines have proven that students learning via humane methods are at least as competent as those trained via harmful animal use; indeed, 50% actually showed that humane methods produced superior learning outcomes. Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence, humane teaching methods are resisted in many schools and universities around the world, resulting in fierce struggles with students unwilling to harm animals during their education.

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