[Ed. Note: Please visit our section on Alternatives to Animal Testing to learn what's better for education and of course better for the animals! For more information also visit Save the Frogs and Digital Frog. And... it is vital to understand that by using "simulations," children are not taught that it is just fine to torture or torment or kill or be disrespectful to other livings beings.]
By Robin Lawless, This Dish is Veg
Does everyone remember that dreaded day back in high school when you had to dissect a frog? Thanks to new technology those days may soon be coming to an end.
A high school in California is the first to step forward to stop this practice that takes the lives of millions of frogs every year, and traumatizes students all over the country.
Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, CA is the first school to accept a challenge by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) to discontinue animal dissections and instead use a computer program that simulates lab experiments called Digital Frog 2.5.
AWI has partnered with Digital Frog International and Save the Frogs! to provide Digital Frog 2.5 to the first 25 schools that pledge to discontinue animal dissections in the classroom. The software is being given away to schools as part of a contest called “Race to Stop Dissections."
"AWI commends Rancho Verde High School for abandoning its dissection program and using dissection alternatives to teach biology," said AWI President Cathy Liss. "This type of animal-friendly education is more humane, more effective, environmentally friendly, cost-effective and does not teach students to rationalize the unjustified killing of animals," she said.
AWI reports that millions of frogs are captured from wetland habitats, piled into sacks and killed by being immersed in formaldehyde for the purpose of being used in classroom dissection. As a result, frog populations are dwindling, throwing wetland eco-systems out of balance.
"Frogs play a crucial role ... both as consumers of insects and as food for other species, and their extinctions can wreak havoc on entire ecosystems," according to the AWI website.