I get alerts from HSUS which often seem to have nothing to do with the way I think. However, today I got an alert that I can fully stand behind. They think I live in Colorado (I used to), so that’s why I got a Colorado-specific alert.
House Bill 1149 in Colorado has passed committee and now goes to the full House for the vote.
As long as House Bill 1149 does not get cut or gutted, Colorado students will be able to choose alternatives to dissecting animals such as cats, fetal pigs and frogs in their science classes.
State Rep. Nancy Todd‘s(D-Aurora)proposal passed out of the House Education Committee on an 8-5 vote Jan. 28. The bill will allow students to dissect animals “virtually” on a computer model or via other means.
“I support hands-on learning,” Rep. Todd said, “and I know there’s a different feel – so to speak – when using alternatives to dissection. But I want to allow science teachers to offer options to those students who have moral, ethical or religious objections, just as fourteen other states have done.”
HB 1149 now goes to the full House for a vote.
HSUS’ alert automated letter mentions that 6 million vertebrate animals are dissected in high schools in this country every year. I am not going to bother to fact check that number, because it is irrelevant to me. One would be too many, in my opinion. The important thing is that the students are given the right to opt out, which not only reduces the number of animals killed for unnecessary science experiments, it will hopefully highlight the fact that the humane alternatives are even better ways to learn than the dissections are.
I participated in dissections in high school, as uncomfortable as it made me. I didn’t feel I had a choice. I didn’t ask to not participate either – back then I was one to just go with the flow, I am not sure I had what it would have taken to stand up for myself. I also learned absolutely nothing from those dissections in class. At home, however, we had a computer game called “operation frog” or something like that, and I learned a hell of a lot more playing a dissection game on the computer with the cheesy graphics from the 80’s than I did in science class with a “real” frog.
And by the way, I went on to major in Biology in college, so it isn’t that I didn’t have an affinity for science.
So, Colorado voters, please contact your state representative and ask them to vote YES on HB 1149. Seems like a no-brainer for it to pass, but there is no point in leaving it to chance.