HomeArticles of Elisa Black-TaylorKids Disrespecting Cats at School


Kids Disrespecting Cats at School — 14 Comments

  1. Pingback:Mixed reaction to the use of dead cats for dissection in HBO series “Generation” – PoC

  2. If science teacher want to teach the students something about small animals then why not teach them animal CPR and first aid. It would be a lot more useful and not nearly as traumatic. I’d just about bet all of the students would want to take that course.

  3. The fact that they use cats is appalling. Would they use dogs? Using a domesticated animal is wrong in so many ways. Forcing kids to desensitise themselves by having to dissect the same kind of animal they might live with at home is totally bonkers and stupid and badly thought out.
    I refused to dissect anything at school and I refused to look at things I didn’t want to. It got me in trouble but I didnt care at the time.
    The point about it creating a market for dead cats is very important indeed.
    It seems scientists and science – more than other fields – are so objective that they lack emotional intelligence more than other people because they are so caught up in objectifying. I’d also like to add that ‘vivisection’ was mentioned here but I’m not sure if it applies since its far worse, it involves dissecting an animal which is alive. Another wonderful thing our scientists don’t seem to mind doing even when it is not at all necessary.

  4. When I was taking A&P twenty some years ago at Boo-U we dissected minks. They let us take our minks home. I am sorry to say that I chased my sister and the cat around the house with mine. I have matured somewhat since then. I was nineteen and old enough to know better, and still misbehaved. It’s not shocking that high school kids are going to behave inappropriately with their dissection animal. Just another reason to not have them do it. I really didn’t learn anything from that part of the class. The models of the human body and the skeletons (real human bones) were much more useful. I would like to donate my body for that purpose. I think I was best prepared for working in physical therapy as I studied the human skeleton, learning where muscles attach to those bones. If you know where the bones are and where on the bones the muscles attach you know everything because muscles only contract. Questions like “This muscle starts here and attaches here. So what motion does it cause?” were the most useful to me. We’d use theraband and tie it where the muscle in question would go and then pull on it. Why not have kids do activities like that? Learning form and function gets kids into kinesiology and physics, challenging and interesting students in ways that could really lead to careers in medicine. Bringing a dead animal into class leads to kids chasing other kids around with it, cries of “Ew, gross!” and a bunch of butchered corpses at the end of the day. Ew, gross.

  5. I’m as distressed as much from being forced to cut into a frog in 10 grade as I was from being forced to run track in gym class. Do these teachers not realize these things stay with us for life! I feel for the cat lovers in this class who even had to watch this. Teachers turned me against science and running due to their mandatory rules that we had to do these things or fail.

    Thank you Ruth. As a teacher I knew you could add to this.

    • Elisa, I could write a book on how much I hate the way PE classes turn kids off to exercise. It’s weird how the very education that is supposed to get kids enthused about things so often turns them off to it. Sad to say, even music teachers are guilty of it! I liked the PE units we did starting in our junior year. I took the cross country ski unit. If it weren’t for that high school introduction to it I wouldn’t have picked the sport up in my forties. I’ve had a marvelous time with it, but it had better snow this winter! I really am wanting some snow after we had none last winter. Like a lot of snow. And when they find my twisted, lifeless body at the bottom of one of the hills at Pike Lake marked “Novice Skiers Remove Skis” (except that if I get really tired I just go down them anyway) it will be the fault of high school PE classes that I died. Educators need to think of the long term ramifications of what they are teaching kids!

      • Our P.E. teacher would run us a mile around the track with less than 15 minutes to get to our next class. Or 10 minutes before school ended and you’d miss your bus if not fast enough. I used to paint bruises on my knees with eye shadow to keep from having to run. It worked too!

        • That’s horrible! We had to run nine minutes, at whatever pace, but your grade was higher if you ran faster. I’ve been jogging around my yard as part of my workout lately, trying to do sort of what we did in gym class. It seems to be helping with the weight loss when I get my heart rate up. I gained weight in high school when we quit having to do the running my junior year. Bruises would not disqualify from gym class for us. My friend Bonnie and I had really bad bruises on our knees and legs after a weekend ice skating party on Lake Delton in like 1985. We had played “keep away with the shoe” on skates. You grabbed someone’s shoe or boot and everyone tried to keep it away from the person who owned it– all while on skates. You’d get skating so fast and laughing so hard that you were falling constantly. We were both all bruised up but we still had to run in gym class.

  6. Hi Michael,

    You know I have to weigh in on this one 😉

    Thanx for raising the issue. It’s something that has been bothering me for decades.

    I remember being repulsed at the thought at dissecting a frog, which is lower on the life chain than a cat. I’m surprised to learn that they were using cats! Domestic mammals! What the heck?

    I can’t believe that in this day and age k-12 is still using dissection. I wish they never had.

    That’s the first offense.

    The second one is that they are doing so using cats.

    To use any animal is ethically unjustifiable. The only thing it teaches is an utter disregard for sentient life. Using one of the two most beloved domestic pets is unforgivable. What do you suppose these students will do next time they see a living cat in the street, respect it? I think not.

    Third offense is the students mocking the dead cats via posting pictures on Facebook.

    You’re right – they are learning that cats are disposable objects and nothing more.

    Ruth raised some good points:

    1. Only a surgeon needs to cut muscle. I’d like to add that few if any are thinking of surgery training at such a young age.

    2. They should be using computers instead. I would add that since the majority of the students won’t be surgeons or even doctors, the digital model would be more than adequate. Furthermore, they don’t need to use non-human digital models. What would be the point except to teach a lack of reverence for non-human life forms?

    I’m glad that P.E.T.A. stepped in and got results – at least in the form of a promise from the school.

    I may not agree with all of P.E.T.A.s methods, but I do admire them. They do make a big difference and often.

    Along with parents and other mentors, school is supposed to be responsible for shaping our attitudes and beliefs from a young age all the way into adulthood. What were they thinking when they introduced dissection so many years ago? They’ve dropped the ball on several fronts including the dissection bit.

    I’m entirely confident that teaching dissection contributes zero to a “well rounded education”.

    Good issue, good article,

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

    • Hi Liz, yes I agree it is a good article. I think it is important and your comment is important too as it adds to the information. It is time to stop this sort of thing.

  7. The widespread use of cats for dissection in schools at every level shows just where many of the cats killed at shelters are going. This is why the killing of cats doesn’t stop. There is money to be made. Besides all that there is absolutely no reason for animals to be used in a high school or even in most college classes.

    It’s very difficult to do a dissection properly and if not done properly the students learn nothing from it. If animals are used at all it should be one specimen, worked on by the teacher only, and structures shown to students from that example. Anatomy should be taught as form related to function.

    Only surgeons need to know anatomy in terms of which muscle to cut. There is no reason for anyone who isn’t planning on being a surgeon or veterinarian to be doing any cutting. Even then, a person training to work on humans gains very little by cutting on a cat or any other animal.

    Human cadavers should be used when dissection is necessary, again for training those who will be surgeons. For other professions one cadaver is sufficient, again with the teacher preparing it and leading students to identify structures. If anatomy is taught properly as the relationship between form and function all that messing around cutting, with students usually destroying the structures they are meant to be studying, would be discarded in favor of better methods.

    With computer technology what it is today, students can gain in depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology without having to cut anything. Young students especially just see the dissection part of the class as gross and disgusting instead of appreciating the miracle of life. And why would they not be put off by it. They are being taught about life by being given a dead thing.

    That’s why I think biology and anatomy and physiology teachers need to make use of the technology available today, and do so always with the aim of connecting form and function. Only those training to be surgeons should be doing any cutting on dead things, and only them because it’s better they practice that way before cutting into living beings.

    • Great comment. Love this comment. I fully agree of course. I failed (temporarily) to make a connection with mass shelter killing of cats and dissections at school etc.. Although I have always said that the reason why the mass killing of cats at shelters remains in place is because there is a business reason for its existence. It is a production line for businesses who want cat carcasses. Horrible. Really horrible. Please stop all this and start to respect cats. I truly hate this sort of thing.

      And there is no need in 2012 to cut open animal cadavers for education. We have CGI, computers etc. Let’s do the decent thing, please.

  8. Good article Elisa but a sad and difficult subject. I think it is an important subject as you say at the beginning. If the world is to change for the better it must include a better and more respectful relationship with animals. This story demonstrates that there is work to be done in that regard.

    Today’s youth must learn to respect the cat and all animals. It is time. I am tired of seeing idiotic, mindless attitudes towards the domestic cat. We domesticated the cat. We have responsibilities towards the cat. Can we please discharge those responsibilities properly and decently?

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