I appreciate the interest of animal-rights activists in saving the lives of poor, oppressed frogs, so I can understand their advocacy of computer software that lets students do virtual dissections. But this is going a little far:
Marilyn Grindley, a member of the Ohio County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said dissecting animals "desensitizes kids. It tells them that we do not have any respect for any animal." She wants to end the practice.
If the teacher took the kids out to shoot cats and dogs, that would be desensitizing, but dissecting frogs? I confess to being one of the kids who was grossed out by the frog-dissection requirement. I would have welcomed the ability to do the whole thing by computer simulation. And that's probably OK for most kids.
But what about the ones who are going to pursue careers in science and medicine? For them, I think the teacher gets it right who says nothing can duplicate the smell, feel and texture of cutting into a real frog. "It's not the same as the real thing," Perillo said. "To actually cut through the tissue, see how the skin layers feel, the textures, the way the organs look inside the body, I think that can't be duplicated. "Its like trying to become a gardener without touching the dirt."
Put it this way: You want a first-time surgeon (they all have to have the first one sometime) operating on you who until then had only experienced dissecting a virtual cadaver?