animal rights

California animal rights legislation crushed by Cal teachers union

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It’s bad news if you’re a frog– or an animal rights activist.

Yesterday, under pressure from the California Teachers Association, the legislature killed proposed legislation to ban animal dissection, including the cutting up of frogs– favorite “subjects” in biology classrooms across the state.

Per CAL Matters, “The California Teachers Association, which has significant clout in the Legislature, testified against [the bill], arguing that it would deny science teachers a valuable tool.”

Animal rights campaigners, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), are pissed. And we tend to agree with them.

While in general, animals dissected in classrooms are already dead (though in some places, vivisection does still occur), it still involves inherent cruelty for animals, campaigners say.

Per the Sacramento Bee, “Cats used for dissection tend to be euthanized animals acquired from shelters; frogs and other amphibians are often gathered in the wild.”

Congratulations: If your cat goes missing, winds up at a “kill” shelter and you don’t find it in time, it could be the next dissection project for some 10th grader in Bakersfield.

That cute bullfrog your 10 year-old niece saw while on a nature walk? Maybe next up on the slicing and dicing table for your 16 year-old nephew, whether he likes it or not.

Per the National Anti-Vivisection Society, as explained at GreenMatters, “fetal pigs… are typically cut from their mother’s bellies at slaughterhouses.”

The California Teachers Association essentially argued that banning animal dissection would amount to centralized lesson-planning from Sacramento. While that’s a factual argument (though it sounds a little like the kind of fear-mongering usually raised by Orange County Tea Partiers circa 2010), it does put the union again in a position of defending teachers uninterested in using cutting edge (no pun intended) technologies and methodologies, in this case that enable students to learn about anatomy without dissection and animal cruelty being entailed.

That’s something that benefits lazy teachers who aren’t leading in education and instead are teaching from out-of-date, outmoded lesson plans while less-than-accountably collecting salaries out of the public treasury. I.e., the kind of thing that pisses off tons of center-left voters in the state, as well as the arch-progressive animal rights crowd.

As actress Mayim Bialik, a scientist and opponent of dissection put it in a letter supporting the proposed ban, “No medical schools in the U.S. or Canada use animals for their undergraduate medical education programs. If animal dissection isn’t necessary to become a board-certified physician, it certainly isn’t needed for K–12 science classes.”

We tend to agree, and see this as another example of where a supposedly “progressive” organization (the California Teachers Association) is standing in the way of modernization, forward-thinking and, yes, progress.

One also wonders how many animal-rights-focused teachers will be unhappy to learn their dues were spent lobbying against this bill rather than just negotiating better pay and other compensation: This might be bad politics for the union in more ways than one.

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