Teacher Dissects a Live Dog


Scott passes on a disturbing news story out of Utah where a substitute teacher dissected a live dog in front of a high school biology class.

“I thought that it would be just really a good experience if they could see the digestive system in the living animal,” [the substitute teacher Doug] Bierregaard said.

You have got to be kidding me.

The excuse, that even the school’s principal is using?: oh, the dog’s going to be euthanized anyway. Sounds an awful lot like people’s reasoning for eating meat, “Oh, the animal would die whether I ate it or not.”

This is entirely inappropriate for a high school classroom when there are so many alternatives. If showing the digestive system in a living animal is so important to this substitute teacher, why doesn’t he, say, use a videotape?

I hope the teacher and his school are properly ridiculed and reprimanded for this.

17 Responses to “Teacher Dissects a Live Dog”

  1. girl least likely to

    good god. this is the kind of thing i read and just get instantly furious. i can’t even think straight.

  2. vegenaise

    that’s just plain sick. I get so mad over this kind of thing that I can barely see straight. At the U. where I work, introductory classes train rats to go through mazes, and then at the end of the semester, the rats are rewarded with death for their efforts. Similarly, we have faculty that do lovely things like cut nipples off of rats to see if the rats will reject their young (!) and inventive scientific shit like that.

    I actually think that some of this stuff done in the name of “science” is just an excuse for people to express their sick and twisted desires to inflict harm on other living things. And believe me, if you know any academics, I guarantee you some subset of them heartily enjoys such activities.

  3. Bojangles

    That is wrong one so many levels. I myself am currently dealing with dissection. It’s awful, but I feel so alone when I don’t want to cut up animals. My lab partner thinks I’m ridiculous. We’ve already dissected a starfish, a fish, and a frog. The whole time I wouldn’t help my partner, I couldn’t. I just watched in horror. I actually had to help cut the fish because my partner’s hand got tired, because it was so hard to cut. I got fed up when it came to the frog and I told the teacher I didn’t want to dissect. She misinterpreted it as me feeling squeamish, so she said I only had to watch. Hooray. It’s very hard being a quiet vegan in Biology during dissection week.

    I just visited the anti-PETA website featured in your side-blog. I know that PETA has done some radical stuff, but nothing too awful. They feel really passionate about animal rights and it’s great to see someone standing up and doing something. Basically all these conservative corporates are either afraid to say something or like money too much. Or both.

    I wrote them an angry letter on their “contact us” page. Here it is:

    “You, my friend, are a dirty liar. You are obiviously friends of the fast food industry. Maybe if you make up enough garbage about legitimate organizations like PETA, you’ll make some more money for the corporate idols that you worship.

    Stop putting pesticides on my vegetables, fat into the bodies of my friends and family, lies into the minds of good citizens, and chemicals in the tampons I use.

    I’ll make sure to let you know when I get cervical cancer.

    -a very opinionated 15-year old Irish-American Girl”

    I suggest the rest of you do the same. Maybe it will prompt them to write an article about “RADICAL RABID VEGAN SATANISTS OUT TO KILL US ALL!” or something ridiculous and hilarious like that.

    I’m vegan and also a member of the PETA2 street team. Teenagers are stereotyped as idiotic and vulnerable to any new idea on the market. The real deal is, I’m more mature than most adults.

    I’m outie, veganism rocks

  4. Meredith

    Oh my god. *shudder*

    I was fortunate in that I could decline to dissect in high school. The teacher was angry with me about it, but that was school policy. I was given bookwork instead.

  5. Denise

    Horrible, absolutely horrible. In some states, this is considered cruelty to animals and is a misdemeanor.

  6. Gary

    Two comments:

    It would be a better experience for the students to see compassion in action.

    The question is not whether the dog will eventually die. The question is: will the dog thrive or suffer as a result of the teacher’s actions?


  7. Cathi

    As horrible as this is…and I also was shocked that something like this was done in front of high school students…I can’t help thinking that it might make some of them think about how animals are treated in other areas, behind closed doors. After all, what are we really objecting to, that the dog was maimed and cut open while alive–which is done all the time to aniamls raised to be food–or just that the students had to ‘see’ it?

    I do find this shocking. Thanks for posting and letting more people know.

  8. aardvarknav

    How is showing a videotape of a live dog being dissected any better than dissecting a live dog? The harm to the dog is still there, but the “educational” benefits are diminished in several ways. In today’s world we have the computational power, the complex simulation and modeling applications, and advanced display systems (ranging from high definition digital displays to immersive visualization systems) to create a situation where we don’t harm animals but do gain signficant educational benefits. We also have advanced magnetic resonance imaging and similar systems that can create highly detailed, 3D images without using invasive procedures that adversely affect the person or animal being scanned. Why aren’t we doing this more? The first answer is always money, but that is a smokescreen. We’ve dumbed down our education training schools and de-emphasixed science for our teachers and we’ve failed to build good industry-education relationships. At the high school level, we tend to hire teachers who can coach first and teach second. The result is situations like this.

  9. Ryan

    How is showing a videotape of a live dog being dissected any better than dissecting a live dog?

    Presumably, they’d use a videotape recorded during an actual, necessary operation (not just a video of another dissection).

    I agree with your other points, though. Clearly technology will end up being the solution to this problem, I was just presenting one cheap answer to this particular case.

  10. aardvarknav

    I did a quick google check after my posting my comment to see what already exists for modeling dogs. The Europeans have a plastic dog model similar to the Visible Man/Woman kits. But more importantly, TNO, a Dutch research organization,
    has already developed a dog model called FIDO or Functional gastro-Intestinal DogmOdel as a research tool to determine if dogs are getting a well-balanced diet.. It simulates the digestive processes occurring in the stomach and small intestine. It is fully computer controlled and simulates what happens in the dogís gastro-intestinal tract to include mimicking the peristaltic motions of the dogís stomach wall, secretion of acid and other enzymes, the action of the pylorus which separates the stomach form the small intestine. It can simluate the motions of the small intestine , the absorption of digested food, and re-absorbstion of water from the intestinal tract. Sounds like someone like PETA ought to work with TNO to develop and provide the modeling for educational purposes.

  11. Suebob

    That is freaking disgusting. I would have lost it in more ways than one. I think I would have thrown myself bodily up there between doctor death and the dog.

    I skipped out on a week of physiology classes in high school because they were dissecting fetal pigs. I just walked out and didn’t come back until it was over and my teacher never marked me down.

  12. Bastian

    They could make a video without ever cutting a dog nowadays – we have plenty of non-invasive medical imaging technology that could give a great view of a working digestive tract. There are now ultrasound machines so sensitive that they can show tiny detail and even show you which way blood is flowing in veins and arteries.

    With technology like this, it would be so easy to create a video that gives a far better picture of what is happening inside a living organism, on human volunteers no less. In this day and age, high school dissection class is nothing more than a perfect example of wanton disrespect for life, and is no more educationally defensible than trying to claim that a cadaver dissection is necessary for kids to learn about their own bodies in health class.

  13. Doug Cortese

    I work for Anatomyinclay.com and we create resin skeleton models of dogs and you build the anatomy in clay and attach it to the model. Check us out and see the dog video.


  14. SGrant

    You all sound like Dark Age Catholics. I bet when you talk, you pronounce the word as “die-section”. There was a time when educated individuals were forces to lurk in the dark as grave robbers, if they wanted to further their own understanding of biology. If they wanted to teach to others, they were forced to do so underground. I am grateful my peers and I have an endless supply of fresh remains at our disposal. I am grateful none of you uncultured swine know where we operate. We are motivated by compassion and a desire to end suffering of all thinking/feeling/hungry beings. You would end it all, just because of a weak stomach and immature perspective. I hope you all know that when a surgeon or student of anatomy makes the first incision, if they are awake and aware. Then they are acutely aware that they are making an incision in their own body. If you are living in a world of separate beings, I must excuse you until you recover from that hallucination.

    The complete path in/out of food was first observed with the naked eye in its entirety on Mackinac island MI. Look it up. If anybody is familiar with this amazing true story, you might argue that this finding was a result of a necessary medical procedure on a wounded soldier who was expected to die anyway. In reality it required great risk of premature termination of a living, breathing, speaking human. The surgery included days of experimentation and skilled dissection (unnecessary and brutish by your standards). It was a complete success first and foremost because it advanced human knowledge of self. Lastly, the man made a full recovery.

    I have nothing to say about this instructor, because like most of you, I know very little about what really happened. But is scares people like me to know that many of our estranged relatives (you all), would not make sacrifices to pursue the truth. If you do not wise up; Pray and meditative… Then act with confidence. You will never experience or do anything of significance during your brief lifespan. If not you do not grow up and mature into men and women, children of The Mother, then you would all be worth much more strapped to my examination table with a tranquilizer needle in your arm.

    Sacrifice what you hold dear and you will preserve it. Bury your head in the sand… and all that is pleasing, beloved, and dear will be taken from you and destroyed.

  15. SGrant

    Pardon my spelling and I’ll pardon you ignorance.

    The word we were all looking for was vivisection not dissection.

    If you advocate the use of virtual dissections and vivisections, you must understand the diversity of life among same species organisms. For example I function with a plantaris, and psoas minor (these are muscles by the way) and many of you may not have these. Nerve tracts and circulatory systems do follow a pattern, but there is an astounding occurrence of healthy variances that must be understood to approach a patient. If one were to study nothing but books they might get the wrong impression that their is little variance. Everybody looks, smells, and functions different. Different colors, different tone, different structure.

    If you want to study anatomy, you can look at pictures and videos, and you might retain a fact or two. But when you palpate and inspect inside and out, you NEVER forget. And when a patient comes to see you, you will study them with x-ray vision.

    My mother needed surgery because of a kinked iliopsoas tendon. The surgeon worked with several cadavers over a week, and as a result was completely confident he could ease her suffering. Not that I am advocating surgery, I would recommend it sparingly.

    My point in my ramblings is this. If you are not a medical doctor, dentist, chiropractor, surgeon, etc… That is, if you are not a skilled healer or enthusiastic student you are out of your element the moment you open your mouth. Health care would not be where it is today if not for the sickos, perverts, and sadists as you would categorize them.

    Please, Please, Please. Either donate your organs. Or if you’ve abused your body for most of your life, PLEASE donate your remains to science. You have no idea how valuable your contribution and sacrifice will be.

  16. vegoftheweek

    While it’s true that healthcare would not be where it is today without the animal experiments of the past, I think that’s the whole point-that’s in the past. With the advancements in technology, we’ve evolved and no longer have to resort to learning science in a way that’s as gruesome, painful, and possibly unethical.

    The experiment probably won’t convert any more students into going into the PhD or MD research track than those who had already planned to anyway. It could, however, turn some off.

    Moving away from animal research might actually be better for human understanding as serious side effects and complications that don’t surface with animal subjects are often later found to occur in people.

    And there are medical scientist who don’t advocate the use of animals in medical research and have made plenty of advancements without them, such as Neal Barnard and the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine http://www.pcrm.org

  17. Ellie

    For the love of God! That just mean! Reading that makes me want to eat the substitute alive then throw them up and have a flaming potato gun fired into their face! >:(

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