nancymessDecember 13, 2007

How do you feel about dissection in classrooms? Do you think children should be given an alternative to dissection?

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Yes, I think the children should be given a choice. I've been a homeschool mom for 15 years and we only dissected owl pellets (the undigestible parts of his food that an owl regurgitates). We were able to assemble a small rodent skeleton from each pellet. You can also do virtual dissections now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virtual dissection

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 9:40AM
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Those who wish to not dissect the real thing might be given alternative training. The real specimen would be best for those so inclined, which I learned from and have 0 problem with.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 5:47PM
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I stayed home from school that day and honestly can't think of any instance where what I may have learned from it had I gone would have been useful. However I can see where it would be for someone planning on going into research or the medical field.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 7:41PM
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If my memory serves, it was eons and eons ago but you could sit out of the dissections.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 9:18PM
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I have raised animals ll my life, some die and knowing how to open them and look around can help discover why they may have died. Not always but some times.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 9:36PM
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I wouldn't want my vet to have his or her first surgery be on my live animal. Nor would I want him or her to have only "book smarts" when doing surgery. For most other people, I don't see a reason for dissection.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 9:59PM
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Do you mean that YOU open up your animals and do autopsies on them?? And dissecting an animal in grade school prepared you to do this? The thought of dissecting my own pet is just disgusting and seems unethical. To each his own though.

Anyway, I agree with Meghane. In vet school, dissection is very important.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 11:01AM
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We were in 10th grade before we ever did disections.

Sure I open them and try to see why they died, not averything of course, but how else can you tell sometimes. Some I have taken to a vet friend for help. Better than losing a entire flock of chickens with a value of from 20 300 $$$ each. Ive done rabbits & sheep too but no dogs or horses!.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 2:36PM
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Are you really qualified to know what caused their death just from a 10th grade science class dissection? Seems a little strange to me.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 4:26PM
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The whole purpose of school is to give students the advantage of exposure to as many different things as possible. Dissecting is only one---wood or metal shop---cooking---sewing----computers----art----they are just somer areas students need to experience.

That helps give them information about what they like or not, what areas in which they have ability, and things they will need for further training.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 10:38AM
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Well gabro, maybe you dont know much, maybe you dont want to know much, maybe you dont care?/ I do care, i learn by doing . There is a lot to know when you open an anumal up. look at the kidneys, the liver, the heart. See the color of the fat, is there too much fat around the heart?/ I am an animal breeder, I have goals to make the very best matings possible, I breed close, a lot of inbreeding. I select for many traits including vigor and resistance to disease. Phenotype casn demonstrate the out side of an animal, genotype can be assumed but not seen for some traits.Sometimes there is no visible sign of an ailment, so, what would you do? never mind, I already know the answer.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 4:26PM
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Of course I want to know things, but I won't DISSECT my pets to quench my thirst for knowledge. If you really want to know about the cause of death, take the animal to a vet. I cannot believe you are talking about looking at the kidneys, liver, and heart - that is SICK...unless you are a veterinary student.

You don't seem like a very knowledgable or responsible breeder to me. You just admitted that you "breed close" and there is "a lot of inbreeding". Are you proud of that?? You should not be a breeder. Period.

What would I do?? Yes, you already know the answer. I would take the animal to someone who is certified and able to efficiently do an autopsy. I would not do it myself! If you have a sick and twisted desire to cut your pets open and look at their organs, go right ahead. But I'm sure you don't know a thing about what you are looking at, nor can you determine the cause of death. Are you going to tell me that you actually learned how to determine cause of death in your 10th grade biology class...just from dissecting a frog or a pig?

I am sickened by what you are admitting.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 5:38PM
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I'm not arguing with a kid! After 40 years at it I guess I know something about breeding. I guess you dont. work at it, you might develop a keener sense. Bye.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 8:23PM
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I guess you *think* you know how old I am? Or are you just assuming I'm a "kid" because I'm just so lacking in intelligence? I think it's the other way around, my friend. And I happen to be in my mid 30's, so I'm far from a kid (although I do thank you for the compliment).

You are actually making yourself sound worse by admitting you have been breeding for 40 years! If you've been breeding for a year or 2, then I could maybe understand not having a clue about how to avoid inbreeding. But you've been doing this for 40 years and you haven't learned how to breed correctly?? That's quite embarrassing! I love how people think that they can prove how knowledgable they are just by saying "I've been doing this for __ years".

"Work at it". Well, since I don't breed and don't intend to, no thanks. I would never want to add another inexperienced and foolish breeder to the pool - like you.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 12:14PM
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OK, I thought I'd just ignore this but it might help others.

Inbreeding is a term used when breeding families, versus outcrossing or out breeding or crossbreeding. if one uses the random mating or outcrossing technique they will never develop homozygosity. That will never produce like animals. There will be no control over deleterious genes, some of which atre lethal in homozygous form(2 copies). Very great numbers of young would be required for selection to gain improvement.

Inbreeding , done by a person who is equipped with knowledge, or under direction of a knowledgable mentor can be the best tool for improvement. Of course in the hands of ignorance it can also be the faSTEST GAURANTEE OF DECLINE. All breeds are developed by judicious inbreeding and there are few instances of outcrossing being used to develop a new breed or to gain possitive changes.

I have bred national winning poultry in Sumatra, and 3 varieties of Hamburg bantams, I have created a new breed. I am currently breeding rabbits again and in 3 years of inbreeding I have bred uo from average quality to class winners. My Beagles ALL had the same male in their 7 gen pedigrees at least 2 times,many times 3 & 4; several were near field champions. I could go on.

When someone condemns inbreeding, especially the way done in this thread it is a sure fire tip off that person has no concept of what they are speaking.

I even made sibling matings for 4-5&6 generations to bring out certain traits resulting in my first grand champion Rex rabbit. It did require severe culling to eliminate undesirable traits and I did have to make a related outcross due to thin hock pads whicj were recovered in F1 outcross. Inbreeding Can be sustained for nearly ever, there are many examples in every class of livestock.

if you would like to debate this on a higher level, let me know. I consider myself fairly well versed on poultry genetics and not too shabby with genetics of the rabbit. And the basis of your argument is ???

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 2:15PM
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This topic was on dissection, and I found your practices in that area to be absolutely horrific. I only commented on inbreeding to point out another problem with the things you do. However, you win on "breeding knowledge". I don't breed, and therefore I have no desire to debate on the topic, nor do I have sufficient data or knowledge. I never said I did. So no thank you...I have no interest in debating this on a "higher level" - but I still hold my place in the fact that inbreeding is not a good practice. Unfortunately I can't use your "scientific" vocabulary to prove it. It seems to me that you are more concerned with breeding perfect animals than you are concerned with the health of the animals.

But here's some information I happened to find.
The Wikipedia definition of "inbreeding":
"Inbreeding is breeding between close relatives, whether plant or animal. If practiced repeatedly, it often leads to a reduction in genetic diversity. A concomitant increase in homozygousity of recessive traits can, over time, result in inbreeding depression. This may result in inbred individuals exhibiting reduced health and fitness and lower levels of fertility.

Livestock breeders often practice inbreeding to "fix" desirable characteristics within a population. However, they must then cull unfit offspring, especially when trying to establish the new and desirable trait in their stock."

For those who don't know, "cull" means to KILL an animal immediately.

Here's something written by John Armstrong:
"Many breeders still cling to the idea that inbreeding is the only route to success, and that they can use it as a tool to identify and weed out genetic problems in their line. They will cite the success of certain breeders who inbred extensively, unaware (or conveniently ignoring) that the most successful litters from these kennels were often the least inbred. They also seem to be unaware that many studies on a wide variety of species have demonstrated that highly inbred individuals frequently live shorter lives and have fewer progeny. This is called inbreeding depression.
Inbreeding depression results, in part, from the bringing together of deleterious recessive alleles inherited via both parents from a common ancestor. In humans, where genetic diseases of this type are relatively rare, the frequency of affected individuals is often higher in small populations that are culturally or geographically isolated. In dogs, man has created similar isolated populations by restricting genetic exchange between pure breeds. However, given a sufficiently large and diverse group of founders, there is no reason why the average purebred should not lead a long, healthy life - if responsibly bred."

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 4:58PM
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I have spoken with several vets and a couple of dog/horse breeders who all say too much inbreeding is a very bad thing in the long run. Reason being that continual inbreeding reduces the natural diversity of new genes and allows the same small number of genes to be replicatred over and ober. When one or two of those genes mutate, the effects can go unnoticed for a long time---contaminationg that entire line of stock. Hip dysplasia in German Shepherds is a prime example of that probability. We once owned n American Quarter Horse from a sire so affected----in fact, the AQHA has a special catagory for the descendents of that sire---since he throws the problematic genes.

So, while selective inbreeding is common for strengthening a lineage---it is absolutely problematic long term---regardless of care takem.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 7:22PM
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The fact is, most of my breeding info does come from anumal geneticists and is proven. The info you have posted could all easily be disproved.

culling is disposing of the unwanted, killing CAN be 1 of the methods, A responsiblwe breeder would practice culling whether they use in breeding or not, sellinf defective stock is stealing. More defective stock can be reproduced by random breeding than by inbreeding.

Many who are inesperieinced assume inbreeding is only sibling mating which it is not of course, it is breeding within a family. fathger X daughter, son X mother, grandmothr x gransob cousins , etc.
\ There is absolutly no reason for close bred animals to have shorter lives, my very inbred chickens some of which live 10 years or so, as long as any other chicken, same for any other speciu=ie.

Another mis leading point you try to make is quality of inbreds vs that of random mated , just plain in error, there are way to many instances to even bother going into, But, for every one you show me, i will show you 10

Yes, this thread has lost its original meaning. so long, It would make more sense to speak to a door! .

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 7:26PM
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"culling is disposing of the unwanted, killing CAN be 1 of the methods"

Name ONE other way to "dispose" of an animal. Disposing is the same as killing.

"It would make more sense to speak to a door!"

Well, since YOU brought up breeding and that is not what I was focusing on, then you are right - you know more about it than I do...does that make you feel smart? But it doesn't mean you are right about your methods. And by the way, if we start talking about MY profession, you can be assured that I can show you 10 ways for your one - so don't feel too special.

Hmmmm...you stopped talking about the main issue here, which is the fact that you rip open your animals. I wonder why you decided to change the subject.....

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 3:38PM
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This thread kind of went sour, I will give it another shot!

Culling is done in several ways. Sick, deformed or otherwise unworthy animals should neve be put into the gene pool, culling by euthanasia would be the prudent thing to do. Other methods of culling, pet quality or non breeding types yet still healthy animals can be culled by giving away or selling.

I mentioned breeding in passing, it was you who decide to make an issue of the subject. My intention was not to prove my superiority, but to better explain coomonly used breeding practices.

I have butchered my own meat animals for many years, I see their "innards" when I prepare them, thats pretty common!! I have learned much from those experiences. I also read text books and other animal books, I associate with animal breeders and we discuss many health issues. It is quite common for breeders to perform investigations into death of their stock. It is NOT uinusual and there is much to be learned to the benefit of the breeder.Its unaffordable to have animals, especially small low value animals looked at by professionals and many breeders are very learned on their critters inner parts.

I am happy you are well versed in your profession. Breeding and growing top quality animals & plants is my passion and my hobby but not my profession.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 5:32PM
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OK...I have to agree with fancifowl a little bit. I keep koi (ornamental fish)in my pond. They are show quality, expensive animals. I am a certified koi health advisor (hobby...not profession). If one koi dies, I darn sure will necropsy it to try to determine the cause. I know what the inside of a healthy koi looks like, and by looking for abnormalities I may be able to determine why a koi died and if my other koi are at risk. No vets in this area know a thing about koi, so there is no alternative. I do not find it enjoyable, but necesary to preserve the healthy of the rest of my collection.

Also...regarding culling....all koi keepers I know regularly cull their collection. Of all the people I know, culling means killing to just one of them. The rest of the "culled" koi are simply removed from the main collection and placed in a new home.

And finally the original topic...dissection. I think requiring children to dissect frogs or unborn pigs is barbaric. Only children/young adults majoring in biology should be required to dissect critters. I was made to dissect a pigglet in school....it make me sick. That little piggy died so a couple of kids could see what was inside. Sad.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 2:01PM
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So, something made you sick, so no one else should have the opportunity?

I agree dissection is not for everyone. The level of dissection needs to be coupled with the level of interest/education.

Worms/etc. are wonderful first subjects. They do not evoke many emotions---except the inevitable distaste---and provide the reason for the process in the first place---to see how complex living things are.

The average grade schooler does not need to dissect a piglet. Worms, frogs, lizards, or small rodents are quite acceptable. Once a student gets past grade school, interest should be the driving factor.

Oh, about the piglet that died 'so kids could see what was inside'? I doubt it, piglets are much more valuable alive and grown for food than killed for 'science'. In pig farms, hundreds of piglets die weekly and selling their bodies for science is better than letting their mothers eat the body.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 5:22PM
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I managed to learn a lot about science, and later, life without ever dissecting anything. I don't see why we need to have kids cut into and see the guts of animals, in general.

On the other hand, I fully understand fancifowl's use of dissection to understand the cause of death of his animals. He/She lives a lifestyle most Americans never live, where butchering your own meat is just a part of the life cycle. I lived in the country as a young person and had the experience of "knowing" who I was eating at times. I tell you, unless you never eat meat, you are a part of the chain of production that includes butchering. I sometimes think that it is more "real" to know, honor, and give thanks for a piece of meat I know. My biggest turn-off in the food department is not knowing where that slab of meat in the plastic wrap came from and how it was treated in its life and how it died. I would bet that fancifowl's meat is treated well and butchered humanely. He/She knows the true value of the life that is being taken. And if you don't learn biology from butchering properly, you don't learn it anywhere!

Fancifowl, have you ever decided not to eat an animal after seeing the internal organs? I bet you have. I KNOW that the commercial food producer will feed me everything that the government inspectors will let him get away with - and since there are so few inspectors, I probably have gotten some pretty bad stuff too.

I come from mid-Michigan, where every woman of my generation should have had our breast milk tested before breast feeding babies because commercial meat producers let sick cattle get into the food supply. The cattle had been accidentally fed fire retardants. They butchered the cattle quick and got rid of the evidence so they would not lose their investment in beef cattle. The fire retardants were fat-soluable. That means that the chemicals would sit in the body fat of the people who ate the meat until the fat was used for fuel. So breast tissue that made "pure" milk for the babies was leaching poison into the milk. I bet that only a fraction of women of my generation ever got tested. I was never able to get pregnant, so I never had to talk a doc into testing any milk, but I sure was planning to insist if I ever did conceive! Fancifowl would NOT have eaten those cattle. Looking at the outside (let alone dissecting them) was enough to know no one had any business eating these cattle.

I may disagree with our friend fancifowl on some things, but I totally respect that he/she KNOWS what the inside of an animal should look like and I give honor to him/her for getting meat the old-fashioned, honest way. Any of us who eat meat are fooling ourselves if we forget that our meat once had a "face", too!

I am married to a vegetarian. I understand and agree with the reasons he chooses not to eat meat, fish, or fowl. He also lives his life a lot more honestly than I do!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 12:08AM
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