Microsoft ran a full-page ad, “Slippery Assignment,” in major newspapers, making light of a cruel dissection lab. The ad pictures a grinning student taking a video with his mobile device of a dissected frog, jokingly called Señor Frog.
Microsoft needs to hear from you that dissection is cruel, not a laughing matter. Ironically, computer giant Microsoft ought to be showcasing the innovative educational technologies that provide excellent alternatives to dissection, such as Digital Frog and Froguts, to name only two.
Dissection is a problem, not a joke. Millions of animals are unnecessarily killed for dissection labs. In a review of U.S. government import records, Animalearn found that in 2012 alone, over 300,000 wild caught frogs were captured in Mexico for a single biological supply company, transported to the U.S., and killed for use in science education labs in American schools.
Why cut out dissection?
1. Schools can save $$. Humane dissection alternatives can be used year after year.
2. Hundreds of innovative teaching tools exist. Sophisticated mobile apps, computer software programs, DVDs, models, and simulators are available from free loan programs such as Animalearn’s The Science Bank.
3. Humane alternatives are effective. Studies show that students who use dissection alternatives perform just as well as or better than students who participate in traditional dissection.
4. Toxic chemicals. Children exposed to formaldehyde risk damage to the eyes and skin, bronchitis, and asthma attacks. Careless or irresponsible disposal of these preservatives, or animal remains, can contaminate water and soil and potentially harm wildlife.
5. Biology should be the study of life! Biology should teach respect for life, not devalue it by treating sentient beings as disposable objects.
Please send a message to Microsoft, asking them to stop using advertisements that claim that a cruel frog dissection is “the best sophomore bio project ever.”
For more information about animal dissection and alternatives, visit Animalearn.org.
- Microsoft Chairman
- Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer
- Microsoft Chief Executive Officer
I am shocked to learn of the full-page advertisement entitled “Slippery Assignment”—making light of a cruel dissection lab—that Microsoft ran nationally in newspapers. The ad depicts a smiling student using his mobile device to take a video of a dissected frog, jokingly named Señor Frog.
What you may not know is that frogs used for dissection are commonly wild caught. In a review of U.S. government import records, Animalearn found that in 2012 alone, over 300,000 wild caught frogs were captured in Mexico for a single biological supply company, transported to the U.S., and killed for use in science education labs in American schools. This is not only horrible for the frogs who are taken out of their natural habitats, but also harmful to the ecosystems that remain.
In a time when frog populations are declining worldwide, companies such as Microsoft have an obligation to not only dissuade teachers and students from using this archaic lab tool, but also to encourage them to envision other ways of learning. As you know, there are amazing technological resources existing today that can be coupled with Microsoft’s innovative products to provide a better learning environment, both for our children and for our world.
I am asking that you end this ad campaign and ensure that Microsoft does not use any ads that claim that a cruel frog dissection is “the best sophomore bio project ever.”
Furthermore, Microsoft should help schools to access innovative and humane educational technologies that will end the use of frogs for dissection rather than promoting their use.
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