Provide students the right to choose a non-violent education at UVa

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Should students have the right to choose a non-violent education?

Animal Justice Advocates at UVa believes that students deserve this right. We believe that all students should be able to pursue their studies in any field, without infringing upon their ethical, moral, or religious beliefs. The implementation of a Student Choice Policy would achieve this goal, for those students passionate about the biological sciences, but committed to ethical, moral, or religious beliefs that preclude their participation in dissections. Animal Justice Advocates has initiated a collaboration with the University of Virginia Biology Department to dialogue about the current use of animals in dissection labs. Our goal is to work towards a humane science education program, by implementing Student Choice Policies and replacing animals used in dissections with humane animal models, from science banks such as Animalearn

According to the Humane Society of the United States: “Student choice policies permit students to choose study methods in biology that do not involve the harming or killing of animals. Student choice allows all students—regardless of ethical or religious beliefs—access to a high-quality biology education by offering alternatives to animal exercises with which they disagree.”

Our work, as a student-led organization, is shaped by our commitment to our Education Without Violence platform, which calls for our university to take responsibility for its current and historical contribution to the oppression of living beings and to reground the pursuit of knowledge in compassion. It is our belief that, as valued members of our academic community, students ought to have a choice in our education. Through our current Anti-Dissection campaign and future initiatives, we will continue to urge our University to divest from violence against animals and teach, instead, compassion for all beings as the basis of our education.



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