QAD members chatted with dozens of students at club orientation day held in City Park on September 7. In addition to learning about QAD’s campaigns on behalf of animals at Queen’s, students were delighted to learn about Kingston’s inaugural VegFest, with speakers, food booths and cooking demonstrations catering to vegans, vegetarians, and the ‘veg curious’ (sponsored by Kingston Vegetarian Network on October 22 at St. Lawrence College).
QAD also took this opportunity to unveil our latest poster (see below), beautifully designed by Amélie Tourangeau. This poster is part of QAD’s ongoing campaign to end the use of animal dissection and live animal experimentation in education — practices which are already banned in many jurisdictions. QAD supports science students who want to exercise their right to use alternatives to dissection and vivisection, and to earn their degree without harming animals and their habitats.
Many students who stopped by QAD’s table to chat expressed concern precisely about this issue, and wanted to know what Queen’s is doing to promote the use of alternatives. At this point, Queen’s leaves it up to individual students to express their concern and ask for alternatives. This is unacceptable. The use of alternatives should be the institutional standard, not an individual exception. Alternatives, such as synthetic animal models, simulators and interactive computer software have been demonstrated to be pedagogically superior to the use of live animals and animal cadavers for educational purposes. The failure to implement these alternatives demonstrates the hollowness of Queen’s’ commitment to reducing and replacing the use of animals in science.
In general, Canada lags far behind other countries in the adoption of alternatives, but the Animals in Science Policy Institute is working hard to change this situation, providing information and training to teachers and universities so they can make this long overdue transition.