WARNING:  ADVISORY!  Subject matter may be disturbing.  My mother has refused to read this…(but she’s fully in support of my actions).

Me being mad. No, that is not a frog in my hand. (It's a lime.)

Physiology was the last place I wanted to spend my Friday morning. Class was supposed to start at 8:30, and by 8:45, we finally got rolling. I don’t know why, but it was all I could do to stop myself from laughing. It was Friday, early in the morning, the air in the classroom was so still that it was suffocating, we started late again, the guy in front of me smelled rather ripe, and I was tired. Why I thought it was so funny was beyond me- but I was in a really truly great mood. That is, until I had to go to the practical that followed.

I walked in, and the first thing we did was check our grades from the previous labs. I got 24/50…not as bad as 9 3/4 out of 25…but still not even close to passing.

Then, I started reading the procedure for the day’s lab. To me it sounded like animal cruelty at its finest. If you have a squirmy stomach- please do not feel the need to keep reading.

Step One: Trap a slightly anesthetized toad on a cork board.

My first thought was; we are doing experiments on live animals? I don’t know if I am going to be able to do this.

Step Two: Pin the food at opposite poles of the hole so as to stretch the web.

That is when the lab assistants started talking. They told us that we had to actually knock out the frogs ourselves by doing one of two things; either hit it really hard across the head, or hit its head really hard on the table so it passes out. But- don’t kill it, the blood needs to be pumping so you can observe the arterioles, capillaries, and venules.

That was when I decided to walk out. I am not about to knock out anything by slamming it against something, and then pin it to a board. I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy I am not going to do it to a frog. The worse part was that the experiment didn’t stop there. After the frog was pinned to the board, and we had drawn what we needed to, we then had to apply different drugs to the frog to see how it reacted.

I felt like this was the equivalent of knocking a person out by hitting them over the head with a frying pan, sticking a nail through their foot to pin them to a wall, observing their inners, and then putting heroine in their arm to see how they react. That to me sounds a lot like torture. No, I absolutely refuse to be a part of this lab.

It was animal cruelty at its finest. I understand the need to do tests on live animals I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I understand that we can learn a lot from it. However, in a lab at this level, I felt it was completely unnecessary. There are much more humane ways to observe a frog than by hitting it against a table. A video online for instance would be a good start.

The other thing I have trouble comprehending, was that everyone else seemed to be ok with this lab. They all stayed, and the only thing that made everyone else squirm was the fact that they had to touch the frog. Just remembering the noise the frogs were making makes my insides twist more than the idea of touching a frog.

I decided the best way to spend the rest of my morning would be to watch Disney’s the Princess and the Frog. It did after all, have frogs in it, and everyone is relatively nice to each other in the movie.

After, when I felt that the frogs could still live happily ever after, I picked up my lab notebook again, and started researching humane ways to complete this lab. When the due date comes, I will be turning in a list of reasons why I felt this lab was wrong, as well as what could be done to make it better. I will keep you updated on the grade and feedback my report receives.

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