For Immediate Release:
20 July 2011
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Anu Chowdhary; [email protected]
Hair Stylist to the Stars Urges Students to Refuse Classroom Dissection
Mumbai – Holding a pair of scissors and posing next to the caption “Cut Hair, Not Frogs. Choose to Refuse to Dissect Animals”, renowned Mumbai hair stylist-to-the-stars Sapna Bhavnani appears in a new ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. Bhavnani points out that students can learn biology just as well – and more safely – by using any number of modern, humane methods than by cutting up frogs and other animals. The ad was shot by photographer Anushka Nadia Menon, with hair styling and make-up by Shubhra Khandelwal.
Bhavnani owns two Mad-O-Wot salons and counts among her regular clients such A-list celebrities as cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, as well as Bollywood stars Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basu, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, John Abraham, Hrithik Roshan, Gauri Khan, Dino Morea and Mandira Bedi.
Bhavnani talked about her objections to dissection in an exclusive PETA interview. “When I was growing up in school, I was personally very traumatized in biology classes when I had to dissect a frog, and I actually refused to do it”, she says. “It is still being used in universities, and I feel there are a lot of other ways we can learn without using animals.” She adds, “You don’t need to sit there and dissect a frog to learn how to become a doctor.” The broadcast quality link of the video is available for download upon request.
PETA India has learned from Dr BK Sharma that the University Grants Commission (UGC) – the apex regulatory body for higher education in India of which Dr Sharma is a key member – has accepted the recommendation of a Core Expert Committee to end animal dissection in university and college laboratories for zoology and life sciences courses. However, this ban has yet to be implemented officially, and students are still asked by their professors to dissect animals. The recommendation has now been sent to India’s Department of Science and Technology for input.
Nearly every published comparative study in science-education literature has concluded that non-animal methods – including computer simulations, interactive CD-ROMs, films, charts and lifelike models – teach anatomy and complex biological processes as well as or better than animal-based lessons. Research has shown that a significant number of students at every educational level are uncomfortable with the use of animals in dissection and experimentation, and some even turn away from scientific careers rather than violate their principles.
Also, formaldehyde, the agent that is used to preserve animals who are killed for dissection, is a hazardous chemical that can cause nausea, headaches and breathing difficulties and has been linked to cancer. Dissection devastates the environment by decimating wild populations of amphibians.
Bhavnani has worn many hats in her life, including those of banker, interior designer, fashion designer, restaurateur and singer. She has recently released her second album, Mad O Wot, and she played Nina in the hit romantic comedy movie Pyaar Ke Side Effects.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.