School is back in session after the winter break, and This Is Us is back from its holiday hiatus — and 11-year-old star of the series Faithe Herman has a message for teenagers everywhere: Exercise your right to say “no” to dissection.

Video: Faithe Herman of 'This Is Us' Wants to Cut Out Dissection

In a new PETA video, Faithe tells older kids that cutting up animals such as frogs — some of whom are taken from the wild — is “actually really gross. And mean.”

“You didn’t actually think people were just digging around the woods, collecting millions of animals who died naturally so you could cut them open in class, did you?” she asks in the video. “School is supposed to be about learning, not killing. … So how about you just say ‘no’ to dissection? Then, hopefully, by the time I’m your age, it won’t even be on the table.”

In an interview with PETA, Faithe talked about her favorite animals, her favorite things to do with her dog, and her reasons for encouraging kids to opt out of dissection: “You wouldn’t want someone to do that to you if you were an animal,” she says, “and it’s just not cool.”

PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” — notes that, every year, more than 10 million animals are dissected in classrooms. Many of them come from slaughterhouses (where fetal piglets are cut from their mothers’ wombs), biological supply companies, or the wild (where frogs are captured, which wreaks havoc on local ecosystems). And studies have repeatedly shown that virtual dissection is as good as, if not better than, cutting up dead animals for teaching biology.

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