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Teaching Children to Kill Animals?
By Alicia Graef on Care2.com
This type of program raises a host of ethical concerns over teaching children about the relationship between humans and animals.
Children at the Lydd Primary School in Kent, England raised a lamb named Marcus by hand and then voted to have him sent to slaughter.
The school started a program, which involves some 250 children, with the intention of teaching them about breeding and raising animals, which also includes ducks, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs.
“The decision to send the lamb for meat, which has the support of the school council and staff, the governing body and the majority of parents, has now been carried out,” said headmistress Andrea Charman in a statement.
While some parents were in support of the program, others have issued statements saying their children have been traumatized by the event. Animal welfare advocates were also outraged by the decision and campaigned to save Marcus from slaughter, including making offers to buy the lamb.
However, Charman stood firm. The children, ages 6 through 11, had voted 13-1 to send Marcus to slaughter to use the proceeds to buy piglets for the farm. Although, with the backlash over Marcus, the school has put a hold on plans to buy more animals and may consider shutting down the program.
This type of program raises a host of ethical concerns over teaching children about the relationship between humans and animals. In terms of teaching them about farming, and where their meat comes from, painting a picture of cute baby farm animals being lovingly hand raised by children is hardly an accurate depiction of the life a typical farm animal faces.
Additionally, teaching them the lesson that animals are merely commodities used for profit could be setting the stage for a future generation of indifference towards other creatures.
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