Letters and Responses

From The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Family Foundation
and All-Creatures.Org

Letter from Karin About Teaching Children Compassion - 2 Apr 2009

I am an elementary school psychologist and a licensed mental health therapist. Counseling children is my vocation, but working with animals is my passion.

I am trying to circumvent the hunting and gun nuts - as well as the state natural resource "managers" that come to our school and teach hunting as conservation. Our community is one hour outside of Chicago and we have dog fighting, coyote penning and gun club shoots. I believe empathy is the key to living compassionately and peacefully. I see so many children who are conflicted when they are "taught" to kill rabbits, birds and squirrels at ages five and six. By instinct, they do not want to do this. I believe this is also psychologically damaging because we are desensitizing them.

On one hand I am asked to counsel violent and angry elementary kids and then I find out they have access to guns and "shoot stuff" off the back of the porch and it is condoned and applauded.

Breaks my heart. How then do I teach them not to bully and fight at school? The same children brought to me for "violence" issues are the ones that are sent to school in camoflauge and taught how to use guns and knives. We even have special education students as young as SIX being taught to use rifles with scopes and then they are taken on hunting trips to desensitize them... by their special education teacher (not in my district, but further south in Indiana). I have photos I can send to you of these children being taught (ages six and seven) how to use a rifle with scope. I do not know why I have only recently learned of your site archive material, but these are topics I want to address in my community. So - please  put me on any list that can help me make presentations and teach lessons.

Karin

Reply from Frank and Mary Hoffman

Hello Karin,

Thank you for your explanation of your work and the problems you are having people who deliberately harden the hearts of children. We strongly believe that this is a form of child abuse, and would very much like to have this discussed openly on a list.

You didn't mention whether or not you were a Christian or a vegetarian/vegan (and if not, we'll consider you to be a pre-vegan), but we subscribed you to the veg-Christian List as there are several like-minded people on this list. This will also give you a copy of our weekly newsletter. You should have already received your welcome to that list subscribing you with this email address.

We also host a strictly animal rights list, which is by invitation only. Are you working with other animal rights people or groups?

In the Love of the Lord,

Frank and Mary

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