Published with permission of the author: Sarah J West
IS CHANGE IN THE AIR?
HUMANE EDUCATION…and the URGENT call to action!
A puppy beaten to death on a golf course, a pit bull dog pelted with stones, another pit mix set on fire, an emaciated dog tethered and left to die and a puppy found dead after being hanged from a fence are all part of a series of shocking animal cruelty cases in Baltimore, MD. The abusive acts have attracted the attention of city officials because they have all been committed by children, some aged as young as 10. This was reported in the June 17, 2010 National Examiner article written by Seltzer. The incidences of animal abuse perpetrated by children and adolescents are not slowing down; they are becoming a rising tide!
On Saturday April 17, 2012 Canada Shannon Barry was kicked in the face and knocked unconscious by a stranger in Edmonton, for being gay. Statistics Canada figures suggest young people between the ages of 12 and 22 are responsible for six in 10 hate crimes; the majority of those accused being 17 or 18. According to Statistics Canada, in 2012, hate crimes against gays doubled. Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada, Canada Human Rights Trust said that “Hate crimes are an alarming reality that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered Canadians know all too well , one that governments can no longer ignore.” Kennedy said that’s consistent with Egale’s own research and suggested efforts to reverse this alarming trend need to begin in schools. In light of this EGALE hast has started the SAFER SCHOOLS CAMPAIGN.
From gay bashing to racism, bullying to animal cruelty we have become a western society hardened and sensitized to violence, left isolated and invalidated by modern technology. Television and movie theatres stream and scream at us with programming and films full of murder, abject violence, fabricated global disasters and callous reality TV shows. Communications with each other as individuals are minimized to heads down texting and voice mails, leaving a complete absence of personal and emotive expression in our everyday contact with friends, family and colleagues. Global TV Vancouver Canada reported in a March 26th 2013 news cast that in the nation, over 10 million texts are sent every 60 minutes!
School shootings are on the rise. If we recall the tragic events of the Sandy Hook Newport Connecticut school shooting, the second deadliest school shooting in American history in which 27 lives were taken and we can now clearly the parallels between the absence of empathy exhibited by those who commit this type of violent act inherent animal cruelty perpetrators.The website Pet Abuse.com states: More recently, high school killers such as 15-year-old Kip Kinkel in Springfield, Ore., and Luke Woodham, 16, in Pearl, Miss., tortured animals before embarking on shooting sprees. Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who shot and killed 12 classmates before turning their guns on themselves, bragged about mutilating animals to their friends
. Dr. Randall Lockwood, Ph.D. Senior Vice President for Anti-Cruelty Field Services, for The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), who has written extensively on the link between animal abuse and human violence, wrote “Those who abuse animals for no obvious reason are budding psychopaths. They have no empathy and only see the world as what it’s going to do for them.”
School shooters generally have a common character flaws:1) a history of antisocial-personality traits, 2) suffer from mental illnesses such as depression or psychosis and 3) tend to obsess about how others, whether other individuals or society at large, have wronged them.
All of these character traits are also to be found in animal cruelty perpetrators and those who committed other violent acts.Ted Bundy Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy are infamous illustrations of this behavior and all presented to police and clinicians as having a complete absence of empathy. Both physical and cyber bullying permeate the fabric of our education systems in the United States and here in Canada. The British Columbia government is so concerned about this that they have launched a PSA campaign and website to combat this “Erasebullying.ca” The campaign is specifically targeted to children and youth aged 13-18.This concern for bullying is echoed worldwide had has prompted the introduction of International STAND UP to Bullying Day. This is a special semi-annual event in which participants sign and wear a pink “pledge shirt” to take a visible, public stance against bullying. The event takes place in schools, workplaces, and organizations in 25 countries across the globe on the third Friday of November to coincide with Anti-bullying week, and then again on the last Friday of February
Many schools across North America are introducing an Anti-Bullying contract to be entered into and signed by teachers, students and their parents or guardians. This contract created to combat the rising tide of bullying, alone, is a serious and critical indication of a lack of compassion in our children and youth today!
Youth suicides are at a record high as a result of bullying. This statistic contained in a recent British Columbia Global Television news cast reported that 9 young people have committed suicide, in BC alone, over the last 5 years; as a direct result of cyber, physical and verbal bullying.
The United States based website www. bullying statsistics.org states the following: As social networking and online social interaction becomes more and more popular with sites like Face book and Twitter, cyber bullying has become one of the most prevalent types of bullying that occurs between teens. About 80 percent of all high school students have encountered being bullied in some fashion online. These growing numbers are being attributed to youth violence including both homicide and suicide. While school shootings across the country are becoming more and more common, most teens that say they have considered becoming violent toward their peers, wish to do so because they want to get back at those who have bullied them online. About 35 percent of teens have been actually threatened online. About half of all teens admit they have said something mean or hurtful to another teen online. Most have done it more than once.
According to Wikipedia, Forty-nine states in the United States have passed school anti-bullying legislation, the first being Georgia in 1999. The one state without anti-bullying legislation is Montana. A watchdog organization called Bully Police USA advocates for and reports on anti-bullying legislation. In Canada the Ontario and Alberta governments have initiated legislation providing for anti-bullying laws. Ontario laws were enacted in 2012.
While looking at the tapestry of this critical lack of compassion in our society’s youth we have to include the statistics that animal cruelty perpetrators are now much younger than ever before! This fact is confirmed with founder and administrator of the Queen Waldorf Fights Back and Pet Abuse.com websites which keeps track of the most violent and animal cruelty crimes in North America. The founder whose name is not made public for security reasons, said”. Some of the most violent crimes such as animal tortures are, in my experience, committed by youth. Since there is a direct link to animal abuse and Conduct Disorders, diagnosis and early intervention is paramount in treating this serious psychiatric disorder.”
According to the website Petabuse.com Animal abuse is in on the rise in North America .On November 12 the 2012 an RSPCA UK press release reported a rise in animal cruelty and stated that the number of cases of animal cruelty rose by 4% in the first nine months of 2012.
Cathy Kangas a Board of Directors member of the Humane Society of the United State writes in a January 18th 2013 Huffington post article: According to the Humane Society of the United States, researchers determined that between 71 percent and 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partners also abused or killed the family pet.1
The British RSPCA (Royal Society for the Protection of Animals) stated in a recent press release “Animal cruelty, neglect and suffering are reaching “unprecedented levels“.
This absence of societal empathy among our youth also can be clearly evidenced from one highly significant resource! This the critical study conducted by the University of Michigan who analyzed the personality tests of 13,737 students over 30 years and say that today’s college students are 40-per-cent less empathetic than those of the 1980s and 1990s ! Their study showed that the most notable and sizable empathy drop spiked after 2000 when social networks such as Face book and MySpace began to expand. These “literally” distant technical environments” allowed people to ionize their own lives and in doing so create emotional buffers between themselves and others (the world).This also creates a sensitization to another’s pain and an emotional disconnect from hurting others and animals.
The continuing evolution of inanimate social media such as Twitter, Face Book, Digg, Flickr, Youtube, Blogger, Reddit have provided a mechanism for transparent and virtually instant communication. However it has also been the significant factor in allowing young people to tune out and keep their emotions at bay, thus creating an ever increasing need for tools to combat this anesthetised communication with its notable absence of empathy.
While the majority of young adults may not come from highly dysfunctional families they come from families, where family time together and communication is minimal. For so many families today’s economy necessitates that both parents work. Long hours working away from their children increase the ever widening gap between children and their sense of place and belonging. This and the ever increasing prevalence of a society that communicate via the latest smart phone just exacerbates this absence or need for feelings and the expression of emotions.
To find a place to begin in tackling this growing and unsettling lack of, or absence of empathy we must look to the historical and philosophical foundations of early learning. Fredrick Froebel.1782-1852, Jean Piaget,1896-1952, Maria Montessori, 1870- 1952, all well known to early childhood educators, were among some of the most world renowned philosophers of the belief that the primary years in a child’s grown are critical to forming solid foundations for children to grow into whole human beings.
Abram Maslow well known for Hierarchy of Needs model in 1940-50s theory supports this further and remains valid today for understanding human motivation, and personal development. In this Hierarchy of Needs model Maslow clearly outlines the foundations for normal human development and the necessary journey towards “actualization” the fullest whole potential that any individual can reach. In this hierarchy Maslow outlines five basic stages of growth: biological and psychological needs ( food warmth sleep ect), safety ( protection order security ect ) Society ( community, family, sense of belonging ), self esteem ( reputation achievements status, responsibilities ect ) and finally self- actualization ) reaching ones full emotional social and spiritual potential. If any one of these development platforms are not nurtured and provided to young children in these early learning stages of their lives in a healthy way; deviations and dysfunctional behaviors are created. When children and young adults do not feel validated and have a healthy self esteem, they lack the capacity to feel empathy. Their sense of being out of place, generally as a result of a highly dysfunctional family environment and an interrupted or damaged up bringing leads to rage and deviant behaviors. Individuals from families like this are more than likely to be the perpetrators of the most violent and deviant crimes and animal cruelty.
The most commonly seen deviant behaviors exhibited by those individuals from a seriously dysfunctional upbringing is rage expressed towards those seen to be those weaker than themselves, other family members and or animals. The Animal Cruelty Syndrome is now clearly recognized by the American Psychiatric Association who state that this syndrome is serious presentation of a conduct disorder. According to a 1997 study done by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Northeastern University, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse The link between abuse of animals , generally family pets and domestic violence is undeniable and statistically proven. If we accept that individuals who lack compassion, demonstrated by violence to animals and others have come from seriously dysfunctional role modeling, then it is that early upbringing within which we must influence in order to effect change.
Creating awareness and change in the early stages of an individual’s life must be the premise for the road to creating the foundations of healthy human beings. Therefore the place we must start to create that awareness and change is in the school system. We cannot change the foundations of family structures and their varying modes and models of upbringing for young children. However we can integrate humane education curriculum into our school systems that fosters the foundations of compassion and empathy. Primary and elementary school children spend and average of 30-35 hours of their lives at their school .By providing pre-school, kindergarten children and young adults with exposure to the concepts of compassion, empathy and the humane treatment of all living things; we have hope in counteracting this general lack of compassion in today’s society and influencing a new generation of young adults. This is where we have to begin. The need now for connecting with our children and youth and exposing them to the concepts of compassion and humane thinking, is greater than ever at any point previously in our history!
The early beginnings of this thinking with regard to what we refer now to as humane education can be traced back to John Locke 1632-1704 the Oxford university graduate who helped found the core thinking of western philosophy. A highly influential British scholar and philosopher Locke had a great concern for the welfare and humanity of children and a deep concern for their education and in creating sound minds and bodies. He wrote “For the custom of tormenting and killing other animals will by degrees harden their hearts even towards men: and they, who delight in suffering and destruction of inferior creatures, will not be apt to be very compassionate or benign to those of their own kind.
This early and historical recorded concern for cruelty towards animals is further and later reflected in the visual portrayal of the work of British born William Hogarth, 1697-1764, Latin teacher and artist. Hogarth was deeply concerned about the abhorrent kinds of animal cruelty he witnessed on the 16th century working class London streets and created a serious of paintings entitled The Four Stages of Cruelty. Hogarth created the serious with a specific purpose. He stated that he had created the images“in the hopes of preventing to some degree the cruel treatment of poor animals which makes the streets of London more disagreeable to the human mind… the very describing of which gives pain.”
Hogarth believed that the cruelty to animals he was witnessing underscored other forms of social dysfunctions His 4 paintings illustrate acts such as blinding a bird the with a hot object, a pair of cats suspended and hung form a lamppost and a stray dog with a heavy object tied to its tail !
This historical and visually compelling body of Hogarth’s work and the thinking behind it can be categorically be seen as the first recorded evidence of the fact that animal cruelty is in fact a symptom and reflection of larger abnormal social pattern and behaviours. By today’s understanding this can described as some form of humane education in that both Locke and Hogarth felt a deep need to influence society and address what they both saw as serious societal flaws .Both Hogarth and Locke drew some form of parallel between society’s mistreatment of animals as a sickly symptom of the ills of society, violence and crime.
These “observations” have evolved into what we now know as The Animal Cruelty Syndrome, a form of conduct disorder identified byhe American Psychiatric Association who considers animal cruelty as one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder. Animal cruelty is now known as the signature pathology of violent offenders.
If we look at the roots and history of humane education in its more concrete and originating form we look at the inspiring work of American George Thorndike Angell 1823-1909, lawyer , teacher, humanitarian and animal lover. The son of an educator Angell was extremely interested in education as a vehicle to combat animal cruelty. Like his historical forerunners Locke and Hogarth Angell had come to understand that in teaching children to show compassion towards animals facilitated the overall development of good character.
After the end of the American Civil war it was purported that educating and influencing the characters of children was a positive step towards creating upstanding and good citizens. This time in American history was the perfect window for Angell to begin his work with teaching children of all ages, to show compassion. He began his work by illuminating the need to show that animals in the everyday lives of children, the cats dogs rabbits birds and horses ECT, must be shown kindness and given protection. This was the foundational premise for his Bands of Mercy work
Band of Mercy Badge, late 19th century. Collection of Scotlund Haisley
Angell’s work with the children in his Bands of Mercy organization, founded in 1881, is with no question the early foundations of Humane Education. Angell wrote various short essays entitled “ 12 Lessons on Kindness to Animals “and included such subjects as the kindness to horses and that a horse’s metal bit should be warmed before it was put into the horse’s mouth. Along with this he created short questionnaires in which the children were required to read a short paragraph and then choose the correct answer to the questions .The lessons were sent free to children in the 85,000 Bands of Mercy groups throughout the world. Angell’s long term vision for all children to show kindness and respect for all living things gravitated rapidly across America. Although Angel’s primary focus in his mission for the children who joined his Bands of Mercy groups, was to deal with individual acts of cruelty inflicted on the animals present in the everyday lives of the children, his vision for sowing the seeds of kindness and compassion could not reach the institutionalized cruelty of industries such as Fur farms.
Angell was devoted to animals. In 1868 he worked tirelessly to achieve Massachusetts’s first general anti-cruelty legislation. This was as a result of learning that two horses and been brutally raced for 40 miles over rough terrain and then dropped dead. He was horrified!
In 1889 Angell founded the American Humane Education Society He was also the founder of the then ground breaking publication dedicated to animal welfare “ “Our Dumb Animals” Over 25,000 copies were distributed The mission statement for the publication was “To speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
Sadly the onset of World War IIwas the key cause for the disbanding of Angell’s Bands of Mercy Groups. Children, their families and society had a far greater and pressing focus. Another key factor affecting the demise of the Bands of Mercy was that Angell’s’ work was not integrated into and institutionalised by the education systems at that time.
The definition of the word “humane” as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary is“To be marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals” It is the word humane that best embodies the kinds of curriculum and education we need to offer in the schools and that will instill, inspire and create a sense of compassion in children and our youth And from the words of the father of humane education George T Angell we must work at the roots!
A great deal has changed since the times and life of George Angell and his Bands of Mercy. We live in a radically different socioeconomic climate. We live in a society flooded with new technology I Pads and Tablets, communications that are dulled by the white noise of advertising, movies, and the daily Tweeting onslaught of celebrity’s lifestyles and fall outs. Our family lives are harried and fragmented by the need to work harder and longer, driven by a general and rising increased cost of living.
Eden Wood 1
Since the brief but global Spice Girls phenomenon young girls have been sexualized far too early .Young children from ages as early as 5 years are exposed to behaviours, clothing and ideas far too emotionally mature for their intellectual abilities to handle. Misguided parents paint, dress up and parade their little girls teaching them to pout and sway their hips in the hopes of becoming the next child beauty pageant queen. Advertisers and their ever watchful eye have now indentified a new “Tweenie” market to peddle princess wear, jewellery, make up and even cell phones!
We are now seeing an ever increasing need for counselling and support for our young solders, witness to the most heinous acts of barbarism while away from their homes. Daily we hear about one politician or another found guilty of corruption. We watch the news and hear about yet another child abuse or kidnapping, suicide, hostage taking, homicide, or another case of heinous animal cruelty! Our minds become numb, sensitised to all the violence, so we just change channels and munch on our potatoes chips .With all this coming at us like a battering ram how can we be expected to take time talk to our children about our humanity and the need for compassion, kindness and empathy in our lives? We can’t.
While this sadly tragic snapshot of western life is debilitating, we can draw strength from the very early roots of humane education. While George Angell’s pioneer vision did not survive for very long, those roots were nurtured and kept alive through the work of others who came after him. In 1915 inspired by Dr. William O’Stillmanleader of the AHA’s, American Humane Association, “Be Kind to Animals Week “was founded. During this week, visits to local schools were made to promote the development of humane education and to publicize the good works of the nation’s humane societies. Be kind to Animals Week” is still an annual event, hosted by the American Humane Society.
World Animal Day, founded in Florence Italy in 1931 was created by a group of compassionate ecologists whose mission was to celebrate the October 4th 1182 birthday of Italian Saint Francis of Assisi who loved all animals. World Animal Day is still celebrated annually all over the world. There are now ambassadors in over 60 countries who speak out and for World Animal Day and the need to show compassion to all sentient non human beings.
Our world today is vastly different of the world lived in by George Angell and as a society we are deeply flawed and in trouble. However with regard to the “intervention” if you like of our children and youth there is hope. Humane education today is quite different in its presentations than that of George Angell but it is slowly growing as a much needed focus. Change is in the air.
Founded in 1948 by Anna C Brigs The National Humane Education Society (NHES), based in Charles Town, West Virginia, is a non profit animal welfare organization Their mission is to foster a sentiment of kindness to animals in children and adults. As well as rescue, relief assistance for animals and adoption services, they also provide educational presentations to all ages of individuals through their Humane Education & Advocacy Department.
From Wikipedia the Institute for Humane Studies founded in 1961 in Menlo Park, California by F. A. Harper was created in order to promote peace, prosperity, and social harmony by fostering a greater understanding of human affairs and freedom. The institute offers scholarships and programs to all those in pursuit of a better world through education and training. Founded in 1996 by Zoe Wiel and based in Surry ME The Institute of Humane Education offered the first ever Humane Education training and continues to offer professional development , online training , workshops and presentations to teachers, students and the public. Ms. Wiel’s book The Power and Promise of Humane Education is a must have resource for anyone in this field. Ms Wiel stated in an interview with TREE HUGGER, that humane education must be infused as regular curricula into all schools throughout the United States and that at present only a handful of states provide for some humane education; in a limited number of schools. The Institute of Humane Education is a non profit organization and dedicated to making a better world through humane education, creating and inspiring a respect and reverence for all living things, animals, our environment and each other
Teach Kind an initiative created by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also offers human education resources and free materials for humane education teachers who wish to bring this kind of humane thinking to primary and elementary school children. Susan Hargreaves of Earth Save Miami has been spearheading an effort to get humane education into Florida schools. She’s been successful at introducing these issues into countless classrooms, reaching individuals ranging from ages 5 to 20 and approximately over 4,500 children. Earth Save promotes the values ofinspiring compassion and love, stimulates critical thinking ,provides factual information and offers positive lifestyle choices. Efforts to have humane education integrated into regular school curriculums are far greater in the United Sates, than in Canada.
In Canada all human education in left up to the animal welfare organizations to provide Canada has no dedicated institute or organization and this must change. While both the British Columbia and Ontario SPCA probably have the strongest and greatest wealth of humane education materials and resources it is not or ever will be enough. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies CFHS offers a wonderful Humane Education kit that can be purchased on line for $25 .This is an invaluable resource for those individuals and teachers interested in bringing humane education concepts to their students Canada however does not offer any certified training as a Humane Educator. Anyone interested this field must pursue this through the US based Institute of Humane Education and The Humane Society of the United States University.
In 1996 Canadian Mary Gordon, educator, author, child advocate and parenting expert recognized internationally as an award-winning social , entrepreneur created the initial curriculum for her Roots of Empathy and began piloting the program in Toronto. In 2000 she established the national and international organization Roots of Empathy, which now offers programs in every province of Canada, New Zealand, the USA, the Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, and Germany. Ms Gordon’s program allows young people to be introduced to a young baby and their family. Throughout the school year the children get to know the baby and watch their growth while seeing and taking about the baby’s expressions, progress and feelings. Though these experiences the children are exposed to how the baby and its family express their fear, sadness and joy. This is possibly the only and current humane education type program that is universally offered throughout Canada.
When we think of humane education we automatically think of animals. To see why we think this we can start by remembering George Angell who knew by connecting the children at that time with animals, the strays, pets and farm animals in their everyday lives, he could offer the children an experience of relating to a living sentient being who showed feelings and actions., from the kinds of animals that that they could easily associate with.
The same premise for the foundations of Angell’s “humane education”: is even truer today. We need only look at the statistics provided by the American Pet Products Association to confirm this and see how great the importance is of the animals (pets) in our lives are to us and the love we have for them. In the US alone here are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs and approximately 86.4 million owned cats. In 2012 in the US according to the association Americans spent, $53.33 billion spent on their pets! There are no concrete statistics for the number of dog and cat owners in Canada.
We consider our pets our family. The use of the term “companion animal” is used globally. We have funeral services, birthday parties with cakes and presents, spa treatments and day care for our pets, therefore it continues to make the best sense to introduce our children and youth to the concepts and ideals of humane education though the inter-actional experiences with our animal friends.
When conventional therapy is unable to reach a child, animals and their unconditional love, trust, patience and support are used to assist in healing and to reach goals, The PAWWS to Heal non profit organization based in Madison Wisconsin is specially designed for this and matches up certified pet therapy animals with children who have challenges. Another clear example of an animal’s power to heal and teach the world about compassion are the programmes in which inmates are matched up with dogs who need training and socialization so they may become more easily adopted. Two such successful programs are two US based Paws on Parole and Prison Pups. In both programmes one inmate is assigned to one special chosen dog for several months. During this time the inmates live with that dog 24/7 feed, sleep, exercise and work with that dog. During the time that the inmates work with the dog their behaviour changes. They become more open to talking about feelings and for many inmates it is the first time that have learned to love something sentient. It is life changing for both the dogs and their inmate partners. Each gives and receives unconditional love to the other. This is humane education in another form.
Our companion Animals are part of our everyday lives. They guide the sight disadvantaged, those of us who are disabled or traumatised and greet us when we arrive home tired and stressed from work .Animals are gifts to our world and can show us the way to being compassionate.
As young people mature other aspects of the thinking at the core of humane education, a respect and reference for our environment and each other can be introduced. As an example while on a walk with a group of Kindergarten children we can talk about the “happiness” shown by the dog running in the park and the love shown towards them by their guardian We can take care walking not to break branches, or tread on the ants crossing the concrete in front of us, or disturb the butterfly we see poised motionless on a nearby flower.
While humane education in its broadest sense is concerned with the wider picture of instilling and inspiring an accountability reference and respect for all living things, our environment and each other, animals are the initial and only way to introduce our young children and youth to these concepts.
Animals suffer silently in the industrialized cruelty of factory farming, scientific research, are hunted, trapped and skinned for their fur. These brutal truths are too raw and barbaric to bring into the lives of our young children. However to create a new society of compassionate young adults, who will care about these issues our environment and each other, we must start in a place that is safe and recognizable with both our children and their families , with the animals we see on a daily basis. Looking into the eyes of an animal is our first window into the world of another.
On April 2nd of this year the Huffington Post reported this story of animal cruelty. Last week, in Monteo North Carolina a group of kids approached Jackson a black and white stray cat, threw him into the air, ran over him with their bikes and squirted energy drinks in his face. The bullies reportedly varied in age were from 5 to 13! While yet further evidence that animal cruelty abusers are getting younger, one remarkable and courageous action stands out! While highlighting this heinous animal abuse, action by another child gives us a glimmer of hope. A young boy called Wendell Overton 10 yrs old saw what was going on shouted at the group of bullies, ran over and scooped up Jackson ( as he has now been named) in his arms.
He took him home to his Mother who called the Outer Banks SPCA. Jackson is now recovering at the SPCA and will be up for adoption when his injuries are healed. Wendell has been receiving cards and letters of thanks from all over the state, for his act of compassion and courage, in saving this little cat. This compassion is what we want to instill and inspire in all our children and youth
While traditionally and historically humane education has originated and remained in the hands of the animal shelters, humane societies and SPCA branches, this categorically cannot be allowed to continue! They are overburdened enough in their key mission to rescue, shelter, rehabilitate and re-home animals and by their very nature and size cannot in any way meet the needs of reaching all our children and youth .Humane education MUST first be acknowledged by our governments, teaching intuitions and the public as paramount to raising healthy whole compassionate young adults And further that the only concrete method in creating this foundation, is by providing human education curriculum via integration into our school systems throughout North America.
When we take a careful look at our society of young people anesthetised by modern technology, forced to dilute and keep their feelings at bay, the violence and disarray in our current daily lives; our only hope for change is to “talk” to the youngest members of our new generation. Yes change is in the air..However we have a very long journey in front of us.
Taken from the Massachusetts SPCA website; from the father of humane education George Angell’s collection of quotes “I am sometimes asked, “Why do you spend so much time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is so much cruelty to men?? I answer: I am working at the roots’
Small changes may be evolving, but this is where we must begin and we must act now!
COPYRIGHT (SJW) Sarah J. West Founder CFAWR Canadians for Animal Welfare Reform. Victoria BC Canada Canadian Ambassador World Animal day