A program meant to teach kids about raising animals should be an animal activist’s dream. Until the fourteen kids who raised a lamb named Marcus voted to have the wooly little critter sent to the slaughterhouse.
Lamb chop anyone?
I’ve been going through the range of emotions since reading the story – initially creeped out, not that the lamb was killed, but that fourteen kids (ages six to eleven) sat around and VOTED on the animals death. I’m willing to readily admit a bias here – I’m a vegetarian.
Next step (like the stages of grief) was pretty much acceptance. I grew up in a farm community; I went to high school with people who first fed, cleaned and pet Bessie then later ate her calves.
The circle of life isn’t a cliche. It’s reality. And it’s one kids will learn about sooner or later. Involved in a program on raising animals, that’s likely to be sooner.
So why was my next stage disgust? I’ve accepted the animal has to be killed, but I can’t accept that the parents aren’t ready to buck up and let it happen. Along with animal activists, several of the parents have stepped in to try to prevent Marcus’ slaughter and put a stop to the entire program.
They’re doing a disservice to their kids, who managed a vote that was thirteen to one in favor of the lamb’s trip to the slaughterhouse. They planned to use the money earned to buy piglets for their next foray into animal husbandry.
So let the kids finish what they started. They’re learning sustainability, even the value of life (and animals), not to mention a dose of reality.
Would you let your kids in on the vote?