Humane Education

What is humane education? Humane education is broadly defined as the teaching of compassion and empathy for all living beings and respect for their habitats by providing educational opportunities for both children and adults.

rabbit cradled in hands

Children: Teaching young children humane education from the age of five to eleven is critical for the development of compassion and kindness. The State of Ohio has developed Common Core Standards to teach students to be good citizens, and teaching humane education is the best way to nurture compassion in future generations of citizens.

These skills go beyond caring for animals. They teach children to have respect and kindness in all aspects of their lives. Through humane education, we foster important life skills such as responsibility, morality, and care for others. Our society needs strong, empathetic leaders who can drive change that is possible through installing humane education from a young age.

Ways to implement humane education for children:

  • The RedRover Reader Program is a way to explore the human-animal bond through discussions that build empathy in the classroom.
  • Read books from Napa Humane that teach children to be caring, compassionate individuals delivering messages in kindness, respect, and responsibility. Have thoughtful conversations afterwards with kids about the lessons found within the stories.
  • Check out RedRover’s Kind Kids’ Corner where children can engage in games and activities that cover a variety of topics related to humane education. You can also access RedRover’s educational video library full of animal themed kids crafts and fun animal videos.
  • Download Kind News’ free coloring pages and activities designed to inspire kids to be curious, helpful, and kind to people and animals around them.
  • Check out the Animal Welfare Institute’s Teaching Resources page for book recommendations for humane education, complete with lesson plans, activities, and downloadable educational posters.
  • Wild Animals Aren’t Pets! is a free activity book available through World Animal Protection

OAA partners with many humane education leaders such as the Association of Professional Humane Educators, the Humane Education Coalition, the Pet Education Project, RedRover and Animal Welfare Institute, to provide humane educational opportunities to teachers and librarians, and to provide humane education books and other materials to school systems throughout Ohio.

Families: OAA strives to teach humane kindness in Ohio communities to enhance the human-animal bond and develop the link between kindness to animals and creating nurturing relationships with others.

OAA conducts Real Ohio Tours to animal sanctuaries throughout Ohio, providing opportunities for children and adults to experience the efforts of kind Ohioans that have taken in companion and farm animals as well as wildlife. OAA tours allow for observation of animals, the stories of how the animals came to the sanctuary, a chance to feed and pet them, as well as an opportunity for children to read to them. And of course, people can sign up to volunteer for our Ohio animal sanctuaries! See the 2023 schedule of Real Ohio Tours.

Adults: There is still a lot we as adults can learn about the suffering of animals in research labs, cosmetic testing facilities, and school dissection experiments, and take action. Every year, more than 500,000 animals die from cosmetic testing. The saddest part is that there are alternatives for most of these cruel procedures.

OAA encourages you to come on a Real Ohio Tour to an animal sanctuary, work with children on humane education projects in their schools, and learn about animal testing and how to take action to end these cruel procedures.