Teaching Compassion to Communities
There is a well-established link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence, but the link works both ways in that there is also a link between kindness to animals and creating nurturing relationships with others.
OAA strives to teach humane kindness to communities to enhance the human-animal bond, improve safety while coexisting with animals, and increase compassion for animals. OAA pursues opportunities to work with communities to teach alternative ways to care for our animals.
Humane education is the teaching of compassion and empathy for all living beings and respect for their habitats. Classroom dissection is not humane education and causes the unnecessary suffering and death of tens of thousands of animals in this country each year. Frogs are taken by the millions from wetland habitats for dissection, despite the fact that amphibians are declining throughout the world. Frogs are piled into sacks, transported, and then inhumanely killed by immersion in preservatives. The mass removal of these animals can have detrimental impacts on ecosystems. OAA encourages schools to adopt alternative teaching methods instead of dissection.
The study of animals in their natural habitats can leave a lasting impression and can be done in either urban or rural environments. Field trips are an excellent way to allow children to view the ecosystem of an animal and understand the need to protect the habitats animals need to thrive in.
Humane education resources. Children can sign up for the RedRover Readers program and explore the human-animal bond through stories and discussion that build empathy and connection in the classroom. In-person and online workshops are available for teachers, humane educators, and volunteers. Also available are magazines and books that address social and self-awareness.
Humane science projects. The Humane Society of the United States suggests humane science projects.
Teacher employs humane education to energize students. Review Animal Welfare Institute’s interview with a Texas science teacher who used humane education to energize, inspire, and have a positive influence on her students whom she viewed to be future innovators.
Dissection alternatives–put the life back in life sciences. The American Anti-Vivisection Society’s Animalearn offers a free lending library of humane science products to schools, teachers, and students.
Association of Professional Humane Educators – www.aphe.org