Back to School: Interviews with Two Teachers about Animal Advocacy in School Systems, and Zoe Weil of the Institute of Humane Education

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September 6, 2019

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In this show we take a look at the lack of animal compassion in school systems. We talk about animal advocacy in teaching and the issues around this that educators may face in their jobs. We also feature a talk from Zoe Weil on the Humane Education Movement.

Teachers Speaking on Animal Advocacy in the Education System

Cafeteria serving lunches to children
Children being served school lunch.

Practicing animal compassion and advocacy in your personal life may have its struggles, but consider the issues that students and educators face within educational institutions. From available school lunches to mandatory animal dissections, there are many ways that animals’ rights are forgotten. Children learn how to think about animals by what we teach and what we fail to teach in the educational system.

We feature interviews of two educators, Andrew Hill, who works with children from 5 to 11 years old, and Jonathan Batchelor, who is a university teacher. The events vary at different levels of education but the core issue of animal advocacy remains the same.

We also want to highlight the work of Animals in Science Policy Institute (AiSPI) in Vancouver which promotes animal-free alternatives for research, testing, and education. They use digital dissection models for the classroom which provide interactive learning without the use of animals. Not only do digital dissections leave animals bodies out of our classrooms, but they lower costs to schools, increase class participation rates, and allow students to try the dissection repeatedly. Teachers may now contact AiSPI for a free demonstration of a digital dissection class. Workbooks and more information are also available on the AiSPI site.

Zoe Weil on the Humane Education Movement

Zoe Weil, Co-Founder of the Institute for Humane Education
Zoe Weil, Co-Founder of the Institute for Humane Education .

We are planning several segments over the next weeks on the topic of the use of animals in education. We kick off this series with a Ted Talk by Zoe Weil called, The World Becomes What You Teach. In this talk she covers the interconnected issues of human rights, animal protection and environmental preservation. Zoe’s book on this subject is called, The Power and Promise of Humane Education.

Zoe co-founded the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) which trains educators to help students become “solutionaries”, “a person who is able to identify inhumane and unsustainable systems and then develop solutions that are healthy and just for people, animals and the environment.”

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