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Launch of thought-provoking factory farming textbook

March 1st, 2017

Is it better to live a life not worth living, or not to have  lived at all? This is one of the questions that students in Years 9-13  (ages 13-18) will be discussing this year thanks to a new textbook, Animals in Factory Farms.

 

The latest ground-breaking Animals in Factory Farms textbook,  developed by SAFE Head of Education, Nichola Kriek, will be launched in  Auckland on Friday 3rd March. The textbook opens the doors on factory  farms. It encourages young people to engage critically with the way farm  animals are treated in modern agriculture through four comprehensive  curriculum-linked lessons, in the areas of social studies, science,  biology and English.

 

“Animal issues are central to New Zealand society,” says SAFE CEO  Jasmijn de Boo. “The level of awareness of, and concern for, animal  suffering is rising rapidly, particularly among young people. Students  need to be equipped with knowledge about ethical and environmental  concerns, not only as future consumers but also as developing citizens  who take an active role in a democratic and just society for all,” de  Boo adds.

 

How does legislative change come about, what role do citizens play in  promoting the welfare of animals, what is ‘normal’ behaviour in animals  kept in captivity, how does selective breeding affect animal wellbeing  and health, and what do animals need to live a life worth living? All  these questions, and more, are studied through systematic lessons, led  by teachers, and supported by reading materials, videos and further  learning resources.

 

Nichola Kriek explains: “The Animals & Us textbook series  allow students to examine and question the treatment of animals. New  Zealand law has recognised that animals are sentient beings with  feelings and emotions, and yet our society allows animals in factory  farms to be treated in ways that cause immense suffering. The New  Zealand curriculum encourages the exploration of moral, social, cultural  and economic values. Animals in Factory Farms enables young people to critically analyse and make ethical decisions about the treatment of animals.”

 

The Animals & Us textbook series has been made available to New Zealand secondary schools since 2007. Animals in Factory Farms is the fifth textbook in the series, and initial feedback from teachers  has been very positive. Some have suggested that their copies of Animals in Factory Farms have already been borrowed by other Head of Departments in different subject areas, such as Food Technology.

 

Hans Kriek, SAFE Ambassador, who led most of the recent SAFE campaigns  in his former role as Executive Director, believes it is time for a  “good news story”, and that Animals in Factory Farms will not  only inform and educate young people, but will also empower them to  stand up for animals and change their lives for the better.

 

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