Launch of thought-provoking factory farming textbookMarch 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.