Encouraging children to respect and care for animals can help them become more caring, compassionate, and responsible as they progress into adult life. While it is hoped that parents teach these basic skills at home, teachers can can also play a key role in helping develop greater empathy and better social skills.
Alongside an awareness of where food comes from, the health risks of meat consumption, and also the detrimental effects of animal agriculture on our environment, it is important that young people are taught to hold a moral responsibility towards animals. The consequences of a diet based on animal products, the benefits of a plant-based diet, and the right knowledge on how to look after pets and animals in the wild are other important aspects that should be taught.
Further to the above, over one billion animals are slaughtered each year in the UK alone but more than a third of young adults do not even know where bacon comes from. There is a similar lack of awareness for many animal based products, such as milk and eggs, as well as a widespread incomprehension of the slaughter process.
An introduction of these fundamental qualities into schools will benefit individual development, and also contribute to a greater appreciation of animals and our environment.
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