Help get our K-12 schools to stop promoting animal-abuse culture and to start teaching the truth about animals, including human beings.
RPA’s Campaign K-12 urges our schools, school systems, teachers, administrators, and education officials to halt the millennia-long indoctrination of children into animal-abuse culture and beliefs, attitudes, and ideologies that contradict established and evolving knowledge. Promoting accurate word usage, truthful framing of humans and other animals, and a grasp of the kind of animal human beings are is a major part of Campaign K-12. There can be no reduction of animal abuse and resulting human misery while schools mislead and indoctrinate regarding the basic aspects of life.
It is impossible to begin to reduce animal abuse or to replace animal-abuse culture with a just and humane lifeway as long as schools children attend throughout their formative years reinforce civilization’s animal-abuse policies and practices and suppress knowledge of the misery they cause to human beings and other animals.
For thousands of years, children have been taught to live according to beliefs that human beings are entitled to other animals and their natural homes; that human beings matter intrinsically and other animals do not; that only human beings are moral, rational, emotional, and spiritual beings; that human beings are innately superior to other animals, other animals inferior and subordinate to humans; and other credos used to promote and rationalize animal-abuse culture.
Charged with preparing children to participate in civilization’s endeavors, K-12 schooling passes along community values and conventional wisdom, including practices that serve some immediate human interests but at the same time harm many human beings, nonhuman animals, and the living world. Animal abuse and its destructive impacts on the living world have increased over more than 50,000 years. Earth barely resembles what it was before our species took up hunting with manufactured weapons, instigating the Animal-Abuse Revolution. For the sake of all life, including human life, we must work together to reduce animal abuse and thus reduce human misery. This entails living more fulfilling lives by rolling back our species’ impacts.
Our K-12 schools should not teach a simplistic and overly optimistic view of civilization as a long series of ever-increasing marvels; they should ensure that children learn the whole story, including that “human progress” has brought ever more, and ever more varied, human misery along with ever more animal abuse. There cannot be a thorough and lasting reduction of animal abuse or progress toward equal rights of all animals as long as the species that determines the fate of all others considers itself all-important, the rest as not mattering. To teach the biological reality – that all animals are persons, all are innately equal, and all are interrelated – necessitates reframing, in the human mind, Earth’s other animals, relationships among humans and the others, and among all of the others.
K-12 schools not only strongly influence each young generation in turn; what they teach is absorbed by parents and others in the community as well. And what is not taught in the schools generally is not understood by the adult population, including newspersons, government officials, and other influential human beings.
Standard values of religious and secular humanism have brought our species a long way toward improved wellbeing compared with thousands of years of tyranny, oppression, poverty, and ignorance instituted by the Animal-Abuse and Agricultural Revolutions. But what is widely called “human progress” and promoted as such in educational and other institutions has occurred at the expense of countless quadrillions of nonhuman animals and the living world.
Even before the first Earth Day in 1970 and its accompanying volume The Environmental Handbook, human beings everywhere realized our species needed to change its life-destroying trajectory. But backlash against the environmental movement is powerful. The industry-government-university-media complex suppresses knowledge essential to invent the new lifeways and policies needed to halt the Biocaust, our species’ millennia-long destruction of nonhuman animals and the living world. Our K-12 schools are victims and perpetrators of the ignorance and complacency that result.
RPA urges our schools, administrators, and teachers to adopt the principles and practices outlined in RPA’s white paper “Schooling for Life: How K-12 Schools Can Help End Our Species’ Millennia-Long Animal-Abuse Policy, Annihilation of Nature, and Resulting Human Misery.” The white paper is available at the above link, or on request by mail or email. RPA mailed “Schooling for Life” to all 50 states’ education departments. Additional mailings are underway – to the 50 states’ teachers’ associations, other teachers’ and administrators’ organizations, to individual teachers and administrators, and more.
In addition to many other additions to schooling proposed in “Schooling for Life,” RPA developed in recent years the meditation practice of animal-knowing. A brochure on animal-knowing is available at the above link and by mail on request. We believe animal-knowing – directly experiencing individual free-living animals without regard to species or the ways humans characterize, stereotype, categorize, or demonize them – will enable people to grasp all animals’ innate personhood and equality, overcoming indoctrination holding nonhuman animals inferior and unworthy of life or fulfillment.
RPA informs teachers, and others of animal-knowing and its potential benefits. The more quickly children adopt animal-knowing as a regular practice, rather than live each day as if nonhuman animals were not worthy of their attention, the more quickly our species is likely to begin to change its lifeways, recognizing other animals’ personhood and the necessity of halting human practices that deny them fulfilling lives.