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And today’s lesson is…

What started as demonstration of where meat comes from ended with outraged parents and upset kids


 
And today's lesson is...

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

In the town of Ratekau, what started as a fifth-grade demonstration of where meat comes from—and how it was prepared in the days before refrigeration—ended with outraged parents, upset kids, and a denouncement from state officials. As part of a curriculum unit on how people lived in the Stone Age, one parent (a farmer) volunteered to slaughter a rabbit for the class. Teachers voted in favour, but apparently didn’t inform parents or the principal. Some fifth-graders launched a petition to save the rabbit, but teachers seem to have ignored them. “One can’t collect signatures against a math test either,” one told the newspaper Lübecker Nachrichten.

In the end, 50 students voluntarily gathered in the school courtyard. They said goodbye to the rabbit; the farmer then hit it with a hammer, slit its throat, gutted and skinned it, and hung it to drain. It was later grilled and consumed. Parents complained, leading the state’s Education Ministry to denounce the slaughter as “educationally problematic.” “My point wasn’t to show children death,” the farmer told Der Spiegel. “We wanted to demonstrate that killing animals involves taking on responsibility.”


 

And today’s lesson is…

  1. Well, it was certainly… educational.

    And for most of humanity an eleven-year-old would have already long understood where meat actually comes from.

    Yes, the parents should have been involved in approving or withdrawing from such an unconventional method of teaching. But there should be no problem with teaching about the beef-pork-poultry industry in the classroom in general. I bet many parents would even object to teaching the idea of fattening up an animal to kill it for its protein. There is in fact a real world to learn about out there.

  2. Well, it was certainly… educational.

    And for most of humanity an eleven-year-old would have already long understood where meat actually comes from.

    Yes, the parents should have been involved in approving or withdrawing from such an unconventional method of teaching. But there should be no problem with teaching about the beef-pork-poultry industry in the classroom in general. I bet many parents would even object to teaching the idea of fattening up an animal to kill it for its protein. There is in fact a real world to learn about out there.

  3. Having grown up on a farm and seen animals killed, I can say that this was inappropriate. I have seen an animal killed by being hit over the head and although I would say it is a humane death, I do not think that it something that children should witness.

  4. Having grown up on a farm and seen animals killed, I can say that this was inappropriate. I have seen an animal killed by being hit over the head and although I would say it is a humane death, I do not think that it something that children should witness.

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