CHILDREN & ANIMALS

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1994:

Jeanne McVey of the Sea Wolf
Alliance was the only animal protection repre-
sentative at the mid-September International
Conference on Population and Development
meeting in Cairo, Egypt. “I am working quite
well with the environmentalists,” McVey
faxed ANIMAL PEOPLE on September 9.
“This is the occasion for minimizing our dif-
ferences with other groups and countries.” A
precedent for animal protection as well as for
women’s rights was reached when the confer-
ees agreed to oppose female genital mutilation
in their final report. From 85 million to 115
million women worldwide have been genitally
maimed, mostly in Africa, by procedures
intended to promote chastity by inhibiting sex-
ual pleasure. About two million adolescent
women a year still suffer genital mutilation,
according to the World Health Organization.
The importance of the ICPD statement to ani-
mal defenders is that a world governmental
body has now agreed that at least in this
instance, neither culture nor custom is an
acceptable excuse for cruelty.

The American Animal Welfare
Foundation, one of several misleadingly
named fur trade fronts run by St. Paul public
relations people Robert Buckler, Marsha
Kelly, and Harold DeHart, is now distributing
a free interactive computer program for use
with students in grades K-3 called “A Trip to
the Mall,” in which children match pictures of
animals with animal products, e.g. a cow is
inserted into a hamburger bun. The program is
produced by another misleadingly named firm,
Sea Otter Software of Monterey, California.
For 25 years the Jefferson County
Fairgrounds in Madras, Oregon, has hosted
a mid-October “cowdeo” at which children
ride sheep and goats in rodeo events and
scramble to catch live chickens and rabbits, as
a fundraiser for the local Catholic parish.
Letters may be sent to Bishop Thomas
Connolly, POB 5999, Bend, OR 97708.
A recent survey of animal and child
protection agencies conducted by Phil Arkow
with the support of the Geraldine Dodge
Foundation found that while 88% of the 193
respondants see value in learning more about
the relationship between cruelty to animals and
other forms of family violence, only 13%
share child-or-animal protection training activ-
ities with their corresponding agencies. Only
39% of domestic violence agencies and 19%
of child protection agencies reported routinely
gathering information about animals when
doing household investigations.
At least 34 juvenile offenders have
worked off community service sentences since
1992 at the Medicine River Wildlife
Rehabilitation Center in Spruce View,
Alberta. The program helps both the animals
and the youths, says director Carol Kelly.
Ulysses Grant High School in
Hollywood, California, closed a unique agri-
cultural training facility just before the school
year began, after the mothers of preschool
children who played nearby reported seeing
severe animal neglect. The Los Angeles
SPCA took two goats from the site in July.
The school then moved 30 more animals.
The permits committee in
Mundelein Village, Illinois, has passed a
zoning variance to allow Kelsey McNitt, 13,
to keep a pet goat who purportedly helps her
overcome the pain of migraine headaches.
The humane education program
for Israeli schools begun last spring by
Concern for Helping Animals in Israel is well
advanced, reports CHAI director Nina
Natelson. “The Ministry of Education agreed
to notify all elementary schools in Israel of our
materials as soon as they are ready,” Natelson
told ANIMAL PEOPLE, “and to encourage
the schools to use them. They also said we can
train humane educators and the ministry will
pay them to teach other teachers how to teach
humane education. They will distribute our
humane and environmental education newslet-
ter to all elementary schools in Israel, and they
will allow us to suggest topics that the students
can research and write about to fulfill some of
the requirements for their high school matricu-
lation. Finally,” she said, “they are helping to
fund our program to bring Jewish and Arab
children together at the SPCA in Tel Aviv to
learn about animals and participate in efforts to
help them.” Contact CHAI at POB 3341,
Alexandria, VA 22302; 703-658-9650.
Kind News, a humane newspaper
for children, may be sent to classrooms at
$20 per class for the school year. Editions are
produced for grades K-2; 3-4; and 5-6.
Address the National Association for Humane
and Environmental Education, POB 362, East
Haddam, CT 06423-0362, or call 203-434-
8666. NAHEE is a branch of the Humane
Society of the U.S.
Progress report
Abolishing slavery and child labor
and housing orphans were among the first
goals of the humane movement––and are
goals still unattained in much of the world:
American Anti-Slavery Group
executives Charles Jacobs and Mohamed
Athie report that “slavery is making a come-
back” in Mauritania and the Sudan, where
“Arab militias, armed by the government [of
Sudan] raid villages, mostly those of the
Dinka tribe, shoot the men and enslave the
women and children. These are kept as per-
sonal property or marched north and sold.
Many of the children are auctioned off.”
Some are castrated, hobbled by having their
Achilles tendons cut, and/or branded.
India and Nepal on September
17 declared new efforts to end child labor
in carpet-weaving, quarrying, and making
fireworks, as well as other hazardous jobs,
which employ about two million of India’s
estimated 18 million child laborers.
The U.S. Labor Department on
September 19 estimated that from 100 to 200
million children are working, worldwide;
most have no protection from abuse.
As U.S. troops prepared to
enter Haiti, New York Times correspondent
Rick Bragg alleged in a September 7 expose
that “gunmen loyal to the military govern-
ment have methodically murdered the poor-
est of the poor,” and that “a favorite target is
the motherless child. These children are seen
as enemies of the state,” Bragg continued.
“Hundreds have been killed in the last three
years,” because “The Rev. Jean-Bertrand
Aristide, the populist president who was
deposed and exiled three years ago, ran an
orphanage that was burned down during the
coup. A number of orphans under his care
were killed…The military government seems
determined to wipe out any trace of Father
Aristide’s support, however imaginary, by
taking aim at orphans and the people who
care for them.” Murders of homeless chil-
dren are reportedly also common in parts of
Brazil, and were frequent during the long
civil war in El Salvador.
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