ANIMAL EDUCATION

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1997:

PHILADELPHIA––Aligned on
opposite sides of the school dissection issue,
the American Anti-Vivisection Society and the
American Physiological Society are taking
fundamentally different approaches to presentation
this school year, too.
American AV, building for the
future, has formed what it terms “the first
humane education certification program in the
U.S.,” described as “a one-to-two-year, offcampus
independent study program for both
teachers and activists.” Study modules cover
education, communication, and presentation;
environmental issues; animal issues; human
rights issues; and cultural issues.
American AV is also distributing the
AnimaLearn Frog Fact Kit, “designed to
encourage children to have empathy and
respect for frogs,” according to AnimalLearn
director Kat Lewis.


“We have changed the focus of
AnimalLearn,” Lewis adds, “focusing more
directly on dissection and vivisection. We will
no longer produce AnimalLearn: the
Magazine for Kids Who Love Animals.
Instead, we will offer teacher resource kits
and AnimaLearn Kid Kits. There will be several
different teacher kits, one for elementary
school, one for junior high schools, and one
for high school. They will be complemented
by in-service training opportunities.”
In stark contrast to the elaborate
American AV materials, the APS offers a
newsprint comic book, jointly funded by
NASA, entitled Physiology: The Science of
Life, promoted to members as a way to “help
counter the efforts of animal rights groups in
our middle and high schools.”
––––––––––––––
The half-acre Central Park
Children’s Zoo in New York City reopened
on September 24, renamed the T i s c h
Children’s Zoo after the Tisch Foundation
baled out a $6 million renovation when an initial
private sponsor reneged in a dispute over
the size of the family name on the entry arch.
The revamped zoo is designed to educate and
entertain children of less than reading age.
During the design phase of the project, parks
commissioner Henry Stern and the W i l d l i f e
Conservation Society, which runs the facility,
were bitterly attacked as alleged
philistines, insensitive to art, for demolishing
the decrepit “Mother Goose” structures that
the zoo had featured for more than 40 years.
But Stern caught flak from the opposite direction
at a June inquiry by the city council committee
on parks, recreation, cultural affairs,
and intergroup relations, for spending
$300,000 of the $170 million city parks budget
to include animal art features in new playground
facilities and equipment. The animal
designs seem to prevent vandalism, Stern told
the inquiry, and thereby easily pay for themselves
by reducing repair costs.
Wildlife Damage Review, a
newsletter critical of the federal Animal
Damage Control program, reports that the
Colorado Agriculture Department, Colorado
Wool Growers, and Wildlife Services, as
ADC recently renamed itself, are sending
schools a free brochure called C o l o r a d o
Reader: AG in the classroom, which touts the
work of ADC/Wildlife Services without mentioning
that it mostly just kills coyotes, whom
it praises briefly for eating prairie dogs.
Shellfish and crustacean poaching
are way up along New Hampshire beaches,
says state conservation sergeant R o b e r t
B a b u l a, because “Over the past five years
most of the schools in the state have gotten
permits to take the kids down to the seashore
to look at the inner tidal pools. So, now we
have a collection of people who know how to
look at a tidal pool and know what’s living
there,” without necessarily acquiring ecological
appreciation or an ethic of respect for life.

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