A New Nationwide Educational Initiative Launched.
The Irish Animal Education Trust is being launched – Saturday 13th February 2010 - in order to develop and distribute its free age-sensitive educational materials about the human use and treatment of other animals.
The Irish Animal Education Trust exists to develop and distribute its free age-sensitive educational materials about the human use and treatment of other animals. We are making available classroom speakers, DVDs, Power Point presentations, worksheets, and other educational materials, relevant to all levels of the Irish schools curriculum, covering ages 5/6 to18.
The Trust is motivated by a desire to provide much needed balance to the school materials provided by groups and organisations representing the dairy and meat industries and other ‘pro-use’ interests.
With its work focused on the ethical, social and ‘active citizenship’ aspects of the Irish schools curriculum, the Education Trust can provide text and visual materials which explore all aspects of human relations with nonhuman animals. Employing a range of perspectives ~ from traditional animal welfare and ‘new welfarism’ to animal rights and animal liberation ~ Trust officers can help pupils explore contemporary ethical issues like meat eating, using animals as experimental models, the animal treatment and animal use distinction, hunting, and the use of captive animals in entertainment.
Speaking about today’s launch of the Irish Animal Education Trust, officer Mr. Paul Vogel said, “We are extremely happy to announce the launch of this important initiative. We have been working extremely hard developing text and film and we are presently writing to all schools, in the greater Dublin area first, offering them our free materials and presentations.”
Commenting on the age-sensitive nature of the Trust’s materials, Mr Vogel added, “Producing filmed materials in particular has been a challenge, especially for the younger children. We are anxious to show them some of the realities of our use of animals but without frightening them, of course, or speaking to them in a language they cannot understand.”
For the under-8 age group, generally speaking, the Trust materials incorporate play and the exploration of ideas while asking basic questions such as, is it ‘fair’ to use animals in the ways we do? The school curriculum demands that older age groups, especially in the senior cycle, fully engage with moral issues such as those in human-nonhuman relations. Older pupils may consider in some depth the ethical and health issues arising from consumerism, the social role of advertising and the role of social movements. Trust officer, Ms. Bernie Wright said, “We are confident that our work will result in children gaining a greater depth of understanding about how we exploit animals. Children are our future and we hope we can help them think seriously about animals, animal welfare and animal rights.”
One of the Trust’s officers is sociologist Dr. Roger Yates, who said: “I am particularly interested in social movement theory and the role of social movements in civil society. Such movements often challenge prevailing norms and values. The animal advocacy movement certainly does that; it amounts to a challenge to entrenched economic interests as well as cultural traditions. I believe that the Trust’s presentations and educational materials will prove to be instrumental in helping pupils and students think critically about some of the most important moral issues of the day.”
For more about the Trust’s work and educational materials:
Web site: http://irishanimaleducationtrust.com,
For interviews with Trust officers:-
0872438664 (Mr. Paul Vogel)
0863912018 (Dr. Roger Yates)
0872651728 (Ms. Bernie Wright)