Vegan Issues-Should Schools Play a Role?

Vegan Issues-Should Schools Play a Role?

  • Yes, schools should educate students about the experiences of other species & benefits of veganism.

    Votes: 4 80.0%
  • No, schools should not promote veganism.

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters
    5

vegan89

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I'm just imagining how different the world would be if every student in the public school system in the US had to watch movies like Dominion, read books like The China Study, and learn about the environmental devastation caused by consumption of animal products by watching films like Cowspiracy... etc.

And write graded reports on these for classes.

What do you think?

Should students be required to learn about stuff like this (or similar films/books) in school? If not, why should schools teach exclusively about the experiences, history, and suffering of our species and not the experiences of other species?

And if there are health benefits to veganism, why shouldn't students be taught about some of those health benefits? I mean, we have sex ed or "health" classes to teach students about health risks of stuff like STDs, so why not also teach them about health risks from consuming animal products?

And why not have the same science classes that talk about environmental issues like climate change also discuss the environmental problems caused by animal agriculture industries?
 
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Brian W

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I would have thought it a valuable use of "Physical Education" lessons rather than football which I hated and have never had use for. I also think it would be good for children to learn about the ethics and the environmental issues. I get the impression Dominion isn't a good idea though. I'm a fully grown adult and I couldn't possibly watch animals being made to suffer. It's enough that I know they do. You show that to a child you could screw him/her up badly!
 
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vegan89

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You show that to a child you could screw him/her up badly!
By the time students are in high school, they have likely already watched all sorts of extremely violent movies and have probably played a substantial number of violent video games...

I wouldn't call a 12th grade high school senior who is maybe 16-18 years old a "child." I'm not sure I'd be ready to call them an "adult" either, but I think they're definitely mature enough to handle watching violent movies, particularly in an educational context when guided in the experience by professional teachers with university degrees.
 
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Brian W

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By the time students are in high school, they have likely already watched all sorts of extremely violent movies and have probably played a substantial number of violent video games...

I wouldn't call a 12th grade high school senior who is maybe 16-18 years old a "child." I'm not sure I'd be ready to call them an "adult" either, but I think they're definitely mature enough to handle watching violent movies.
OK I wouldn't call them children either at that age but sensitivity is a very personal issue. As I said, I'm 57 years old and I couldn't watch it. At school even if you allow a voluntary opt-out, there is still peer pressure and the student could end up in a situation that is not good for him/her.
 

Lou

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Well of course. But you are preaching to the choir here. And being that here in America less than 5% are vegans this is not going to happen. Also I can't help but flash back to some of the school board meetings I've seen on YouTube where parent get all crazy about stuff. Like they don't even know what Critical Race Theory is. And no one is teaching it in their schools but they get crazy about just the hint of it.

I don't like any of your ideas for documentary watching. Dominion is too violent. The documentary the china study is too boring. Cowspiracy is too radical.

I like the idea of covering the topics in different ways. WFPB should be discussed in health. In history, Animal rights movements, should be brought up at the right times.

And yes in science the damage done by animal agriculture could be analyzed.
 

majorbloodnok

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I'm the first to answer no to your poll.

No, I don't feel schools should promote veganism. I feel they should play a role educating on ethics and morality and also on responsibility (encompassing climate change). If the informed students then decide a vegan lifestyle is a good way of achieving the ethical and responsibility standpoint they decide on, that's great.

In other words, nurture an educated choice on end goal but don't dictate or push a particular path to that endpoint.
 

Brian W

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I'm the first to answer no to your poll.

No, I don't feel schools should promote veganism. I feel they should play a role educating on ethics and morality and also on responsibility (encompassing climate change). If the informed students then decide a vegan lifestyle is a good way of achieving the ethical and responsibility standpoint they decide on, that's great.

In other words, nurture an educated choice on end goal but don't dictate or push a particular path to that endpoint.
Well the poll isn't about promoting veganism, it is about educating people about veganism. It could be done as part of an ethics and morality class.
 

majorbloodnok

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Well the poll isn't about promoting veganism, it is about educating people about veganism. It could be done as part of an ethics and morality class.
Absolutely agree.

However, the title talks about educating in vegan issues. IMHO, most "vegan issues" aren't really vegan issues but instead either ethical issues, environmental responsibility issues or health issues. Calling them "vegan issues" has a hopefully unintended implication that vegans are the only ones bothered about those issues which is patently not the case. That's why I was promoting the education of the issues under their own banners and allowing students to arrive at veganism as one part of the solution rather than using veganism as the starting point.

I don't think you and I are disagreeing; I'm just very cautious about any established education system pushing one particular dogma (in the non pejorative sense of the word) more than another.
 

Lou

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Gosh. I agree with everyone but...

Not including veganism in a discussion on environmental concerns, health concerns or ethical concerns would be .... negligent. Like here are the problems but I can't tell you the solutions. (or I can tell you the possible solutions but I can't mention veganism)

Remember Inconvient Truths 2? Two hours on climate change and not one minute on Livestock production. Its been more than a few years since I watched Before The Flood which I thought was also an excellent movie on climate change, however just five minutes on Livestock Production. And I'm not sure if the word vegan ever came up. However to be fair they did have a great line: other methods will cost millions and decades, but eating habits can be changed for nothing and right now.
 

majorbloodnok

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Gosh. I agree with everyone but...

Not including veganism in a discussion on environmental concerns, health concerns or ethical concerns would be .... negligent. Like here are the problems but I can't tell you the solutions. (or I can tell you the possible solutions but I can't mention veganism)
Now that's something I would never want.

Having a discussion about ethics could never and should never realistically happen without including various religious approaches. In the same way, any discussion on environmental concerns should not shy away from any of the major contributors to the problem - agriculture and by extrapolation diet included.

On the flip side, any discussion about ethics should never push one religion - or religion in general - as the only right way; instead it should present the potential benefits and drawbacks and let people make up their own minds. I can't deny I would be happy if people agreed with my view about what I see as pretty glaring inconsistencies in the dogmas of certain sects or philosophical approaches, but a classroom is not the place for such biases to be brought forward. Likewise any discussion about environment should never push veganism above any other approach (or any other approach above veganism), but should explore the benefits and limitations of all approaches.

If the net result of any of these discussions is that the audience decides veganism or christianity or communism or anarchy or dictatorship is a valid part of the best path, that's great because it's the result of valid unbiased choice. Whatever the philosophy or approach, if it can't stand up for itself without biased marketing then it shouldn't be pushed. If it can, it doesn't need the bias to be employed.
 
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vegan89

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No. Doing so, would be a slippery slope.

If veganism is taught in schools, every group you've never heard of will start demanding that their favorite topic should be taught in the classroom.
There are plenty of history classes that educate people about how certain groups (such as African slaves) suffered in the past. Why should history classes focus exclusively on the suffering of humans while ignoring the suffering of other species throughout history?

You seem to think that addressing the suffering of other species in an educational context would be biased in some way in favor of veganism.

However, I would argue that NOT providing such education about the experiences of species other than our own would be an example of speciesism -- and would thus be biased in its own way.
 
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beancounter

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There are plenty of history classes that educate people about how certain groups (such as African slaves) suffered in the past. Why should history classes focus exclusively on the suffering of humans while ignoring the suffering of other species throughout history?

You seem to think that addressing the suffering of other species in an educational context would be biased in some way in favor of veganism.

However, I would argue that NOT providing such education would be an example of speciesism -- and would thus be biased in its own way.
Hmm, this was about ethics, not history...

Nonetheless, historical facts don't change based on a person's personal ethics. Whereas suffering is relative. Further there are many people who don't care about the suffering of animals even when they are made aware of it.

Anyone with half a brain could easily make the connection between teaching about animal suffering and veganism. Hiding behind a historical justification will not mask the underlying motivation.

e.g. allowing school prayer promotes religion whether they want to admit it or not. Allowing a coach to pray on the 50 yard line and subtly coerce the players into participating is promoting religion, etc
 
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Lou

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There are plenty of history classes that educate people about how certain groups (such as African slaves) suffered in the past.
Runs around, pulling hair out, and screaming, " Critical Race Theory!, Critical Race Theory!"
 

Lou

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Anyone with half a brain could easily make the connection between teaching about animal suffering and veganism. Hiding behind a historical justification will not mask the underlying motivation.
How about teaching the History of the Animal Rights movements. Or How societies viewed animals throughout history.
 
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David3

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At least one group is already teaching plant-based eating in public schools: Healthy Kids Happy Planet – Empowering youth to create a healthier, greener and kinder world!

I think she's able to do it because she focuses on (1) natural resource conservation and (2) health.

Look at her beautiful recipe page! Recipes – Lunch Box Lab – Healthy Kids Happy Planet

For public schools located in states that require serving a meatless alternative, they have suggested school lunch recipes: School Lunch Recipes – Healthy Kids Happy Planet

And cool posters:

1659134469348.png
 
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vegan89

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Further there are many people who don't care about the suffering of animals even when they are made aware of it. [...] Anyone with half a brain could easily make the connection between teaching about animal suffering and veganism. Hiding behind a historical justification will not mask the underlying motivation.
For purposes of addressing the questions in the original post, it doesn't really matter because the original post questions were essentially asking forum readers how things should be... not requesting political advice about whether having things vegans would find favorable in the educational curriculum would upset voters.

Hmm, this was about ethics, not history...
I actually mentioned history specifically. To quote my original post:
Should students be required to learn about stuff like this (or similar films/books) in school? If not, why should schools teach exclusively about the experiences, history, and suffering of our species and not the experiences of other species?

And if there are health benefits to veganism, why shouldn't students be taught about some of those health benefits? I mean, we have sex ed or "health" classes to teach students about health risks of stuff like STDs, so why not also teach them about health risks from consuming animal products?

And why not have the same science classes that talk about environmental issues like climate change also discuss the environmental problems caused by animal agriculture industries?
 

permabulk

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As worded, the poll presents a false dichotomy: promoting veganism and educating students on veganism-related topics are not contradictory things.

Given that schools here seem to graduate so many students who lack basic skills, I find it difficult to seriously entertain the viability of this sort of curriculum.

Given how speciesist so many people are, I wouldn't trust most teachers or curriculum-creators to accurately represent or even know the experience of other species: all we can say for sure is what happens to the other animals, how they respond, and whatever facts about them have been accumulated via biology and related sciences.

School curricula about veganism would definitely help create more vegans, which I would appreciate, but I can't argue that schools SHOULD "play a role." The role of primary school is to impart a basic level of knowledge about the world, and although veganism is a part of that world, so are many other things, some of which are not currently taught. So I have no grounds to say that veganism-related information should be taught any more or less than Jainism, Stoicism, the keto diet, minimalism, or any other kind of lifestyle, philosophy, diet, or the like.

My answer is that teachers should educate students and encourage students to research things, think critically, nourish their own curiosity, and be informed (in part because teachers cannot teach everything), and family and society should support that. The answer is not specific to your question because

1) true learning is not happening enough here (other school systems may differ; I lack the knowledge to speak about them), and adding more to the curriculum is adding more stuff that won't get learned, which is kind of a waste of effort,

and because

2) a broad-based education and the promotion of open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity will bring people to veganism regardless of whether veganism is covered in schools.
 

majorbloodnok

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...teachers should educate students and encourage students to research things, think critically, nourish their own curiosity, and be informed (in part because teachers cannot teach everything), and family and society should support that. The answer is not specific to your question because

1) true learning is not happening enough here (other school systems may differ; I lack the knowledge to speak about them), and adding more to the curriculum is adding more stuff that won't get learned, which is kind of a waste of effort,

and because

2) a broad-based education and the promotion of open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity will bring people to veganism regardless of whether veganism is covered in schools.
That is a hugely important point and one which, given I've promoted it in so many conversations I've had on all sorts of topics, I'm surprised I missed. After giving a solid grounding in a broad range of facts and figures, the role of the education system is to teach people how to learn. After all, once they've left education they'll still need to keep themselves current in their chosen fields, so unless they know how to keep learning their knowledge will be frozen at the point of leaving education. I don't know how it is in other countries, but in the UK the foundation in facts and theories is largely what happens up to the age of 16, this grounding is built on and greater research encouraged until 18 and the bulk of the "teaching people how to learn" is done at university. That is a broad generalisation, of course.

In the context of this thread, the trick is to impart the foundation in facts and theories without injecting undue bias on which approaches are "right" or "wrong" so that the children's open-mindedness isn't closed down. Difficult, of course, since children specifically need to be taught the difference between right and wrong in their society, but certainly not impossible.
 
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LoreD

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I'm not really sure that teaching the ethical aspects of veganism would be allowed, but the health and environmental aspects should be promoted.
 
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