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Middle Schoolers Encouraged to Kill Animals

Written by PETA | April 17, 2008

At a middle school in Tiny Poplar, Wisconsin, a science teacher is encouraging his kids to shoot animals in the area and share stories of “the kill” with the rest of the class. If the kids eat the dead creatures, they’re allowed to post pictures of their accomplishment on a bulletin board in the classroom. And not a single person in the school gets how fundamentally, deeply screwed up this is.

After concerned members of the community contacted us about this disturbing practice, PETA’s Sangeeta Kumar wrote a letter to the school’s principal informing him of the well-documented link between violence against animals and criminal behavior against other humans (this is especially true when kids start killing at a young age), and asked that he at least include some information on humane treatment of animals in his curriculum so kids could learn that there are other, more enriching ways of interacting with wild animals than shooting at them.

We’re still chatting fairly amicably with the principal about this issue—but it’s frustrating going. You can read more about this (and leave a comment, if you feel so inclined) at TwinCities.com. Note the quote at the end where the school tries to justify this sordid practice with the argument that people used to do it 150 years ago. Kind of like how they used to own slaves and deny women the right to vote.

“I doubt there were many vegetarians 150 years ago. Why was it acceptable for their great grandfathers to hunt?”

Short answer: It wasn’t. I’ll let you know if we get anywhere with this.

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  • jack says:

    I live in upper michigan. when I was in school we had a whole week off for firearm deer hunting season. hunting is a way of life here. If you don’t hunt there must be something wrong with you you are made fun of. I don’t hunt or believe that anyone has to feed their families by hunting.they all have money for smokes and beer! Just yesterday I was given a hard time by at least five of my coworkers because I did not want to look at a coworkers pictures her kills. the local news papers prints photos of these also.

  • Concerned about school says:

    If you think this is isolated to this one school you are mistaken. At my school North Moore High School in Robbins North Carolina we had to learn about hunting and guns and things like that in Agriscience some thing thats supposed to be about greenhouses and things like that.If we didn’t pass the hunter safety course or the firearm ID we made a bad grade.

  • Michelle says:

    What a load of baloney. In no way is hunting educational or cool. This teacher is insane and has no heart. it is never ok to hunt. it never will be. How it is within the law i have no idea but i certainly would never harm an animal in my life.

  • chance .Q. says:

    no state allows under 21 or in other states under 18 people to hunt. And it is illegal to kill a cat and or a dog and or a common bird with a bbgun a slingshot or a rock or bulletgun or anything AND KIDS MIDDLESCHOOL TENNAGERS AND ADULTS ALL SHOULD NOT AND ARE NOT ALLOWED WHY IS THE TEACHER NOT IN JAIL NOW????

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Hey there Kurt! Again let’s grow out of this idea that we use the word “fault”. Having the higher brain power that we have makes it NOT our “fault” but our responsibility. We have the ability to feel empathy and to adjust and we should use what we were given to do good. Your qusetion is a great one. If we do have the ability to adapt and live anywhere then I wonder why we would choose to destroy the habitat of so many animals who have no choice at all. We don’t just live where we need to we build Walmarts parking lots factories theme parks highways gift stores you get the picture. The excessive paving over of natural habitats causes ecological destruction kills off entire species and pollutes our water. It’s not the humble little home that is the problem its the complete razing of entire ecosystems. I’m in grad school studying this problem right now trust me it’s frightening for all of us. The next generations are going to hate us. Anyway I have hope that people like you and I can come up with solutions. Namaste my friend. I hope it’s sunnier where you are it’s raining here!!

  • Kurt K says:

    Maya I’m glad to see that you don’t buy into the idea that all hunters are psychopaths! If I may I would like to offer a rebutal. Though I have never shot a deer moose or whatever I have been hunting with friends a couple of times just to see what all the fuss was about. I was one of those guys that felt bad when I heard about a deer being shot and still do a certain extent. I have to tell you though for the most part it was boring sitting in one spot for three hours waiting for a deer to walk by. However when one did appear it was really exciting and it was easy to see why hunters spend many mornings in the woods. Trust me for every morning a hunter shoots something there are 30 where he won’t see or shoot anything. And as far as hunters being sociopaths I would guess it is probably like 1 in a 1000 that are psychotic! Furthermore I keep hearing how it is mans fault that the deer are over populated for what we did in the past. Well I guess my answer is what is done is done now we have to deal with the problems at hand! Right? I have one question for you Maya. I we are encroaching on the deer’s and other animals’ habitats then what exactly is our natural habitat? It seems to me animals natural habitats are where they can adapt and live. Humans just have the uncanny ability to adapt to live anywhere.

  • Maya says:

    Oops sorry I meant to say hunters killed off their PREDATORS and developers killed off their habitat. By the way Kurt new technology is being developed by biologists so that motion sensors can detect moose and deer about to cross roads. Hopefully this will be out soon and will save lives.

  • Maya says:

    Hey there Kurt! You make some really interesting points. As usual I love to play devil’s advocate LOL Hunting is absolutely a family activity in some places. I grew up in New Hampshire and it was fairly conservative and backwoods ish. Conservative dads and sons don’t feel comfortable bonding like women do. Men can hardly feel comfortable sitting around talking about their feelings or baking cakes they are either labelled as “gay” or as wimpy. So hunting and fishing is an activity where they can spend time together and still feel macho. I’m not trying to stereotype men or women but some areas are just old fashioned. Obviously this activity is passed along generations. To me hunting for food and feeling pity for the animal is one thing but there are all types Kurt and some kids and adults will blow an animal away laughing and using the animals as trophies. These folks also take joy in canned hunts leghold traps and taunting an animal as it dies a slow death. This DOES happen with some hunters. Children and adults who shoot animals and taunt them as they die painfully do have something wrong with them. It is not good when someone can feel no pity for a dying animal and in fact laugh at its severe pain. I’m not saying all hunters are sociopaths it just depends on how they react. I also agree that many people who collide with deer and moose are just driving. But consider this deer are overpopulated because hunters and developers killed off all their natural habitat. Their migration routes crucial to survival are now blocked by highways and roads. This is not the fault of the deer or moose it’s a human issue. So I’m not saying that people deserve to die only that when we build human structures on top of wild animal’s habitat we must expect there to be conflicts and not blame it on the animals who are just trying to survive. Peace friend.

  • Kaycee Reader says:

    All I can say is oh my God. It’s these kinds of people that I truely can’t stand to think about. Life is a beautiful thing so what’s different from a human life or an animal life? We both deserve to live. Guess what I used to have a friend that said that animals were only put here for us to use adn that sounds a lot like what the teacher believed. Just sick and wrong!!

  • Kurt K says:

    Richard W That is the most absurd comment I have ever read. So what you are saying is that every person that has shot a deer rabbit quail moose etc. is now a murderer? You really need to think before you write such a massive over statement! I am from a rural area I have known hundreds of hunters and I have yet to know of any that killed a fellow human. Hunting is not torture! If anything it is a quick and painless death in the majority of the cases. Marilyn Again why do you have to blame everything on people. If a deer walks out in the middle of the road and gets hit by a car you assume that the person was drunk or speeding. I don’t know where you live but my grandma has hit two deer in the past ten years. I will gaurantee she wasn’t drinking. That shit happens all the time I don’t believe that all of America sits around and drinks everyday. Stephen the Vegan You say nobody has to hunt anymore to feed there family. That is a load of crap as well. True there are some hunter that hunt just for sport and I do find that unecessary. However up until twenty to thirty years ago the majority of this country still lived in rural or sparsely populated areas. Many people didn’t have regular access to a local grocery store then and many still don’t today. One deer can feed a family for months. It is a very efficient way to feed a family. True people who live in an urban area don’t have to worry about killing their food but there are many in this country that find it easier to hunt. I’m not even a hunter but I do support the activity! Many of you ask how is this a family experience. I don’t know. Like I said I don’t hunt and neither did my father. But I know many fathers and sons who did bond over hunting. I don’t understand it just as much as they don’t understand why you hate them so much!

  • Louise says:

    People don’t need to eat meat to survive millions of vegetarians are proof of that. What the “teacher” is teaching is truly heartless and disgusting. I worry anytime I see anyone take pleasure in causing pain to others. I’ve always said that you can tell a lot about a person by the way shehe treats animals. How sad…how very sad.

  • claude says:

    richard your comment is just asinine hunting is not torture people who hunt and children who are taught to hunt and handle firearms are less likely to be involved in violent crimes this whole link between hunting and serial killers is just PETA propaganda. now people who sit there and repeatedly stab a cat just to hear it scream then set the thing on fire to watch it die slowly are the ones that become serial killers not hunters. there is absolutely no link between hunting and people who commit violent crimes.

  • Richard W. Firth says:

    I am appalled that such a thing should be allowed in our public school system. There is already too little respect for life be it human or animal and we don’t need anymore. To respond to one reader’s comments that when people do violence to animals it doesn’t effect their attitude toward their fellowman is dead wrong. FBI reports document that a person who does violence to animals can and will do the same or worse acts of violence to human beings. In fact they have a special department investigating such cases.

  • Christine says:

    I am disgusted by this and cant believe that this could and does go on.. First of all it is not in my nature to kill animals.. I do understand that in the past farpast people hunted to feed their families and I would never be the one to say this is wrong in any way But this is a new age where you dont have to kill defenseless animals to survive. It pains me to know that an educator of or children who are our future thinks this is a good lesion. And further more what kind of family activity is hunting what could you possibly learn from this. What kind of people think killing is a bonding family activity. In my opinion we should teach our children killing of any sort is wrong and it should not be glorified in any way shape or form.

  • Stephen the Vegan says:

    The reason hunting would be more acceptable 150 years ago would be because access to protein was not as good as it is now. The country was also predominantly rural. These kids are probably better off hunting and eating wild animals than they are eating the animal products they do normally. I like the idea that they’re learning how to safely operate a firearm at a young age but I wish they could find a better method. Clay pigeons and target shooting would be acceptable.

  • Marilyn says:

    To the hunter whose comments are ubsurd. LB The deer would not be starving if not for the taking of their habitat by humans. Do not use starvation to rationalize your senseless hunting of them. As for the the food chain wolves are natural predators of deer and caribou and they can control the deer population without interference from people like you. That is the natural FOOD CHAIN! When it comes to the millions of dollars in car accidents. How many of those accidents are caused because the person driving the car was speeding drinking or falling asleep at the wheel? Check the stats before you hide behind that statement!

  • Pam says:

    Everyone can go on and on and try to prove how smart they are but to me the bottom line is what is fun about chasing something down and killing it? I don’t understand why hunting is considered a sport? I don’t understand how anyone gets joy out of harmingkilling something? Someone inform me because when I see something hurt or running for its life I feel pity and compassion not fun nor sport?

  • c says:

    All the hunters I have met take great pleasure in killing. They hunt animals that are not meant to be eaten just for the killing experiance example how do you prepare a BOBCAT that just happened to be in gun range? and if they don’t kill the poor create with the first shot they follow the blood trail to try to shoot it again or let it suffer to to death in the woods. I don’t beleive that hunting is anything more than a sport that uses animal suffering and trophy heads to reward the participants. The same as fishing is. Catch and release is a big joke in the fishing world because the fish die soon after wards. Catch and kill the animal with your bare hands and eat the meat still warm from the fresh kill isn’t that the way the hunt was done in the past. Since everyone keeps talking about the past that would be a great bragging rights and the animals would have a farir chance. Just because something was done in the past does not make it right to do in the future. The past was a very violent place just ask anyone who did not have money. There were more deaths per area because of this a lot were never reported because the poor did not count.

  • Kurt K says:

    Ken I thought your reponse to PETA was very well writen and thougth out! I too agree that the headline they used is a gross over statement to the truth! They make it sound like kids are out everyday just shooting away killing tens of deer a piece. I don’t think PETA realizes that shooting one dear can feed a family for a couple of months at a time if not more! Also deer season is not year round it only last a few weeks out of the year. Any deer shot before or after that season is against the law and carries with it a stiff punishment! It seems to me this teacher is teaching kids to respect guns and the danger they can present and to respect nature as an intergal part of life! Anyway don’t let the insults get to you there are millions more that see things your way versus theirs!

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