Beating, Killing of Piglets by Teens Prompts Offer of Humane Education

PETA Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying Lessons and Empathy in the Classroom

For Immediate Release:
October 11, 2017

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Benton, Ill. – After news broke that a group of teenagers allegedly stole 30 newborn piglets from the Logan Sow Center and then reportedly threw one piglet off an overpass and kicked and beat the others with a rake until they died, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent a letter this morning calling on schools in the area to implement lessons in compassion.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has asked the superintendents of the Benton School District to ensure that students know to report cruelty to animals when they see it and to always take action when an animal is injured or in distress. The group has also offered Benton’s high school and middle school free “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” posters and sent the elementary school its Share the World curriculum kits, which are appropriate for even the youngest learners and help schools comply with Illinois’ character-education mandate. The kit supports teaching children to be considerate and compassionate and to do the right thing, even when others don’t.

“In light of this alleged act of violence and the bullying epidemic in schools today, it’s crucial that educators teach students that it’s not acceptable to hurt animals, let alone to toss a baby pig off an overpass and beat others to death,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging Benton schools to implement humane education and encourage students to report any abuse to animals that they witness.”

TeachKind notes that individuals who demonstrate a blatant disregard for life by hurting animals rarely stop there. According to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to the community at large. TeachKind’s staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all free of charge.

The group’s letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind