This Little Marcus Went To Market

April 2nd, 2010 by Kathy McManus

Should parents tell kids the truth about animal slaughtering?

Brought to you by Liberty Mutual's
The Responsibility Project

Followers of chef Jamie Oliver’s website got more than recipes recently when they read about a teacher who was denounced as irresponsible for attempting to show children the source of the food they eat.

According to London newspapers, British primary school head Andrea Charman set up a small farm, where her young students bottle-fed three lambs—including one named Marcus—“as part of a project to learn about their rural environment, farming, and where food really came from.” One lamb was to be slaughtered and its meat sold in order to raise money to buy more animals.

But when parents learned that Marcus would be going to market, some said their children had been “traumatized” and “needed counseling.” An animal rights group denounced the project as “inhumane and irresponsible,” Facebook pages were set up to “Save Marcus” and ban Charman from teaching, and personal threats against her were posted online, including one about burning down the school.

Charman then resigned, but not before saying “Many children don’t realize animals they probably pass every week end up on their plate in one form or another.” Marcus was a neutered male, she said. “His purpose is meat.”

Tell us what you think: Is it responsible to use live animals to teach children where food comes from?