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-   -   Our experience at the County Fair (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/12-animal-rights-welfare/38351-our-experience-county-fair.html)

shine 08-21-2005 02:11 PM

We went to our local fair the other night, and walked through the livestock barns. This has always been a bittersweet experience for me, even before I stopped eating meat.....although I love to see the animals and pet them, it's gutwrenching to know that most of them are being sold for slaughter. This year it was particularly difficult; I didn't know if I even felt right about going into the barns. I eventually did because I wanted to pet the animals and show them some love, thinking it might be the only kindness they ever know. I guess that could be justifying my desire to see the critters...



Anyway: We were walking throught the sheep barn, and saw a little girl sitting in one of the pens. She was hugging a lamb and bawling her eyes out. Her little face was tear-streaked and so sad it was hard to look at her. It was obvious that her lamb had been sold and she was upset over saying goodbye to it. A few minutes later in the goat barn we saw two more children crying over the same thing. A little boy stood by his goat's pen, stroking it's neck with tears in his eyes. A little girl who completely broke my heart....she was trying to take pictures of her goat with her dad's camera phone, but was sobbing so hard she couldn't hold it still. Her dad finally picked her up and hugged her...you could hear him telling her, "You knew this was going to happen, be a big girl"........but I couldn't help thinking HOW can she be a "big girl" about this??? How do you explain to your 7 or 8 year old child that has raised an animal since it was a baby and grown to love it dearly that it is being sold to someone who is going to kill it and eat it....and that's OKAY??



I've often heard that 4-H is a great organization, and that kids learn so many great things in it. I certainly didn't see that last night; I saw kids heartbroken to lose animals they loved, to know that they were going to be killed. What's good about that??

shine 08-21-2005 02:13 PM

Wanted to add: I know nothing about 4-H....so if they do other things that are good for animals and farming, I don't want to discredit that.....and I realize that it's possible not ALL the animals are sold for slaughter, but the signs over these animals pens read "Meat Goat Producers of America", so it was pretty obvious what the intention was. It was just so hard to see these little kids so upset......

misq17 08-21-2005 02:15 PM

I also went to the 4-H fair recently (this week), and fortunately, not all the animals are slaughtered. While I do disagree and totally not understand the whole killing your pet idea, I think many of the clubs that teach about the animals and don't kill them are great (such as small animals, seeing eye dogs, alpacas, etc.)



ETA: I just saw your second post, and I just wanted to add that I don't get why anyone would want to join a beef club or something.

Tofu-N-Sprouts 08-21-2005 02:23 PM

Similar thread we had here a couple weeks ago...



https://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=40823

peace 08-21-2005 05:03 PM

4-H does a lot of Scout-type club activities for kids, like crafts, community service, and camps. But a major component of most 4-H and FFA clubs remain raising animals for sale and slaughter. The clubs are vestiges of an earlier time when small-scale farming was still seen as necessary and desirable to our economy, and running a barnyard was considered a good skill to learn.

Agribusiness still supports 4-H and county fairs, even though industrial farming has put countless small farmers out of business. This is because FFA and 4-H puts a happy face on the modern farming industry, an image agribusiness still clings to.

Ripping apart children and their dear pets seems very cruel. But, like the editor of Animal People once wrote, once a child can sever emotional bonds with his or her animals, he or she is ready to become a commercial livestock farmer. I think that the ritual exists to this day to "toughen" up future livestock farmers and "weed out" those who don't have the heart to send animals to their deaths for a living.

It's a shame, because if 4-H would drop this one twisted ritual, it could be a very valuable club we all could appreciate.

angiedawn404 08-21-2005 05:41 PM

That is horrible! I'm glad I didn't see it or I'd be crying along with them.

sorrowthepig 08-21-2005 08:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by shine View Post

Wanted to add: I know nothing about 4-H....so if they do other things that are good for animals and farming, I don't want to discredit that.....and I realize that it's possible not ALL the animals are sold for slaughter

Not all are. But it takes a very brave child and a supportive family to say "No!" to the animal agribusiness propaganda foisted upon them from the moment they enter a 4-H or FFA animal-raising program. Children who will not go through with the slaughter sale face being ostracized by their classmates and peers, berated by sponsors and instructors for failing to fulfill their "contract" or obligation, and ultimately removed from the program. It usually also takes community and sanctuary/shelter involvement to step in and take responsibility for the life of the animal.



Teachkind.org and Animal Place have good educational and outreach materials you can use to start communicating with children, parents and school districts about why these programs must go.


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