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Greetings all<br><br>
new poster here so please be gentle. I was wondering (ok obsessing a bit) about the 4h club as of late as some of their programs seem so horrible and cruel (and here i am also talking about the effect they have on people who take them as well as the general approval of the meat industry) . One of their hallmarks is a program that encourages children and youths to raise animals and care for them until they send them to slaughter, people especially children have a natural tendancy to bond with animals and form deep bonds with them (it is exactly this ability to empathize that is one of the few things that makes humanity special in my opinion) . Forcing a child to raise and care for a cow, sheep or other creature and then send it to slaughter seems cruel beyond belief and i can only assume this program is designed to desensitize the poor children who are forced to do this and encourage them to form less caring bonds in the future all in the name of keeping the meat industry up and running.<br><br>
I can't help but wonder what sort of effect this has on society in the long run as it seems shortsighted to encourage and reward the development of such cold hearted behavior, Recently in canada we heard (addmitedly this is an extreme case but i think it speaks to the general trauma children feel when put in this position and the possible effect it can have in their future lives) in the Pickton trial about how traumatized Mr Pickton was when he was a child and came home to find his favorite calf slaughtered (exactly the same thing that 4h trains people to do) , while i don't claim that this experience was the root cause of of his alleged killings i do think it speaks volumes that even to this day this event was traumatic enough to still have enough resonance that he felt it worthy of mention while being investigated for killing women in BC.<br><br>
So what do you folks think about 4h seems like an cruel and evil way to desensitize people to me but i would love some feedback to see if you think i am nuts or not.<br><br>
Mark
 

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The 4-H "food animal" programs are cruel and disturbing, but they have an incredible amount of support in rural America. Even the child's tears as s/he watches the animal being taken to slaughter is seen as an honorable "rite of passage." In rural America is it comprable as a son's first hunting trip or first deer kill, also hotly defended as a venerable tradition.<br><br><br><br>
Indeed, many of the children in 4-H and FFA come from farming and/or hunting families, so it is intensely difficult for "outsiders" to make changes in the programs.<br><br><br><br>
The betrayal and disconnect 4-H teaches serves a purpose in cultivating future employees of the livestock industry. As Animal People News put it, once a person is able to sever their sympathetic connection with animals, he or she is ready to become a livestock farmer.
 

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Well, yeah. Just this summer I was in 4H, and I *think* my lamb went and got slaughtered. ): Believe me, I cried forever. Grawr.<br><br>
It's not cruel to the animals (that is, until they kill them) but it is cruelty to children in a sense.
 

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I think the 4H program of raising pigs, cows, chickens, etc is very strange. Uhg. Though the other things they do are alright. Like that nice little art competion they have, that's fine. Having kids raise animals for slaughter? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsdown.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":down:">
 

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There's nobody actually "in charge" of these 4H/FFA deals. Even if you're not horrified by the unclouded intent of them, you'll be scared enough of the operational aspects. The attachment is Kim Sturla's presentation on them at Empty Cages 2004.
 

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I knew a woman who has four kids, all have raised pigs to show and sell during the fair. She told me about her daughters first pig she raised and then told me that when the pig was sold her daughter cried and a man came and drug the pig away from her daughter and used an electric prod on him, her daughter ran over to her pig and begged the guy to let her put him into the truck he let her. And the daughter got over it eventually and continued to raise these poor pigs. After she told me this and I was alone, I cried, I cried for the pig and I cried for all the children who have to endure this. Probably a lot of them lose their sensitivity for these creatures, as she did. So so so saaaaadd!
 

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my mums always taught me never to harm any animals, and I never did ever, the 4H/club is (no offense if anyone here does it) for stupid redneck parents to feel pround of their children growing up to a minimum wage working enviroment. When I lived in MS people would kick their animals and throw cans and bottles at stray animals, and they taught their little kids to shoot bb guns at squirrels and cats and stuff. People would pick up snakes and beat em on the ground and it was terrible, I knew I needed to get out of their. Here back in TX luckily I don't see much go on, mainly cause I'm in a city and the popo is all around, but here we have and animal rescue center, in MS they have the woods and shotguns.
 

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I agree Kidney, it is for rednecks at least from what I have seen. I have also dealt with people shooting bbs and throwing things at animals in the redneck town I grew up in. I always say something (pretty viciously) to people when I see them about to or doing something to animals that is bad. I am surprised I havent gotten my butt kicked for it! But if it were to happen, it would all be worth it. I at least have stopped people from doing things with my big mouth and only once was I unable to stop a possum from being kicked around. I did however see him run under some wood and I stood in front of it so that the guy doing it couldnt see him there. The guy went looking in a different direction.
 

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Though some of you sound like you have at least a tid bit of personal experience with the 4H program, you are terribly judgmental and downright mean to the organization. Though the program does involve raising livestock, it also involves showing the animals and though you may be against the showing of animals, it's not a cruel hobby/job (if done right). 4H is an organization based on the love of animals no matter how ugly or smelly. And yes, it does involve a lot of art as well as animal showing. I know people who are in 4H who, though they don't live in an urban apartment (no one around here does) they're far from what you call 'rednecks'. So please, don't type harsh words judging a group by only a few pieces of information. (BTW, I am in no way supporting the slaughter or animals through 4H or any other organization.)
 

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Thanks, KileyJane. You share my feelings on the subject. I was highly involved in 4-H until I graduated last year, although I never showed any animals meant for slaughter. These children are generally from farming families, and many will become farmers in the future. Even if they don't show the animals, they are still living with animals meant for slaughter on their farms (or family's farms) at home. I don't see it as much worse than growing up on a farm in the first place, and I witnessed very few kids who got as emotional as described above. Either they have already become hardened to the fact that slaughter is a 'necessity' (this is a very different environment than we're used to) or they know they couldn't handle it and do a more friendly project. Many, if not most, of the people involved are self-proclaimed 'animal-lovers' as well. It's hypocritical, of course, but they treat their animals much better than factory farmers, and a lot of the 4-H'ers I know are strongly against animal cruelty in any form (excepting slaughter. I think most of them are ignorant of the conditions surrounding slaughter and factory farming). It's sad to see their parents and society promoting slaughter in this way, but it's really a reflection on what is normal in our society. If these kids are going to eat meat, I would prefer that they associate it with their own steer than being led to believe that their hamburgers grow on trees or are made in factories. The people in these programs are also more likely to eat meat from family farms rather than factory farms, which I think is a bonus. 4-H promotes personal-business type agriculture, which is something there should be a lot more of.<br><br><br><br>
I don't support the livestock part of the fair at all, because of course I don't support killing animals for food, but aside from that 4-H is a very beneficial program. Now that I'm a vegetarian I hesitate to recommend it, but the non-animal projects and leadership opportunities are enormous. I benefited greatly from my experiences there and probably wouldn't have gone to such a good university or had some of the professional/academic opportunities that I've been given if it weren't for the leadership experience I gained in 4-H. And I am hardly a redneck. I wouldn't hesitate to call many of my fellows in 4-H rednecks (which is not necessarily an insult--some of those rednecks are friends of mine), but a lot of us are perfectly normal.
 

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In NZ there's a system which I think is quite similar to this, it's called calf club, and it generally only happens at rural school, I think town schools just have pets days. I had as many calves as I could for calf club when I was little because I loved raising calves, they were all girls, and after calf club they went back to my Uncle's dairy farm where they came from to be dairy cows.<br><br>
A lot of people had lambs which were often killed for meat afterwards, and some of the kids ate their own lambs. More often, however, the parents secretly had them slaughtered and made up some story about where they went, then dished them up with saying anything. It was a bit of a standing joke, really rather sick.<br><br>
For me, it fostered a strong love of cows, and a life long mission to save as many of their lives as possible. And if fact, two of my original calf club calves have been able to live out their lives on my parent's farm because I was able to convince my parents to allow them to. And my love of cows was also a strong factor in my decision to go veg. So I guess if anyone was trying to desensitise me to the suffering of animals, they failed miserably.
 

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<span>I take offense to the 'redneck' comments that have been made.<br><br><br><br>
This is <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><i><b>TERRIBLY</b></i></span> judgmental, especially as it appears that few people making these comments actually have real experience with the program.<br><br><br><br>
I don't know how much I can stress this, but to understand the program or make judgments towards it, I feel it is necessary to have some experience with the program, especially seeing as it is coming from a standpoint that is 180 degrees from the program's standpoint. As a former 4H'er (I had to give it up to time constraints as I got older and after my parents were divorced) I learned not that animals were here for eating or clothing or to have, but rather to respect them. This just added to what my parents taught me.<br><br><br><br>
While I never took part in the livestock showing activities (I was a rural kid, not a farm kid. I lived in the boonies for most of my childhood but didn't live on a farm.) I learned through the other animal programs (rabbits, cats, dogs, small animals) that we were to respect them. This was the same in the livestock programs. My friends in the livestock program still respect all life forms. They aren't "taking their BB guns out to shoot squirrels" after school.<br><br><br><br>
You know, what doesn't bother me about the 4H practice of selling cattle is that at least Sammy knows where Bessie the cow is going. They aren't trying to fool him with saying that Bessie is going to go live in a pasture with her other cow buddies where she can grow old and have calves. They know damn well what is going to happen when they sell their cows and other animals, unlike the "cityfolk" that get their meat from the store.<br><br><br><br>
It doesn't bother me if people know where their food comes from. If Sammy can sleep at night knowing he sent Bessie off to die in a slaughterhouse, then can eat the hamburger for lunch the next day under the thought that the cow he's eating might just be Bessie, so be it. I'm okay with that.<br><br>
'Round these parts, the kids do know some of what entails slaughtering a cow, since this <i>is</i> cattle country. I couldn't do it, so I don't participate in the programs.<br><br><br><br>
If we're just going to randomly attack groups, why don't we focus our energy on the uneducated public in a nice, polite way? It gets the message out nicely and doesn't come off as 'crazy'.<br><br><br><br>
The bottom line is that these kids know respect to both humans and animals. The program not only teaches this, but also important skills such as public speaking, communication, and fine arts skills in other programs. The boy/girl scouts can't do all this in the amount of time 4H can.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
//I'm sorry if this comes off harsh, but I really don't understand the blatant insults that this program is receiving. It's a VERY important part of many children's lives and does have a positive influence upon them.<br><br></span>
 

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I am sorry that even though I apologized to you katt, that you are still extremely angry. I am sorry that the only 4H people I have known were rednecks and proudly displayed it. I hope someday you could forgive me.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kidneylust</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
my mums always taught me never to harm any animals, and I never did ever, the 4H/club is (no offense if anyone here does it) for stupid redneck parents to feel pround of their children growing up to a minimum wage working enviroment. When I lived in MS people would kick their animals and throw cans and bottles at stray animals, and they taught their little kids to shoot bb guns at squirrels and cats and stuff. People would pick up snakes and beat em on the ground and it was terrible, I knew I needed to get out of their. Here back in TX luckily I don't see much go on, mainly cause I'm in a city and the popo is all around, but here we have and animal rescue center, in MS they have the woods and shotguns.</div>
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Classist much?
 

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I might join the local 4h HORSE club in my area.<br><br>
I knew about the fair at the end of the year, but I only knew about the horse showing.<br><br>
Do the kids have to sell the livestock?<br><br>
I live in quite an urban area, so hopefully there won't be any livestock at our fair.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>snownose</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I might join the local 4h HORSE club in my area.<br><br>
I knew about the fair at the end of the year, but I only knew about the horse showing.<br><br>
Do the kids have to sell the livestock?<br><br>
I live in quite an urban area, so hopefully there won't be any livestock at our fair.</div>
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Only the grand champions and reserve champions <i>have</i> to sell, so they don't try to show their animals at another fair.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mybaby7</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I said "rednecks from what I've seen." Really didnt mean about the whole 4H club, sorry for offending!</div>
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It's okay, my comments weren't directed at anyone in particular. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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