“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”
— Albert Schweitzer
Humane Education is about fostering kindness, respect and empathy for animals, people and the environment and recognising the interdependence of all living things.
The aim of Humane Education is to create a culture of empathy and caring by stimulating the moral development of individuals to form a compassionate, responsible and just society. It is a means of introducing individuals, especially children, to the reactions and emotions of animals, as well as linking this to an understanding of environmental issues and ecosystems.
When you teach a child to be kind to animals, you help pave the way to a brighter future for all living beings.
Animals benefit because the next generation has learned to treat them with respect and compassion, reducing instances of animal cruelty.
Children benefit because learning about compassion and empathy early in life builds moral character, reduces violence, and builds a sense of empowerment and social responsibility.
Society as a whole benefits because studies show that people who are compassionate to animals in early life tend to be more compassionate to other people in later life. The recognition of the importance of the link between animal cruelty and criminal behaviour is currently drawing increased attention to the humane movement. In many countries, Humane Education is acknowledged as an essential part of childhood education.
Additionally, teaching respect for the environment has never been more crucial if we are to preserve the Earth for generations to come. We all benefit from a society that values and cares for its environment.
Humane Education is not just for children. That’s why ACRES’ Humane Education programmes also reach out to adults.
Many adults are completely unaware of the terrible things that happen to animals at the hands of humans and, once aware, they can take active steps to reduce animal suffering, creating a more compassionate society.
Sometimes people are indifferent towards animals, but once they begin to think about them in a different way - after learning about their sentience and capacity to suffer - their whole attitude towards animals can change. Animals are thought of less as commodities, and more as sentient beings.