In October 2009, FACT kicked off a new humane
education project for youth in Chicago. Our goal is to cultivate compassion
in young people for animals that are raised for food. FACT believes it is
vital to raise awareness about the importance of farm animal welfare among
the next generation of citizens and consumers. This project is part of our
larger effort to promote ďhumane livingĒ as a lifestyle choice.
FACTís approach seeks to instill the desire to
live with intention, compassion, and respect among young people and their
families. Many children raised in urban settings have never seen, let alone
learned about animals raised for food. They are disconnected from farms and
do not know where their food comes from. Moreover, children need to be
taught an attitude of compassion and respect for other creatures. This is
not an innate behavior and therefore must be cultivated through educational
efforts. FACT seeks to address both of these issues as part of our humane
Our project uses engaging presentations to
raise awareness about the struggles faced by farm animals. We currently
offer three interactive workshops free of charge to students across
the Chicago metro area:
The Awesome Adventures of Sweet Pea the
Pig: Sweet Peaís tale tells the story of a courageous pig who
escapes from a factory farm. With the help of friends she meets along the
way, she finds a new home on a family farm where she is treated humanely.
The Egg-cellent Adventures of Rhoda the
Hen: Disbelieving of Sweet Peaís tale, Rhoda the Hen goes on her own
journey to find out the truth about factory farming. In the end, Rhoda
realizes that she was wrong and apologizes to Sweet Pea for not believing
Hannah Moo-tana and the Case of the
Curious Calf: In this story, Hannah Moo-tana the dairy cow
and her inquisitive calf Douglas investigate pollution coming from a factory
farm. Douglas learns a lesson about listening to his mom and
why itís important to stop water pollution.
FACTís brand of humane education relies on a
creative mix of animal stories, puppetry, and mindful movement. In each
workshop, children learn basic yoga poses while listening to a story that
teaches the importance of being kind towards all creatures. We conclude with
a chance for discussion and questions from the children.
Partners: To date, FACT has established
partnerships with Namaskar Yoga, Bloom
Yoga Studio and two local branches of the YMCA (the Irving
Park YMCA and the Lakeview YMCA).
If you live in near Chicago and would like to host one of our workshops at
your community, school, library, scout troop or recreation center, please
contact Larissa McKenna at
Benefits: FACTís humane education
program benefits both students and their families in a number of concrete
Students learn key
character development traits such as kindness to oneself and all
creatures, patience, gentleness, gratefulness, self-control and
knowledge about farm animals and how they should be raised with respect
in supervised physical activity.
FACTíS expertise: FACT
staff members Jacki Rossi, Lisa Isenhart and Larissa McKenna present the
workshops. Lisa and Larissa are both Certified Humane Education Specialists
Humane Society University and certified yoga instructors. They were
invited to present at the Association of Professional Humane Educatorís
Annual Conference in 2011. Jacki has an extensive background with the Girl
Scouts and in working with childrenís programming.