Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Marcus is slaughtered: School defies threats over doomed lamb including one calling for it to be 'burned down'
15th September 2009 Julie Moult dailymail.co.uk
Marcus the lamb was slaughtered yesterday despite angry protests that escalated to include threats made against the school at the centre of the storm.
Headmistress Andrea Charman was branded a 'murderer' by one of the parents furious with her decision to butcher the six-month-old animal and raffle off his meat. The dispute in the village of Lydd, Kent, erupted last week after a group of mothers protested against the slaying of the animal which they say many children at the primary school considered a pet.
Marcus was part of a small school farm set up by the head when she joined the primary in January as part of a project to teach children where food comes from.
But last night the situation took a sinister turn as Kent Constabulary began an investigation into 'possible threats of criminal damage' against the school. A spokesman would not go into details but confirmed a probe was under way linked to the campaign to save Marcus.
There was no suggestion yesterday that any of the mothers behind the demonstrations had anything to do with the threats. It is believed the threats stem from Facebook postings in which supporters on a save Marcus group made remarks including suggestions that the school be burnt down.
Last week several parents of pupils at the school began a campaign to Marcus save from the chop. They argued that the killing was distressing for the children, some of whom had bottle-fed him from birth.
Marcus became a cause celebre among animal lovers, but the school held a vote and the majority agreed that the sheep should go to slaughter and be raffled off in order to raise money to buy piglets.
In a statement yesterday, Mrs Charman said: 'The decision to send the lamb for meat, which has the support of the school council and staff, the governing body and the majority of parents, has now been carried out.
'When we started the farm in spring 2009, the aim was to educate the children in all aspects of farming life and everything that implies.
'The children have had a range of opportunities to discuss this issue, both in terms of the food cycle and the ethical aspect. 'There is overwhelming support for the school, locally and further afield. It is important for everyone to move on from this issue, so the children can focus on their education.'
After Marcus's demise, one parent, who didn't want to be named, denounced the head, saying: 'Andrea Charman will, from this moment on, be a murderer to me. I don't want her being responsible for my child. She's a disgrace.'
The fight to save Marcus was co-ordinated by three mothers, Adele Grant, 40, Tina Goodyear, 49 and Jo Davis, 33, who have received support from around the world and were yesterday devastated by the decision. Mrs Grant said her ten-year-old daughter Liberty has now turned vegetarian and she has contacted a solicitor in view of suing the education authority for the distress caused.
'We were hoping that the headteacher would change her mind but it became clear over the last couple of days that that was probably not going to happen,' she said. 'She just wouldn't listen to anybody.'
Carmina Gooch, Canada online comment: Indoctrinating kids with the idea that animals are resources to be exploited is appalling. Equally alarming is that these kids are being taught that betrayal is acceptable, given the right price. Befriending and then murdering; why not compassion and respect for all life? 4-H Clubs also try to manipulate impressionable young minds into believing selling out their animal friends is okay. It's not. Peace begins on the plate.
Evil Schoolchildren Vote to Have School's Pet Lamb Slaughtered
"A group of schoolchildren who
reared a lamb from birth and named it Marcus has overridden objections by
parents and rights activists and voted to send the animal to slaughter.
Comment: Kids should be educated about the very real horrors of factory farming, the physical tortures, the emotional terrors, and the gruesome slaughter of millions of helpless animals at the hands of man. That's today's reality. With all the daily violence youngsters are exposed to outside the school, balance that with ethical principles and compassionate teachings as part of the curriculum. Perhaps, then, our relationship with the animals will slowly transform. Striving toward a more humane society, one that encompasses all beings, is the way of an advanced civilization.
Greek philosopher Pythagoras declared that as long as humanity continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower beings, we will never know health or peace. "For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love." Other great peacemakers and famous figures throughout history have embraced this idea. Gandhi, for example, spoke out against killing animals for food. His birthday, October 2, is commemorated both as International Day of Nonviolence and as World Farm Animals Day. Nobel Prize-winning Yiddish author Isaac Bashevis Singer, who fled Poland to the United States and took a room above a slaughterhouse, was one of the first individuals to equate the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses with the treatment of humans in concentration camps. He espoused vegetarianism until his death in 1991 and appealed to people to speak out against all cruelty. Playwright and humanitarian George Bernard Shaw called meat-eaters the "living graves of murdered beasts" and refused to eat the corpses of animals.
Surely we've advanced enough to know that there is simply no excuse to use and terrorize animals. Animals are sentient beings and like us, value their lives and struggle to avoid pain and suffering. "Mercy to animals means mercy to mankind." Henry Bergh