COK Spreads Compassion in the Classroom

Written by Cheryl Leahy

ClassroomSpeaking with today’s inquisitive and energetic youth about compassion for animals can be one of the most encouraging and rewarding experiences. As a former teacher in DC, I’ve had the opportunity to visit a handful of classrooms, from elementary through high school, in and around the nation’s capital to meet with students and share information about animals, where our food comes from, and the many benefits of choosing vegetarian foods.

At Friends Community School in College Park, Md., I talked with students ranging in age from 8 to 14 about the differences between animals who we eat and those we consider pets. The students overwhelmingly agreed that all animals should be treated with kindness, and they were saddened to discover the miserable conditions forced upon farmed animals. Armed with this new information, five students immediately declared plans to leave animals off their plates for good. Another group of thoughtful students were so intrigued by this topic, they wanted to meet farmed animals in person and volunteered at Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary the following weekend.


ClassroomSeventh grade students at Capital City Charter School in DC also learned about where our food comes from, many of them seeing for the first time what the inside of a factory farm looks like. Afterwards, the class enjoyed a free vegan meal, courtesy of VegFund, and many students expressed interest in petitioning the school cafeteria to add vegetarian options.

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