>Out of the mouth of babes

> I just picked up the new issue of Animal Welfare Institure Quarterly (Winter 2008, Vol. 58, No. 1) and opened the cover to look through and this incredible story caught my eye. I began to wonder why no one ever thought of this before. The story is entitled “Animals are Beings, Too.” There is no byline to tell who wrote the article but I spoke with Lauren at AWI and got permission to reprint the story in my blog. I have a link on the right side of my page that will take you to AWI’s own blog here on Blogger. For further information on such a wonderful organisation, you can call them at 703-836-4300 or visit their website at http://www.awionline.org to learn more about their ongoing fight to save the lives of all types of animals.

Below is the story in its entirety:

“Children are naturally drawn toward animals, and non-human species
frequently steal the show in books, television programs and films targeted at
young audiences. From Wilbur the pig to the family dog, kids learn early on that
animals have feelings and emotions just like them. Sadly, traditional
classroom lessons often conflict with this natural discovery.

Recently, during a grammar lesson in his second grade class in West Hartford,
Ct., budding political activist Noah S.B. Williams spoke up to correct the
categorization of animals as “things.” Noah felt that the classification system
of “Persons, Places and Things” should be replaced by the designations of
“Beings, Places and Things.” To illustrate his point, he wrote the following
essay.

Why Animals Should Not Be Called Things

Animals should not be called things because they are beings,
not things.
Shame on the peple who call animals things.
If I could I would give the person who first called animals
things a talking-to. I would not call animals things.
Thing about this. If you loved someone, would you call them
a thing? I wish on one had ever called animals things.
Why would you call your pet a thing?
A rug or something is a thing, but not an animal. He or she
is not a thing! This is not funny, it’s all true. I would
not lie to you about this. It’s not a joke.
Do not lie to me, either.”

I am so proud of this young man for standing up for what he believes in. I am grateful for his message and will forever refer to it whenever I am speaking to anyone regarding animals. At least I am not alone in my thinking about animals. I am a dog lover but all animals have a place in my heart. I have never considered my dog to be a thing because to me he is a person. Just because he walks on all fours doesn’t make him any less. Who is to say that we aren’t the ones who are doing it wrong? Maybe just maybe humans are ‘things’ and animals are ‘people’?

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