Womb (kill_inhibition) wrote in veganpeople,

Vegans in school

My son started school this year. ETA: He's only 4.5 and knows why we're vegan because "we don't need to use animals so we don't" and other simple and basic explanations.

The teacher seemed annoyed that we were vegan. She asked if I would make exceptions for some of her classes because "F is for Feather....you know, where we make crafts with feathers" and things like that. She also told me that one of the field trips is to a farm where they grow several crops, take a tractor hay ride, pick berries but also the farm produces eggs and milk (the kids get to collect eggs and milk a goat).

She told me that my son could opt out and stay home that day or I could join on the trip and explain to him why our family does not do such things and still get the other positive experiences of the trip. The farm doesn't gain anything financial from the class visit but does get to show "happy" animals where the kids will presume all animal products come from.

What would you do? Obviously my son would not be collecting eggs or milking goats and I know he would not put up a fight to do so. I think he would appreciate the rest of the trip but I'm still wary and unsure if attending while consciously avoiding exploiting animals is still ethical, or is going at all just not ethical because there is animal exploitation there?

Fwiw, we go to corn mazes in autumn which also have petting zoos. We did show my son how animals are kept and explain why it's not ideal (stress from visitors, separated from family (in the case of the calf alone in a pen where kids went and climbed all over him and I burst into tears). My son came away feeling that it was very wrong for the animals to live that life and while we've returned to the maze we have not gone back to bother the animals. Is it ethical to go to the corn maze at all...or not?

Then there's the huge amusement park every year where they have a show of trained dogs, a petting farm and a booth of exotic "educational" animals like snakes. Avoid the whole amusement park or just some of the independent areas where animals are exploited? 
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