Alright. This is my new favorite story ever. I know I say that like once a month but this time I really mean it. Reuters reports that a class of school children in England have been rearing this lamb since birth. They fed the creature by hand. Bonded with it. Named it Marcus for goodness sake. And that’s all good.
But then the lamb got to be something like six months old and the children made a decision that’s freaking lots of adults out. Come on. Guess what it is. That’s right. These awesome kids are voting to send the animal to slaughter. Why? So they can profit and buy a pig. Yeaaaaaahhhhhh!
Marcus the six-month-old lamb has now been culled, the head teacher of the primary school in Kent confirmed on Monday, after the school’s council — a 14-member group of children aged 6 to 11 — voted 13-1 to have him killed.
The decision has provoked fury among animal-loving celebrities, animal and human rights campaigners and the parents of some of the children, and led to threats against Lydd primary school and its teachers, according to a member of staff.
Around 250 children at the school take part in a program designed to teach them about rearing and breeding animals.
The educational farm was started this year, with Marcus being hand-fed by the children. The children also look after ducks, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs.
The intention had been to buy pigs with the money raised from slaughtering Marcus, but those plans have been put on hold following the furor created by the lamb’s culling. The school said the program may now have to be stopped.
“It’s all up in the air,” said a member of staff. “There’s been so much pressure on us as a result of all this.”
Despite that, the school said there had been overwhelming support among the children, the staff and most of the parents to have Marcus — a castrated male who could not have been used for breeding — sent to the slaughterhouse.
But opponents branded it heartless and cruel, with animal rights campaigners asking why Marcus could not have been used to teach the children about wool, and human rights campaigners worried about the emotional impact of Marcus’s death on the children.
A popular talkshow host offered to buy the lamb and give it sanctuary and Facebook groups sprung up to rally support to keep Marcus alive. But the children had the final say. The school defended the children’s decision, calling it educational.
“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 school said in a statement.
“The children have had a range of opportunities to discuss this issue, both in terms of the food cycle and the ethical aspect… It is important for everyone to move on from this issue, so the children can focus on their education.”
See. Here’s the thing. You know the one kid who voted against slaughtering the animal. That would’ve been me. Hey, I was a suburban kid raised on cartoons where animals talked and sang for goodness sake.
But now I grew up and think these kids are absolutely awesome. Sad that they seem far more adult than the wimpy adults who’ve watched too many Disney movies.
So in honor of the kids, here’s a little poem…Ahem.
Mary had a little lamb
Her father shot it dead
Now Mary brings the lamb to school
between two hunks of bread.