The Case For Animal Protection Curricula in Schools in Hong Kong
AbstractIn a city like Hong Kong where animal protection laws replicate outdated British legislation from the early 1900s, extensive educational measures must be taken to raise students’ collective awareness of animal welfare and rights, in order to meet the pressing environmental, social, and moral demands of a rapidly developing society. This article argues that the study of animal protection in Hong Kong school curricula is essential to raising future generations of responsible and empathetic community leaders and members. Not only can such curricula encourage students to make well-informed, healthy, and environmentally-conscious choices as consumers, it also challenges the speciesist “hidden curricula” perpetuated in schools, developing students’ critical and independent thinking skills and empowering them to regain ownership over and accountability for their decisions. It instils empathy in students towards animals, as well as vulnerable groups in society that share a similar narrative of oppression and exploitation, such as women and ethnic minorities. This article refutes the critique of animal protection curricula being a form of indoctrination by challenging the notion that any education system can be truly value-free.
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