Animals are much like humans in many ways. They should be respected and handled with care. There are many ways people can learn how to respect animals. From the smallest mouse to the largest elephant, all animals should be treated in ways that are beneficial to both them and other people.
No matter their background, all children become better people when they learn to respect animals. Whether it is learning the value of animals, how to approach them and encourage them, or whether it is having the responsibility of looking after a pet dog or cat, there are many ways to teach children to respect animals of all kinds. It teaches them about compassion, responsibility, love, and about looking after someone or something as well as looking after our environment.
Visiting zoos is controversial way to witness how animals are cared for and treated by handlers and carers. People can learn many important facts about how animals live in the wild, as many zoo keepers are trained and educated in the fields of zoology or animal rescue. People can also determine how happy the animals are based on their behaviors and interactions with other people. Zoos are especially a great starting location for children wishing to learn more about animals. However, they also show how unhappy kept animals can be, how a cage does not compare to the lives they usually live. For many, zoos should not exist, but while they do, it is educational for children of all ages.
Another fantastic location to learn respect for animals is in the wild. This is a perfect opportunity for children to learn how animals interact in their normal habitats. They can take time to observe animal behaviors amongst themselves and with each other, including socializing, feeding, and sleeping. There’s no better place to watch animals behaving as they should than in the wild where they’re meant to be under normal circumstances. By the wild, we mean places far away, in the countryside, but also in the back yard. Even around where you live you can find animals in their version of the wild.
Individuals can participate in more hands-on activities with domestic animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, and other kinds of animals can be humans’ best friends. They give love and attention, but it’s up to people to give them the best respect and care they deserve. Cats, for example, use litter boxes to expel body waste. Changing the boxes is crucial for cleanliness and health for other animals and an individual’s home. Animals should also be handled a certain way. For example, cats should be cradled and not picked up by the front of their bodies as this could harm them. Pet animals gently as well. Being too rough with them might make them fight back or run away.
Animals have individual personalities much like people do, so it’s important to keep this in mind when interacting with them. Respecting them means knowing their boundaries and allowing them to be the wild animals they should be or pets that humans should love and care for. That way animals and humans can happily co-exist.
Thank you to Jenny Holt - who has developed some fun ways to make sure children learn to respect all animals!