Parents at a Kent primary school are angry that a sheep hand-reared by pupils is to be slaughtered for meat.‘Parents’…?
Meat from neutered male Marcus, one of three sheep cared for at a farm set up in the spring at Lydd Primary School, is to be raffled to buy more animals.
Is this another BBC use of the plural to imply that all the parents are up in arms about this?
Yes. Yes, it is. Only one is quoted in the BBC story (though 'The Daily Fail' is now stoking the fire with tales of a parent's petition and Facebook campaign):
Mother Jo Davis said it was a disgrace that the sheep fed by hand by her eight-year-old daughter Megan was to be slaughtered and sold.Why so?
Is this unexpected? Was it not planned from the start? Has the head lost all her marbles and decided to arbitrarily chop her way through the kids classroom pets?
Ms Charman started the farm, which also has rabbits, guinea pigs, cockerels and ducks, after she joined Lydd Primary in January.Say what…?
The lambs were bottle-fed by the children and taken into assembly.
Last term the school council, made up of 14 seven to 11-year-olds, voted 13 to one in favour of sending Marcus to slaughter rather than keeping him.
The wee kiddiewinks were given a free vote, and enthusiastically opted to slam in the lamb?
And it doesn’t stop there. These mini-carnivores have their eyes on Babe-sandwiches next year:
Tickets are being sold in shops in Lydd to raffle the meat. Money raised will go to buy pigs, from which sausages will eventually be made.Oh noes!
Ms Davis is horrified at this evidence of farming going on:
"I feel this is the same as my daughter coming home from school to find her pet rabbit bubbling away on the stove in a stew," said Ms Davis.The sheep weren’t pets (unlike a rabbit bought specifically for that purpose), the kids were given the option to keep them as pets (in case they became too attached), and you are still complaining?
"My daughter was told it was no different to buying lamb from the supermarket.
"I really don't think this is the same thing."
But you are right in one respect – this is a little different from buying lamb in the supermarket. It’s better.
Your child gets to see how her food is raised, gets to learn that in order to put dinner on the table something has to die, and therefore may not grow up to be a squeamish ignoramus like you…
The school is on Romney Marsh, an area famous for sheep farming.A capital idea, but it seems no-one did that for this little girl’s mother. Perhaps you should start with her, though I fear it’d be an uphill struggle…
Ms Charman said she wanted to teach the children about the food chain and the local economy.
"I am trying to prepare children for the adult world in every sense," she said.
"When they are 15, when they are 20 they are not going to remember what they got in their Sats when they were 11 years old.I’ve no doubt they will.
"But they will remember they had a farm and that they made decisions."
But on the other hand, thanks to one woman's stupidity, they are now likely to learn that if you don't like something you'd previously all agreed to, if you make an unholy fuss and indulge in anthropomorphism with the media on your side, you can have your own way.
So, I suppose, whoever wins, they've still learned a valuable lesson.
Update: Mark Wadsworth has a topical and Brussels-approved solution to this dilemma...