Photo by Holly Landkammer on Unsplash

Children are taught and encouraged to be kind. But often, this gesture is limited to other kids and not much about animal welfare.

Animals also deserve love and care.

Although they aren’t as expressive and comprehensible as humans and unable to verbalize their feelings, this doesn’t mean they can’t feel pain or discomfort. Like humans, animals also react to how others interact with them. They can feel protected and cared for similarly through affectionate and warm gestures and feel the contrary with indifferent and inconsiderate behaviors.

Adults know enough about animal welfare to make conscious decisions and avoid cruel actions. They’re already aware of their actions and old enough to gauge whether these are wrong and malicious to prevent anything that inflicts pain. However, children may be naïve and innocent about the consequences of their behaviors. As prevalent as animals in children’s materials, children may be inattentive about their actions and outcomes regarding actual interactions.

Animal Welfare And Children, The Importance In Teaching Them Young

Animal welfare refers to animals’ quality of life and how they cope with their surroundings. The latter includes how people and other animals interact with them and how these encounters influence their lives. With this, animal welfare doesn’t only encompass how these animals fare in their environment. Instead, it also depends on how humans behave with animals and measures how responsible and humanely they treat them.

With the many creatures walking around the earth, people must understand and practice animal welfare. Some may not see the value in animals, thinking they aren’t as helpful and a significant contributor to society. But once they find themselves seeking company, they may think otherwise.

However, beyond what they bring to the table, it’s essential to think about animal welfare simply because of genuine concern and fondness. People must learn to care for animals because they deserve it and not because of the benefits in exchange. And this caring attitude must start in childhood.

Teaching children about animal welfare is vital to developing compassion and empathy. It’s what molds children to be decent adults and softhearted humans. But most importantly, this also helps build a more humane society. By guiding them to be loving and respectful to animals, children are likely to grow up responsible and tender not just toward animals but in general.

The benefits are evident. But in a society where kindness may seem like a privilege and a finite resource, how can children be molded to be kinder toward animals?

How To Make Children Care?

An excellent example of children practicing animal welfare is found in multiple children’s books. These commonly depict warmhearted relationships between kids and animals, showing how they care for each other and, likewise, encourage such connection to be reflected in reality.

Books like Bing, a story about an injured baby duck saved and taken care of by a young boy by Sarah Gourd, show how possible it is for children to care for animals genuinely. Stories like this capture how big children’s hearts are and what they can amount to when taught early to watch. Teaching them about animal welfare in childhood sets the tone for their development and how they behave in adulthood. It can also help to let them take care of pets to observe how they interact and connect with them.

Curiosity sparks this gentleness in children.

For them, it all starts with curiosity before their hearts grow fond of matters. Their interest provides them with meaningful experiences by exploring the possibilities of the situation. With animals, children naturally feel excited and wonder about their existence. They may think of numerous questions about these creatures, which spark awe and a connection with them. By allowing them to interact more with animals, children make sense of them, their anatomy, habitats, and behaviors. These details help them understand that animals are like humans and must be cared for.

Hence, to make them care, children must be exposed to animals – wild or domesticated. Through these encounters, they learn more about animals, allowing them to develop an instinct to care for them.

Caring For Animals Translates To Empathy In General

When children care for animals, this can help them learn about empathy and how to interact with others appropriately. Since animals aren’t as vocal or able to express themselves as humans, learning about animal welfare allows children to be keen on details about emotions and behaviors. They can start noticing unusual behavioral patterns, expressing discomfort, and developing intuition and empathy to react to these changes appropriately.

Overall, taking care of animals helps children’s emotional development, especially regarding responsibility and protecting those who need help. They become more observant and sensitive to those around them, encouraging them to reach out whenever they see someone in pain. It’s easy to develop these in children, especially since they’re still teachable and in the earlier years of development.

Share This
Skip to content