Reading Series

Reading Series: Dogland – Teach the Children [#readathon post]

I really wish that I kept on top of my reading posts for this wonderful book, Dogland, by Jacki Skole. It normally doesn’t take me that long to finish a book, but when it comes time to blog about books – I’m horrible at it! So I apologize for the delay and my lack of updates. But it’s the October readathon, and I’m here to finish up Dogland, and can’t wait to discuss the book with my readers!

Friendly reminder that during this 24 hour readathon, I am fundraising for the Hispanic Federation. All money goes to charity. Please support my efforts and donate a few bucks here.

So, let’s begin…

This chapter is called Teach the Children. I loved this chapter for many reasons. More than once I had tears in my eyes while reading it. Not because it’s sad, but because it’s happy! To know that there are shelters out there that are actually succeeding in bringing their euthanasia numbers down through community involvement and humane education makes me feel optimistic that we can stop the killing in our nation’s shelters.

I really liked this quote from the chapter: “The problem is not inside these four walls. The problem is what’s outside them.” I agree (although I will say I think there are definite problems inside some shelters, too), which is why I support humane education. This chapter does a great job of explaining the rise and fall of humane education in this country; it rose in the the late 1800s and fell off sometime around the 1960s. I actually had no idea about any of this!

Nor did I know that there are “Homeless Pet Clubs” around the country, in which schoolchildren learn to respect and help animals by working alongside local shelters to sponsor adoptable pets. These programs have brought down euthanasia rates remarkably! I’m glad to see a resurgence of sorts of humane education through these programs, but now I’m asking: Why aren’t there MORE of these clubs?! If you’re interested in them (or want to start one!), please check the official site to learn more.

Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man. — Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Basis of Morality

Thanks to the incredible research skills of Dogland’s author Jacki Skole, I am now aware of Arthur Schopenhauer, a philosopher whose thoughts on animals is so on-point, I wish I had known about him sooner. I LOVE what he wrote in the text quoted above. Philosophers like Schopenhauer are brought up in this chapter as a background to the humane education discussion. It’s a little sad to think Schopenhauer’s words of compassion are still lost on many people today. I think we are making strides in our treatment of nonhuman animals, but we have such a long way to go…

…and so I appreciate the approach on teaching children and young people how to help animals. In such a bleak world, it’s nice to have some optimism for future adults. This chapter has me thinking about how we talk to young people about animals and the messages we send to them. For example, personally I think it’s quite confusing to market animal products to children while at the same time having farm animals be the friends of children through books, movies, etc.

What do you think about what I’ve just wrote about? Leave a comment or tweet me @ThePawReport!

Previous Posts:

Dogland: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Dog Problem can be purchased directly through Ashland Creek Press.

Interested in a preview? A book excerpt is available here.



2 replies »

  1. Reblogged this on Rachel Bea Reads and commented:

    Continuing my blogging through the book Dogland. During this Readathon, I will be finishing the book. Don’t worry, I won’t ruin the book for any future readers. I use the chapters as jump off points for discussions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s