Public Eye, the Philadelphia-area organization that focuses on the connections between animals and humans, with a strong bent on the arts (check out their recent exhibit exploring animal imagery), recently hosted a program that is not only exciting in and of itself, but is extremely replicable for anyone who wants to foster a healthy, compassionate next generation.
“Kids Cook for the Holidays” was organized as part of Public Eye’s Kids Club. During the hour-long session taught by Chef Christina Martin, kids ranging in age from 3 to 10 learned how to make healthy, fun, vegan Thanksgiving meals and got to eat their cruelty-free concoctions for lunch. Following the hands-on lesson, the kids participated in an entertaining art project designed to instill compassion for animals. Another cool thing about the art project is that it resulted in a hand-made objet d’art for kids to take home to spread the word.
Using the creaminess of cauliflower mash or the sweetness of apple pie to foster a discussion on why we don’t eat animals — during the holidays and beyond — is a recipe for a merciful, kind kid with a respect for all beings. ‘Tis the season, so if kids are your thing, perhaps you should be thinking about hosting a formal or informal vegan cooking class.
Of course, if you have kids in the house today and tomorrow, you can start putting this together right now as part of your Thanksgiving Feast. Hopefully, you have on hand Nathalie Van Balen’s Happy Thanksliving! Coloring Zine to help out with the entertainment, but if you don’t, never fear, you can just print out her veggies coloring page.
But, of course, Thanksgiving is just the beginning. Christmahanukwanzasolstikah is in just one month. Before it whizzes by, how about hosting a vegan cupcake-making party for your kids’ class? Be sure to have your talking points ready, too, along with some kids-themed pro-animal stickers.
Got additional suggestions and tips for inspiring compassion in kids? That’s what the comments section is for! Do tell!