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An open letter to the Chief Executive of Barnardo's
Posted 3 November 2011
Dear Ms Carrie
You and I both have positions of responsibility in organisations that work to prevent suffering and create a kinder, more compassionate world. Children and animals are both vulnerable, often powerless, victims of human brutality and exploitation. It was therefore disappointing that Barnardo’s chose to perpetuate a negative stereotype about animals in your survey of attitudes to children, by asking whether people believe that children were 'beginning to behave like animals'.
Presumably you meant something like 'becoming brutal and savage' in which case, that could have been said.
The truth is that animals often show many of the characteristics that we admire in people, not least when it comes to nurturing their young and behaving altruistically and co-operatively. Despite this, in the UK alone, hundreds of millions of animals every year are subjected to the rigours of factory farming and slaughter. Other millions are used in agonising and lethal laboratory experiments, or mass produced and shot from the sky for sport... and so on.
Please continue your important work for children, but without denigrating animals.