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Humane Education Committee

Hexagon with purple background and symbol of adult petting dog

The mission of the UFT Humane Education Committee, formed in 1989, is to help UFT-represented educators bring humane, environmental and animal-rights philosophies and materials into their classrooms as a source of information for discussion and debate and to help both educators and students better understand how their daily choices affect the environment, animals and other people.

Humane education involves imparting facts as well as sensitizing students and educators to the various attitudes and behaviors that humans exhibit towards the other animals which share our planet, the environment and each other. It aims to help people understand the ethical dilemmas generated by different social philosophies and to make informed judgments and take compassionate action. Humane education also encourages critical thinking and problem-solving with the goal of creating a more humane lifestyle.

The Humane Education Committee offers teacher training workshops, lesson plans and other resources designed to assist educators at all levels in developing classroom programs dealing with a wide variety of topics including companion animals; “wild” or free-roaming animals; the use of animals in education or research and alternatives to this practice; farmed animals; nutrition emphasizing plant-based food choices; environmental and human rights issues; a healthy, compassionate lifestyle; and the relationship between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans.

Humane education materials are readily blended with reading, writing, science, music and art programs. During the school year, the committee also offers essay and humane science contests for elementary, middle and high school students.

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