If lamb isn't for dinner, what is it for?

Posted by TheYank at 9/15/2009 5:05 AM EDT

Did you hear about Marcus the lamb? In case not, basically Marcus was one of the animals on a farm started by an elementary school in Kent, England. The idea was that the farm would help the children learn about farming and where our food comes from, etc.

I think it sounds like a great idea, better than a lot of other drivel that's been added to school curricula in recent years. I wish my kids had had such an opportunity. {You see, although where we live is surrounded by hills full of gamboling lambs, we're still kind of cut off from the reality of farm life.}

Of course one of the key educational objectives from this project is that the children will learn that animals on the farm are, well, tomorrow's food. That was always going to be one of the lessons of the farm.

Inevitably, some of the kids got attached to little Marcus and some of them didn't want Marcus to be slaughtered. Equally inevitably, however, was the reaction of a minority of the parents.


Their little dears were 'traumatized' at the thoughts of Marcus being killed and rather than tell them that this is how life is, they decided to feed the traumatic frenzy. Three mothers started an internet campaign to save Marcus and, also inevitably, animal rights celebrities and lunatics (often one and the same) jumped in to help try and save Marcus.

Despite this, when the time came, the principal, backed by the staff, school board AND a 13-1 vote by the student council, culled Marcus and he was sent away to become someone's Sunday roast, as he should have been or the farm lessons would have been lost.

Now - and this was all inevitable too - the school is facing serious threats from the lunatics and at least one of the campaigning mothers has contacted a lawyer with a view to suing the school for the distress her child has suffered.

I can accept it might have been genuinely stressful for this girl to accept that Marcus was going to be killed. But, kids get over that kind of thing. Pretty easily, actually. What this poor girl will have real trouble getting over is her mothers' excessive cosseting and the stigma of being the girl whose mother sued the school over a farm animal.

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