I consider myself a pretty non-judgemental vegan living in a non-vegan world. I care passionately about animals and dream of the day when people will look back and wonder how we ever ate animals. However, I do also accept that the world isn’t going to change overnight as wonderful as that would be. But nursery rhymes have been really bothering me….
Until I really listened to nursery rhymes and thoughts about the words in them, I had never given a thought to the earliest introductions our children have with animals and what they might be here on the planet for. Our education systems seem set up so children see animals as either pets at home, or animals that live on a farm or zoo – they are ‘owned’. Yes there are wild animals of course but looking through a myriad of kids books and TV shows, it is clear to me that speciesism is embedded at the earliest ages.
So to nursery rhymes, well “this little piggy went to market” – oh my word, what did he go for to be sold? “this little piggy had roast beef” – no, no, no – they cant eat their friends surely!
Humpty dumpty – who I always considered to be a egg – “had a great fall” and they “couldn’t put humpty together again” – so he died? 🙁
…..sheep and wool; 4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie; Old MacDonald and his farm; Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat; cat in a well that someone tried to drown!!! The more I have looked, the more I see of outdated words and sentiments.
There are of course lots of non-animal nursery rhymes, which we can use and maybe I am taking it too seriously but I will still make sure my little one grows up knowing animals matter and I will forever change “roast beef” for “tofu” for that little pig!!!