Children are naturally drawn toward animals, and non-human species frequently steal the show in books, television programs and films targeted at young audiences. From Wilbur the pig to the family dog, kids learn early on that animals have feelings and emotions just like them. Sadly, traditional classroom lessons often conflict with this natural discovery.
Recently, during a grammar lesson in his second grade class in West Hartford, Ct., budding political activist Noah S.B. Williams spoke up to correct the categorization of animals as "things." Noah felt that the classification system of "Persons, Places and Things" should be replaced by the designations of "Beings, Places and Things." To illustrate his point, he wrote the following essay.
Why Animals Should Not Be Called Things
Animals should not be called things because they are beings, not things.
Shame on the people who call animals things.
If I could I would give the person who first called animals things a talking-to.
I would not call animals things.
Think about this. If you loved someone, would you call them a thing? I wish no one had ever called animals things.
Why would you call your pet a thing?
A rug or something is a thing, but not an animal. He or she is not a thing!
This is not funny, it's all true. I would not lie to you about this. It's not a joke.
Do not lie to me, either.