Thursday, June 8, 2023
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Inspiring Climate Optimism in Youth Through Humane Education

Not surprisingly, faced with these worries, many young people are experiencing a sense of hopelessness about their future. Feelings of frustration and apathy are common among our youth. A recent global study showed that 75% of youth believe “the future is frightening.”

But solutions do exist. While some damage may not be reversible, much of it is. We can not only stop adding greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere, but also remove carbon dioxide through carbon sequestration. Forests, soil, and oceans can capture and store carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere. Re-planting and aiding their health and growth can help reverse the climate crisis. If we allow nature to heal, natural processes will start to undo the damage humans have caused. The Earth is resilient and can bounce back. It is not too late.

At Farm Sanctuary, we believe educating and empowering youth with tangible solutions is crucial to stopping the environmental crisis. Through our humane education work, we’ve developed presentations and curricula that address a key contributor to environmental degradation: animal agriculture.

Despite being one of the main emitters of greenhouse gas emissions, animal agriculture is rarely talked about. In our presentations, we focus on how animal farming causes harm to our environment and how these same practices that pollute our environment cause harm to humans and animals.

Our programs teach youth about these interconnected issues from kindergarten through college-levels in age-appropriate ways. We invite younger students to draw an imagined future where nature is thriving, and we live in harmony with the planet. Older students learn the importance of our actions and their impact on others and are empowered to be a part of the solution with their individual choices and by taking action to change harmful systems.

Teens aged 13-18 can participate in our virtual Youth Leadership Council to learn about food system issues and receive support in developing activism projects throughout their communities. Participants are supported in student-led campaigns to get more plant-based meals in their school, starting a school club, writing to their policymakers, and more.

In a time when so many young people are concerned for their shared future, Farm Sanctuary is by providing information and resources they can use to create a better world. We educate on these crucial issues in a way that inspires students and leaves them feeling hopeful and ready to take action.

Our resources are free for teachers, parents, and youth, and our environment-focused presentations make a great addition to science lessons. This Earth Day and beyond, we encourage you to share these resources with teachers and parents who may be interested in utilizing them.



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