Be Kind to Animals awareness week is May 9-16 this year (2012) but it can be celebrated EVERY week, and the ASPCA has put out a fun activity guide that encourages making bonds with animals and includes Five Tips for Raising Humane Children. The awareness week began in 1915 and was inspired by Dr. William O’Stillman, leader of the American Humane Association teaching humane education.
One of the tips is helping children post their acts of animal kindness on the "Kindness Counts" site created by the Sprout children's TV channel. You can also help Sprout reach their goal of having 1 million acts of kindness by children (toward animals or any person) posted to their site.
Studies show that kids who are cruel to animals are more likely to become even more abusive to people and animals throughout their lives. If you see any child hurting animals with relish (even small ones), nip that behavior in the bud early - and frequently - by stopping them, showing them your extreme disapproval, and explaining that cruelty can not be tolerated toward living creatures. Even ants contribute to the health of our environment -- although they may not belong in the house and may have to be humanely dealt with (salt and cinnamon deters them while pesticide residues are often harmful to people, children and pets). If needed, here are more ant deterrents from Green Living Tips.
In addition, your protection of animals large and small will also show children that they deserve protection as well if anyone should ever try to hurt them! Cruelty is never funny or something to enjoy.
Please share my blog post and this important ASPCA guide with your family and friends!