Yog (eating lunch): Mama, what do bees eat?
Mama: Bees eat honey
Yog: No Mama, Bees make honey for us. They don’t eat honey
Mama: No Yog, Bees make honey for themselves. We take the honey from them
Yog (thoughtful): So bees sell honey to us. What honey is left, they eat it?
Mama (laughing internally): No Yog! Bees don’t sell honey to us! We steal honey from the bees
Yog (shocked and adamant now): No Mama! That is not right! Bees give the honey to us. We don’t steal it from them
Mama: Where did you learn that Bees give honey to us?
Yog: My school book said, “Bees give us honey”. That is correct. We don’t steal honey from the bees.
Me silently connecting the dots. Yog is right. All school books tell us that Cows give us milk, Bees give us honey or Hens give us eggs. No book bothers to state the fact that all the above animals are reared by humans just like objects so that we can then acquire their produce. This is yet another gap I see in the way we are taught. Such education makes us subconsciously believe that these animals exist just to service us. We slowly start to believe that everything on this planet was created to serve the human race. It is no wonder that human never even stop once, to contemplate why we are misusing the resources on the planet.
Creating education syllabus is serious responsibility. When children learn such things in school, they create a subliminal network where humans are considered superior to all other forms of life. Even within humans, some forms intuitively start to consider themselves superior to other forms like men vs. women, fair skin vs dark skin, western countries vs. eastern countries.
Short sighted curriculum influence the complete thought process of multiple generations and how they behave in the society. The impact of such errors will be seen on generations to come. We cannot include sentences like “Cows give us milk” in a science book and then include “We should take care of animals” in a moral science book. It is time we educate our children to understand the larger ecosystem of our planet and not just the human ecosystem. Even if, we as parents, cannot directly influence the school curriculum, we can definitely control the conversations that we have with our child.