Chicken Project Creates Controversy in NY Schools
While the chicken industry may leave much to be desired, there's an ecology program at Canandaigua Academy in Canandaigua, New York that's drawing fire for the manner in which it teaches kids about food production and its consequences ecologically despite the fact that so few people have any idea of the connection our food has to the world around us.
Of course, there are bound to be TreeHuggers finding themselves on either side of the fence when it comes to the controversy surrounding it. And that's just the type of thing that makes this such an interesting situation.
Turns out the "Chicken Project" is a unit in the fall semester of one Eric Cosman's ecology class that was launched three years ago where students get involved raising chickens for 10 weeks, then killing and barbecuing them to learn about food production.
But as news of the project spread, it led to an outcry from groups like the Public Committee for Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate New York, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and United Poultry Concerns. As a result, Academy Principal Lynne Erdle canceled the project earlier this year.
But when many spoke out in favor of the project it was reinstated with the stipulation that students would be able to opt out of the project at any point during the unit and face no academic sanctions, although they would have to complete other assignments to get full credit.
So we open the comments below to our loyal TreeHugger readers, who just may have an idea of whether this unique type of class is one with a sound educational basis, particularly in an era when so few of us have any clue what slaughtering our own food looks like or realize its impact on the environment, or whether it's just not the type of thing students should be learning in class as the advocacy groups protesting the project, which has now been put on hold again, would have us believe?