The way our food is produced is a growing topic of debate. Fast-growing chickens are cheaper and eat less feed, but slower-growing ones are more active and have better health and welfare. Pigs in intensive systems cost less to produce, but the provision of enriched environments means they are less likely to bite each others’ tails.
Compassion in World Farming provides stimulus materials to encourage discussion of these issues.
Films to demonstrate systems and animal behaviours:
- Farm Animals & Us 2 – 25 minute film demonstrates the costs, benefits and ethics of higher welfare systems of producing livestock compared with intensive systems. It also covers efficiency in human food chains and the impact of the manipulation of heredity on production and animal welfare
- A Life Worth Living – 5 minute film with five short sections of positive animal behaviour without commentary to encourage observation and discussion
- Animal Welfare Aspects of Good Agricultural Practice – Pig Production – 25 minute film demonstrates the behaviour of pigs in natural, semi-natural and intensive environments. It shows how frustration can lead to stereotypies and other misdirected behaviours and how these can be addressed by improving environments. A PowerPoint presentation, which accompanies the film, also has short film clips demonstrating a wide range of pig behaviours
Activities to stimulate thought and discussion:
- How Should We Treat Farm Animals? – small group discussion activity which encourages students to consider the pros and cons of different systems for producing meat, milk and eggs including organic, free-range and intensive
- Personality Test – an engaging activity which encourages students to explore their viewpoints about ethical issues around food production, animal welfare, sustainability and food security and to understand better the different opinions of others
Our archive resources include films on Genetic Engineering & Farm Animals and on sustainable food production (Eat Less Meat). Though produced some time ago, the films maintain their power to engage students and stimulate discussion and the issues remain relevant today. The genetic engineering film is also accompanied by worksheets and other teachers’ resources.
All of the above resources are available on our Farm Animals & Us DVD which is available free for schools and other educational institutions.
We also distribute films produced by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour including:
- Stimulus Response (an engaging film which teaches the nervous system and animal behaviour for students aged 14 and over)
Lessons can also be enriched by inviting a speaker to talk to your students. In Scotland, this service is currently available in the Edinburgh area (up to 10 miles from the city, subject to availability).
Printed copies or DVDs can be can be ordered here. You are also very welcome to order, request download links, invite a speaker or ask us any question about our resources directly by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more detailed scientific information on a range of animal welfare and sustainability topics around human food supply, there are a large number of reports to download in our Research section. Topics include animal welfare, cloning and genetics, human health, environment and food.
Finally, you don’t need to wait for us to send you our films and worksheets. You can download our films and teachers’ resources for free now!