Teaching impressionable youth the WRONG message


I know that I will insult and infuriate some readers. I bet there will be those who cannot fathom the fact that the esteemed 4-H would generate a negative article. How in the world could anyone possibly dislike such an American institution? Well, I am about to tell you!

Below is a copy of the 4-H Code or Standard. The 4 H’s stand for Head, Hands, Heart and Health. It is the Heart which I wish to address. “I Pledge my Heart to greater loyalty .” I have emphasized ‘greater loyalty’ for a very specific reason. Youngsters; children are taught to do absolutely the opposite of loyalty in their 4-H activities. Case in point: A child is given or purchases a young animal for his/her 4-H project (the end of which results in the predetermned end of life for that animal). For months following acquisition of the "project livestock," the child rears that young animal. Giving shelter, food, grooming and attention to health; the child cares for this animal. During such a time, a bond is created; a dependency and expectations based on a growing relationship and history between the two. It is the child’s duty to make sure the animal is well cared for, leaving no room for neglect or abuse. This encourages the young person to learn responsibility as well as respect for the living being he/she has taken on. There is a sense of loyalty, as the animal does not want for those things which are necessary to live a good, healthy life. This goes on for months and months: bathing, feeding, grooming, worrying over, in essence….CARING for that animal; that life.

Then, the fateful time arrives. Time to “learn to be an adult, learn how to earn money !!” What happens now? The impressionable, ‘responsible’ youth is about to, is EXPECTED to commit the ultimate betrayal. After building a kinship with his charge, the child is now to turn his back on his friend; sell this friend to the highest bidder. For money. To “learn” how to follow through to the ‘end of sale;' a sale which ends in death…the death of a trusting dependant. An animal who, for all intents and purposes, ‘looked upon his young cargiver as a nurturer; a ‘parent.’

Sadly, the parent figure has become the enemy. Little does the subject know just what is in store. Butchery!

We, as a society, are losing grasp of any kind of sensitivity, any depth of true character, any expression of loyalty to one another or the greater world around us. We are teaching our young people to turn their backs on those who depend upon them; on those who were raised to trust. We are pushing our youngsters to ignore feelings, deny heartfelt sorrow at the loss of a companion. We tell them it a part of “growing up.” There’s no crying in 4-H! You must ‘buck up.’ Become “a man” and, in today’s world…”a woman!” It goes without question that taking life is a legitimate part of ‘growing up.’ And making money!!! (Remember...in today's world; this is no longer <nor should it be> considered a 'necessity.' Once, in our agrarian history; we were more dependent upon "livestock." Today, we know better...it is a choice, not a necessity).

This is a sad commentary about our value of life. Some life is meant to end for our idea of adulthood. Some life is expendable if we think we can gain from that death. This is the penultimate expression of human arrogance! And we are feeding this attitude to our sensitive, impressionable youngsters. And we think it’s “OK!”

It is impossible to understand how creating a cold, unfeeling child who develops into a colder, emotionally crippled adult inspires that person to “…better living for my Club, my Community, my country and my world.” It just does not equate!


The 4-H Clover symbolizes four actions

which 4-H members try to accomplish. The
four H s' stand four Head, Hands, Heart,
Health, as it is in the pledge. I Pledge My Head
to clearer thinking, My Heart to greater loyalty,
My Hands to lager service and My Health to
better living for my Club my Community my
Country and my World.

4-H Shooting Sports - Program Procedures

Shooting sports, from archery to hunting, are a fun and educational way to engage youth. The policies and procedures to lead a safe shooting sport project are found in this manual.

The above “Program Procedure” is the second item I wish to address. Why do we feel is is just fine and dandy to convince our kids that “shooting sports, from archery to hunting, "are a fun and educational way to engage youth.” ??? Can we really defend this practice? In order to communicate with, relate to the younger generation, we must encourage them to kill animals for fun and sport? Are we really this insensitive, unfeeling; barbaric? Has any consideration been given to the object destined to lose life while this “fun and educational” activity is occurring? Again, 4-H is placing children in the path of death and destruction rather than teaching morals, true responsibility, accountability, and instilling a regard for life. Rather, kids are instructed to pick up weapons and seek targets to kill. Who cares if that “target” has a life of it’s own, has preferences, makes choices and rears young ones just as we do? Who cares if that life just might have the right to exist? To live out that life in the wild? No, we superior humans do not care about this! All we appear to relate to is the TAKING of LIFE for our own entertainment, sport, lack of anything “better” to do…in essence, ennui and boredom being replaced with bloodlust. (I have a constructive suggestion: How about picking up a CAMERA to "shoot" the target?)

Any adult who teaches a child to kill is an irresponsible, inadequate parent who is teaching the devaluation of life, while encouraging aggression, as well as instilling the lessening of feeling and along with developing in the child a predatory nature. This is neither healthy nor kind; it is barbarism at it’s worst.

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Comments 44 comments

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Shooting a a non living target should be encouraged. Someday that skill may have to be utilized in the defense of our country, or your home. Nobody wants to fight, but somebody has to know how. But I agree, the senseless slaughter of animals is inhuman.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

JY...of course you would understand. There are so many alternatives to killing; skeet, target practice, using a camera to "shoot" the object one is aiming for...learning the nuances of focus, aperature, etc. One can become a 'sharpshooter' in many ways and the target does not have to be a living one. Thank you for your insight and depth.

Jennifer Theories profile image

Jennifer Theories 6 years ago from Canada

Great article and thank you for writing it. I currently live in an area of the southern part of Alberta, Canada that is basically Hell for me and my husband. Farm country!!! The most inhumane practices are going on all around me. People here don't swerve to avoid animals on the road, they swerve to hit them!! It is shocking to me that people, large communities of people, act out this way. Crimes everywhere and nothing I can do to protect them. 4-H is huge here and I understand it the same way that you do. It is awful to do that to a child and the animals in their care. But they are rewarded for this sick behavior and thus brainwashed. People like you and the website Hubpages has become an anchor for me as I have to endure living in this hellish community for another year and have no 'like minded' community close to me to share time with. I remember when I first moved here and a neighbor said I should join up with 'the club', I then said "I'm a vegatarian" and they really haven't spoken to me since. Definitely not my loss.

hatesspam 5 years ago

OK I can kinda see your point, but isn't it also a good thing that these kids are learning to raise the animals that will later be slaughtered for human consumption with compassion and care? I mean I would rather know that the turkey I ate earlier was raised by a child who loved and valued it. It was given good food and treated kindly until such time as it was packed off for the market. If I knew my food came from a bird that was treated like hell and lived in a dirty coop, was allowed no space to run or play and was never given affection or care it would make me kinda sad. At least these animals are being used for a food source and not just raised in shoeboxes to make fur coats for rich old ladies. A humanely raised food source seems like a better deal than an inhumanely raised one. I won't apologize for not being a vegan. I will not ever be a vegan, so wouldn't it make sense to buy meat from people who really cared for the animal it came from?

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi hatespam. Thank you for your comment. All opinions are welcome. I am working towards a totally humane and evolved lifestyle; one which relates to all living beings equally and one which does not require the death of a living being to satisfy my urges, desires, vanity, diet or any other drive which is neither necessary nor enlightened. In the process of becoming what one wishes, your steps are in order; that is, the humane rearing of animals vs factory farming, etc. But, in my humble opinion, yours is just a step; not the end game. I would love to see a world where no lives are taken by humans simply to satisfy our habits; our tastes, our inclinations because, it is not necessary nore is it ethical. I do not believe in any doctrine that dictates that "animals were put here for our use." Nope! I don't believe that and I feel those are just words written by 'man' to control the society of that time. Thank you for your imput. Kathy

MysteryPlanet profile image

MysteryPlanet 5 years ago

Wow! I never even knew that about 4-H. I wasn't really involved in it though it was around when I was a kid. I have a couple girls who will be entering the school system soon (OH how I dread that and I am considering home schooling alternatives) and I will be wary of 4-H as I would never want my child to be involved in something like what you have described!

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi MysteryPlanet! (and it is, isn't it?)..I am very saddened by the lack of empathy we have for other animals, and this is exemplified by 4-H. What appears to be a program teaching positive actions turns out to be just the opposite when it comes to "livestock." I would never have a child go through this because I don't believe it is either necessary or a good experience for tender young minds...or for anyone, as far as I am concerned. thank you for your comment and for visiting my hubs. I am glad to get to know you through your writing and your comments. Kathy

Paws For Peace profile image

Paws For Peace 5 years ago

Lucky Cats,

I totally agree with you. There is something morally wrong with teaching the youth to care about life until it comes to the all mighty dollar.

I just wish I could express myself as eliquently as you do. I have always believed that animals, trees and plants are on this planet to help, and learn by.

Why is it okay for human beings to kill everything on the planet that doesn't make them a profit? How many more endangered and extinct life forms do we have to destroy?

How much more farm land does America loose for the next Wal-Mart to go up? How many, "Made In China, Mexico, Pakistan clothing does America need?

We've perfected the destruction of the wilderness for strip malls and open highways for emminent domain at the expense of the wildlife and wonder way bears, wolves and deer are moving into the suburbs for food.

Then we hear America cry out that a fox attacked a child and we have all the right in the world to destroy it? It's just a sad state of mind and people claim to be religious.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Paws. I'm in total agreement with you. the arrogance of the human race is astounding. We tear down and dismantle nature so that we can construct ugliness in the image and reflection of our egos. And, to kill an animal who only wishes to survive...in the face of human population EXPLOSION..while the #'s of wildlife diminish at our hands and our incursion...is hateful. We are an arrogant species. We have the intellect to be so much better than this but..alas..here we are and here is what we do. You've said it clearly and I agree with you. thank you PfP for reading this hub and adding your words . Kathy

crystal 5 years ago

I hope this isn't too OT, but currently my daughter is in 4H horse, and we're thinking this may be her last year. She's been in 4H about four years. We bought her a horse about 3-1/2 years ago that had just rudimentary riding training. My daughter has worked with him, always through a riding instructor, and has taught him Western riding, English, and now they are working on learning together to jump and dressage. However, there are some girls that just go out and BUY a horse already trained for what they want and just hop right in the saddle and guess what? Those kids go on to win. They see what the competition has and go out and buy what they need to beat everyone else. Exactly the opposite of what I think 4H should be promoting in kids for a goal.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi there Crystal. I hadn't even considered what you've told me..I had no idea of the competition which could be "bought" rather than learned..the art of communicating with, learning to care for, train and ride a horse.

My main sorrow (and it JUST happened at the annual county fair here in my town) is that children spend months and months grooming, caring for, relating to, rearing and being responsible for another life, only to sell it out to the highest bidder. Recently, a boy had two goats..."Buster" and "Posey." Now, if you are from my area, you would know that these are, indeed, valued and cherished names because...'Buster Posey' is the name of the San Francisco Giants fabulous catcher. He had a stellar rookie year and was, actually, rookie of the year in the Majors. Well, the young boy named his charges after a hero..and, now..they've been sold to the highest bidder for a fate which is not so stellar or beloved. I hate this disconnect...the loss and the betrayal..We need to teach children about relating, particularly in the context of the technological age where interrelating and communication is not so much at a premium..I just don't think it necessary, in this day and age, to continue something which is not an essential part of our survival. My opinion.

thank you for your considered comment, very much appreciated.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a great hub, Lucky Cats, and I agree one hundred percent with what you have written. Right now there is a big agricultural/entertainment fair taking place where I live. The fair always starts with a few days of 4-H displays and competitions. Some of the activities are great for kids and teenagers - such as crafts, photography and studying environmental problems - but the idea of raising an animal like a pet and then allowing it to be slaughtered is sending a horrible message to children. One year I met a young girl leading a lamb around at the fair. People were stroking and petting the lamb. Then someone asked her what would happen to the lamb after the fair, and she calmly said he would go to market, seemingly completely unconcerned about the event. I’ve never been able to go to the fair during the 4-H event since.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Alicia C....we are in total agreement; I am always so saddened when this time of year; the "country county fair season, comes around. When I was back in Calif., the local newspaper carried 4-H animal auction headlines two days in succession w/big center page folds of pictures of the kids and their animals...so very sad...I wonder if those children truly understand exactly what is going to become of their charges once "sold" to the highest bidder? What a totally incorrect and backwards message; particularly in today's world where there is such an abundance of "disconnect" and loss of feeling. I'll never understand our attitude and "use" of other living beings....we should be way beyond this in our evolutionary process, by now..oh well. thank you for the great comment and understanding of the real message kids are being taught. kathy

moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America

I think there was a time when 4-H was important. When just about everyone lived on a farm and had to learn to kill the animals for food because that is how their families survived.

Now days I think their rules are outdated. No reason for a child to raise an animal (pet) and then have to sell it and have it killed.

There are many good things about 4-H but this is not one of them.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Moonlake. I appreciate your thoughtful and reasonable comment. And I concur. We are constantly changing and growing; evolving as a species and, as you have so smartly said, "No reason for a child to raise an animal (pet) and then have to sell it and have it killed." Yes...times change and so should this. It is not a necessity. thank you, again, Moonlake..for a very logical comment. Kathy

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farm n pig girl 4 years ago

YOU ARE CRAZY!!!!! i am currently writing a scholarship essay on the importance of 4-H in our youth and this popped up when i was looking up local 4h clubs. 4-H has been an amazing part of my life and i look forward each year to the county fair where yes i show pigs! and i in fact name my pigs. I have learned the responsibility in caring for my pigs and making them some of the best pigs i can to show at the fair. Each year i sell my pigs (and yes i know they get butchered) and it doesn't bother me at all! i know that i am being rewarded with how they place at the fair and the money i get in return for my pigs when i sell them is from all my hard work. Parent are babying their children against the truth! animals are killed so we can eat them! that is just a fact of life. anyone that thinks 4h is a bad thing for today's youth ovbiously has not been to an illinois county fair to see the hrad work kids put into all of their projects. 4h has helped me meet new people and has taugh me many life lessons. one of them is how to care for my pigs. I have grown up on a farm and i have been involved in 4h and showing pigs my whole life and would never change that part of my life. i am proud to say that i show pigs and i sell them at the end of the fair i know exactly where they go!

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

farm n pig girl: I'm sorry you cannot understand my article. I hope life treats you well and that, maybe someday; you'll extend your circle of compassion. I wish you well.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

I love your tender heart for animals. Not all people are as responsible and able to care for animals as you are. 4H animals don't all go to the butcher, but all animals do die sometime. Would you rather an animal live a long neglected life or a well cared for shorter life. When you go to the auction you have three options. Live, Food or Contribution. 4H trains business people. You must admit that while you don't like the ending these animals face 4H produces young men and women who are humane. They understand the cycle of life. I have met very kind people who have let their animals over run their homes. They do not have the time for their animals, still they keep them. Bored, over weight, and untrained animals to me are so sad. I have friends that love their animals to death. These dogs face early death from overfeeding, no training, and no exercise. Cats are not so subject to this as dogs. I just read a hub about Simon the Cat that was a board the HMS Amethyst it was amazing.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi there tirelesstraveler....I don't disagree w/you about how some mistreat animals out of negligence or lack of knowledge or, just plain cruelty. However; what I am trying to say is that many of these children DO sell their 'projects' to auction for slaughter...This DOES effect them whether it is patently obvious or internally harbored. Of course, I wish that none of them ended w/this fate...I still contend that teaching young kids and young adults that to part w/an animal they have cared for, nurtured and been responsible for and to disregard the feelings this stirs is not, necessarily an overall good message. The cycle of life is as we (in this case) decide/define it....but, when we step in and contribute to the END of this cycle through slaughter then, the "natural" cycle has been broken and interrupted by our actions. I do agree with you that the discipline learned in 4H does teach kids certain values and responsibilities. However, because some do not treat their animals well does not really weigh in on the premise of this hub...it is like saying that because some mistreat animals; it is ok for others to treat them well up to slaughter.. the two are not interconnected; they are separate. i think we agree,, mostly and...yes, I read the hub about Simon the cat, too...which is where I 'met' you. MOST IMPORTANTLY Please do not be offended by my deep convictions over this....I realize there are a majority of people who disagree w/my position...but I have learned to agree to disagree, sometimes...and carry on. Thank you for a good, thought provoking comment.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

I was in 4-H but in photography so I was very unaware of this. If I had had an animal in 4-H though I would certainly not have killed it so guess I would have been in trouble.

I agree this is not a good thing for a young child...or some older ones.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Jackie Lynnley...thank you for your comment; and I want to doubly thank you for pointing out the positive experience you had w/this organization...because of your enlightening information, I have decided to change the title...we learn something new every day!!! ... and I am glad you liked the article and can still hold valuable your experience as a photographer w/4-H....many thanks!!!!!

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

When people can have civil conversations regardless of their convictions the world works best. This is a free country and I love your view even when I don't agree:)

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you so much, tirelesstraveler. You have no idea how much I appreciate, and honor, your comment. With great regard to you, Kathy

me 4 years ago

i couldn't agree more! I hate 4 H. this stuff should be taught at home and it robs me of my kids. meetings every nite. Its ridiculous the stuff they require. I can see a few things but kids being small adults and actually they are just teaching them to be rednecks and tossing what I have taught them as far as ethics go to the wayside and acting as though i as a parent dont matter. I hate 4-H!!!

Visitor 4 years ago

I'm vegetarin, but I might do 4-H likestock. I really want a dairy goat and I see no other way to do so. Farms lend land to 4-H kids. I tried to convice my parents for urbam goats, but they're dead-set agnist it. My goat would be a dairy goat, so they CANNOT kill her for meat (dairy goats are no go eating anyways). Most kids get a new animal each year. I would keep the dairy goat year after year.

The meat animals are only one part of 4-H, so don't hate the whole thing for 1 project.

It wouldn't be inhumne, oposite, I would be giving my family humnly raised dairy products.

Hunter Woffinden 3 years ago

4-H is a very important part of the America. Whether people realize it or not it is. People say horrible things about 4-h, about how they sell and slaughter and animal each year, but what most people dont realize ( like the author of this article) who, from what I gather has never participated in any livestock event in 4-His that these activitys are about teaching responsibilty to the rural up coming adults that have interest in the agricultural aspect of possible careers. They teach the VALUE of life and the CIRCLE of life. Everything dies. This is a fact. I partcipated in 4-h for 8 years and I understand this perfectly. Im not a desentized person but I realize that the killing of animals is something that happens in order to feed people and that is the most natural thing. Animals eat other animals .Yet I also had bonds with my animals but there is something bigger at work then just my feelings and people dont realize this, people just let there emotions get in the way of something that is neccesary for a healthy diet and over all good health. And the people on here that are saying negative things about this organization dont understand, that the people who buy these meat animals are usually big companies like Safeway, Raleighs and many more and what you eat later that day when u pick up dinner from the store to cook at home. The people who do this like me, are the reason why people like you can go to the supermarket and just pick something out, because we understand the value of life. Most of the people on here don't because you haven't partcipated in it. This life isn't for everyone but someone has to do it. So instead of bashing it when you clearly have no clue what your talking about it because your not involved in it. If there weren't people like me, our country and our world wouldn't be able to have the protein from meat that we need..... Think about a world without farmers and people who raise meat to feed YOU, and think about how unnatural that would be.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 3 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

I think, Hunter, that you missed several points. First, the title is Why I disagree with SOME practices. Secondly, yes, everything dies....but not at the hands of humans. It might be edifying to learn that there has been discovered problematic issues regarding our digestive tract and consumption of animal muscle/meat. See: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57578422/carni...

It is not a fact that 'someone has to do it' as an unquestioned absolute. This is an assumption; not a fact. When considering all the choices, all the decisions we make; it is easy to see that our behaviors are driven by choice, not necessity, in most cases. This is one.

I understand your position; you live the life and are threatened by my opinion. This is perfectly ok and I respect your right to differ as long as it is understood that we are often taught, from very early on, to believe ideas and practices which are not, necessarily, true nor are some applicable in current times. Case in point; you 'realize that the killing of animal is something that naturally happens to feed people...' This isn't mandated nor is it essential for our healthy survival. The statement also assumes that people need to eat meat. No, this is not true. In fact, it results in just the opposite, particularly when one realizes the amount of land and feed required to produce that "pound of flesh," as compared to how far that space and feed could go towards actually feeding the hungry. The difference is astronomical.

Bottom line: I believe the harm done to the human psyche is not accurately able to be measured and the result of taking life (for any reason) DOES exact a negative impact....

Thank you for your considered comment.

chris 3 years ago

my name is chris and I will be 16 next month and I have no other option to earn enough money in time for surgery without 4h this is my first year joining and I really dont want to do it next year but I have to. I love animals just so much , it was one of the hardest decisions of my life joining this club. most of the other kids that are in it don't have a need for the funds like I do, I'm using the funds I earn entirely for saving someones life. This club really sickens me as I hate to think of killing an animal that trusts you, my heart has been broken in these past couple months leading up to the show that is next week. I'm not vegetarian, I really want to be, but my parents are big on meat so when I eat it I can't look at it, and there's really nothing else to eat. Every time I go out to the pens and look at my pig I cry. I spent an hour crying today, it started in the pen and then I saw how happy that pig is around me and then I just couldn't take it and i started to walk and i just kept saying "im so sorry so sorry so sorry". It sickens me how this club, starts at the age of 9. yeah great job way to ruin a kids life. all over the web negative word about 4h is talking about the desensitization of the kids. for me that is not the case. I will never be at the point where I will not care about something I raise. I've always been so nice to animals. There was a snapping turtle in the road who had been hit and his shell was cracked so I walked half a mile and brought him to my house and I sprayed him with this healer and dissinfectant for animals but he still passed because I couldn't get it in time because my parents would not get it for me. I did not want to leave that turtles side. I am so disgusted that the majority of 4hers enjoy doing this. i cant even stand to hear people talk about slaughter. 4h is a sickening program, my mom says she used to be the same way, sometimes she still is, she told me when i was crying over my pig once "all animals have a purpose, people need meat" that only made me cry more because these animals, were born to die young

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 3 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Dear Chris: You have a heart of gold and you will find a way to walk in this world with grace and acceptance. Don't ever lose the depth of feeling you have; although it is very very difficult to live in this world when one is so sensitive. Your comment breaks my heart; I understand you completely on all aspects and only wish the very best for you; love in your heart and life, a fantastic future with the present dillema and concerns you face becoming distant memories which resolved in the most benevolent way. Bless you, dear Chris. You are an angel on earth....walk proudly, hold your head high and pray for guidance, always. Thank you for such a thoughtful, kind, wise and sensitive comment. you've brought tears to my eyes, too. Kathy

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 3 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Dear Chris: You have a heart of gold and you will find a way to walk in this world with grace and acceptance. Don't ever lose the depth of feeling you have; although it is very very difficult to live in this world when one is so sensitive. Your comment breaks my heart; I understand you completely on all aspects and only wish the very best for you; love in your heart and life, a fantastic future with the present dillema and concerns you face becoming distant memories which resolved in the most benevolent way. Bless you, dear Chris. You are an angel on earth....walk proudly, hold your head high and pray for guidance, always. Thank you for such a thoughtful, kind, wise and sensitive comment. you've brought tears to my eyes, too. Kathy

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 3 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CHRIS....last comment before mine...PLEASE get ahold of me...I have several suggestions for you about ways in which you can raise money in a humane way....there are websites that promote concerns just like yours...and people help you w/no expectations because they relate and care about you and your situation. PLEASE.....contact me and I'll share several avenues that have worked for others....all free and compassionate and will ease your hurt. Kathy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 3 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

4Her: "I show beef and love those steers and heifer to death." I rest my case.

Justin: "About 50% of 4-H animals are NOT raised for slaughter, they are raised for breeding purposes or milk production. While it is true that 99% of animals do end up being slaughtered, it is no different than so many humans dying in the hospital." Last time I looked, we weren't killing our sick human companions for profit, education, to learn a business acumen, etc. Nope! We haven't reached that low....yet. BTW, being a "milk cow" is just as bad as being a veal calf, a "slaughter hot," etc. Try standing in a stanchion for hours on end being fed ground up cows (cows are vegetarian but they are fed ground up remains mixed in w/grains, etc) while your utters are bloated to 5x their natural nursing size.

Nicole: "Parents understand that at some point, there may be a young crying child that doesn't want to say goodbye to their beloved animal. " No they don't....if they truly did; they would not encourage their kids to do this. There are so many other ways to make money and learn discipline.

Suze: " The pride you feel for your projects, cumulated from hours upon hours of hard work and prep can only be increased with the chance of winning a Grand Champion Ribbon and the elation one feels when they earn, yes EARN,..." Well, pride upon learning disloyalty and coldness is nothing to brag about. You still aren't getting the point.

NOW, HERE IS MY POINT: You can stop with the form letter "talking points." It is so easily identified. You're being directed, manipulated and indoctrinated by a callous, unfeeling and closed minded society. Many are not evolving beyond the empty rhetoric and noise of an unthinking populace.

So, please.....if you have something erudite to share; do so...but keep the talking, form, agendized and selling points out of intelligent conversation.

Your narrative is obvious, and you are being directed from sources which profit from naiveté and trust on the part of young, undeveloped minds. Civility and a sense of conscience are developed over time (we hope) Give it time; you'll eventually see other points of view besides profit and a feeling of human superiority.

It's "that time of year," when the fairs encourage this king of activity thus the onslaught of form letters all sounding the same w/a few changes here and there....

Tell mom and dad that I said so.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 3 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

PS I really do not care if any one who participates in 4H disagrees with me. Here are the facts, simple and straight forward:

YOU are learning how to become an "adult," how to earn money at the expense of a living being. This is ALL there is to it. Nothing more. YOU have chosen to sell life for your own "learning" experience. YOU have chosen to forfeit loyalty, feelings, trust, ethics and LIFE to gain what you consider to be a valid and valuable lesson. The ONLY lesson learned is that you have developed a hardened shell which allows you to, potentially, expose a living being to death or confinement to serve a 'purpose' ordained by another person. I wonder how that feels!

IF you wish to learn something valuable while also developing a sense of responsibility, follow through with positive end results...

CONSIDER FOSTERING AN ANIMAL WITH THE GOAL OF FINDING A HOME FOR LIFE. Fostering teaches loyalty, care, conscience, attention to detail and more. Fostering SAVES lives; it does not END life.

Fostering helps to keep animals such as cats and kittens, puppies and dogs, from being killed in over crowded shelters. Fostering is a very rewarding experience with the culmination being that you HAVE POSITIVE outcome...and your feelings are not trampled upon because you KNOW, or SUSPECT that the animal(s) you cared for will have a HAPPY ending; not in a slaughterhouse or milking station but, rather, in a loving home. Families are happy, animals are happy...YOU are happy.

There may not be the profit in this but, believe me, you will walk away from your experience liking yourself much more.

So, in closing; no amount of canned response or talking points, rhetoric or narrative changes this fact. YOU, if you raise a living, breathing, feeling animal for sale at auction, are contributing to the dark side; not light.

One day, if not sooner; you WILL understand this.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 3 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

First of all, Katy, you must learn to recognize the difference between male and female. The female of our species does not possess balls.

Secondly, you said: 4-h youth are essential because they are the next generation of farmers that will feed the world. It may not be YOUR passion, but agriculture is a passion, career, and way of life for many 4-hers and 4-h alum."

The word "essential" is a subjective one in this case. Rearing and consuming animals is not essential for our nutritional needs. it is a habit; a 'way of life;' one of which, btw, is soon to become archaic due to the pollution it creates, the feed this industry consumes (which could be put to far superior use feeding PEOPLE, not slaughter animals), and the ethics behind slaughtering animals will be seen for what it is: barbaric.

What YOU and others of your ilk fail to understand is that you have CHOSEN to place your ego, your identity and your feeling of self over that of other living creatures merely because they do not look like you. You have made this decision..you have determined that it is ok to kill in order to further yourself. Period.

Nope...I don't and won't accept this aspect of 4H.....EVER..again. .....

Write your own thoughts and stop w/the intro which is just a few words off from all the other canned responses I've read from a group who has received direction and dictation from another source. When you can adequately discuss, consider and argue your point yourself....you're welcome to return.

Until that; you might find some research on nutrition, antitiotics in "food" aninals, factory farming, slaughter houses, animal intelligence, psychology, sociology, history and the theory / dynamic and importance of the term "evolution."

We Save Cats profile image

We Save Cats 3 years ago from SE Kansas

Well said Lucky Cats. The kids don't know that they've been sold a bill of goods. They haven't stepped out of their comfort zone or left home yet so they have no idea about the world at large. When they move away from the old ways and into the big new world, hopefully go to college where they'll learn more about the greater good and not just a narrow view of what life is.

I can see that these are all varying word usages on a similar theme so it is obvious that these kids have been tutored as to what to say to an article such as yours. The meat industry is desperate and needs people to believe that it is necessary so they feed young minds the same lies over and over.

the smartest among the young writers who have responded here will rise above the cattle call and see reality. The dull ones will stay stuck in the old ways and never advance in this life.

Such is life.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 3 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Livestockrock: Well, maybe..but you don't. You allege: "many vitamins you get from meat that no other product could give the human body, so harvesting animals is still a necessity..." However, you have not substantiated this bit of incorrect, indoctrinated misdirection with any facts, figures, etc..just an assumption that it is true because you say so. Well, I must tell you; it is not. Witness the many (too many to list but you can find the information online) the many athletic personalities and "model" examples of extremely healthy, beautiful, youthful people who do not eat animal products of any kind. Check out Karen Alt on Fox news Saturdays. A beautiful woman who eats "raw" foods . This doesn't include meat. You use the term "harvesting animals." How utterly euphemistic and clinical. Until this sinks in; until you actually UNDERSTAND the depth of lack of knowledge and concept of LIFE that your statement smashes; you will continue to convince yourself that your chosen life pastime (not a necessity) IS your choice... based on an infinite amount of misinformation.

redwoodbev 3 years ago

I'd add one additonal item to your concerns about the "greater loyalty" aspect in 4-H. It is apparently common that county staff and directors, dismiss adult leaders and move their innocent children out of their clubs without any explanation or recourse. The heart in 4-H is the parents and children who participate. The administration of the program, at least in California is systemically corrupt. 4-H and the UC system hold their members in such low regard that I'm quite sure more protection is provided any farm animal in 4-H than their adult volunteers...without which there IS NO 4-H. Joining 4-H as an adult volunteer is tantamount to relinquishing your rights as a citizen to free speech and free association. This may be acceptable in a private club, but certainly not in an entity which accepts federal dollars. JMO

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 2 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

The ignorance and callousness that abounds in the minds of the uninformed; in the psyche of the selfish; in the self serving egos of the those who live by the rule of gluttony cannot be approached w/any degree of intelligence as, sadly, those who possess the above traits/character flaws are immune to reason. Heartless, mindless and self serving; they will always exist in the majority to the ruination of the sanctity/value of 'life.' Carry on w/your shallow, egomaniacal existence, OD, etal...and, btw; continue to hide behind a cute name as your true identity could never stand up to the vitriol of your inane opinion. Go ahead, continue to kill for your gut urges.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 2 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

4th is amazing: By being vegetarian; much healthier and more humane though, I am glad you did not sell your animals for slaughter.

Four H For Life: Your limited life experience has not provided you the in depth knowledge necessary to make such comments. One can build character in so many ways; if this were not so (according to your statement) then we'd all be ranchers. Furthermore; it isn't for Christ's sake...not at all. These are God's creatures. In addition; "pet" is a relative term subject to a myriad of interpretations; not limited to your narrow definition. In closing; who determined "their purpose?" When you can answer that, honestly and truly; you will find you've reached a new understanding what it means to "live and let live." PS...assumptions..you know what that does? Makes an ass of YOU and Me...you've assumed more than you know; what information has led you to believe I have no experience with "this world?" Another assumption: that animal flesh feeds you and ME..really?

Imnotbeingmean: There are many alternatives to spending days in front of a video game. I know you'll discover these along the way. You're well on your way to the right path...keep it up; your intuition and sensitivity as well as intelligence has given you insights that will guide you towards humanity and ethics. Good luck

To those who respond; a little editing, spell checking and sentence structure would go a long way towards helping you create a more compelling discussion in defense of your stance.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 24 months ago from North Carolina

Your a ray of sunshine in a damp dark winter, as always... my friend.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 23 months ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Dear Alastar...I am so surprised to see your comment....I rarely visit HP's anymore; just too busy in other areas, now. HOW ARE YOU? I think of you often. If you still have my email; please send me a note; I'd love to 'talk' w/you. Thank you for the kind words...you've always brightened my day, too.....

meadow 10 months ago

I see this article is several years old but I agree that 4-H desensitized children to violence and teaches them the value of betrayal. But also I thought you would like to know that several of my vegetarian and vegan friends became that way from their experiences in 4-H.

Indrid Cold 6 months ago

I have a few reasons myself why I don't care much for 4H, but you're just a liberal loon. Go hug a moving bus.

Caitlyn 3 weeks ago

I know this article was posted many years ago, but I just have to throw in my two cents. My name is Caitlyn, and I have been in 4-H for 10 years. Over those ten years, my fellow 4-Hers have become like family to me. The only people who have ever been cruel or inhumane are those who claim to be protecting animals. Because of articles like this, PETA has taken a special interest in 4-H. They've gone into barns full of 4-Hers who love their cows and take care of them as well as they possibly can and they'll swear at them and scream that they're murdering them, over working them and raping them with artificial insemination. These are dairy cows. They are never murdered for food. The kids who raise them are taught that you care for your cow before you even care for yourself. I was at a workshop last year and one girl got kicked out because when she woke up she drank some water before making sure her cow had some. As far as AI, a cow can't be artificially disseminated unless it's in heat, and one of the ways the cow clearly signifies that is by ATTEMPTING TO MOUNT ANYTHING THAT MOVES, people included. This is quite the opposite of a cow begging not to be bred.

PETA also made an appearance at the Allegheny County Fair, at which they decided to free some several hundred pound pigs from the "cruel grasp of 4-Hers." They snuck in in the middle of the night, and undid all the locks on the pig pens. The pigs got out, and two ran into traffic and died. The 4-Hers were devastated. Not only was an animal who had become their friend dead, there was no benefit from it. It was ruthless killing and thousands of dollars lost to the 4-Her, yet PETA considered it a win.

In 2050, the global population is expected to reach 9 billion. At current rates of consumption and production, this would require a planet and a half to feed everyone. Of course, people like you, the author, would probably say that everyone just needs to go vegan to fix this crisis. After all, you can get more energy from plants and there's no killing involved. That would be fairly logical, except for one minor detail. 2/3 of the world's plants are indigestible by the simple monogastric stomach that humans have because we can't consume that much fiber. However, for ruminants like cows, sheep, and goats, these plants are delicious, nutritious, and most importantly, digestible. Therefore, by consuming these animals, we are of course increasing protein sources, and energy sources as a whole since now all plants are usable.

Finally, you attacked shooting sports. I have participated in archery and marksmanship at 4-H Camp, and we have never used live targets. For 45 minutes at the range, we are required to sit through two hours of safety classes, and a single unsafe practice will get us kicked off the range immediately. While we are shooting, if any living creature, be it a person, deer, or squirrel, comes onto the range, everyone MUST STOP FIRING. At every shooting sports 4-h competition, this is the case. The purpose of the shooting sports project is to educate people about shooting safety and to give them a project to increase strength, in the case of archery, and precision and focus for both sports.

Finally, 4-H isn't just a bunch if hillbillies running around with their cows and guns. In fact, 90% of 4-Hers are involved in some sort of STEM project. Take me for example; I lease a dairy cow (who is one of my closest friends and who I take care of daily, even though she places last in shows and is incredibly stubborn), I compete in public speaking (I won grand champion in my county and 2nd in the state for extemporaneous), I do rocketry, and I'm the Vice President of Public Issues for my state 4-H program. 4-H isn't about slaughter and betrayal, it's about fostering and educating tomorrow's leaders through real world situations.

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