In their own words: Middle school students share thoughts on Bridges of Respect

Bridges of Respect provides free humane education presentations for middle schools, high schools, after-school programs, colleges, and community groups. While presentations have mostly been offered in the Twin Cities metro area, the recent increase in online learning has opened the door for Bridges of Respect to connect with students in other cities and states.

Recently, Shannon Kimball and Suzy Sorenson teamed up to share a Bridges of Respect presentation via Zoom with a 7th and 8th grade Health class in Pocatello, Idaho. Several students shared their feedback after the experience:

Freeman Wicklund bringing Bridges of Respect to a Twin Cities classroom

“Dear Mr. Kimball and Mrs. Sorenson, thank you for volunteering your time to teach us. You have let me know a lot more about what happens to animals. I had the idea that this overcrowding could affect not just the animals but the environment as well. I feel pretty bad for the animals that have to be in those cages. I personally love the taste of meat, and I am glad that you guys have shown me there are vegan alternatives for meat, and I think it would be a good idea to try to eat more like a vegan. I appreciate you guys, because you took time out of your schedule to talk to my class and teach us.”

“Thank you for letting us know what is happening in the world. I agree that what people are doing to animals especially chickens is cruel and that it should be fixed. I also like to learn about plant based diets, but I don’t think I can give up meat. I may eat more plant based food though.”

“Thank you for teaching us about being a vegan. I had no idea about what happened in large factory farms and all the cruelty that takes place there. …This has opened my eyes to a new world of what happens beyond just going to the grocery store….I personally might reconsider my diet after seeing some of the things taking place in these large farms.”

“My top two favorite things you two talked about are how you listed a bunch of alternate food choices that are vegan. I thought this was very interesting, especially when you included places around me that could be vegan. My other favorite subject you mentioned was how animals were getting treated on farms and how they are being mistreated. This helped me get a different perspective on how I think about animals.”

“…You talked about how the animals or, more specifically chickens, are treated in factories. While you were talking about that it really got me thinking about the products I eat and buy. I’ve never really thought about the products I buy or what happened to the animals in the products. But thanks to you both I realized how awful some of the animals are treated and how to be more aware about it. I talked to my family about changing a few things about the companies we support. We talked about how we would look into more vegan options and more animal friendly products.”

“Thank you so much for volunteering your time to educate my class. I’m really grateful that I could learn, and be made aware of, what happens in factory farms and hatcheries. I was happy to watch the video from Mr. Kimball’s presentation and know that there are people working so hard to protect the animals and educate the public. I would also like to thank Mrs. Sorenson for giving her presentation on vegan/vegetarian diets, the positive benefits and how best to transition. You two are amazing!”

Interested in a Bridges of Respect presentation?

Bridges of Respect presentations spark critical thinking in students by encouraging participation with short videos, lively discussions, and engaging activities. Plant-based food samples are often included! Presentations are flexible in length and can be modified for varied age groups, interests, and curriculums.

You can learn more about Bridges of Respect and they work they do at bridgesofrespect.org. If you are interested in having Bridges of Respect presenters come to your classroom or community meeting, fill out the request form here.

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