Meow! My name is June Buggie and I have something to say.
You humans have a problem, especially your kids, and it’s called Nature Deficit Disorder.
What is Nature Deficit Disorder? It’s a term coined by Richard Louv in his book Last Child in the Woods. Louv shows that humans are tied to nature, and require contact with the natural world in order for children to develop into both physically and emotionally healthy adults. He asserts that children who don’t have sufficient contact with the natural world and who are not able to adapt to our high-tech, indoor world are more likely to suffer from obesity, attention disorders, and depression.
A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 8- to 18-year-olds spend more than 53 hours a week using entertainment media (TV, computer, etc.).
Now I know what you’re thinking. What does this have to do with animals, June Buggie?
Kids who don’t have regular contact with nature don’t have a concept of animals being free in nature. A disconnect with nature could lead to further destruction of the few places left where animals can live in the wild.
Kids who don’t have regular contact with the natural world will be more accepting of livestock animals living in cruel, cramped conditions. How many of you know what kind of conditions pigs and chickens live in?
Kids who never experience the wonder of insects will not understand the valuable role they play in the ecosystem, and will instead think that all bugs should be killed with pesticides.
Let’s consider that Nature had a reason for creating the living things that inhabit the Earth and knows more than humans about what this world needs.
So how about teaching your children a healthy respect for the natural world by experiencing it firsthand, not just by watching it on TV.