Warning: video contains graphic footage of an animal carcass being prepared for consumption.
A pre-school child sits with the leg of a deer in her hand, the dead deer lying behind her. Smiling, she predicts that the deer will be delicious and explains to the camera why hunting is needed.
This is the start of a video that shows a kindergarten school trip in Denmark to a hunt organised by the Danish Hunting Association. In a world where many are disconnected from the food they eat and where it comes from, this trip aimed to educate children in the journey of meat from land to table. To do that, the children help the hunters cut up the deer and prepare the meat.
Jens Bjorn Andersen, board member of the Danish Hunting Association, says that “this scheme is all about showing future generations what hunters are doing and making it easy to digest”.
The outreach to schools, he continues, is a response to the ‘Disneyfication’ of animals, aiming to show that hunting can help people to truly “reap the benefits of nature”.
'No-nonsense approach to parenting'
You might expect the parents of these children to be concerned or even outraged by the trip – especially as the children were so young. But this was not the case.
“These experiences are quite common in Scandinavia and parents see this as a very natural and normal way of life,” explains a spokesperson from the Monocular – a global hunting community based in Denmark. “There is a pretty ‘no-nonsense’ approach to parenting here.”
There has been a largely positive response to the video on social media, with parents from all over the world expressing their appreciation of the idea. Many agree on the need to educate young people and make them aware of where their food comes from.
Would you take your pupils on such an expedition? It is not so dissimilar to the experiences Mike Fairclough, headteacher at former Tes primary school of the year West Rise Primary, puts on.
Although he has not gone to these extremes yet – he runs clay shooting and has regularly prepared and cooked animals with students - he says he would like to one day. He says his 12 year-old son shoots, prepares and eats wood pigeons himself, and Mike would like to do the same with his students.
“As the little girl was saying, roe deer need to be managed in order to protect the forest. The same goes for rabbits and pigeons”, he says, “so it's not about killing for the sake of killing. It's about countryside management and taking full responsibility for the meat we eat.”
Would you take your students on a hunting day? Tell us @tes or in the comments below.
Video courtesy of TV2 Østjylland