Network Bulletin

June 2019

A Comprehensive Approach to Humane Education

There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives.

Audre Lorde, Author and Activist

In this bulletin, we provide you with two versions of the same lesson plan, based on the True Price concept, along with other lessons, activities, and resources to utilize in looking at the world -- and humane education program development -- from a holistic viewpoint. 

Whatever content you include in your programs, the skills that we aim to develop are the same: prosocial awareness, critical thinking, and empowerment. When we recognize how the problems we face in this world are interconnected, as well as the long-lasting solutions, we will better serve the animals for whom we care, as well as people and the planet.

At HEART, our mission is "to develop a generation of compassionate youth who create positive change for animals, people, and the natural world." We recognize that to truly create a humane world, the feelings and needs of both people and animals must be taken into consideration, as well as the rejuvenation and sustainability of the natural world. When humane education programming is developed with this perspective, we refer to it as comprehensive humane education. 

The concept of comprehensive humane education, in the broadest sense of the term, has been widely promoted by the Institute for Humane Education, a leader in this approach. The Institute aims to “Creat[e] a more just, humane, and sustainable world for all life through education.”

Zoe Weil, the Institute’s co-founder and president, presents the concept of comprehensive humane education in her TEDx Talk, provided as our feature video below. She shares an example of a comprehensive humane education activity called True Price, in which youth consider the true price of their consumer choices by thinking about a product’s life cycle and the impact it has on people, animals, and the environment. 

Lesson - Grades K-2  

Appreciation for Others

Youth think about how they can act kindly toward people, animals, and the environment by participating in a series of role-plays where someone is in need or where they can be of service.

Lesson - Grades 3-5

How Much Does That Really Cost?

Youth gather information about the life cycle of a product, analyze the true cost of the product on people, other species, and the natural world, and then share what they learned with their peers.

Craft Activity - Grades 3-5

Humane Message Stickers

Youth brainstorm phrases or slogans about compassion toward people, animals, and the planet. They choose one and create a sticker or badge to wear to promote their humane message.

Interactive Lesson

Based on the lesson featured above, How Much Does That Really Cost?, this one-to-one digital learning experience includes slides and interactive activities, serving as a ready-to-teach lesson. 

Note: You may need to create a free Nearpod account to access this lesson. 


Discover the value of teaching humane education from a holistic perspective and gain examples of how you can make authentic connections between people, animals, and the natural world in your humane education programs.

Member Poll

Book Recommendation

Creating a World That Works for All

By Sharif Abdullah

Abdullah artfully discusses how exclusivity — separating ourselves from other people — is the cause for so many of the issues facing our world. To restore the health of our Earth and build community, he posits that we need to embrace inclusivity and become “menders,” transforming ourselves and the world.

Related Article

Striking at the Roots - By Bob Schwalb

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HEART does not receive compensation from third parties for promoting books or other materials, nor do we receive compensation for the purchase of any suggested for-sale materials, unless specifically noted.

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