Humane Education

Cultivating Compassion and a More Sustainable Future
In-Classroom Programming, Youth Advocacy, and Curriculum Resources

Excellence in Humane Education Award

UPDATE: During this extraordinary time, we are offering online classes. Check here for current programming.

Recognizing that middle school and high school students sitting in classrooms right now are tomorrow’s leaders — in business, education, government, social justice activism, and all spheres of public life — Farm Sanctuary is educating young hearts and minds about our modern food system. The natural sense of compassion that many youth possess for animals, combined with critical thinking skills and knowledge of our food system, is a powerful force for positive change.

With this in mind, Farm Sanctuary offers an age-appropriate introduction to issues of our food system through a FREE in-classroom guest presentation by our Humane Educator, featuring the stories of the individual animals who call Farm Sanctuary home and a virtual tour of our sanctuary. We also provide online resources for students and teachers.

On the East Coast, our program is currently being offered in the New York City and Philadelphia metro areas, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Central-Western New York. On the West Coast, the program is offered in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are a middle or high school educator in this region, we hope you will contact us to schedule a presentation for your classroom today!

Why Humane Education?

As awareness of factory farming and the intelligent, social, emotional nature of farm animals has grown among the public, addressing these issues in the classroom has become a critical component of a comprehensive education preparing young people for a changing world and the future challenges their generation will face.

Offering humane education to your students can be rewarding as a teacher but it can also benefit them! Studies have shown that humane education has benefits for academic performance as well as student health and development.

Tanya Steele, the UK Chief Executive of the World Wildlife Fund, stated, “We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it.” Scientific literacy is the key to mitigating the effects of global climate change, and arming students with the skills and knowledge to make informed choices and take positive action is at the core of environmental education.


Resources for Teachers & Students

Youth Advocacy

Know a middle or high school student who’s interested in farm animal advocacy? Farm Sanctuary’s Youth Action for Farm Animals resources provide youth activists tools and inspiration, a sense of community, and the chance to connect with like-minded student peers from across the country. Learn more.

Sustainable Future Curriculum

Our modern food system has a profound impact on the environment – polluting our land, air, and water; depleting natural resources; and contributing to global climate change. Farm Sanctuary offers a free curriculum for middle and high school teachers, exploring animal agriculture’s effects on our planet and building scientific literacy on environmental phenomena related to our food system. Learn more.


In-Classroom Programming

Meet the Animals: A Virtual Tour of Farm Sanctuary

This presentation gives students the opportunity to visit the sanctuary from their classroom seats. We take students on a virtual tour of the sanctuary through photos and video and introduce them to the animals who call Farm Sanctuary home. As part of telling the animals’ histories, we share background on the conditions these animals came from and the realities of our modern food system in an age-appropriate way. We also offer information about how plant-based food choices and reducing your consumption of animal products is a great step to take toward helping animals.

Farm Sanctuary’s Meet the Animals Presentation is available for 40-, 60-, and 90-minute classes.

Environmental Impacts & Our Food System

This presentation introduces students to the ways in which animal agriculture impacts our environment and contributes to global climate change. We will explore a variety of topics including greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, water use, pollution, species extinction, waste management, and the impact that factory farming has on community health. Many young people feel a sense of urgency to take action when they learn about the current state of our environment. Farm Sanctuary offers students practical steps they can take to make a positive difference and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Farm Sanctuary’s Environmental Impacts & Our Food System presentation is available for 40-, 60-, and 90-minute classes.

As part of our presentation, we offer a virtual reality experience that provides background information on Farm Sanctuary as an organization and our broader mission to protect farm animals. Wearing virtual reality goggles, students are transported to one of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters where they come face to face with cows, chickens, sheep, goats, and pigs who reside at our sanctuaries.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is an exciting, emergent technology that is increasingly being explored as a new tool for education. Through Farm Sanctuary’s virtual reality Sanctuary Tour, we offer students an interactive and highly engaging experience that deepens their understanding and retention of the educational material.

When students put on our virtual reality headsets they experience a three-and-a-half-minute VR video featuring a 360-degree view of Farm Sanctuary’s New York shelter — they feel like they’re really there! Students who partake in our virtual reality Tour are transported outside of the classroom and directly into the beautiful pastures of our upstate New York shelter. During their VR experience, students get up close and personal with our rescued animals and take in a glimpse of their daily lives.

virtual reality (VR) may be the type of educational breakthrough that comes along once in a generation, heralding a tectonic shift toward immersive content for teaching and instruction.


Our Humane Educators

NYC and Philadelphia Humane Educator

Arianna Duncan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies and a concentration in Public Advocacy. Arianna’s passion for animal and environmental advocacy is what led her to choose her field of study and pursue a career path as humane educator. Arianna gained extensive experience as a public speaker through both her academic study and her role as Global Ambassador for the University of North Carolina’s International Studies Abroad program. Currently, Arianna resides in Brooklyn, NY with her cat companion Juniper and spends her free time cooking delicious plant-based recipes, hiking, doing yoga, and dancing.

Arianna Duncan

San Francisco Bay Area Humane Educator

Maddie Krasno first joined Farm Sanctuary in 2017 as a Tour Guide at the Watkins Glen shelter. Prior to her roles as Tour Guide and now Senior Humane Educator, Maddie worked for numerous sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and advocacy groups throughout the country and abroad before finding her home with Farm Sanctuary.

Maddie resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her leisure time, she enjoys a good hike, indoor cycling, and playtime with her cats, Calvin and Celia, and her dog, Millie. Maddie holds a master’s degree in humane education through the Institute for Humane Education.

Maddie Krasno

Los Angeles Metro Area Humane Educator

Chloe Fuller was introduced to farm animal protection movement by Farm Sanctuary in 2015, when she became a volunteer at our shelter in Acton, CA. Her impactful experience as a volunteer inspired her to pursue a career in animal advocacy. Prior to joining Farm Sanctuary’s staff, she worked with The Humane League as a Senior Field Organizer, developing activists into leaders in their communities and giving presentations to students about factory farming. Chloe holds a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts from Boston University. Chloe lives in Los Angeles with two rescued cats, Churro and Kiki. In her free time she loves to play music, cook, and go backpacking.

Chloe Fuller

Central-Western New York Humane Educator

Andrew O’Donnell discovered his passion for animal advocacy while earning his bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Oregon State University. After gaining experience through volunteer activism and working as an animal caregiver at Full Circle Farm Sanctuary, he joined Farm Sanctuary in 2019 as a Tour Guide at the Watkins Glen shelter. Andrew is fortunate to be based at our Watkins Glen shelter where he can spend time with our animal residents every day! Andrew enjoys hiking and is especially fond of National Parks, and never misses a game from his favorite basketball team the Portland Trail Blazers.

Andrew O'Donnell

Teacher Testimonials

Ben was an excellent guest speaker. His presentation was engaging and he provided students excellent information. All of the students learned something new. I especially liked the varied format. He had them watch and listen to a presentation, he had them get up and try and fit in a small space, he had them write what they learned on a post-it note, and ended with the virtual reality. It was educational, interesting and engaging. The time went fast. When I asked the students how they liked the presentation I received all positive feedback. They said ‘He was chill.’ It doesn't get much better. I would definitely have him come back again.

Cindy Wagner, Pascack Hills High School, Montvale, NJ

I think it opened the eyes of my city kids. Many only have a vague idea of a "nice" farm from childhood books. They learned about factory farms and how bad conditions really are. I think it increased awareness of the animals as well. Most kids have no idea where their food comes from; this may have been the first time most of them learned about how their food is treated before it gets to their plates.

The presentation was already great but the VR portion made it awesome!

Ellen Cohen, Phillip A. Randolph Technical School, Philadelphia, PA

Schools Visited

ConnecticutBristol Central High School Latin
Chester Elementary School
E.B. Kenelly School
Lauralton Hall
Norwich Free Academy
New York, NYCareers in Sports High School
Leaders of Tomorrow
North Bronx School of Empowerment (MS 287)
PS 107
PS 205
PS 83
PS 85
PS/MS 194
The Longwood Academy of Discovery
Academy for Health Careers
Cultural Arts Academy
Fort Hamilton High School
James Madison High School
JHS 62 The Ditmas School
Middle School for Art and Philosophy
MS 136 Charles O. Dewey
MS 88
Passages Academy
PS 10
PS 119
PS 169
PS 208
PS 372 The Children’s School
The Berkeley Carroll School
Unity Prep Charter School
WATCH High School
High School for Environmental Studies
John Jay College
NYC iSchool
P.S./I.S. 66
PS 333
PS 343
PS/MS 278
Stephen Gaynor School
Teachers College Community School
IS 237
LIC High School
PS/MS105 The Bay School
Queens Paideia School
Staten Island Technical High School
New JerseyCarl Sandburg Middle School
Edison Job Corps
Fairview School
Freehold Township High School
Freire Charter School Wilmington
Haddonfield Middle School
Hudson Montessori School
John Marshall
Martin Luther King Jr School, PS #11
Pascack Hills High School
Pascack Valley Regional High School
Paterson Public School 7
PS 2
Ridge and Valley Charter School
Scotch Plains Fanwood High School
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center
Toms River High School North
Unity Charter School
Woodrow Wilson High School
Philadelphia, PAChaltenham Middle School
Charter High School of Architecture + Design
Fox Chase Elementary-An Agriculture School
Frankford High School
Freire Charter Middle School
Lankenau Environmental Magnet High School
Odyssey Charter School
Olney Charter High School
Sacred Heart School
Thomas Edison High School
Wissahickon Charter School- Awbury Campus
A. Philip Randolph Career and Technical High School
Hudson Valley, NYJackson Avenue School
Kakiat STEAM Academy
New Hyde Park Memorial High School
South Orangetown Middle School
Spring Valley High School
Long Island, NYLongwood High School
Merrick Central High School
Mepham High School
San Francisco Bay AreaAmador Valley High School
Assumption School
Boronda Meadows Elementary School
Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8
California College of the Arts
Crespi Junior High School
Dallas Ranch Middle School
De Anza High School
Dublin High School
El Dorado Elementary School
Henry M. Gunn High School
Imagination Lab School
John F. Kennedy High School
Linscott Charter School
Malcolm X Academy
Milipitas High School
New Highland Academy
Norwood Creek Elementary School
Park Middle School
San Francisco Public Montessori
Stevens Creek Elementary School
Stratford School – Palo Alto
Sun Valley Elementary School
Sunrise Middle School
Tice Creek School
Village High School
Vincent Academy
Wood Middle School
San Diego, CAOlympian High School
Los Angeles Metro AreaJane Addams Middle School
Mark Twain Middle School
Arleta HIgh School
Sandra Cisneros Learning Academy
Environmental Charter School
Del Rey Elementary School
Sierra Vista Middle School
MUSE School
Seven Arrows Elementary School
Charles Evans Hughes Middle School
Hook Junior High School
Magnolia Avenue Elementary School
Porter Middle School

Schedule a Presentation

Are you interested in having Farm Sanctuary come to your classes to present?

We would love to present to your students. We can present to as many classes in a day as needed and, schedule permitting, we will come to your school multiple times in order to reach as many classes as we can!

Please provide us with the following information and we will get back to you as quickly as possible in order to schedule a presentation.

Classroom photographs by Derek Goodwin