I understand this post is going to be fairly controversial
but I feel this is the only forum I can say it and I am interested to see if anyone else has thought the same…
While looking into the issue of factory farming, I couldn’t help noticing the similarities between animal welfare problems and the problems caused to children by placing them in day-care/group care.
Three of the most commonly known animal welfare problems caused by factory farming are:
•Abnormal, unhealthy (often aggressive) behaviour caused by stress overcrowding in an unnatural environment.
•Growth and development problems
•Increased use of antibiotics to promote faster growth and to compensate for the unsanitary conditions in which they are raised
While with day-care, studies show a direct link to day-care and stress levels (and it is well know that stress can be damaging to health and development) “When children stay home, their cortisol levels show the healthy pattern—-rising at waking and decreasing throughout the day. When children attend daycare, the pattern changes. Cortisol levels increase during the day” (Geoffroy et al 2006)
Research also points to the negative effects of day-care on a childs behaviour, “Researchers found that the more time kids spent in non-maternal care during the first 4.5 years of life, the more behavioral problems they developed“(National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 2003)
“Children in day care have more respiratory and gastrointestinal infections and are at higher risk for meningitis due to Haemophilus influenzae than are children in home care” (Infectious Diseases and Day Care, by Jerome O. Klein © 1986) The number of colds and flus that day-care children get speaks for itself, and a number of reasons could be behind this increase in illness: stress, close contact with other children, weakened immune systems from formula feeding, or over consumption of antibiotics causing antibiotic-resistant bacteria – all major concerns for society.
So what kind of generation are we bringing up? Anyone else see the similarities to factory farming??
Why is it acceptable to be proactive about promoting the problems with factory farming, and be critical towards this kind of practice, but not when it comes to day-care! Do we care more about animals than our own children??
I’m not saying mothers shouldn’t go to work, but I think our society needs to look at child care more closely and mothers (particularly us AP ones) need to be more proactive making change a priority (without fear of offending others) before a whole generation is affected.
I think the following quote from an article “Talking about childcare” by Diane K. McHale puts it nicely http://www.mothering.com/parenting/talk ... -childcare
“Working mothers shouldn't feel guilty if researchers find problems with child care, but they have a right to feel angry. Instead, it should be a wake-up call for real change in families and workplaces. Maybe careers should accommodate taking a few years off or working part time. Perhaps fathers should put more time into caring for their small children. On the other hand, finding advantages to at-home care could be a reason to recognize and respect the high-quality work at-home parents do. Mothers and fathers don't have to feel bad if they want to stay home with their children or work part time. More importantly, it could be one more reason for at-home parents to demand better treatment.”