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Nursery rhymes including Three Blind Mice given 'animal-friendly' vegan makeover

By Danya Bazaraa

Teachers and parents are being encouraged to give outdated nursery rhymes animal-friendly updates.

Animal rights group Peta argue that in the same way old songs and fairytales have been changed to replace language that is sexist, racist and insensitive, nursery rhymes also need to be updated to remove language which 'encourages cruelty to animals'.

Peta said: "Attitudes toward animals have changed a lot in the hundreds of years since many nursery rhymes were written.

"And in the same way old songs and fairy tales have been given much-needed makeovers to replace racist, sexist, and otherwise insensitive language, we should make sure nursery rhymes are relevant for kids today and don’t encourage speciesism, cruelty to animals, or fear of them.

Peta has suggested a change of wording (PETA/Triangle News)

"Animals are intelligent individuals capable of joy and suffering. They’re not ours to exploit, and our language must evolve to reflect this."

The famous lyrics of 'baa baa black sheep' are: "Baa-baa, black sheep have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full."

Peta's suggested version reads: "Baa baa black sheep can I have your wool? No sir, no sir, that's not cool."

Another modified nursery rhyme (PETA/Triangle News)

Recently people have argued the rhyme is racist – with the “black sheep” representing slaves in the southern states of the US who were forced to pick cotton.

Some nurseries now sing “Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep” in an attempt to make it less controversial.

In a version of Three Blind Mice modified by Peta, they do not have their tails carved off by the farmer’s wife in the updated version, but actually thank her for saving their lives.

And the spider in Little Miss Muffet ends up brightening her day, instead of frightening her away.

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Dive Deeper:
As mass extinctions loom, these philosophers could help us rediscover our place among other animals
Children think that pigs are as deserving of kindness as dogs and cats, and as readily condemn cruelty to hamsters…
Animals Farmed: bird flu hits the US, superbugs in pigs and the sheep with an enormous fleece
Welcome to our monthly roundup of the biggest issues in farming and food production, with must-read reports from around the…
Eurovision Song Contest: Every winner ranked from worst to best
Sixty-eight songs have claimed the top prize since the competition began in 1956 - and some are a lot better than…
Language matters when Googling controversial people
One of the useful features of search engines like Google is the autocomplete function that enables users to find fast…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Knocked Up and the American Impulse to Edit Out Abortion
How the comedy, now 15 years old, foresaw Roe’s looming tragedies
‘I wanted to challenge people’s prejudices’: is Pleasure the most revealing film about porn ever?
In an explicit and uncompromising new drama, a Swedish woman tries to work her way to the top of LA’s…
Get all your news in one place