Friday, February 10, 2017
A textbook has sparked outrage in India for instructing fourth-graders to suffocate a kitten to show how living beings need air
The experiment described in the environmental science textbook for 9-year-olds tells the students to place two kittens in separate boxes, one of them without air holes, and wait to see the result. The textbook, titled Our Green World, was published by PP Publications, a New Delhi-based publisher of school textbooks. It had been used in hundreds of schools in the Indian capital and the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana since April 2016. The first chapter, titled "Living Things Breathe," reads: "No living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes. You can do an experiment." That experiment? "Take two wooden boxes," the text continues. "Make holes on the lid of one box. Put a small kitten in each box. Close the boxes. After some time open the boxes. What do you see? The kitten inside the box without holes has died."