“Kindergarten Parents Say Guinea Pig’s “Footprint” is Too Big!”
By Sarah Maizes
LOS ANGELES; Kindergarteners at Crescent Street elementary won’t be attending class next Monday and it isn’t because of budget cuts. They’re hitting the picket line.
The parents are up in arms over their teacher’s new classroom pet, Taco, a tan and white short-haired guinea pig she bought at Petco, and they are encouraging their children to boycott in protest.
In a Back-To-School night held last week, Julia Pace, a kindergarten parent, learned of Taco's origins during a routine parent/teacher conference. “When I asked Miss Brown where she got it, I was shocked. He wasn’t organic or anything.”
Another parent who wouldn’t use their name was quoted as saying “Taco is a by-product of a greedy corporate structure designed to peddle as many small furry animals to our community as possible with complete disregard for our planet.”
When asked for comment Miss Brown gave a confused shrugged. “He was cute.”
Mrs. Pace, the class mom, sent a blast e-mail to other parents urging them to keep their children home from school until a more suitable guinea pig is found. “Hopefully one that’s free-range.”
“When we found out Taco was from a regular pet store, we were appalled” said another tike’s mother. “In an age where we are trying to teach our children to be “green” and sympathetic, do we want our children to endorse mill-raised classroom pets? How could LAUSD let this happen?” Many parents, concerned about the message the guinea pig sent, were quick to hop on board.
But not all students are in agreement with their parents. In an interview with a potential striker during recess, the child divulged “I just want to pet the piggy.”
Petco is a popular source for classroom pets, their well-stocked cubicles of guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters appealing to school teachers and families alike. But recently, parents have expressed their concerns over Petco’s lack of “greenness” and this has parents and local environmentalists alike, up in arms.
The major concerns behind the sales of small mammals to classrooms stretch far beyond the moral. According to P.O.O.P. (Pals Of Organic Piggies), the environmental ramifications are catastrophic. “When you put a lot of pigs together in a hutch and they have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do…well, you do the math. And more piggie babies means more piggie poop and that stuff piles up right quick. These big chains there, they just scoop it all up and toss it out the window.” said Edward Skywith, owner of Parsley Springs, a sustainable organic guinea pig farm where the cavies are “hand-raised.” “Hand-raised means, free-range piggies raised on fresh organic parsley, breastmilk, and good old-fashioned country music. They love it.” “Our piggies roam free and their poop comes right back home to mother earth. Our piggies, fertilize our whole farm. Heck, you should see our cauliflower!”
A representative from Petco had no comment, but mentioned an upcoming sale on goldfish.
The families of Crescent Street School aren’t the first ones to have faced this issue. In fact, the ever-raising level of environmental consciousness among parents and teachers has caused a rise in sales of organic free-range guinea pigs.
At the Smith School, a private school in nearby Beverly Hills, the students and PTA have made tremendous strides in the “greening” of classroom pets. Miss Paley, a 1st grade teacher proudly showed off “Fern”, a guinea pig from a sustainable guinea pig farm in nearby Camarillo. “Fern” is an organic free-range guinea pig. “Sure we paid a bit more for her, but her carbon footprint is really small.”