Working towards a more compassionate world through education and advocacy

Increasing our Compassionate Footprint

September 2015

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Rotary challenges Cape Town’s young debating contestants

on a burning consumer issue!

Sixteen Cape Town high schools took part in Rotary’s Schools Debating competition this year -


to propose or oppose the motion:

 "This house would ban battery farming".

On 27 July, the final knock-out debate took place between


De Kuilen High School (opposing the motion) and

Camps Bay High School (proposing the motion).

In a twist of fate, English and Life Orientation teacher Melanie Thomet, well-known for her opposition to battery farming, was tasked with preparing her debating team at De Kuilen High School to oppose the motion!  Melanie made headlines in the Sunday newspaper Rapport last year when angry parents accused her of indoctrinating their children with animal rights concepts which had turned them away from meat and God.


“I was devastated when I learned that my school had to argue AGAINST the motion.”

Melanie told Animal Voice. “I took solace in the fact that animal rights has become relevant enough to be chosen

as a topic for an inter-schools debating competition.”  

In the end, De Kuilen High won the debate in its argument against the motion. “It was a strange feeling,” said Melanie.


“I was simultaneously proud and disappointed that my team had won the debate.


"But the debate generated so much passion on behalf of the animals trapped in battery cages that I felt it was, in fact, a significant victory for the animals. The learners from all 16 schools are now aware of the plight of 24.5 million hens trapped in battery cages across our country!”

Participating schools were: Reddam, Claremont, CBC Parklands, Westerford, De Kuilen, DF Malan, Wynberg Boys, Springfield, Milnerton, Edgemead, Bishops, Rondebosch Boys, Camps Bay, Bloubergrant, Fairmont and Deutsche Schule.   

Melanie Thomet 


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Intl: +27 21 852 8160  .  Tel: 021 852 8160  .  Fax: 021 4131297



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