Many civilizations collapsed. The ruins that remain provoke the critical thinking of how, societies so magnificent and powerful, could end up in decline. There are many factors involved, environmental damage, climate change, etc. In the 1970s, the UNESCO Universal Declaration of Animal Rights was a guiding document in defense of animal rights. It stands that Governments shall ensure that education leads to the respect of these rights. However, our children receive an anthropocentric education. It is urgent to teach them the interconnection of all forms of life, rejecting speciesism or other forms of discrimination, as they are factors contributing to societal decline. The school has a fundamental role in the realization of values of empathy and compassion with the suffering of others sentient beings. It is a powerful locus of moral, ethical, aesthetic and political formation. This research aims to answer the question whether future generations are being educated to widen the circle of compassion and empathy for animals and all living beings or, in a “human-centered” view, they are perpetuating the utilitarianism. To this end, a multidisciplinary study permeates moral and ethical issues, with the proposal of an “ecocentric” education focuses on intrinsic values of the ecosystem, environment, and individual living beings and habitats. An education that respects all biotic and abiotic forms in the construction of a better world to live in. It is possible to educate individuals and social behaviors in everyday life, expanding the cycle of compassion for all living beings as in Albert Einstein's imaginary.
Deborah Lambach Ferreira da Costa, Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil