Comparing Cruelty: Lesson 2 Design and Technologies, Yr 9-10

Consuming Cruelty: Analysing Animal Product Consumption and Designing Future Alternatives

Information to Teachers

The suggested activities below have been developed for a Stage 5, Year 9-10 Design and Technologies class and focusses on innovation and creativity. The suggested activities ask students to critically examine the facts and figures used in the Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index (VACI); questioning how animal cruelty can be linked to the consumption of animal products. Students will then consider what countries could be doing better in order to protect animals from cruelty. Students will have the opportunity to design sustainable solutions to current and predicted future environmental problems to protect our world and the animals within it.

The Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index (VACI) tracks the animal welfare performance of 50 countries that were selected among the largest producers of farmed animal products in the world. The interactive Index evaluates and ranks the countries based on the nature, extent, and intensity of cruelty associated with farmed animal production. In addition, it also assesses and ranks the consumption of farmed animals and animal products and evaluates the regulatory frameworks put in place to protect animals within each country.

Time Allocation

50-100 minutes.


Mixed ability class with extension tasks.

Unit Focus

Question – what do you think constitutes animal cruelty, and what do you think countries could be doing better to protect animals from cruelty?
Consider – the different views on this issue and decide for yourself where you stand.
Discuss – with your friends, family, classmates and teachers. Debating complex issues is healthy and helpful.

Voiceless Resources

Download the lesson bundle here.

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Other Resources

Suggested Learning Activities

Inquiry Questions

  • How does consuming animal products relate to animal cruelty?
  • How important is it to consider new technologies and solutions in order to combat climate change and improve the lives of animals?


Students watch the Voiceless Video ‘Animal Protection Around The World: Who Ranks Best and Worst?


In order for students to have a good understanding of the VACI, it is recommended they spend some time exploring the interactive Index and read the following pages:

Students to use the Index to locate the following:

  • Countries consuming the most animal products (choose up to 5)
  • Countries consuming the least animal products (choose up to 5)


As a class, hold a discussion on the benefits and consequences of a mass production system such as factory farming. Consider both the ethics and environmental sustainability of such a system.

Notes could be collated on the board in two columns (Pros/Cons).

From this initial discussion, students are then given a design brief and research task which would work well as a summative assessment or homework task.

Read: ‘Synthetic Biology Might Feed Us: Beyond Meat’  by Sridhar Iyengar. This will help students in the following task.

Design Task: Predicting Future Technologies and Solutions

Student Instructions

The world is becoming more aware of the impact that factory farming is having on both animal welfare and our environment. Imagine the world in 2050, 30 years from now.

How does the world look? What is environmentally sustainable and ethical – what isn’t? What real-world problems are people, animals, and the environment facing?

In your research and response to the design brief you must include the following:

(Sustainability outcomes taken from:


Students to share research/design concepts with one another.


Students write a 250-500-word reflection on a class member’s product.


Voiceless would be delighted to receive completed student work to consider for publication on the Voiceless website. If you have student/parental consent or would like to get in contact with us to provide some feedback on this APE, including how it was recieved by your students, please email work or feedback to

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