For those of us that grew up in Christian households, Veggie Tales was commonplace. And who, as a 5 year old, could resist talking fruits and vegetables that taught about the Bible? It’s truly brilliant the way that the producers of the show put an effective teaching method into practice. I like to call their approach, fittingly, the “Veggie Tales Doctrine.”
Now what exactly is so brilliant about Veggie Tales? Anyone can use a little bit of computer animation to make pixels dance in such a way that young children are entertained. Yes, but that is besides the point. The approach taken by the producers demonstrates a key principle in a healthy society: educating our children.
What makes this so special? Well I’m glad you asked. There is a key aspect about the Veggie Tales doctrine that makes it so important, and that aspect is voluntarism. Almost nothing is more voluntary than watching a TV show, and people often enjoy watching their TV set (unless MSNBC is on, that’s no fun).
Let’s take a look at one of my favorite examples, the Bunny Song. In this memorable episode of Veggie Tales, Rack, Shack, and Benny (easier names for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) are a part of a giant chocolate bunny making operation. The owner of this factory, Mr Nebby K Nezzar (get that reference?) is obsessed with his chocolate bunnies. His business had grown so much, he had gotten a bit big for his britches. To quote the audiobook version of this episode, “that was saying something, because his britches were pretty big to start out with.”
The episode hits two birds with one stone. First, a Biblical story is put into simply names and terms so that young children can easily understand and enjoy it (without compromising the integrity of the original text). Second, healthy eating habits are an undertone of the entire episode.
In the beginning part of the episode, Mr Nezzar announces that in celebration of making their two millionth chocolate bunny, that for 30 minutes all workers would be able to eat as many bunnies as they wanted. Shack, remembering the lessons that his mother taught him, said that eating a lot of candy is not very good. Rack and Benny both agreed, and at the end of the scene, everyone else was lying on the floor sick from the bunnies they ate; all except Rack, Shack, and Benny.
The three were acknowledged for their integrity, hitting, yet again, on the principle of keeping ones self to a high standard, and reaping the benefits.
At the end of the episode, the producers had a catchy song. I often find myself remembering this song any time someone says that words “chocolate bunny.” Take a watch below.
Veggie Tales represents the free market’s strategy for raising a healthy society. It’s based on solid principles, safe for kids, and most importantly, it’s fun!
Now let’s take a look at the Statist’s solution to establish healthy eating. Look no further than Michelle Obama’s “healthy school lunch” initiatives. Let’s be honest, is anyone besides the First Lady enthused with this idea? Students certainly aren’t.
Students across the country have been taking to social media to express their aggravation with the “poopy” lunches that the First Lady has thrust upon public schools.
One can hardly blame them. If taxpayer dollars are being used to fund schools, why are kids not getting the best for the taxpayer’s money? I mean, come on, what is this?
This is the Government Doctrine applied to children’s eating habits. Rather than education about making healthy choices, the Statist solution is to completely take over the public school lunch system, and offer students something that was worse than what they already had. And on top of that, proclaiming victory. Well, maybe victory in the sense that there sure aren’t any hungry trash cans.
The Washington Times noted that the Government Accountability office observed the school lunch initiative in action, and saw some rather shocking things.
The GAO conducted a nationwide survey of nutrition directors and visited 17 schools in eight school districts for the audit. In each district, “students expressed dislike for certain foods that were served to comply with the new requirements, such as whole grain-rich products and vegetables in the beans and peas (legumes) and red-orange sub-groups, and this may have affected participation…”
“In our lunch period observations in 7 of 17 schools, we saw many students throw away some or all of their fruits and vegetables,” the GAO said…
“Staff in one SFA noted that the increased amount of time and effort to prepare fruits and vegetables also led to morale issues when staff saw students throw the fruits and vegetables in the trash,” the GAO said.
How’s the program coming Michelle? Not too good according to students. Nearly a million students are simply giving up on school lunches because of the overly restrictive standards causing reduction in choice. If your idea to help kids lose weight by starving them, then maybe you’re succeeding. But I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and assume that your intentions are good. But that being said, Milton Friedman sums it up pretty well.
So, who has the better approach? One need not look far to see that the Government Doctrine is not working, as is the norm with government programs. The Veggie Tales Doctrine is one that presents a fun and effective option for parents. Rather than having the government make decisions for their kids, parents can use a simple children’s television show to instill values that teach them how to think for themselves.
I don’t know about you, but I like things to be voluntary. An action being voluntary puts the ball in my court, and gives me control of the situation. I am much more inclined to make smarter decision where I am actually able to to make those decisions. If I am not given the opportunity to exercise my judgment though in the small things, how can I be expected to make wise judgments in the important things?
The bottom line is that the Veggie Tales Doctrine presents teaching, the Government Doctrine presents commanding. Whereas teaching enables one to think independently, commanding causes one to become dependent and tied down. A human is most malleable during the childhood years; this is for a reason, so that parents can instill those values necessary for their child to survive and thrive in the world. How can a society thrive if its citizens cannot think and act independently? I beg to say that it simply cannot.Follow Seth on Twitter: @sconnell1776