Wool I never! Now Baa, Baa, Black Sheep goes woke as nursery rhymes are altered to reflect kinder attitude to animals
- Nursery rhymes have been changed to reflect kinder attitudes towards animals
- Little Miss Muffet is vegan, and parts of Three Blind Mice has been edited down
- In This Little Piggy the mention of ‘roast beef’ also becomes ‘roast beets’
They are centuries old and have enchanted generations of children.
But now nursery rhymes such as Baa, Baa, Black Sheep have gone woke – with the words changed to reflect a kinder attitude towards animals.
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, which parents and teachers sing to children, traditionally starts ‘Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?’
But in a new version the sheep explains it’s ‘not cool’ to steal wool and refuses to provide any for the ‘pastor’, dame or little boy who lives down the lane.
Meanwhile, the line in Little Miss Muffet which tells of a girl being ‘frightened away’ by a spider has been changed to say it ‘brightened Miss Muffet’s day!’ Miss Muffet has also become vegan – instead of eating ‘curds and whey’, she is ‘watching the bluebirds play’.
In the new version of ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’, the sheep explains it’s ‘not cool’ to steal wool and refuses to provide any for the ‘pastor’, dame or little boy who lives down the lane
In This Little Piggy the mention of ‘roast beef’ becomes ‘roast beets’.
And in Three Blind Mice, the line ‘They all ran after the farmer’s wife who cut off their tails with a carving knife’ has been scrapped.
It is replaced with the mice still running after the farmer’s wife but the next lines are: ‘They told her “thank you” for saving their life. Did you ever see someone acting so nice as three blind mice?’
The changes to the rhymes have been made by animal rights campaigners Peta who say the traditional versions promote unfair and outdated attitudes.
Elisa Allen, of Peta, said: ‘Words matter and nursery rhymes that make light of cruelty to animals or contain archaic, negative depictions of them need a modern overhaul.’
She added: ‘Small changes like Peta’s can instil empathy and compassion. Since humanity is increasingly realising that animals are not ours to exploit, the songs we sing to our children – who absorb everything they see and hear – must reflect these values.’
The rewritten rhymes, which are featured on the Peta website, are part of a trend of woke children’s literature, which includes gender-swap fairytales.