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Children’s Book Says Vegan is Love, But Does Knowledge Lead to Power or Fear?

Children’s Book Says Vegan is Love, But Does Knowledge Lead to Power or Fear?

“How wonderful that at this very moment, every person big and small has the power to create a better world.”

That’s how Ruby Roth, author of “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals” begins her newest children’s book, “Vegan Is Love.” The book, told from a vegan perspective, explains why people are vegan by explaining in simple terms all the ways humans use animals — from cosmetic testing to clothing to sea parks to meat — as well as touching on issues like organic farming and global warming.

“Vegan is Love” prompts the question: how much do we want our kids to know about the way we treat animals? And it’s sparking controversy among parents.

The American Dietetic Association has officially said that a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet is “healthful and nutritious for adults, infants, children and adolescents and can help prevent and treat chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.” But it’s one thing to immerse a child in the utopia of fresh veggies and plant protein and another to reveal that animals in circuses are hit with whips so they’ll perform and that meat like turkey legs and ribs are…well, someone’s legs and ribs.

I’ve read through the book myself and, personally, I don’t find anything gruesome or graphic about it. The book is beautifully illustrated in a whimsical and playful artistic style and has a gentle, articulate voice — a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, after all. And though it does deliver some difficult truths, its overarching message is that everyone, including children, has the power to make the world a better place and to act according to what you believe. Instead of sheltering children from the real world, it entrusts them with knowledge that might not be pleasant but is true, and lets them know that even they, no matter who small or young they feel, can make a difference. It’s a message that many adults could stand to learn, too.

The question of how much should we reveal to our kids about animal [mis]treatment should also be accompanied by: how much do we trust our kids? How much do we respect them? Are parent’s “protecting” their kids from this knowledge — this reality — because they’re afraid to face it themselves? I’ve met many adults who, when confronted with the information that their shampoo was tested on bunny rabbits or their steak is the carcass of a cow, say they “don’t want to think about it.” If our eyes were opened earlier, would we be less reluctant to accept reality and act in accordance with our values?

Vegan is Love’s message is meant to educate and empower kids; to help them decide what kind of person they want to be. Vegan doesn’t mean walking around in a world of doom and gloom, it’s knowing that actions have consequences, and small choices we make every day make a difference. It’s respecting animals and the planet. It’s acting according to what you believe. To sum it up, vegan is love — and that’s a lesson for children (of all ages) to learn.

Below is the video trailer for “Vegan is Love” with the author, Ruby Roth. You can watch her segment on the Today show here.

Tell us: Do you think we should teach kids the realities of how humans treat animals?

You can order “Vegan is Love” or Roth’s first book “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals” online, or look for it at your local bookstore.

Related:

Should Kids Know Where Meat Comes From?

The Importance of Being Vegan

The Rise of Vegan Bodybuilding

Read more: , , , ,

Photo credit: Ruby Roth

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290 comments

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8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Earth to vegans and meat eaters: Until we slowly evolve to eat rocks, stones and other inorganic non-living matter we all feed on death be it animal or asparagus. Those garlic cloves you roasted and slathered over bread were once living entities as well.

Children read about all sorts of things and when they get older they look to the world and form their own opinions, often going against everything their parents have taught them. "Oh Connie she was raised vegan and now she is eating steak, what did we do wrong?" "Oh Richard! He loved his BBQ steaks and ham and he has gone vegan...what happened?"

Watching this constant vegan-meat eating battle is intriguing with all the insults everyone constantly uses to bash the other side over the head with two by fours--which were once living trees. Everyone get over themselves and adopt the lifestyle that you are comfortable with.

Vegans are not safe either, with GMOs and Monsanto trying to get rid of hybrid and heritage seeds, agri-business and massive over fertilization of veggies and other vegan sources...people can run but we can't hide from the things being done to fruit, veggies and other non-meat sources.

Unless one is lucky enough to live on land where there are no GMO farms and cross contamination we are all facing danger from chemicals, additives and other things in the food chain be it meat produced or non meat.

12:53AM PDT on May 20, 2012

Ah, thank you for these encouraging and inspiring post and video!

3:33PM PDT on May 10, 2012

There should be stricter laws enforced that protect animals from cruelty and exploitation.

10:40AM PDT on May 10, 2012

Thanks

10:35AM PDT on May 9, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

3:11AM PDT on May 5, 2012

Thanks.

1:36PM PDT on May 3, 2012

I realized when the time was right to explain things to my son. We haven't covered many details, because he hasn't asked more questions, but he understands that animals are mistreated and we don't support those businesses.

5:15PM PDT on May 2, 2012

Vegan is love?

6:15AM PDT on May 2, 2012

There's no doubt that kids need to know the truth, but they're not emotionally capable of handling some things or understanding them at all when they're very young and very impressionable.

If you're not careful, that knowledge can do more harm than good.

Some people are ignorant about that and can do a lot o damage to a child...and that damage can form the child's future and create all sorts of emotional problems that will continue into adulthood.

4:21AM PDT on May 2, 2012

Children MUST be told the truth about our eating habits & the exploitation of animals because of the greed of mankind!

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