Thursday, April 19, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes: Review of "That's why we don't eat Animals"

I ordered "That's why we don't eat animals" from and pre-ordered "Vegan is love" by Ruby Roth. I have mentioned this before, but my husband and I have arguments about how graphic to get with the kids about why we don't eat meat. We have never had arguments about this type of stuff before--we are normally on the same page, but we just can't see to find a happy medium. Quite frankly, neither one of us seems happy with the solutions. We have a difficult time discussing this with our children and an even harder time giving them the words to use to explain themselves. I can tell you why I don't eat meat, but I presume that you are also an adult. I don't know if I can give you six-year-old words to explain it to another six-year-old child. So, I was really happy to get the book, and I am really looking forward to "Vegan is love" on the 24th.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, you can find it here. The book's website can be found here.

I thought I would give you a special treat today. I asked my children to give a little "guest blogger" review of the book in addition to my review because who better to review it than the babes it is meant for.

First Review: Heather (33 years old, mother of 3, PhD candidate). I loved the book. I thought the prose was lovely and the message was age appropriate for all children ages 0-99! I have a special love for pigs, and I got a little teary-eyed during the pig section. I especially liked how Ruby hit all three legs of the tripod of veganism: health, environment, and animals. I thought the pictures conveyed the horribleness of factory farming without being too graphic for young children. I think it set the right tone to let kids know why we don't eat animals and that this is an important and compassionate choice. I especially loved the book because as a mother of mostly vegan children, it gave me a conversation starter with my children. I needed that.

As many of you know, I have been having a particularly difficult time transitioning my 13-year-old daughter. She is resisting it, and I will not force her. I think she just loves finally having something to rebel about. However, I think in her heart she wants to be a vegan, but she just can't admit it out loud to me. Last night we ate out (something we RARELY do) and she told the waitress four separate times that she did not want chicken or cheese on her noodles. She was very clear in conveying her message that chicken and cheese were not welcome on her plate, so I think she is transitioning without admitting it to me.

Before I offer you her review, I want to set the stage a little bit. We were all sitting on the couch (me and the three girls). I started reading the book. The two younger ones were very engaged, but Maggie was looking around doing other things, not paying attention. By the third page, she had sat up, turned her entire body toward me, and was leaning forward, paying attention. Her favorite pre-vegan food is BBQ. When we read the pig page, she said, "Aww, pigs are my new favorite animals." I said, "But Maggie, pigs make ribs and BBQ sammies." She said, "Oh, that's a problem." I have a sneaking feeling she just gave up eating pigs for good.

2nd Review: Maggie (13 years old, 7th grader). I think that the book, That’s Why We Don't Eat AnimalsBy: Ruby Roth, is an amazing book that describes family and factory farming in a very sophisticated way. This book is good for describing the reasons why vegans and vegetarians decide not to eat meat. This book describes the terrible care of the animals that are raised in factory farms. It also describes how free animals live, and that they need their habitats and families to survive. In factory farms, according to Ruby Roth, animals are mistreated and taken from their homes so people can eat them without realizing what happens to those poor defenseless creatures. The picture usage was very creative and caught my attention. In my opinion this book is a very good informational text that should inspire many people to cut down their meat consumption.

3rd Review: Persephone (10 years old, 4th grade): I think the book was very heart warming. I also think if we know about the problem why don’t  we stop  it. We choose what to do, why don’t we choose to stop it. I think we should stop wasting our time killing and more time growing plants. I love your book and take it from me I love to read. So nice job.

Now back to your regularly scheduled writer! Persephone seemed really moved by the book. But she is totally transitioned to a vegetarian diet and is mostly vegan. She is the most committed to the cause already, so I think the book really ignited her activist side. Now, my six-year-old didn't write a review down, but she dictated some thoughts to me.

4th Review: Medea (6 years old, Kindergarten). I thought the book was really sad. I really like Thanksgiving and we usually eat Turkey. What are we going to do this year? (My response was, what do you want to do?) I don't think we should eat a Turkey. It is so sad that they can't fly. I wish I could fly. Does eat animals really destroy the environment? (My response was: It is one of the things that helps destroy the environment). How can we go to Earth Day and eat meat? That is so sad. I think I'm really sad for the pigs. I want to snuggle corney (our dog) so she knows how much I love her and maybe she can tell the pigs I love them too.

Obviously, we are family that loves pigs. I think you can see that we all really enjoyed the book, and we will be recommending it to others. Good job Ruby, and we can't wait to read "Vegan is love!"

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