That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things by Ruby Roth
Published 2009ISBN-13: 978-1556437854
This is a picture book aimed at children, covering the topic of why some people choose to be vegans or vegetarians. The author manages to get her message across without horrifying and overwhelming the young reader, and just as importantly, not dumbing it down either. She addresses the emotional lives of animals, factory farming, ocean life depletion, pollution, destruction of rainforests and other habitats of wildlife, etc. She explains how these concerns are all tied into why some people become vegans and vegetarians - or as she puts it - "That's why we don't eat animals".
The illustrations are visually stunning - from the endearing and stylized drawings of the animals, to the sadness of factory farming. The illustration on the page about cows in factory farms is the most heartfelt of all, for me.
I can highly recommend this book, not just for children, but also for adults too. There are so many children's picture books out there where animals are used to tell some story or 'lesson', but they are anthropomorphic to the point whereby the animal might as well be a human being. It is nice to have a picture book whereby the animals are animals and their story is told.
Most children love animals and yet we give them such conflicting messages as they grow. Love your dog, but eat the pig. Don't steal, but drink milk that should be going to a calf. Be gentle, kind and respectiful towards other people and to animals, too but eat something that has been tortured and murdered.
It is about time a picture book like this has come along.
The author has a website you can visit for more information on her work, including a video on how and why she came about to writing and illustrating this book.