I signed up to Vegan Mofo this year, thinking it would be a great opportunity to blog about something I love. Oh, and also thinking it was in October, which, er, it turns out it's not. It's in September, and I'm now behind. So, here is my first post, a book review of a book I bought for my daughter earlier this year.
It seems that most of the books on offer for young children, feature animal exploitation as the norm. Characters are either chomping down on a bacon sandwich, buying animals from pet shops or having a great time with that friendly farmer Old McDonald. It can be difficult to avoid this mainstream view of animals as commodities, even in books that, at first glance, appear to be animal friendly.
I want Ebony to feel proud of being vegan, and to understand the reasons behind our lifestyle choice. There aren't many books aimed at vegan children, and most of the few that exist portray vegans as weak stereotypes which I find quite infuriating.
Ruby Roth - an artist, writer, parent and vegan activist - decided to write some books for children. Vegan is Love is aimed at children aged four to seven. This book discusses the reasons people choose a compassionate lifestyle; for the animals, the environment, and health.This beautiful book doesn’t just focus on the diet. The wider issues of veganism are addressed in a positive and empowering way. Rather than focus on the upsetting aspects of the typical human-animal relationship, this book celebrates the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
The book addresses vegan issues such as animal testing, hunting and zoos. Each issue is explained simply and positively - in just the way you would want to speak to your vegan child. One of my favourite things about the book, is the introduction where it explains that each individual has the power to change things.
The illustrations are colourful and stylish, making this a book to be admired. I absolutely love the artwork, and enjoy explaining to ebony what is depicted on each page.
I wanted a book that would empower and inspire Ebony, and this book is perfect. While she may be too young to understand the wider philosophy of veganism just yet, I hope that by growing up with this book, the concept of veganism will feel normal and common sense to her.
You can buy a copy of Vegan is Love here.
What books do you read to your vegan kids?
A shorter version of this review appeared in the Summer 2013 membership magazine of the Captive Animals' Protection Society.