That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A new children's book by Ruby Roth
While I'm a bit relieved that our family is not quite ready for this book or the surrounding discussion (I think the "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals" talk is probably the modern day vegan parent's difficult discussion equivalent of "That's Where Babies Come From."), I am happy to know that I will have this book in hand when the time comes.
With alternating emphasis on understanding animal families ("In a carefully planned nest, [a hen] and her chicks coo to each other before the eggs even hatch. Roosters keep watch, and older chicks play chase, tag, and hide-and-seek.") and the cruelties of factory farming ("Crammed into cages on a factory farm, chickens have no room to live."), the text does a fine job of explaining this potentially emotional issue without being too fraught with horrifying detail. The suggested age range (4-10) is appropriate.
With my two-year-old on my lap though, I quickly turn past the periodic gloomy image (Is that a tear in the eye of the little penned chick? And the caged turkeys have some subtle, though visible sores.), Desmond and I enjoy looking at the stylishly sweet illustrations of happy animal families while learning about pigs and cows and their babies. I really like the book art. And the entire story will be appropriate for him before I am anywhere near ready.
Ruby Roth is a talented illustrator and author who has written a gently informative children's book that will be indispensable to thoughtful families everywhere. I am so grateful to her for making that inevitable talk a little bit easier.
And if you're in the Los Angeles area, you can help her celebrate this weekend at Storyopolis in Studio City. She's having a reading there at 11:30AM on the 6th with milk and cookies provided by Rice Dream and Uncle Eddies. See you Saturday!