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Opinion | Vegan is Love by Ruby Roth


A new children’s book coming out this spring is causing a lot of controversy. Vegan is Love by Ruby Roth is an introduction to the vegan lifestyle for children. However, many are upset by the book’s descriptions of animal testing, the images of animals in cages, and the fact that the book encourages children not to go to zoos or circuses. There are many people who feel that the subject matter is too mature for young children.

Vegan is Love by Ruby RothI haven’t read this book, or any of Roth’s other books about veganism for children. I am also not vegan or vegetarian. However, in a way, I feel that I can relate to Roth and her point of view. We have all a certain value system that we live by, and we all have certain ideals that we want to impart to our children. As parents, we look for materials that will help us teach our children about the value system that we’ve chosen, and we use those things to help grow our children into the people we want them to be.

My husband and I are Christians, so we often read books to our children that introduce them to our beliefs and values. Though we can’t force them to believe as we do, it is our sincere hope that they will follow our belief system, and we are doing all that we can to teach them about our faith. I am sure there are many vegan parents who feel the same way about their choice to live a vegan lifestyle. It’s something that they want to pass on to their children in the hopes that they will do the same. Ruby Roth has created a resource for these parents. I can’t evaluate how good of a resource Vegan is Love is because I’m not vegan. However, I can defend the book’s right to exist.

Many are upset about the book’s graphic subject matter, and again, I can relate. The Bible is full of graphic subject matter! Heck, life is full of graphic subject matter. As parents, we have to decide when and how we begin to teach our children about these things. Books are great tools in teaching children about difficult things. When and how we introduce these difficult things is a choice we parents have to make for ourselves.

I know this book covers controversial subject matter, but I really don’t understand the public outcry over Vegan is Love. If you don’t agree with what the book says, don’t buy it, and don’t read it to your children. If anything, all of the controversy surrounding this book shows why it’s so important to be involved with the books your child reads, or the books you read to them. Read a book for yourself before you give it to your child, so you know exactly what it is representing.

My family will not be reading Vegan is Love, because we don’t agree with the book’s assertion that a vegan lifestyle is the best way to show love and care for the environment and the world around us. However, I’m not going to get upset that the book is being published. Vegan parents have a right to raise their kids to be vegan, just as I have the right to raise my children in the way I see fit. You don’t mess with my books, and I won’t mess with yours, OK?

Crystal

Crystal is an activist, feminist, and mom of three. She loves reading, crochet, and enjoying her family and friends. She lives with her family in Indianapolis.

11 thoughts on “Opinion | Vegan is Love by Ruby Roth

  1. >Our family is Christian, so I get what you're saying. However, I have a 4 year old and I can't imagine reading a book to her that shows graphic pictures and subject matter about the slaughtering of animals.

    The book is listed as "7 and up" but even at seven I would have to gauge if my daughter could handle it. We're not vegan, but I'm on the fence about this book.

    Great post and interesting viewpoint.

  2. >Full disclosure: I am vegan and I work with the author to publicize her work. For that reason I rarely post comments in response to editorial coverage, but I had to chime in and say this is one of the most thoughtful and insightful perspectives I've seen yet. It seems so obvious to me that ALL parents teach their personal values and ethics to their own
    kids. If your family spend Sundays in church instead of in the mall, that's
    instilling values. If your family helps the homeless instead of sneering at the
    homeless, that's instilling values. I see no reason why a non-vegan parent would read this book to their kids, if it doesn't reflect their values. I also see no reason that a
    book like this shouldn't exist for vegan families who might appreciate a
    new way to explain their values to their own children. And there's no reason at all we should mess with each others' books! This book is not likely to be introduced into public school curricula any time soon, after all.

  3. >Thank you for your comment! I still don't understand all the public outcry and outrage, but I do hope that it will end up benefiting Ms. Roth. Maybe this publicity will let more vegan parents know about her book; it may be just the book they were looking for! If Ms. Roth would ever be interested in an interview, please let me know. I would love to get her take on the controversy.

  4. >right on.  you said it perfectly.  life is full of graphic images but the ones that have to do with animals or food tend to be more explosive than say csi or r rated movies.  thank you for defending the right of free speech.

  5. >Honestly, this was a great article… However, I'd like to point out that sometimes reading books outside your value spectrum can prove to be beneficial. Furthermore, perhaps this book is not only to teach children of the truth, but also their parents. I'll be purchasing a copy for each family I know because I think it's so important to acknowledge the truth in this life. If people continue to turn a blind eye, we aren't going to fix these problems. A lot of the damage comes from ignorance; it's our human responsibility to try and understand these issues so that we can at least attempt mending them… Otherwise, we humans are just fleas on a dog… Eventually that dog is going to shake us off or take a flea bath!

  6. >Thank you for your comment! I agree, there is something about animals that triggers people in a way other graphic images do not. I think some people are uncomfortable with that, which is part of the reason for the controversy over this book.

  7. > She'd be happy to. Please send me an email at kezia (at) evolotuspr (dot) com and we can arrange it.

  8. >I have to agree with the other responders that your review
    is refreshingly positive and balanced. Our family is both Christian and vegan.
    We have Ms. Roth’s first book and I will be purchasing this one soon. Our son
    is 6 ½.  I think it’s important to share
    the truth with our kids in an age appropriate manor.  And of course parents of all persuasions are entitled
    to share their heartfelt values with their children.  Thanks again Crystal for your positive
    comments on the existence of this book.

  9. >Thank you so much for your comment, Valerie. You bring up a great point that may not be explicit in my post: it is possible to be both Christian and vegan! My comparison made things seem like it's an either or, but it certainly is not.

    I've had the opportunity to read the book, and I think it is very thoughtful and well-written. If my kids had questions about veganism and why people choose to be vegan, I would reach for Vegan is Love!

  10. Thanks so much for your response Crystal! Sorry I did not see your response till just now, a year later! lol

    I have also since purchased Vegan is Love and my son and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. 🙂

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