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.
I 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?
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