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That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things Hardcover – May 26, 2009
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Some may consider this an attempt to indoctrinate the young, but in truth it’s a courageous stab at a serious topic inherently hinted at through the anthropomorphizing of animals so prevalent in children’s books. By contrasting animal behavior in the wild with that of their counterparts in farms or factories, Roth makes a stark case that by harvesting sentient beings we are stripping them of their rights and natural desires. For example, wild turkeys “fly to the treetops to roost for the night,” but factory-farm turkeys are simply fattened until their wings become useless. Roth uses her own illustrations rather than photos, but she wisely does not make her animals too cute. Be warned: her depictions of poultry confined within filthy cages, while abstract, are fairly disturbing. Inevitably this will book incense those on the other side of the issue but there is much to be learned here (about animal behavior if nothing else). A unique effort that is to be applauded. Grades 3-6. --Daniel Kraus
“This is a powerful and important book. Farm animals have emotions similar to our pets and this is conveyed in Roth's enchanting illustrations. It will make children—and their parents—think. But it will not lead to nightmares, rather respect and compassion for the creatures whose wellbeing is in our hands.”
—Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
“A refreshing, sympathetic, and attractive book that children are smart enough to understand, embrace and grow up a little by reading.”
—Ingrid Newkirk, founder, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
“Ruby Roth has done us all a great service. If your children are vegetarians, or have friends who are, or are simply interested in why people might be vegetarians, this is the book for them!”
—John Robbins, bestselling author of The Food Revolution, Diet For A New America
“Where adults are more firmly entrenched in their ways, children need only the slightest insights and guidance, and off they soar into the direction of a more conscious and kind way of living. This book will help to create the much needed healers and leaders of tomorrow. ”
—Kathy Freston, NY Times bestselling author of Quantum Wellness
“Like many people, I knew as a child that I didn't want to eat animals. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals would have offered me the guidance and inspiration I needed to understand those instincts. This book is a must-have for anyone who loves animals.”
—Alicia Silverstone, actress, animal-rights activist
“In a time when we are all working to go green, I am thrilled that That's Why We Don't Eat Animals makes the connection between food and the environment, inspiring children to be aware and involved. ”
—Ed Begley, actor, activist
“Stunning artwork, meaningful content, and a message that will inspire-this book is a must-read for every child. ”
—Rory Freedman, NY Times bestselling author of Skinny Bitch
“Roth beautifully illustrates why we all love animals when we get the chance to experience their families and personalities. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is a book I recommend to all parents and children. ”
—David Wolfe, author of The Sunfood Diet Success System, founder of SunFood
“This book captures the imagination with its illustrations that subtly helps children understand the ancient teachings that animals have souls. Animals are our friends and we do not eat our friends. In this understanding it helps us create a more compassionate world. ”
—Gabriel Cousens, M.D. author of Conscious Eating, and Spiritual Nutrition
"Declaring that 'All animals deserve the care and protection we give our pets,' newcomer Roth takes the vegetarian/vegan cause to young readers. Highly stylized illustrations against white backdrops depict angular caricatures of farm animals. Concluding with a list of tips for action around vegetarian/vegan ideals, this book is sure to raise awareness and questions."
"A courageous stab at a serious topic inherently hinted at through the anthropomorphizing of animals so prevalent in children’s books. By contrasting animal behavior in the wild with that of their counterparts in farms or factories, Roth makes a stark case that by harvesting sentient beings we are stripping them of their rights and natural desires. Inevitably this will book incense those on the other side of the issue but there is much to be learned here (about animal behavior if nothing else). A unique effort that is to be applauded."
"This book successfully tackles the tough subject [of veganism] with grace and clarity. This is a great addition to any compassionate kid’s library and will make a wonderful gift for any parents in your life who want to talk to their kids about animals but need a little help getting started."
“That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals succeeds in raising awareness about where our food comes from and how our food choices affect other creatures and the environment. Roth touches on the conditions animals raised on factory farms endure…but she doesn’t get overly graphic…That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals nicely connected the dots between how humans treat animals and the impact our species has on the planet as a whole, with the basic premise being that a more enlightened attitude toward our food sources (of course, ideally that would mean becoming vegetarian) translates into a healthier planet.”
"Turkeys dance and grieve together; they blush and fly to the treetops when the moon comes out. In factory farms they have no freedom and are made too fat to fly."
“The artwork is bright and enchanting...the message is clear, simple, and compassionate.”
“If each parent read this book to their child, I’m certain more children would consider becoming vegetarian.”
“That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is an elegantly written, beautifully illustrated children's book about the rationale for vegetarianism. [Roth] uses heartfelt, emotionally resonant language and art design to contrast the life lived by animals in the wild with the existence of animals in the factory farming system. This is a children's book with large ambitions...If the coming generations are going to strive for a more sustainable approach to filling their dining room tables, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals should certainly be in their bookcases.”
“You can never be too young to join the fight against cruelty, and Roth's book looks like a great tool to help teach the younger generation about what's happening on factory farms.”
—This Just In, VegNews blog
“An American teacher, writer and artist, Roth has come up with an innovative and somewhat controversial solution for helping children foster compassion towards animals-tell them the truth. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things is the first book of its kind targeted toward young people. A candid, but gentle book that discusses what are normally considered taboo subjects for children, such as factory farming, battery hen cages, overfishing, habitat erosion, rainforest health and endangered species in relation to food.”
“The illustrations are fantastic, and the message is spot on.”
—Vegan Dad blog
"The text does a fine job of explaining this potentially emotional issue without being too fraught with horrifying detail. 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."
—Your Vegan Mom
“That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals makes the case for both vegetarianism and veganism with gorgeous artwork and a clear, firm stance about the needs of animals and the peril to the greater environment.”
—Vegan Future blog
“[That's Why We Don't Eat Animals] makes a sound, green argument for reducing animal consumption as well as eliminating factory farms. It offers another perspective that is missing from children's sections in libraries. It is a pleasure to find such a well-done book on the subject”
—Kids Lit blog
“Though this book tackles a difficult subject for younger children, it does so well. This is a good book for vegetarian families or parents who are raising their kids veggie and want a way to explain it to them. Without getting too graphic (animals in confined cages are as dark as it gets), it explores basic issues of factory farming and discusses its effects on the environment. Roth is able to get her point across without becoming too preachy or delving into topics that aren't age-appropriate.
—The Kids' Book Corner blog
“Wonderfully illustrated and inspiring for children of all ages, author Ruby Roth has tackled the complex moral and ethical issue of choosing to be a vegetarian, distilling it into a compassionate and informative snapshot of the emotional lives of animals in their natural state. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is a timely reminder to look inside our hearts and reconsider the choices we make-and their impact on our fellow creatures and the well-being of the planet.”
—New Consciousness Review
“For any parent looking for a children’s book to introduce some arguments on choosing the vegetarian lifestyle, That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is a great start.”
“[That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals] was not grotesque or militant in any way… just straightforward about the reality of eating animals and what that means for the animals and the planet…Thumbs up to Ruby Roth, That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals rocks!”
“That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is quickly becoming a must-have book!”
“Each animal on a farm is contrasted with the animal in its natural, social habitat through entertaining drawings…Research for the book was collected from zoologists, animal behaviorists, neuropsychiatrists, pet therapy programs, oceanographers, farmers and animal sanctuaries…”
—The Washington Times
“It is good to finally have a book that portrays the philosophy of veganism as a reasoned, principled belief and not as a fickle food choice.”
—New Age Journal
“The text confronts kids head-on with questions that will get them thinking…”
“[That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals] is heirloom quality and destined to be read over and over again.”
—Green Baby NYC
“This beautifully illustrated book explains simply and gently why so many families have decided to leave meat off the menu…The pages are filled with gorgeous color, top notch drawings, and a vast array of unforgettable critters. Any child being raised in a vegetarian home will be able to comfortably understand why their family isn’t lined up at the McDonald’s drive thru or serving turkey come Thanksgiving.”
“[That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is] the first book geared to children to address the humanitarian aspects of a plant-based diet.”
“[Ruby Roth’s] stunning artwork mesmerizes readers… this book is sure to be a wonderful conversation starter between children and their adult counterparts for many story times to come.”
“Get this book! Ruby Roth's That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is quickly gaining acclaim and recognition… a welcome addition to the vegetarian and vegan landscape.”
“The book illustrates in a gentle yet powerful way, the reasons why some Earthlings choose not to eat meat. It is a beautiful book about compassion.”
“The graphics are amazing… this book is not only a great tool for teaching your kids why they are vegetarian or vegan but also to teach adults and others why it is important not to eat meat.”
—Cooking for a Vegan Lover
“If you are planning on raising a vegetarian child who will be well-prepared to explain his or her beliefs to inquiring peers, teachers, and friends’ parents, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is a great start… The animals are charmingly drawn in a caricaturist, almost geometric style, and their environments are depicted with bright or dark colors, depending on their living conditions. The vocabulary is simple and straightforward, doesn’t get too dark or complicated for children, and avoids a preachy, overbearing tone in favor of a sensitive, informative one.”
“Roth’s artistry brings the story to life through color and rigid form.”
“Ruby’s beautiful illustrations are colorful and whimsical, and they have a way of keeping my daughter’s eyes glued to the page! ... This is by far the most gentle, yet eye opening, animal rights book available for our youngest generation!”
—The Vegan Mom
“[That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is] a delightful, beautifully illustrated guide to some of the world’s most pressing topics—from health to environment to animal protection—for children ages 4-10.”
“Roth created her new illustrated book, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals, for elementary school aged children, exploring topics such as factory farming, overfishing and rainforest destruction in a manner that is truthful, yet age-appropriate.”
—Compassionate Living Magazine
“Roth gently discusses what is wrong with the way we raise food… If each parent read this book to their child, I'm certain more children would consider becoming vegetarian.”
—Vegetarian Resource Group
“A book written for children and their families, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is just as vital an addition to the veg-friendly library as John Robbin's The Food Revolution or Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, because its simple, yet profound message—that the animals of this world have as much a desire to live and love their families as we do—is enough to become a seed of change for good in the hearts of children and grown-ups alike. I've never seen a book that handles the subject of factory farming, overfishing, and the destruction of our fellow animals and planet so delicately.”
—Kiss Me, I'm Vegan
“I recently began my search for a simple, clear children's book about vegetarianism. I wanted something more than a story about an unrealistic, cartoon animal, as well as a story that touched on the environment and American factory farms… I was really happy to find That's Why We Don't Eat Animals by Ruby Roth.”
—Erin, MN Veggie Mama
“That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is a milestone in children’s literature.”
—Vegetarians in Paradise
“Ruby's illustrations are just superb. She has an abstract style and the animals are almost, but not quite, painted in caricature. I commend her for making a visually pleasing book while not shying away from the realities of animal use. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals covers just about every aspect of animal exploitation, and does it in a sensitive way that breaks the awful truth to our children as easily as possible.”
—Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!)
"A gorgeously illustrated children’s book that we are just mad for."
—The GirlieGirl Army
Top customer reviews
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He has the information and can make his own choices based on facts. I love that.
Thanks again for this well written and illustrated book. I think all kids, meat eaters or not, should educate themselves on what is happening in their world.
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Being a vegetarian is better for the environment and doesn't support factory farms.Read more