Customer Reviews: That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on January 3, 2011
I picked up this book to hopefully give my 7 year old a pictorial explanation about animal agriculture. The subject matter is not new to him; he has been raised a vegan in a vegan household. I just thought it might be nice to have a book about it, too. The book does a superb job of showing heartwarming sides of each animal that are very touching and the artwork starts out really fun and interesting. I continued reading the book for myself and found that it does end on a really positive note with bright, colorful and happy artwork on the last page, along with another page listing suggestions for getting involved.

This book may be better aimed at pre-teens. I would also suggest that the book be peppered with alternative suggestions for what kids can do instead of saving it for the last two pages. I appreciate the author's genuine effort. It's a tough subject to cover for kids.
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on April 4, 2014
I bought this book because I wanted a child friendly book for my 5 yr old to discuss the reasons we choose to be vegetarian. The illustrations are well done, though a little dark sometimes. I have very honest age appropriate discussions with my child, but debated reading this to her at first. I cringed at the pic of turkeys stuffed into dirty cages with wounds. However, I read it to her and had a really beautiful talk with her about how animals must feel on farms like the ones in the pictures. The words were beautiful and thoughtful, though my child probably won't absorb them (for slightly older children) for a few yrs. There's a large emphasis on animals families that made the book appealing to me.
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on June 30, 2009
I bought this book for my 5 year old niece because she was being asked by cousins and friends why she doesn't eat meat. I think this book is an excellent way to teach her that meat comes from animals that we don't want killed. This book does it in a way that teaches compassion, not fear. My only criticism is that the language used is a bit wordy for children. My niece reads at a 2nd grade level so she was okay, but she would have preferred more of the captivating illustrations and less lengthy sentences.
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on February 6, 2012
I somehow thought I'd buy this book for my twin toddlers together with Herb the Vegetarian Dragon, but it ended up being a bit strong. I did read it and they did enjoy it, but I find the pictures were more made for adults like me than for young kids. Still, I do suggest buying it because it is a story about the reality and cruelty of the human carnivore world...
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on December 24, 2011
Really great book. I love it for reading to my kids. I do think it is a great way to explain to my kids why I am vegan. I even got one for a friend. I only wish it explained some about health & nutrition and what vegans eat instead. Maybe she can write and illustrate a sequel that does that! I'd buy it!
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on December 10, 2015
This book was recommended to me because we're raising vegan children. While I want my children to grow up aware of animal suffering because it will help them understand and embrace why we eat differently than most of their extended family and peers, I also feel there's a certain age when it might be too much for them to know that their family members eat foods that cause animals this much harm.

For younger children, this book might be a little too detailed and graphic (drawn images, not photographs).

I ended up stashing it for later years, and sticking with things more along the lines of "Dave Loves Chickens" which is a bit more light-hearted.
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on May 10, 2016
Parents should use good judgment when introducing this book. My son read it when he was 5 at a friend's house and asked us to purchase a copy. It is educational and tries to tell the truth without sugar-coating it, but know your child and what they are ready for. I would say ages 7+ unless you think your child is emotionally ready for it at an earlier age. We do love this book, and the illustrations are unique. But it is not a light subject.
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on February 28, 2015
Really a good book. It's not too simplistic, but it's not too over the top. I'd say it would be good for 6 to 10 year olds. Any younger might be a little concerned by the darker drawings. There's nothing gory about any of the drawings, but they're in a strange style. Most of them are really cute, but the farming and cage drawings are in the sort of style as the old black and white "Scary stories to tell in the dark" books. I couldn't tell if I was looking at toned-down blood or dirt in some of these drawings. I do suggest that maybe you check this out at your local library or look through it at a Barnes and Noble to see if it's appropriate for your child. Besides that, I think the story and the idea and the lesson are really child appropriate. I was pleased. The book starts with "everything really wants to live" on the first page, and then goes through "pets" "chickens" "pigs" "quails" "fish", etc., and tells about their intelligence, how they behave with their young, and why they're special. I REALLY like that this book talks about not just moral reasons for not eating animals, it talks about environmental reasons- about how factory farming is causing intense pollution, and how raising cattle is destroying invaluable rainforest. And, it ends on a positive note.

My only real issue with this book is at the very end is a page about "what more you can do" and the author suggests that you feed your pets a vegetarian food. I think that that statement is incredibly dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that I gave it four stars because of that sentence alone. If vegans or vegetarians want to feed their pets a vegetarian diet, then they should get a vegetarian pet- like a hamster, a guinea pig, or a rabbit. You cannot feed a cat a vegetarian diet; they are what is called "obligatory carnivores" and you will make them very sick. Dogs require a great deal of protein to run and grow and play. We, as humans, can make the conscience choice to eat and live humanely, but we cannot- and shouldn't- change the natural order of things. Some animals require eating other animals to live; it's how they have evolved. If we really respect animals enough to not eat them, then we need to respect their natural life order as well- including our pets.

Regardless, this is a really good book for why WE, the humans, don't eat animals, and I think it would be really great for school libraries. I also think it's a good book for kids to share with other kids when they struggle with telling their friends why they don't eat meat.
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on July 26, 2011
As a vegan, I was so happy to see this book. I was hoping to share it with my vegetarian niece. However, I now see that she is much too young to read this book. Do not order this book unless you plan on sharing it with a child who is at least ten years of age - maybe even older, especially if they are sensitive.
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on January 12, 2015
This book gets very real. I like that it focuses on the quality of life of factory farmed animals and environmental impact instead of just the ethics of killing animals for meat. I love that it explores details about each animal in its natural habitat (I learned a lot!), giving us a chance to get to know and appreciate their inherent worth. The illustrations are unbelievable. I wish it was a little shorter or more concise so my kindergartener could make it all the way through without getting distracted. I'm grateful that he was concerned and engaged through most of it. He handled the disturbing truths well but I can see how many would not. I'd love if there was a companion book for younger kids that was just about getting to know the animals and left the more grisly details for me to handle over time. This book is great for older kids. Overall a good resource but requires a pre-read and careful assessment of its appropriateness for the individual child.
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