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 10 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on March 22, 2013
I am a 25-year vegetarian who doesn't wear any animal products, including leather. I support every message in this book.

But I found the illustrations and language far too graphic for a child. The focus is more on the cruelty of factory farming and other practices rather than the more simple concepts of not hurting/killing/eating animals, who have feelings, families, etc. (that's in there, but mixed in).

Admittedly, my child is younger than the recommended age, but I also wouldn't be comfortable showing this book to my child until significantly later than the recommended age. It's too intense.

Personally, I would love to see a vegetarian book for children that just focuses on the message that animals have feelings and we don't believe it's right to hurt them, kill them or eat them. That is a message my child can understand and relate to. The more graphic/policy stuff is too much and, I fear, could cause nightmares and other problems.

Maybe this book would be a good way to introduce to a tween that there is yet another reason to be a vegetarian. But I don't think it's a good tool for children aged in single digits.
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on July 22, 2012
i felt some of the literature was choppy & could use more explainations. i found myself often filling in the gaps for my 5 year old (he has a high i am not use to filling in any gaps while reading!). great book to explain to a child why you are vegetarian/vegan...or adults who don't understand. could have been written better, but loved the graphics :)
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on August 30, 2014
It's a bit difficult for me to pick a star for this book. On the one hand, I really like the idea of children veganism books, but in the other hand, this book totally surprised me and in a bad way. It is a beautifully illustrated book and I specifically bought it to read to my niece. I expected it to focus more on animal behaviors and how they have similar needs and behaviors as humans. Like pigs can play video games. Cows love their calves, etc. but instead the content is pretty graphic on factory farms. I thought it was a bit heavy; in fact , I think the content would be just fine printed as a brochure as bullet points, and handed out to adults as a watered down version of the reality of factory farms. I just find that the content doesn't match the format and the illustrations. The format and picture tells me it is for a young kid, like maybe in elementary school or younger, but the content is for a much older kid, at least middle school or maybe up to adulthood if printed as a brochure or flyer. I didn't end up reading it to my niece.
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on May 21, 2012
Our family has recently stopped eating meat (after reading "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer). My extremely inquisitive 3 year old son has MANY questions about this transition and I thought a picture book would be a sweet way to help him understand. While I do like this book, I'm afraid it's just too advanced for him. The pictures become increasingly scarier as the book goes on. I feel the messages of this book could still have been conveyed without such scary pictures. Since this is a valuable book, I think we'll hold onto this book for when he gets older. But unfortunately I don't think I'll be comfortable reading it to him for at least a few years.
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on July 30, 2011
This is a very good idea for a picture book, something like this is really needed to teach children why the odd person they come across now and again says they can't eat the meal containing meat that is served to and prepared for everyone else. A book like this is needed for kids to read before going away on a school camp or somewhere similar, or for when they are simply attending a BBQ get together afternoon in someone's backyard. Without children grasping the why a child isn't eating meat concept, relentless bullying and the like would be a high likelihood.

What I really dislike about this book though, is that it stereotypes all animal food providers with the reprehensible practices of a few. Most chicken farmers use free range chickens, (because we the customers have put pressure on the big supermarkets and fast food chains in relation to their produce coming from animals that are humanely raised before slaughter, they're sheer want for our money, means this cage farming doesn't have many places to sell their products anymore). Unlike the author's propaganda, in the real world most chickens run around freely inside and outside of large barns and socialise the same as a wild one would. They are not crammed into cages as the author implies. Sure there is the minority of chicken food providers who may undertake this practice, but stereotyping all chicken farmers this way is just plain wrong and insulting to farmers or even everyday people who have pet chickens where they get their own eggs from. Likewise with the pigs, ducks and other ridiculous claims on these pages. I've met a lot of farmers over the years and these people certainly care about their animals. What if the meat industry wrote a picture book labelling all vegetarians and vegans as smelly hippies, living off of welfare, who don't bathe or wash their clothes, don't use toilet paper, smoke pot all day, neglect their kids and don't shave their faces if they're men or legs and armpits if there women. I'm sure an author could claim they visited such a family or saw a documentary on TV that showed vegetarians and vegans doing these things just as the author of this book may claim with the cages. The author and non vegetarians everywhere would be outraged, and rightfully so. Stereotyping people and practices to win an argument or to teach a child your point of view, is bigotry and is completely wrong, and that's what's being done on a lot of pages in this book.

The argument that cattle farms take up land that could feed more starving humans around the world if vegetables were grown instead is equally ridiculous. There's plenty of people starving in the eastern countries of Africa right now, we've got surplus food in European, North American and other countries such as Australia. We don't give them our surplus food now and instead dump it in landfill because of political and economic reasons. Cows or crops on land, that situations only going to change when we the western world are prepared to accept the economic cost and risk of our own countries soldiers lives protecting the food conveys from the organised arms gangs profiting of their fellow citizens misery, to feed them. That situations got nothing to do with eating animals.

The ocean pages are pretty well done but the majority of deaths of marine creatures come from pollution from land, such as plastic bags and factory runoffs. There's even some countries who still dump rubbish into the oceans. Drift netting is wrong, which s why it is outlawed in the waters of many countries, however the whole world fishing industry seems to be tainted with that brush in this book. In fact the whole second half of the book has some good environmental lessons for kids on the importance of the Amazon and rainforests, endangered species and so forth. However again, using this as an argument against food animal farming is leaving out the fact that a lot of rainforests are being cut down to make wooden products like toothpicks, paper and so on. We get wood to build houses (most vegans and vegetarians live in houses) or just want that land that the forest currently occupy to build houses as the every increasing urban sprawl of both vegetarians and herbivores across the globe wanting the dream of a four bedroom house with a big backyard and lots of space for a couple of cars, which unfortunately also kill a lot of wildlife. The point I'm making is that there's a lot of factors playing apart in destroying native forests and wiping out species of animals, that food farming.

For the record I do eat meat occasionally, but I don't eat seafood, as I believe we're land animals and part of the land ecosystem, but that's my own belief and choice and I respect the beliefs of people who do. I've got a lot of friends who eat meat, and a few that don't. I do hope that in the near future someone, somewhere can produce a decent book to explain to young children why children in vegan or vegetarian families don't eat meat, as there is a huge need for that book. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals, is definitely not that book
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on May 23, 2013
The book is good, but for my three year old it was too advanced. Best for a much older child.
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on July 20, 2014
It's a pretty good book but a little heavy on the negative aspects for my young children.
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on August 26, 2014
I wish the book also tells about health and how filthy animals are to be consumed by humans.
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on July 8, 2009
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 minds and reconsider the choices we make--and their impact on our fellow creatures and the well-being of the planet.
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on March 3, 2010
It was cute..... but didn't really have a story line for children to want to read over and over and over... like a dr. suess book... but still cute.. the art work is adoreable.
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