Posts Tagged ‘Veganism is Love’

Vegan Is Love by Ruby Roth

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

After hearing all the controversy regarding Ruby Roth’s new children’s book, Vegan Is Love, I was surprised to open the pages of her book to beautiful, gentle images. While I liked the artwork in her first book, this book appeared much more vibrant, much more appealing. The images of animal exploitation are representational rather than graphic. While the subject matter, animal exploitation, is very disturbing, Ms. Roth has somehow interwoven concerns for others with a very empowering message: anyone can choose to make a difference in the world. Anyone can choose veganism. Anyone can choose to love others rather than harm them.

Veganism is Love Widens the Scope

Ms. Roth has been the trailblazer for children’s books that explain veganism. Her prior work, That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, integrates the amazing qualities of our fellow beings with their plight on this planet. Where her first work was focused specifically on not eating animals, this book has a wider scope. Neither book pretends to be all inclusive, theoretical, nor scientific, yet this new book includes pages about pollution, climate change, hunger, and violence. The ability to broach such important topics in a way that is understandable to even young children is part of what makes this book significant. What Ms. Roth is espousing is nothing short of a change in our attitude and relationship with other animals, and that message cannot come too soon.

Ruby Roth is Opening Minds Toward Change

From this reviewer’s vantage point, there is little to criticize in Ms. Roth’s beautiful work. The message of Veganism Is Love is about empowerment. Ms. Roth’s books as vehicles for discussion have proven to be useful. Most of the controversy about this book seems related to the anti-vegan sentiments of the status quo, ignorance about nutrition, and fear of change rather than particulars about Veganism is Love. Those who want things to remain constant are likely to object to a legion of empowered young children questioning their world.

One thing is certain, Ms. Roth has many people talking about veganism, and that is a very good thing.



Stop Eating Animals!

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

On the way to the gym last Saturday morning, my little grandson noticed someone had posted “Eating Animals” below the STOP on the stop sign. He asked me if I did it.  I said no. He then asked me if one of my friends did it. I said I did not know who did it, but I was glad they did it. Maybe it would make someone stop and think. I mentioned I wanted to get a picture of it and he offered to take the picture as it was on his side. I also mentioned I did not believe in defacing public property, but this was  a sticker and could easily be removed. Next time I drove by, it had been.

Believing in Bugs (and other small creatures)

I often wonder what it is like to be so very young and see the roots of such massive social change underway, to have one of your closest emotional ties be someone who is invested in changing things that your own immediate family is doing. The same grandson that defended the life of a bug on the first day of school, callously stepped on a bug on the way to school  a few days ago. Even his older brother was shocked. When asked why he did it, he had no answer. After school, we discussed bullies and how size has little to do with importance. We talked about how bugs try so frantically to get away from us, how they seem to want to live as much as we do. My grandson said he wanted to go home; he didn’t like the talk much. It made me sad to see him go, but I knew I had to discuss what transpired on our walk to school. It was too important to ignore.

Later, he came by with his big brother’s friend, and said, “I’m sorry.”

I asked him the next day why he apologized. Was he really sorry or did his mum make him say that?

“Both,” he said.

I know some of his internal conflict is between what he is taught at my house and what the boys on the playground do. He has shared some of their antics with me and it is sadly what one might expect. He watches the older boys play violent video games and knows I object; I do not think killing should ever be for fun, even in a game. I know on the playground that bugs are fair game. So, apparently,  are tender hearts.

Veganism is Love = A Storm of Controversy

It has been interesting to see the controversy from the recent publication of Ruby Roth’s new book, Veganism is Love. While I will withhold judgment until I read the book (we pre-ordered a copy), I thought her first book was a useful tool in helping my grandson understand about those of us who have stopped eating animals. Some folks find it more objectionable to talk about the killing of animals than actually killing them. I appreciate that someone used their time and talent to present our vegan side of the story, even in part; I hope more people will follow Ms. Roth’s lead. I hope that in the future, there will be books about the days when people used to eat animals, and the young children will be horrified that the things of today ever existed at all.

Earlier in the week, my grandson had discovered what appeared to be a dead butterfly. He asked for my help, and I carefully moved the animal to a small curved dish, a cradle made from a bit of broken pottery on his front porch. There was also a bug that was turned over on his back and appeared to by dying. I turned him over and we moved him to another shard of pottery.  Later, we returned to see both animals had survived. My little grandson seemed so elated when he found his little friends were alive! I think his confusion over his feelings for other animals does not belong just to him, but is a reflection of the society into which he was born. There are those who unconsciously eat animals, and those who put stickers stating “Eating Animals” below stop signs, those who object to truth-telling books like Veganism is Love and those who share the earth gratefully with other animals. I hope my grandson will become one of the people who appreciates others, whether they look like him or not, whether they have feathers, fur or scales. It is, after all, his own journey; I am just privileged to be along for this early part of the ride.