Vegan is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action

Ruby Roth
Vegan is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action
North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California. 2012

Children are born to love. They love animals, people, the ocean. Vegan is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action helps children really look at what it means to act with kindness, and how veganism is part of a loving life-style.

Presented as a vibrantly colored illustrated message, each page focuses on a different aspect of animal welfare. Beyond having a food philosophy of no meat, dairy or fish, Vegan is Love shows how using animals for clothing is not harmless (fur and feathers are beautiful "but only on the animal that wears them").

The children's book also speaks to the controversial issue of animal testing explaining that testing is often on shampoos and cleaning products. Offering an alternative viewpoint to thinking lab experiments are necessary ("with our dollars we can show the world what we care about"), cruelty-free product symbols are illustrated. Also tackled is the notion of using animals for entertainments. Zoos, aquariums, bullfights, rodeos, racing and the circus all negate animals’ instincts and feelings ("We prefer to be entertained by creatures who love to perform.").

The illustrations are lively and appropriate, but included are a bull being speared, a harpooned fish, a small illustration of a roped calf and also a hunted animal. (Certainly these small pictures drive home the message, "Killing an animal is not brave; we do not pretend that live animals are toys," but parents may wish to preview the illustrations before sharing the book with very sensitive kids).

Vegan is Love helps children understand that though they are small people their choices can make a big difference to the animals they love; they can help make this a more compassionate world. Children resonate with the true message of this book instinctively: "Animals belong to Earth just as we do."