A new children’s book is taking some heat for its controversial message aimed at kids, which says that eating vegan is the loving thing to do.
The book is called “Vegan is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action,” and its author and illustrator, Ruby Roth – a young, enthusiastic vegan activist – hopes to teach young readers not only about veganism as a diet choice, but also as a moral choice.
Roth explains that Vegan is Love expands upon the message of her popular first book “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals,” in which she describes how our daily diet choices affect not just our local communities, but our world as a whole.
In a video promoting the book, Roth says that “If we want to move toward an era of solutions, where the planet is healing, people are fed and healthy, there is good in the way we do business, and a reverence for the well being of all living things, then all we have to do is live that life ourselves.” The life she is referring to is about putting our love to action with ‘the food we eat, the clothing we wear, the money we spend, and the entertainment choices we make.’
Roth explains that although Vegan is Love is a children’s book that’s easy to understand, at its core, it’s about ‘democracy, supply and demand and engaging ourselves in the public realm.’
In an interview with The Today Show Nutritionist Heidi Skolnik said that eating a vegan diet is sustaininable and healthy for people at any age, including kids. But that parents should be very conscientious of making sure their children are getting all of the required nutrients that kids their age need, especially b-12, essential fatty acids, iron and protein.
However, the bigger controversy lies at a psychological level and raises the question, ‘Are we saying, then, that if a person is not vegan, they’re about hate? Or that non-vegans aren’t loving?’ Some critics are concerned that this book contains a strong moral message that can be potentially damaging to kids if it’s misinterpreted, and teaches them to ‘fear’ certain foods.
But if parents take a gentle approach and share this message with their kids in an unbiased way without being forceful, their children are much more likely to make diet and moral decisions for themselves instead of feeling like veganism is the only right choice to make.
But make the call yourself. Vegan is Love is available for pre-order online and its official release date is April 24. Suggested age level is 7 and up, and grade level is 2nd and up.
April 20th, 2012