Featured Resource: Vegan is Love

Most of us want to live in a way that does lots of good and causes little harm, but having the knowledge, motivation, and resources to do so can be challenging. In her newest book for children, Vegan is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action (North Atlantic Books, 2012), author and illustrator, Ruby Roth, educates readers about the impact of our choices on nonhuman animals and highlights how "our choices are powerful" and that we each have "the power to create a better world."

Roth begins with the premise that "to be vegan means to care deeply about how our choices help or harm animals, how we create peace or suffering in the world."

The book is divided into sections focused on "Living with Love" and "Eating with Love." The first section discusses our choices related to clothing, animal testing, zoos, sea parks & aquariums, the circus, animal racing, hunting, and bullfights & rodeos. "Eating with Love" touches upon health, pollution, organic food, hunger, and forests and oceans.

Roth notes: "It takes courage to ask, 'What kind of person do I want to be?' and decide the answer yourself. The choice to be vegan is especially brave. It means you are standing up for yourself and all other living beings -- and that is love."

The book showcases powerful illustrations, which portray truth without being too graphic. And although the text oversimplifies the issues at times, the message of compassion for nonhuman animals and of the broad-ranging impact of our daily choices is one that is desperately needed. 

One addition that would have made the book even stronger is a listing of source citations on the book's website, so that adults (and even older kids) could do additional research about these issues themselves and verify the accuracy of the claims.

Even though Vegan is Love deals with difficult issues, the overall tone is one of hope, because we each have the power to choose more compassionately. Vegan is Love nurtures children's natural empathy for other beings and will help them feel more informed and empowered.

~ Marsha

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