Written and Illustrated by: Ruby Roth
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Genre: Picture Book, Non-Fiction
Ahh, picture books. A wonderful world of color, imagination, and play… but not always. That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, a non-fiction book about the truths and horrors of the industrial meat and dairy industries is a semi-sweet and somewhat bitter wake up call written for very young children. The book features America’s favorite animals to eat: pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, fish, quail, ducks, and geese. It also highlights the meaning of “endangered species”, the rainforest crisis, and the discrepancy between the treatment of the cute and cuddly animals we keep as pets and the ones we choose to consume. Though a little on the preachy side, this book features mezmorizing illustrations and speaks honestly of what happens on farms where animals are bred for consumption. The imagery, which contrasts the life of animals living on open farms and in the wild to that of an animal living on a factory farm, is enough to make any child stop and think about where the food on his or her plate comes from (perhaps even enough to give them nightmares).
The book itself suggests that we all become vegetarians and vegans to alleviate the problem. Though I am myself a vegan, my own good sense says that though that is one way to look at it, there are other ways to combat animal cruelty. Even as a vegan, I am unsure of how comfortable I would be reading this book to a group of young children in my classroom. However, in the home, with the proper supervision, this book can be a great teaching tool and conversation starter about food choices and the truths of the meat, dairy, and fishing industries. I would recommend this book to children aged 4-8, with parental guidance.
Posted by: Janine Reads