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That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things

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Overview

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals uses colorful artwork and lively text to introduce vegetarianism and veganism to early readers (ages six to ten). Written and illustrated by Ruby Roth, the book features an endearing animal cast of pigs, turkeys, cows, quail, turtles, and dolphins. These creatures are shown in both their natural state—rooting around, bonding, nuzzling, cuddling, grooming one another, and charming each other with their family instincts and rituals—and in the terrible conditions of the factory farm. ...

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Overview

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals uses colorful artwork and lively text to introduce vegetarianism and veganism to early readers (ages six to ten). Written and illustrated by Ruby Roth, the book features an endearing animal cast of pigs, turkeys, cows, quail, turtles, and dolphins. These creatures are shown in both their natural state—rooting around, bonding, nuzzling, cuddling, grooming one another, and charming each other with their family instincts and rituals—and in the terrible conditions of the factory farm. The book also describes the negative effects eating meat has on the environment. A separate section entitled “What Else Can We Do?” suggests ways children can learn more about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, such as:“Celebrate Thanksgiving with a vegan feast” or “Buy clothes, shoes, belts, and bags that are not made from leather or other animal skins or fur.” This compassionate, informative book offers both an entertaining read and a resource to inspire parents and children to talk about a timely, increasingly important subject.

That's Why We Don't Eat Animals official website: http://wedonteatanimals.com/

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a powerful and important book. Farm animals have emotions similar to our pets and this is conveyed in Roth's enchanting illustrations. It will make children—and their parents—think. But it will not lead to nightmares, rather respect and compassion for the creatures whose wellbeing is in our hands.”
Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

“A refreshing, sympathetic, and attractive book that children are smart enough to understand, embrace and grow up a little by reading.”
Ingrid Newkirk, founder, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

“Ruby Roth has done us all a great service. If your children are vegetarians, or have friends who are, or are simply interested in why people might be vegetarians, this is the book for them!”
John Robbins, bestselling author of The Food Revolution, Diet For A New America

“Where adults are more firmly entrenched in their ways, children need only the slightest insights and guidance, and off they soar into the direction of a more conscious and kind way of living. This book will help to create the much needed healers and leaders of tomorrow. ”
Kathy Freston, NY Times bestselling author of Quantum Wellness

“Like many people, I knew as a child that I didn't want to eat animals. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals would have offered me the guidance and inspiration I needed to understand those instincts. This book is a must-have for anyone who loves animals.”
Alicia Silverstone, actress, animal-rights activist

“In a time when we are all working to go green, I am thrilled that That's Why We Don't Eat Animals makes the connection between food and the environment, inspiring children to be aware and involved. ”
Ed Begley, actor, activist

“Stunning artwork, meaningful content, and a message that will inspire-this book is a must-read for every child. ”
Rory Freedman, NY Times bestselling author of Skinny Bitch

“Roth beautifully illustrates why we all love animals when we get the chance to experience their families and personalities. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is a book I recommend to all parents and children. ”
David Wolfe, author of The Sunfood Diet Success System, founder of SunFood

“This book captures the imagination with its illustrations that subtly helps children understand the ancient teachings that animals have souls. Animals are our friends and we do not eat our friends. In this understanding it helps us create a more compassionate world. ”
Gabriel Cousens, M.D. author of Conscious Eating, and Spiritual Nutrition

"Declaring that 'All animals deserve the care and protection we give our pets,' newcomer Roth takes the vegetarian/vegan cause to young readers. Highly stylized illustrations against white backdrops depict angular caricatures of farm animals. Concluding with a list of tips for action around vegetarian/vegan ideals, this book is sure to raise awareness and questions."
Publishers Weekly

"A courageous stab at a serious topic inherently hinted at through the anthropomorphizing of animals so prevalent in children’s books. By contrasting animal behavior in the wild with that of their counterparts in farms or factories, Roth makes a stark case that by harvesting sentient beings we are stripping them of their rights and natural desires. Inevitably this will book incense those on the other side of the issue but there is much to be learned here (about animal behavior if nothing else). A unique effort that is to be applauded."
Booklist

"This book successfully tackles the tough subject [of veganism] with grace and clarity. This is a great addition to any compassionate kid’s library and will make a wonderful gift for any parents in your life who want to talk to their kids about animals but need a little help getting started."
PETA Living

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals succeeds in raising awareness about where our food comes from and how our food choices affect other creatures and the environment. Roth touches on the conditions animals raised on factory farms endure…but she doesn’t get overly graphic…That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals nicely connected the dots between how humans treat animals and the impact our species has on the planet as a whole, with the basic premise being that a more enlightened attitude toward our food sources (of course, ideally that would mean becoming vegetarian) translates into a healthier planet.”
Wired

"Turkeys dance and grieve together; they blush and fly to the treetops when the moon comes out. In factory farms they have no freedom and are made too fat to fly."
Kirkus

“The artwork is bright and enchanting...the message is clear, simple, and compassionate.”
Change.org

“If each parent read this book to their child, I’m certain more children would consider becoming vegetarian.”
—Vegetarian Journal

That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is an elegantly written, beautifully illustrated children's book about the rationale for vegetarianism. [Roth] uses heartfelt, emotionally resonant language and art design to contrast the life lived by animals in the wild with the existence of animals in the factory farming system. This is a children's book with large ambitions...If the coming generations are going to strive for a more sustainable approach to filling their dining room tables, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals should certainly be in their bookcases.”
L.A. Yoga

“You can never be too young to join the fight against cruelty, and Roth's book looks like a great tool to help teach the younger generation about what's happening on factory farms.”
This Just In, VegNews blog

“An American teacher, writer and artist, Roth has come up with an innovative and somewhat controversial solution for helping children foster compassion towards animals-tell them the truth. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things is the first book of its kind targeted toward young people. A candid, but gentle book that discusses what are normally considered taboo subjects for children, such as factory farming, battery hen cages, overfishing, habitat erosion, rainforest health and endangered species in relation to food.”
Green Muze

“The illustrations are fantastic, and the message is spot on.”
Vegan Dad blog

"The text does a fine job of explaining this potentially emotional issue without being too fraught with horrifying detail. Ruby Roth is a talented illustrator and author who has written a gently informative children's book that will be indispensable to thoughtful families everywhere. I am so grateful to her for making that inevitable talk a little bit easier."
Your Vegan Mom

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals makes the case for both vegetarianism and veganism with gorgeous artwork and a clear, firm stance about the needs of animals and the peril to the greater environment.”
Vegan Future blog

“[That's Why We Don't Eat Animals] makes a sound, green argument for reducing animal consumption as well as eliminating factory farms. It offers another perspective that is missing from children's sections in libraries. It is a pleasure to find such a well-done book on the subject”
Kids Lit blog

“Though this book tackles a difficult subject for younger children, it does so well. This is a good book for vegetarian families or parents who are raising their kids veggie and want a way to explain it to them. Without getting too graphic (animals in confined cages are as dark as it gets), it explores basic issues of factory farming and discusses its effects on the environment. Roth is able to get her point across without becoming too preachy or delving into topics that aren't age-appropriate.
The Kids' Book Corner blog

“Wonderfully illustrated and inspiring for children of all ages, author Ruby Roth has tackled the complex moral and ethical issue of choosing to be a vegetarian, distilling it into a compassionate and informative snapshot of the emotional lives of animals in their natural state. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is a timely reminder to look inside our hearts and reconsider the choices we make-and their impact on our fellow creatures and the well-being of the planet.”
New Consciousness Review

“For any parent looking for a children’s book to introduce some arguments on choosing the vegetarian lifestyle, That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is a great start.”
Vegetarian Star

“[That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals] was not grotesque or militant in any way… just straightforward about the reality of eating animals and what that means for the animals and the planet…Thumbs up to Ruby Roth, That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals rocks!”
Nature Moms

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is quickly becoming a must-have book!”
Ecorazzi

“Each animal on a farm is contrasted with the animal in its natural, social habitat through entertaining drawings…Research for the book was collected from zoologists, animal behaviorists, neuropsychiatrists, pet therapy programs, oceanographers, farmers and animal sanctuaries…”
The Washington Times

“It is good to finally have a book that portrays the philosophy of veganism as a reasoned, principled belief and not as a fickle food choice.”
New Age Journal

“The text confronts kids head-on with questions that will get them thinking…”
—Heeb’n’Vegan

“[That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals] is heirloom quality and destined to be read over and over again.”
—Green Baby NYC

“This beautifully illustrated book explains simply and gently why so many families have decided to leave meat off the menu…The pages are filled with gorgeous color, top notch drawings, and a vast array of unforgettable critters. Any child being raised in a vegetarian home will be able to comfortably understand why their family isn’t lined up at the McDonald’s drive thru or serving turkey come Thanksgiving.”
dkMommySpot

“[That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is] the first book geared to children to address the humanitarian aspects of a plant-based diet.”
—Huffington Post

“[Ruby Roth’s] stunning artwork mesmerizes readers… this book is sure to be a wonderful conversation starter between children and their adult counterparts for many story times to come.”
—VegBooks

“Get this book! Ruby Roth's That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is quickly gaining acclaim and recognition… a welcome addition to the vegetarian and vegan landscape.”
—LifeTips.com

“The book illustrates in a gentle yet powerful way, the reasons why some Earthlings choose not to eat meat. It is a beautiful book about compassion.”
Mother Rising

“The graphics are amazing… this book is not only a great tool for teaching your kids why they are vegetarian or vegan but also to teach adults and others why it is important not to eat meat.”
—Cooking for a Vegan Lover

“If you are planning on raising a vegetarian child who will be well-prepared to explain his or her beliefs to inquiring peers, teachers, and friends’ parents, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is a great start… The animals are charmingly drawn in a caricaturist, almost geometric style, and their environments are depicted with bright or dark colors, depending on their living conditions. The vocabulary is simple and straightforward, doesn’t get too dark or complicated for children, and avoids a preachy, overbearing tone in favor of a sensitive, informative one.”
—Feminist Review

“Roth’s artistry brings the story to life through color and rigid form.”
—Farmbrarian

“Ruby’s beautiful illustrations are colorful and whimsical, and they have a way of keeping my daughter’s eyes glued to the page! ... This is by far the most gentle, yet eye opening, animal rights book available for our youngest generation!”
The Vegan Mom

“[That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is] a delightful, beautifully illustrated guide to some of the world’s most pressing topics—from health to environment to animal protection—for children ages 4-10.”
Elephant Journal

“Roth created her new illustrated book, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals, for elementary school aged children, exploring topics such as factory farming, overfishing and rainforest destruction in a manner that is truthful, yet age-appropriate.”
—Compassionate Living Magazine

“Roth gently discusses what is wrong with the way we raise food… If each parent read this book to their child, I'm certain more children would consider becoming vegetarian.”
—Vegetarian Resource Group

“A book written for children and their families, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is just as vital an addition to the veg-friendly library as John Robbin's The Food Revolution or Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, because its simple, yet profound message—that the animals of this world have as much a desire to live and love their families as we do—is enough to become a seed of change for good in the hearts of children and grown-ups alike. I've never seen a book that handles the subject of factory farming, overfishing, and the destruction of our fellow animals and planet so delicately.”
Kiss Me, I'm Vegan

“I recently began my search for a simple, clear children's book about vegetarianism. I wanted something more than a story about an unrealistic, cartoon animal, as well as a story that touched on the environment and American factory farms… I was really happy to find That's Why We Don't Eat Animals by Ruby Roth.”
—Erin, MN Veggie Mama

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is a milestone in children’s literature.”
Vegetarians in Paradise

“Ruby's illustrations are just superb. She has an abstract style and the animals are almost, but not quite, painted in caricature. I commend her for making a visually pleasing book while not shying away from the realities of animal use. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals covers just about every aspect of animal exploitation, and does it in a sensitive way that breaks the awful truth to our children as easily as possible.”
Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!)

"A gorgeously illustrated children’s book that we are just mad for."
The GirlieGirl Army

Publishers Weekly

Declaring that "All animals deserve the care and protection we give our pets," newcomer Roth takes the vegetarian/vegan cause to young readers. Highly stylized illustrations against white backdrops depict angular caricatures of farm animals with oversize nostrils, as a single-sided narrative compares the existence of several feathered and furred livestock with their counterparts in nature ("A factory-farmed pig may spend her whole life alone, fattened in a pen so tiny that she won't even be able to turn around.... Pigs need the sight, sound, and touch of one another.... Love is part of their nature." Later spreads present barren landscapes in dark hues as the author touches on commercial overfishing and rain forest exploitation. Children may find the heart-tugging descriptions and images (such as the all-gray scene of jungle animals stranded in a charred wasteland or sad chickens "crammed into cages on factory farms") a little overwhelming. Concluding with a list of tips for action around vegetarian/vegan ideals, this book-despite its lack of counterpoint or source material-is sure to raise awareness and questions. Ages 6-10. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
From an opening that establishes all earthlings' mutual connection, Roth follows with evidence of humanlike behavior among animals. Turkeys dance and grieve together; they blush and fly to the treetops when the moon comes out. In factory farms they have no freedom and are made too fat to fly. Fish, cattle, ducks, geese, chickens and pheasants are all similarly mistreated. Carnivorous diets for humans are destroying the rainforests and killing endangered species. This tract spends most of its time supporting the idea that animals are very like people and too cute to eat. The unsubtle illustrations feature black-bead-eyed animals that are adorable in the wild but terrified and dirty on the farms. Environmental impact gets a mention, but health concerns (for humans) get no ink at all. Also, the suggestion that pets can survive on a vegetarian diet can kill those that are carnivores in the wild. Children young enough for this are in no position to make dietary choices for themselves; it will work best for children in already vegan or vegetarian households. (Informational picture book. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556437854
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 178,936
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruby Roth is an acclaimed activist, artist, and author whose work has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, The Washington Times, Change.org, Glamour, and Wired as well as on The Today Show, FOX, ABC, CNN, and other major media outletsShe first discovered children's interest in veganism while teaching art at an elementary school. Complementing her degrees in art and American studies, she has researched animal agriculture, health, nutrition, and the benefits of a plant-based diet for nearly a decade. A vegan since 2003, she lives in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2011

    A must read for all children and adults

    This is a great introduction into animal and environmental welfare. It should be in every school.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2009

    Amazing!

    I thought this book looked so cute, and just wonderful. I had no ideal that there were books out there for kids about Vegetarianism! Defenitaly great for every kid to read! I think I might suggest it for my mom - as she is a teacher - and make her take it to her classroom! Again, it is just WONDERFUL! =]

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  • Posted July 8, 2009

    beautiful artwork; great message

    A message of compassion told through beautiful artwork and kid friendly narration-- this should be a must read in all elementary schools to show kids that there is a compassionate alternative to the mainstream. I bought this as soon as it came out & my daughter loves it (she even educates her friends on the issues of factory farming!).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

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    Posted July 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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