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

Ruby Roth, Author, Ruby Roth, Illustrator . North Atlantic $16.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-55643-785-4

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)

Reviewed on: 05/25/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
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