Teaching the next generation about the importance of treating all animals equally starts young. Whether the child is growing up in a vegan family, or if they just want to learn more about how to love the creatures around them better, there are plenty of colorful and kindly-worded books to teach young ones about veganism.
Here are a few of our favorite children’s books about veganism for your next bedtime story.
1. That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things – Ruby Roth
Best suited for children between the ages of six and ten, That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals illustrates the routines and wishes of a variety of animals (chickens, turkeys, cows, etc) then compares it to the unpleasant reality many of them deal with when living in factory farms. The book stresses how important it is to love animals – and how difficult it is to simultaneously care for and eat them. It might be a little overwhelming for children under the age of six, so we recommend reading it beforehand to see if your child will enjoy and understand it.
2. Sprig the Rescue Pig – Leslie Crawford
Everybody loves a story about a cute pink pig, especially one named Sprig! Sprig was rescued from a terrible fate. He was stuffed into a truck with several other pigs on their way to an unknown location. Luckily, Sprig’s intuition tells him to jump, and he leaps off the truck and eventually comes face-to-face with a little girl named Rory. The story of their friendship is inspired by true events and teaches children the importance of compassion for all living creatures. Kids will love Sprig the Rescue Pig!
3. Not a Nugget – Stephanie Dreyer
It’s easy to forget that a nugget or a burger used to be a living, breathing animal with feelings and desires. Not a Nugget aims to teach children about plant-based living, and why we should just let a chicken be a chicken (rather than a nugget). It’s full of animal facts and endearing illustrations. A child would enjoy reading this on their own, but we think reading it with a teacher or parent would help encourage important conversations about the way we treat other animals.
4. Chickpea Runs Away – Sarat Colling
Chickpea is a dairy cow that lives on a crowded farm. Her close friends and family are regularly taken away from her on big trucks. When it’s time for Chickpea and several other cows to load onto the same trucks, she manages to escape! The story follows her exploring the woods surrounding the farm and features a few friends she makes along the way. Chickpea Runs Away is inspired by runaway cows who have also managed to escape the slaughterhouse.
5. Santa’s First Vegan Christmas – Robin Raven
Did you know that Santa Claus was vegan? Well, in this book, he is! The story follows Dana, a reindeer whose infectious passion for animal rights eventually spreads to Santa when she meets him on Christmas Eve. They proceed to spend the whole evening exploring the world and learning how to treat animals with the love and compassion they deserve. Santa’s First Vegan Christmas is enchanting and is simple enough for young children to follow along with.
6. We All Love: A Book for Compassionate Little Vegans and Vegetarians – Julie Hausen
This sweet book teaches children about animals by exploring empathy, something young children are slowly being introduced to. By drawing comparisons between different animals and humans, We All Love shows us that living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is the best way to show compassion towards other creatures.
Scaring a child into not eating meat or dairy is not the right way to go about introducing them to a more compassionate diet or lifestyle. These six books teach children the joys of veganism by drawing parallels and spreading the love of life. Their messages are clear but gentle, which is the only way children need to be taught about animal rights.
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