Vegan is Love: Veganism Children’s Book

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

3021-Vegan-Is-Love.jpgThe new children’s book titled, “Vegan Is Love” by Ruby Roth promotes veganism to children.

Would you want your child or children you know, to read this and become vegan?Sure it sounds like a healthy idea–having kids eating more of their fruits and vegetables.

What message is this book really sending?

The Message to Kids

  • Avoid fur, feathers, animal skins, and products experimented with on animals because there is no kind way for us to use them.
  • Avoid zoos and aquariums because the animal is not free to roam and is a “prisoner”.
  • Avoid the circus, horse races, dog races, bull fights, hunting, and rodeos because the animal is being hurt and we need to spread the message that this is not kind.
  • Do not eat meat or dairy because we do need this to live. It is healthier to eat plants. Since most animals are herbivores, we can be too.
  • Animal farms lead to more pollution, and we should not support them by eating meat.
  • Eat organic plants because these organic farms are healthier and not polluted.
  • Too much grain is feeding the farm animals. That grain could be used to feed the starving instead, if we ate less meat.
  • Don’t eat fish either because of overfishing.

Negatives

The main problem I have with this book is that children are impressionable, and this is too sensitive of a topic to have a child read this book.

It could easily scare a young child into eating vegan, and without proper guidance that child could become malnourished.

Second, the book does not convey the whole truth. The worldly problems presented in this book cannot be solved by one person eating vegan. The sad issues presented are meant for the government, businesses, and large groups of adults to conquer.

It is hard for a child to understand this and this book simplifies the big picture.

Can a Child Be Vegan?

Of course! But, that child just needs to follow a balanced diet that is supervised by an adult who understands proper nutrition.

The most important thing is that the child must be willing to eat sources of protein like beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, quinoa, and soy.

Do you, or would you let your child be vegan?

You can buy the book here on Amazon.

29 Comments

  1. Lisa Viger

    I happily take my kids and grandkids out to the garden, where we easily pick enough plant foods with our bare hands to make a large and healthy meal. If I were to take my kids and grandkids to a slaughterhouse it would be considered child abuse. And rightly so … we would expect them to be traumatized by viewing something that horrific. BECAUSE CHILDREN ARE “IMPRESSIONABLE.”

    Ms. German, if you tell honestly tell someone what it is they’re about to put in their mouths–if the truth of what it is is so horrible–perhaps we shouldn’t be putting those things in our mouths at all. Or the mouths of our children.

    Ruby Roth’s book is an excellent essay on compassion and taking action to make the world a better and kinder place.

    As far as the big worry over “properly planned diets” for vegan children … How many omnivorous children actually have “properly planned diets?” Someone is eating all those happy meals and it’s not the vegan kids. I’m not dissing a properly planned diet, but that idea should be applied to all, not just the vegans … who likely have a better chance of eating an accidentally healthy diet than most omnivores.

    I’ve been vegan for five years now, am forty eight, and feel better and healthier than I ever have, even in my twenties. I’m more energetic, more flexible, have better recovery times … It’s a fabulous lifestyle on all levels; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc.

    Ms. German, may I recommend a book? The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle is the book that changed my life. You can buy it on Amazon, or download the PDF for free on Will’s website here: http://worldpeacediet.org/download2.htm

    Reply
  2. Liz

    When I was a child, my father would bring home duck carcasses that he had shot and have my brother and I remove the pellets. It horrified me. He would take us fishing and I would watch in horror as he slammed the half-alive fish on the bottom of the boat to “finish it off”. I was sickened by the violence. To say that Ruby Roth’s book is too sensitive a topic for children is ridiculous. Children are witness to much greater horrors on a daily basis. Children have grown up in agricultural setting for centuries and been exposed to the slaughter of animals – something they are sheltered from today and as a result haven’t got a clue where their food really comes from. To say that this book might “scare” children into become vegan is actually part of my hope. I wish this book had been around when I was a child, it would have given me the courage to do what I knew in my heart was right for me: not to consume animal flesh. I’ve been vegan for 20 years and I’m healthy as a horse. Why? Because I eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet and I eat according to my values – I am nourished inside on all levels.

    Reply
    • SmoledMan

      What a precious delicate flower you are.

      Reply
  3. Sara

    I don’t know why a parent would give this book to their child. It’s natural for children to eat animal products and it’s natural for children to love animals. It just seems WAY too complicated and serious for a child to have to worry about what they can and can’t eat. I understand that everyone is brought up different and maybe as a parent you decided to become vegan but why do we have to force our children to follow the same path? kids can still be healthy and eat animal products. Their lives are going to become more complicated and stressful as they get older. Let them be kids and go to zoos for goodness sake! The world is already living in fear, let children at least enjoy themselves…..
    P.S. Nicole German is not just concerned about the health aspect of a child being vegan but HOW the book is written. If you think a scaring a child into becoming ANYTHING is a good idea than you might be “brainwashed”. Not every RD was taught how you were Tom and Nicole is one who knows what she’s talking about.

    Reply
    • Liz

      I could say the same thing to you: I don’t understand why anyone would “force” their children to follow their meat-eating path. Each parent teaches their children their own values. As a child, I didn’t enjoy being “forced” to eat meat but my parents were passing on their values. As a child, I was saddened to see animals in cages when I was taken to zoos. What was “too complicated” for me to understand as a child was why animals were caged, abused, and neglected. Its still too complicated – I just don’t get it. Ruby Roth’s point of view I get.

      Reply
  4. Tom Reen

    I forgot to mention that obviously we want to start sending this message to our children as they set the pace for the next generation. Unfortunately Nicole German is another brainwashed RD who is doing the bidding of big business and pharma. It is not her fault as this is what she was told during her training, but now, Nicole, it is time to swallow your “RD pride” and admit the corruption of our training and start preaching the truth which is backed by overwhelming facts – and yes, you can reach out to children who deserve to know how to eat properly to thrive. Good luck to you.

    Reply
  5. Tom Reen

    I just recently proudly chose not to renew my Registered Dietitian (RD) designation from the American Dietetic Association. I went through the corrupt training and spent many years of my life believing in the training they were giving me. Over the past couple of years I have learned the truth about the food industry and it’s manipulation of the public to make money and keep us sick. Therefore, craving more horrible food because we are taught that it is good for us, ultimately leading to the demise of ourselves, the planet, and obviously the animals that are tortured and killed for no reason whatsoever. I am a proud vegan and have been for the past few years now. I suggest all Registered Dietitians start teaching the truth about food because it is completely different from what the powers at be teach us in school. The joke has been on us while big agriculture and big pharma get rich due to our ignorance. It is time to fight back and spread the facts – Eating animals and animal products kills us, the environment (responsible for most greenhouse gasses), and obviously the poor, defenseless animals.

    Reply
  6. veganelder

    You write in your section “Can a Child be Vegan?”: “But, that child just needs to follow a balanced diet that is supervised by an adult who understands proper nutrition.” How is that any different than a child eating any other kind of diet? Doesn’t a responsible adult doesn’t need to supervise a child’s diet if they are not vegan? How is a vegan diet any different?

    You also write a child can be “scared” into eating vegan. I’m unsure how much you have to do with young children…but “scaring” them into much of anything is usually counter-productive and short-lived. Your statement is rather misleading….how on earth could a young child follow a vegan diet without an adult knowing about it? That means the child is seriously unsupervised and therein lies the risk…the lack of supervision…not the diet.

    Reply
    • ted

      I just saw this book being talked about on the Today Show and the child physiologist criticized the book for “scaring” children into being vegan.. She said that Scare tactics aren’t healthy and can lead to eating disorders. Teach to be vegan by example, not fear.

      Reply
    • Liz

      Excellent points! Thanks for your voice of reason.

      Reply
  7. Mae

    I have never eaten meat in my entire life. Not because I’m vegan, but because I am allergic to it. In fact, I am allergic to protein, if you don’t believe me research Phenylketonuria, aka PKU. I am a fully grown, normally developed adult, which was done through a careful diet in which I have never consumed beans, lentils, peas, meat, dairy, soy, nuts, etc. I have medicine that supplies me with all the nutrients I need which is why I have a well developed body and brain.

    I bring up this point because I think it mimics the non-vegan argument for children. As long as you are well-versed in how properly to eat as a vegan, you and your child (no matter how young) will be healthy and happy. In fact, Almond Milk has %50 more Calcium than cows milk, has no saturated fats, has 25% of your daily vitamin D and 50% of vitamin e. All with less calories than dairy milk. As you can see, there are many alternatives to a milk/dairy filled lifestyle that are healthier and better than what claims to be true.

    I think it is important to be honest and open with children at a young age about food and where it comes from. There is no reason that we should be afraid to tell them how apples get on their table, and there is no reason to be afraid of how fish gets on their table. If we werent afraid to talk about it, maybe our kids wouldn’t have one of the highest obesity and diabetes rates in the world. Be honest and give options. Expose them to different foods young and they will be willing to eat a larger variety of food.

    Reply
  8. Benjamin Raucher

    I am not sure if a child cannot understand that animals are needlessly hurt in a rodeo. I realize there are political messages in such a book but children are truly bombarded with political messages constantly. Still there are real health issues to be accrued by not eating meats and all the chemicals in them. Since it is a health issue what is wrong with giving that message. The Federal government have given us the political message for decades that we should eat meat as one of the really important food groups. But how is it an important food group of Hindus in India (and hundreds of millions of them) have never eaten meat. That is a message of governmental untrue indoctrination. The Feds have also told us that we need to eat grains. But grains are over-eaten as pointed out by theories of the Paleo-lithic diet which tell us that grains were rarely eaten prior to the neolithic farming age. And also diabetes is caused by heavier eating of grain like rice.

    Reply
  9. Milemom

    Nice try,T. Rachel shouldn’t have included her addition in quotation marks, but the implication was the same: children are young and impressionable, therefore,we shouldn’t tell them the truth about the cruelty involved in putting meat on their plate and milk in their cups.

    Kids should know. However, as another poster said, this book should come from a parent, not someone randomly trying to convert kids.

    Reply
  10. Milemom

    Rachel, I absolutely agree. My daughter (7th grader) and I are slowly transitioning from vegetarian to vegan, but my sons want no part of it. They are teen-agers and can certainly make their own choices, but I did make them watch Earthlings because even if they choose to consume animal products, they should understand where their food is coming from. SAME GOES FOR EVERYONE. Most people just want to live in denial about the suffering and cruelty involved with meat, dairy, and eggs.
    Also, I believe the healthiest diet is based on plants–meat can be a nutritious addition, but it doesn’t HAVE to be included. Humans have a choice. I’m guessing that in the universal scheme of things planets/civilizations will be judged by whether they are still eating other animals.

    Reply
  11. ted

    I wanted to note that this book is about Veganism which is different than just being a vegetarian. Vegan’s use no animal products whatsoever.

    I personally think places like zoos help kids to love animals and want to protect them.

    Reply
    • Anand

      Ted, animal sanctuaries can help kids appreciate animals better. And by not having animals in cages children don’t get the impression that imprisonment is okay.

      Reply
      • ted

        Most zoos in the USA no longer use cages.

        Reply
  12. T. Kallmyer

    “children are impressionable so we shouldn’t tell then the truth about animal products? ”

    This quote wasn’t in the article, you added the second part. The fact that children are impressionable is the truth.

    Reply
    • SmoledMan

      Yet parents indoctrinate in pro meat eating every day and nobody bats a eyelash about it.

      Reply
  13. Nicole

    It is absolutely a great thing for vegan parents to bring up their children as vegans.

    My main fear was that a child would be read or handed this book, and left to make their own decision about what the book meant. It is important to have a well-educated adult explain to a child what it means to be vegan, especially since this is something that concerns nutrients, food, and a growing child.

    Reply
  14. Jim

    I don’t think there’s anything to fear from educating a child about different ways of living and eating. In the end it will be up to the parent to choose how their child eats.

    I think this will be a growing issue as more people realize the incredible water resources used to create beef (among other things), and that maybe we do need to think a bit differently about how our diet affects other people sharing the planet with us.

    Reply
  15. Dan

    I am now Vegetarian, and I don’t believe veganism is per se unhealthy. One can get every nutrient from either plant or microorganism sources without consuming anything derived from animals. B12 comes from bacteria, but is stored in animals. Mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light are an excellent source of Vitamin D. Some mushrooms contain B12 as well. Natto is an excellent source of Vitamin K2. Algae is a good source of DHA and EPA. A person just has to be sure they get all their nutrients- of course, fortified foods contain these nutrients, but they can also be obtained naturally apart from any animal source.

    Reply
  16. Rachel

    I am a vegan. I plan on raising my future children as vegans.

    I’m not sure what you mean by children are impressionable so we shouldn’t tell then the truth about animal products? The truth is animals are tortured and born only to live a life of suffering then die. Why can’t children know the truth?

    I always find it funny when people talk about the possible dangers of a vegan diet, when any diet has a possibility of being unhealthy.

    As long as you know what foods to eat and what not to eat then many diets can be healthy.

    But with a vegan diet you are also promoting compassion. Parents souls not fear this. They should do their research and help their child pursue their wishes. Ultimately a vegan diet has the potential to lead to a very healthy life. One which I am proud to live by and one which I hope my future children will appreciate and live by.

    🙂

    Reply
  17. Spectra

    I don’t like the political overtones to the book. If you are going to raise a vegetarian/vegan child, just feed them whatever appropriate food you normally eat and leave the politics/cruelty issues out of it. When your child is old enough to think for him/herself, let them choose to eat meat if they want to or continue being a vegan. This book sounds like it’s attempting to brainwash kids who honestly don’t know why eating a hot dog is so terrible.

    Reply
    • Ann

      How is giving a child information and attempting to teach them your values “brainwashing”? A lot of parents teach their children about the religion they choose to follow. Could you imagine if someone told a parent not to teach their children about religion at all until the child was old enough to decide for themselves? Oh, and don’t teach children not to hurt other humans, because that is “brainwashing” too!

      Reply
  18. Heather

    Oh, and if my daughter when older (only 3 now) fully thought it out on her own and wasn’t just fed propaganda, and was willing to work on making sure it was healthy and sustainable, she could be a vegan.

    It is not something I will be encouraging, despite my many years as a vegetarian.

    Reply
    • anndre

      You never went to a slaughterhose Heather. Go then post.

      Reply
  19. Heather

    I became a vegetarian for many years when I realized meat was animals and they had to die for me to have it (age 7 to 21). I was NOT healthy as a vegetarian – was far less healthy as I am as a meat eater. (my family wasn’t healthy eaters either, but adding restrictions to unhealthy eating just usually makes it worse, not better.)

    I also was deathly afraid of pollution/war from the messages we were given. I thought the world was ending. It was very sad for me at age 9 – 10 to think I would never be an adult.

    I would be annoyed if a nonparent gave this to a kid, but not that it’s there. A parent can decide whether it is a message they want their kids to receive, and whether the kid can filter the message appropriately.

    Reply