Teaching the next generation the importance of treating all animals equally starts young. Whether the child is growing up in a vegan household or just wants to learn more about how to love the creatures around them better, there are plenty of colorful, well-written books to teach young people about veganism.
Here are some of our favorite children’s books on 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
Ideal for children from 6 to 10 years old, That’s why we don’t eat animals illustrates the routines and wishes of a variety of animals (chickens, turkeys, cows, etc.) and then compares them to the unpleasant reality many of them face when living on factory farms. The book highlights how important it is to love animals – and how difficult it is to care for and eat them simultaneously. It can be a bit overwhelming for children under six, so we recommend reading it first to see if your child will enjoy and understand it.
2. Sprig the Rescue Pig – Leslie Crawford
Everyone loves the story of a cute pink pig, especially the one named Sprig! Sprig was saved from a terrible fate. He was piled into a truck with several other pigs en route to an unknown destination. Luckily, Sprig’s intuition tells him to jump, and he jumps off the truck and eventually comes face to face with a little girl named Rory. The story of their friendship is inspired by real events and teaches children the importance of compassion for all living creatures. Kids will love it Sprig the rescue pig!
3. Not a nugget – Stephanie Dreyer
It’s easy to forget that a nugget or hamburger was once a living, breathing animal with feelings and desires. Not a nugget aims to teach kids about plant-based living and why we should just let a chicken be a chicken (rather than a nugget). It’s packed with animal facts and endearing illustrations. A child would love to read this on their own, but we think reading it with a teacher or parent would help encourage important conversations about how we treat other animals.
4. The Chickpea Runs Away – Sarat Colling
Chickpea is a dairy cow that lives on a crowded farm. His close friends and family are regularly taken away from him in large trucks. When it’s time for Chickpea and several other cows to load into the same trucks, she manages to escape! The story follows her exploring the woods surrounding the farm and features some friends she makes along the way. The chickpea runs away is inspired by runaway cows that have also managed to escape from 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 ends up spreading to Santa when she meets him on Christmas Eve. They then spend the entire evening exploring the world and learning to treat animals with the love and compassion they deserve. Santa’s First Vegan Christmas is enchanting and simple enough for young children to follow.
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 slowly discover. By making 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 introduce them to a more compassionate diet or lifestyle. These six books teach children about the joys of veganism by drawing parallels and spreading the joy of living. Their messages are clear but gentle, which is the only way kids should be educated about animal rights.
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