BOOK REVIEW: That's Why We Don't Eat Animals

{ disclosure : author contacted directly, self-bought book, no discount or incentives received }


When I was told to check out this book, I was intrigued.  You see, I’m not a vegetarian, but not for lack of trying on my parents part.  It did successfully rub off on my sister who has been one since the tender age of 5 years old.  Through out her life she’s had to respond to questions like why doesn’t she eat meat?  What kind of vegetarian are you?  Do you eat fish?  Do you eat eggs?  It never bothered her to answer these questions before, she’d even give flippant answers like… just because…  Being her sister, we’re quite close too, I’ve often had to make dishes just for her on special occasions like birthday or thanksgiving dinners.

Now my precocious two year old is beginning to notice that when her Auntie comes over, things are a little different.  The questions are, why is she eating that?  When I make a dish just for her aunt I get – Why, is she special? Let me tell you, flippant answers don’t fly with a two-year old.  My sister tried to explain to her, in terms that two year olds might get and I’m thinking… oh please don’t scare her or make her all weird and picky about food again!  Nonetheless, she tried to no avail to make my little one understand in gentle, simpler terms.

When I happened upon this book, I rang my sister up joyfully.  I found a solution.  Since we’ve been actively reading at the library, the bookstore and right before bed time, its become her favorite activity.  All the books get a little ad libbing on my part… whether its counting the numbers of items, like pigs on a farm, or identifying items, shapes and colors, while making the storyline adapt to her.  ie.,  Dora’s getting a baby brother, just like my Ava… or That’s why we don’t eat animals, just like Auntie.   My most generous sister offered to buy the book for my little Ava, but I beat her to the punch.

Written by author, Ruby Roth, “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans,
Vegetarians, and All Living Things” is a beautifully, gorgeously  illustrated book that addresses the emotional lives of animals, factory farming, the environment, and endangered species in regards to the foods we eat.  It is also endorsed by some of my favorite activists Jane Goodall and Ed Begley Jr.  I appreciated it’s gentle approach to explaining these important concepts while not pushing her to become a vegetarian, unless she wants to of course.  The “What Else Can You Do?”  end page gives good ideas on how anyone and everyone can still participate towards a more animal friendly life.  While some of it might still be over my little Ava’s head for a two-year old, the book is heirloom quality and destined to be read over and over again and a staple on her bookshelf for years to come.

You can read more about the author and her book at: I purchased my copy at