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Book on veganism for young children

This may have been discussed before, but I am lookng for some books that explain veganism to my 4-yo who is now asking a TON of questions about why we eat differently.  I've heard of That's Why We Don't Eat Animals and will probably end up buying it, but it seems too old for her.  I guess I'm looking for something with maybe only a couple sentences on a page.  Any ideas?  Thanks. 

I would like to know too.  My son isn't old enough to question yet, but he soon will be!

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Caitlin's nickname is 50 Questions.  Seriously, she hardly ever stops talking except when I make her do so so I can work.  That's one of the things that make this choice so difficult.  Tact is definitely NOT her strong suit. 

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I've only ever seen books for slightly older kids-elementary age. Peta does have a kids page that we've visited before. I love this website. It might at least show her there are other vegan children.

ETA- duh, maybe I should actually post the link
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/realveganchildren/

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Quintess should write a book seriously...

I have always wondered how I can explain this to my child in the best possible way (when I have one)... I will buy that one book u mentioned but are there any more? I also worry about giving my kids fake meat and cheese products... I can see how it would be confusing... Like this "chicken" patty is okay but that chicken patty that looks exactly the same isn't? I mean how freaking confusing?!

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One thing I learned to do is call our food by a different name so its not so confusing. Veggie dogs, not hot dogs. Chic Pats, not chicken patties. Veggs, not eggs.

Benji BeanSprout doesn't eat meat is great. The night before thanksgiving is great...I have a whole collection of books that touch on vegetarianism....will get them and post the rest later.

I have often thought of writing my own book on the topic. Maybe I will!

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DOOOOOO IT!!!!!

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Here's some other stories that have AR/veg undertones:

Hetty and Harriet by Graham Oakley
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
Turk and Runt by Lisa Wheeler
Do Animals have Feelings too? by David Rice
Benji BeanSprout Doesn't eat Meat (my fave). don't have the author handy
Twas the Night Before thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey (a funny one).
There's Herb the Vegetarian Dragon, but it takes a lot of somewhat violent story to get to the point. Definitely for older ones-maybe 7 and up. Noah loved it but he is totally into dragons and fighting. not real fighting, but cartoon fighting. lol

yanno, i think i started a thread like this way back when. I'm going to see if I can find it. :)

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Ha! I found it!  I rock. This should be moved to Stroller Derby, IMO

http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=14973.msg95315#msg95315

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Thanks L2A!!! You should write a book!

Also GREAT IDEA about the different names for food!

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Thanks.  I was kind of hoping for something . . . different, but I'll make due.  I might even get some of the book for older children (not the grahpic ones) and add my own text to them on sticky notes or something.  She may be starting kindergarten in the fall, and I want her to have a better understanding beforehand.  They don't eat lunch at school, just a parent-provided snack, so that will makes things easier. 

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Thanks.  I was kind of hoping for something . . . different, but I'll make due.  I might even get some of the book for older children (not the grahpic ones) and add my own text to them on sticky notes or something.  She may be starting kindergarten in the fall, and I want her to have a better understanding beforehand.  They don't eat lunch at school, just a parent-provided snack, so that will makes things easier.  

what are you looking for?  I don't know how you can know none of these is good unless you've read them all.
Benji BeanSprout would probably suit your needs. Have you read it? I used to paraphrase the end because it talks about factory farms and I just didn't want those images in his head so young. I know how it haunts me, even as an adult. He can read now, and has read it on his own. It's not very graphic at all.

ETA
I guess it would help to know your reasons for veganism to recommend the right books.

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Thank you for your help.  I do plan on using the books that you suggested, and I didn't mean to imply otherwise.  I heard both good and bad things about Benji BeanSprout, but based on what you have said I will be ordering it soon.  

What I did a terrble job of expressing is that I'm tring to find a book that explains veganism itself and the reasons for it and not a book about how to deal with being different than other kids and dealing with teasing/bullying.  I will probably order That's Why We Don't Eat Animals too and just use some of the pictures.  Due to some of our family and friends who are farms, hunters, etc., she understands that meat is cut up animal parts and that it hurts the animal.  I'd like to have some visual aids to talk about factory farms that are obviously not photographs and not too graphic.  I guess I just want to give her the basic idea that something isn't right without being too upsetting.  We have also begun to talk about food choices for health reasons and why healthy food makes more sense than what she sees others eating.  This is a difficult area to raise a vegan child in.  Thanks for your help. 

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One other thing to consider is to stress the fact the other people DO eat meat, and that is their choice. Our whole family is composed of meat eaters, and I didn't want to drive a wedge between our son and his grandparents. ANd teachers. And school mates. I think the toughest part is teaching them that WE don't do this for X reasons.....but you don't want them to resent everyone for eating meat at the same time.  So teaching acceptance and that it is OK for us to be different is key.

Noah used to question his teacher in pre school who was eating chicken, and she just used to tell him that "everyone is different" and he was OK with that. He used to say "everyone is different" a lot! I hope that it helps with peer pressure some day, and that he won't just do what his friends are doing (drinking, etc...)

Benji is a great springboard for what you want to discuss. It has great illustrations and colors, and she can relate to the main character. He does get teased, and she probably will too at some point, so it wouldn't hurt to address that! :)

I also tried to focus on the fact that fruits and veggies are very healthy, and tried not to stress too much that meat is unhealthy (he knows this NOW, but he's 9 now). We ran into problems with him telling his school mates that their food was unhealthy, and that's just not good for anyone. I suggest focusing more on what you DO eat, and not so much about what you DON'T (at this point anyway!)>
Hope that helps!

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I'd like to suggest asking your child the questions. It's worked so far for my 4-year old daughter. She, too, is a question machine. But we have done okay so far in the vegan/eating different arena by letting her feel confident in what she wants to do.

Try asking questions like, "Would you like to eat a cow?" or "Do you think it's okay for people to not treat animals nicely?". Build a dialogue. Discuss it and lay it out as clearly as you can without getting too graphic. We came to the conclusions that we don't want to eat animals either because we love them. We don't want to give people who hurt animals any money. And (this is probably just applies to our family) when we do eat eggs, we make sure the chickens are treated very nicely, and we make sure there are no baby chicken in the eggs.

We've had discussions where she's felt left out at school when there are non-vegan treats. She's come out of those feeling good, though. Her wishes were "I wish more people were vegan" and not "I wish we weren't". Kids are tough and smart. Discuss it with her and be as honest as possible without inducing nightmares.

Also, listen to everything l2a says. She is a master.

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Thanks for the advice everyone.  We live in a very vegan-unfriendly area.  It is doubtful that any of her school mates will be vegan.  Not eating meals there will help, but I know it will come up eventually. 

I've already run into the problems with her her comments about other's foods.  I do find it amusing that it is okay for people to make comments about our food and how "gross" it is, but we can't comment about theirs.  Oh well, that's another can of worms.  Most of the time she understands that we don't comment on other people's foods.  Other times, well . . . I want to crawl under the table and laugh when the whole table gets quiet and tense. 

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don't forget books like The Lorax, The Giving Tree, and other books with a respect the earth message...they may not be totally aimed at veganism but they do address the points of waste, consequences, and conscousness.  many kids books are about animals, so making kids animal lovers isn''t hard!

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http://www.earlyliterature.ecsd.net/puffin.htm

This is a great poem (I have it memorized and recite it to my baby - she loves it)  - it's available in book form, too.

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Another thing you might do is ingrain positive images in your child rather than discussing the negative ones incessantly.  I read my daughter "Our Farm" which is a collection of paintings and poems about the animals of Farm Sanctuary.  I have also taken her to two vegan farms so she can see how happy the animals are there.  When she is a little older I can use that as a springboard to talk about how other farms aren't so happy, or how the animals weren't treated nice before they went to the sanctuary.  But for the time being, I am content to implant in her the idea of loving all animals and being gentle with them-- and so far it has worked, because she hasn't once done the typical toddler act of pulling an animal's tail or fur like so many kids do.  She knows to be nice to animals and she knows she likes them, so she doesn't want to eat them.  Even at two she understands this at a basic level, and has turned down meat products at our sitter's house on multiple occasions.

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I'm not a parent, but I am an elementary school teacher. My students are always SO interested in why I don't eat or wear animals.  : )
I have found a few web sites with great resources ( lesson plans, stories, games, coloring sheets) much of these are free to download.
 
www.teachkind.org
www.humaneeducation.org
www.humaneeducationteacher.org/booklist.html

Thank you for raising peaceful, loving, kind beings!
Namaste, Kathy

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My son enjoys Herb the Vegetarian Dragon.  It doesn't really teach anything specific about the diet, it is more about acceptance of people having different diets. 

We also have Cows are Vegetarians Too, a book for vegetarian kids.  I never really read it to my son though, I find it to be a little much.   

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