Being vegan to help animals means that you know what happens to those used for food—from the chickens whose beaks are partially seared off and who never get to venture out into the sunshine to the pigs whose tails are docked and whose teeth are clipped without any anesthesia. You know that both types of animals are killed at a young age, just so that humans can consume them. But that doesn’t mean you want to go into explicit detail when you’re educating your children about animals and explaining why we shouldn’t eat them.
For this very reason, we’ve put together a list of books that were written and illustrated with kids in mind. They’ll help you discuss with your child what animals used for food endure—and what we can do to help them!
This book uses each letter of the alphabet to introduce topics about being kind to all animals. It’s an easy read that was beautifully written and illustrated by Ruby Roth.
When a couple adopted a “mini” pig, she turned their life upside down—in the best way possible. Reading this book to children will help them make the connection that animals—like Esther—just want to be with their families, feel loved, and enjoy fun adventures! ?
Written by PETA’s own Ingrid Newkirk, this book discusses easy ways for kids to help save animals. From ways to help preserve the rainforest to suggestions for taking better care of animal companions, there are tons of ideas in this great resource for any vegan household.
This story talks about the mother-and-child breastfeeding bond and how all mammals make milk for one reason: to feed their young. It’s a great way to get your little one thinking about the fact that cows’ and other animals’ milk isn’t for humans—but rather for their own babies.
This is a rhyming story about a calf who’s taken away from his mom so that her milk can be used for profit rather than to nourish her young—like all dairy milk that’s sold for human consumption. It will help your child feel a connection with the calf, Conner, and understand that he doesn’t want to be separated from his parent—just as your child wouldn’t want to be separated from you.
A mother and her baby share a unique, special bond—no matter their species. Discover what happens when a dairy farmer has children of her own in this powerful book about a mother’s love and food choices.
This book does a great job of explaining that the vegan lifestyle is one of compassion and action. It shows how our daily choices ripple out locally and globally and discusses what we can do to protect animals, humans, and the environment. Children can explore the many opportunities that we have for making ethical decisions—like refusing to use products tested on or made from animals, avoiding marine parks and circuses, and more.
Harmony spends a day on her grandfather’s farm and then goes with her parents to the grocery store to buy some food for the following week. Only then does she make the connection that the bacon, hamburgers, and chicken nuggets that she picked out for meals were made from animals—just like the ones she’d met on her grandfather’s farm earlier that day!
This is a very short book that gets right to the point. It enables you and your child to explore what a chicken’s life is like in the egg industry and reveals that, from birth to death, hens used for eggs suffer. ?
Children will be better able to understand why eating animals is wrong when they see how animals live in the wild compared to how those raised for food are treated on factory farms. This stark contrast can inspire empathy in anyone and will help your child understand that no one deserves abuse like that endured by animals used for food.
This easy-to-read book focuses on where our food comes from. It discusses the plants and farms that vegan food is collected from before being delivered to a local grocery store. This is a great book to help your little ones understand how food ends up on their plates and that unlike plant-based foods, ones that come from animals are unnecessary and involve cruelty.
Got some vegan children’s books that you no longer need? Try visiting your local library and asking if it takes donations. Not only will this help you free up some shelf space (maybe for some new vegan cookbooks or other inspirational vegan books for grownups?), it will also help encourage other children and their families to learn more about the benefits of being vegan and helping animals. Now that’s a win-win situation!