Review of T. Veg book for kids about veganism and bullying

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Breeze ‘Sistah Vegan’ Harper is an academic, author, consultant, and mother of four ‘sistot’ vegans.  She is well known for her critical race feminist speeches… and here she reviews a picture book about dinosaurs: ‘T-Veg – The Story Of A Carrot-Crunching Dinosaur‘.  Breeze has a talk coming up this week about antiracism parenting.

Sign up for Breeze’s next talk for parents on 17th June, at 6pm PDT (2am UK time) ‘AntiRacism Parenting as Practice: Exploring Race, Whiteness, and Privilege Through a Fifth Grade History Assignment,’.  Or, read her related blog post at a time which suits you ‘A Mixed Black Kid and a Colonia Farewell Letter for a School Assignment’.  Watch Breeze read and discuss The Undefeated, another book for children by Kwame Alexander, which celebrates the accomplishments of Black Americans.

T-Veg: The Tale of a Carrot Crunching Dinosaur

by Smriti Prasadam-Halls (Author), Katherina Manolessou  (Illustrator)

T. Veg, is a book about a vegetarian T. Rex, who feels like eating cruelty free, but is bullied by his family to eat meat.  The book is a lesson in consequences of bullying, and not letting children be authentically who they are when it questions normalization of violence.

What I like about this book is that it really talks about the consequences of bullying.  It talks about how you can be authentically you, and express yourself.  What you express may not be the norm, but if that’s what you believe in, and it’s not hurting anybody; then why not be that way?

We all need to have the support of our friends and family.  For all you kids and adults out there who want to practice a cruelty free lifestyle by engaging in veganism or vegetarianism, and you don’t have the support that you need; I hope that one day you can get that support.  Loving family and friends understand that you are still who you are, and that you deserve to be loved.  That’s what the T. Veg book is about.

It’s a wonderful book overall.  The one concern I have, is that being physically strong is the only reason to eat vegetables presented.  I’d like to put it out there that there are a lot of us who eat vegetarian and vegan diets, and it doesn’t necessarily make us superhuman or super strong.  A lot of people are just doing it because it’s cruelty free and what they like.  The main point of the story is more about being who you are and what you believe in, and having a family that supports you.

The point is that you believe in what you’re doing, and believe it’s a just way of living cruelty free what of living, and that you’re still who you are.  You still may be someone who’s part of a culture which eats animals, and you may have a different way of identifying to other people around you.  It doesn’t matter, as you are doing what you do best; which is being you, and hoping to make a more peaceful planet and peaceful world by eating in a way that’s kind and gentle.

Further reading for grownups:

A Breeze Harper website

Sistah Vegan website

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Resources page on a range of topics: Black Vegan Rock

Article: The way you define racism may stop you from seeing it – so what definition do you hold?

Petition: Teach British children about the realities of British Imperialism and Colonialism

UK youth led campaign and education materials: The Black Curriculum

UK student led campaign video: Why is my curriculum white?

Vegan Family Guide: diverse vegan children’s books

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