Thursday, October 17th, 2019

How To Raise Socially Responsible Rugrats

Published on June 7, 2009 by   ·   17 Comments Pin It

Ruby Roth is the author of “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals,” a gorgeously illustrated children’s book that we are just mad for.   After all, children are innate herbivores.   Put a child in a crib with a rabbit and a carrot, and will the child play with the carrot and eat the rabbit, or vice versa? Brava to this cutie pie artist, author, and teacher for bringing this beautiful book to the masses.   Ruby was teaching art in an after-school program when the children’s interest in healthy foods and veganism inspired her to write this special book.   We think Ruby’s wise beyond her years, and asked this gifted soul to share her tips for raising empowered and intelligent little ones.   Before you read her sage advice, you can get down with her cuteness in the video below;

How To Raise Socially Responsible Rugrats

Empowered children use their intelligence wisely. So these days, it’s increasingly important to foster the idea that in every facet of life, we always have the opportunity and power to make responsible choices. Enjoy these everyday opportunities to “green” your children and the generations to come:
1. Grocery Shopping: Shop together at your local farmer’s market. Those colorful, beautiful fruits and veggies are right at your kids’ eye levels-like candy in a supermarket! Talk about what you’re picking out, how you pick it, and why. Have your child hand over the money so they experience the exchange.
2. Meal Prep: Give your children jobs in the kitchen. Let them help you wash salad, cut vegetables, or push the buttons on the blender. They’ll be much more inclined to try new foods when they’re invested in the preparation. It’s hard to resist tasting something you’ve made yourself.
3. Homemade toys: Give your child the opportunity to think creatively before you toss away an item. Decorated toilet paper & paper towel tubes = power wristbands and telescopes. Magazines=collage material. Six-pack rings and mesh fruit bags yarned together=hanging toy-nets.
4. Snacks: Introduce your kids to superfoods like goji berries and hemp seeds (yummy sprinkled on a banana!). Blend super-nutritious herbs like mint or parsley into a raw chocolate smoothie…they’ll never know, and you’ll be supplying them with the purest forms of minerals and antioxidants.

5. Power & Water: Negotiate a plan: if next month’s bills go down because everyone remembered to conserve energy by turning off the water while brushing, turning off the lights when leaving a room, etc., use the extra cash to buy the kids a treat.
6. Garden: Start a backyard or windowsill garden.   Kids are much more inclined to eat a tomato off the vine or taste a mint leaf if they watch it grow and pick it themselves. Talk to your child’s school about building an organic garden box in the yard.

7. Birthday Parties: Give a gift that won’t end up in a landfill. Try a flowering plant in a personalized pot or a crystal that hangs in a window and makes rainbows. Best yet, sponsor an elephant “adoption” in the child’s name. wrap gifts with the comic section of the newspaper, or in brown grocery bags that can be decorated and personalized.

8. School: Suggest socially responsible fundraisers. Start a penny-collecting contest between classrooms. Whichever class wins get to donate the funds to an animal sanctuary, or environmental cause of their choice.

9. Animals: Foster respect for animals by adopting instead of buying; research vegan pet foods, volunteer at a shelter, or visit an animal sanctuary instead of a zoo. See if your local children’s hospital has a pet therapy volunteer program where you cheer up inpatients by visiting with your pet. It is proven that a pet’s love can help us heal.

10. Politics As an ongoing practice, ask your children what issues are important to them. Have them write letters to an authority figure that represents that issue.

Ruby Roth is the author of “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things.” Now available in bookstores and online. For more info,

EDITORS NOTE: Interested in raising vegan kids?   Watch this adorable short video (below) by our very own Discerning Brute which dispels all myths on raising healthy animal-free nuggets.

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Readers Comments (17)

  1. themessenger says:

    Fantastic post. I think this is the key to raising more intelligent, more aware, more responsible, and more compassionate children. Thanks for the great info.

  2. matt boren says:

    fantastic videos. and like everything else, it all starts when we are wee lads and laddesses. language, instruments, not killing animals, loving animals, respecting animals. totally inspiring. thank you, for as always, delivering the earth’s news.

  3. […] the original post here: How To Raise Socially Responsible Rugrats Tags: […]

  4. This book is exquisite and is a MUST MUST MUST-read for every child.

    No more bullshit baby shower gifts; from here on out, all my mommy friends are getting That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals.

  5. Krysta says:

    Love it! My sister just had a baby. She’s vegan, but her husband isn’t. But they both agreed to raise their son vegan because they both know how toxic feeding their kid animals and other animal’s breast milk would be. When you love your child and want the best for them, it only makes sense that you would also extend that to their diet.

  6. jenni says:

    I can’t wait to read this book! While we feed our son only vegan food at home, we do not regulate what he eats when he’s away from us (i.e. with friends and family members). He feels weird about not eating meat when in a social setting. Kids actually make fun of his food at school, so we’ve really struggled with this issue. He actually goes through phases where he says things like “I don’t eat baby anything” and then a few weeks later he’ll say “I love animals but I want to eat meat.” My son knows about why we’re vegan and can have a dialogue about animals/factory farming/veganism at 5, but I feel uncomfortable with telling him he should absolutely not eat meat. I do not want to turn him off from being vegan and also feel that he should have the ability to think/articulate/communicate his thoughts and feelings on this issue. This is a great post! I’d love to hear feedback from other parents.

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  9. Adrienne says:

    Sort of along the same lines as Jenni’s post: I am not a parent, but am an Aunt to my sister’s son and several friends’ children.
    I would love to give all of them this book, but am concerned about giving it to non-vegetarian families when these aren’t necessarily the parents’ views.
    Any thoughts/advice on introducing without imposing?

  10. Ari says:

    One of my favorite posts yet! Thank you for this Chloe. Here’s hoping all parents have the strength to instill their children with compassion for all living things.

  11. Eric Dennard says:

    Thanks, from a single dad and a 2nd Grade Teacher. This couldn’t be more perfect!

  12. Brian Reeves says:

    This looks like a really cute book and can’t wait to get it for my kids. I see a few parents concerned about going 100% with their children and I think the biggest problem is with the politics behind ‘vegan’. We always feel very aware when we use our children as our political activists. I try to hold back on the political reason behind eating a vegan diet, and focus more of the health benefits of eating a raw vegan diet. It is easier for a child to explain to another child what fruits/veggies are healthy…harder for them to explain to non-vegan children why eating meat is wrong (not to mention the backlash from those children’s parents when their kids come home crying about their newly learned food information). Focus on the health benefits, and you will not need to worry so much about your children integrating with other families/children! :) It really is all about being alkaline vs. acidic!

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