Ruby Roth is a critically acclaimed vegan children’s book author, artist, teacher, and planet & animal champion extraordinaire! When we heard about her latest book for the “littlest of herbivores” we knew it would be a game changer for the younger generation that will be the future leaders of our planet. On the heels of her first two books, Vegan is Love and That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, Ruby’s latest creation is V is for Vegan. At the end of the interview we will randomly choose three of your comments to win a copy of V is For Vegan. (must be in the continental US).
Talking Tofurky: Tell us about your latest book and who you wrote it for?
Ruby: V Is for Vegan is a bright, happy, rhyming alphabet book for the youngest veg audience to date! It contains just 26 ideas that every person should take into consideration if we are to protect animals, our health, and the planet to the best of our abilities. I promise your kids will light up with laughter—and learn at the same time!
Your website has a tag line that states ” Love Deeply, Think Critically and Act Responsibly”. We love that. Can you expand on the “Think Critically” part? What do you mean by that?
Thank you! I think a vegan education teaches a person to question, delve deeper, and think for themselves. If you are thinking critically about your choices, you fully consider the options and consequences, and must own and take responsibility for your actions. This kind of education lasts a lifetime!
We know you have a rock star boyfriend and step daughter as well. Can you tell us a bit about them and their work in the world, and being a vegan family. What are your joys and challenges living as a vegan family?
Thank you! My longtime boyfriend is urban artist Justin Bua <www.justinbua.com> who has been vegan over 17 years! He turned me vegan, in fact. His daughter is 8 years old, born and raised vegan. She’s super healthy, a phenom little athlete, the most aware-of-the-world child I know, and can carry on a conversation about veganism and it’s benefits with anyone! Veganism is one of the things we all bond over—whether it’s at our bi-weekly farmers market, eating together, or the conversations we have about this life on earth!
Do you feel hopeful about our children’s future? Do you feel like we can turn things around and have a peaceful, non-violent society in your step daughter’s future?
I know that we have a huge hand in the future through our kids. I know that through veganism and all that it encompasses we’ve already given my stepdaughter, for example, an education that will last a lifetime. She won’t be a plunderer of the earth in her profession, she won’t ever be tricked by Big Ag marketing, and she’s not afraid of being the only one in a group to do what she feels is right. That’s a very different kind of person from the people in power now whose moral compasses are ruled by profit. I don’t know what we’ll see in my lifetime, but I know we can change the world in one generation!
How do you respond to adults who state that children are too young to make a decision to leave animals off their plate, and that they need be older to make such a significant decision.
I say we can not afford to wait for the next generation to grow up before we teach them to live consciously. You only need to look at the health trajectories for the average American to see that the standard American diet has failed and should be disqualified! A parent should jump for joy if a kid decides to eat more fruits and vegetables! It’s up to the parent to do some research and realize that veganism is not the standard American diet minus meat and dairy. We have our own “pyramid” with everything we need and more!
How do you deal with the backlash and unreasonable people attacking you and your message of love, compassion and kindness? How do you stay centered in love when people are very defensive and argumentative for trying to live a kind and compassionate path?
Well, firstly, love isn’t always pretty. My staying centered in love sometimes means having a heated discussion, it sometimes means feeling anger and deep sadness. I think that’s completely justified for all of us. But face to face with opposition, I aim to remain strong but polite. I am perfectly confident in my knowledge of veganism and its benefits for all—no one and nothing anyone says can change what I know about the animal agriculture industry. One of the wisest men I know, Rabbi Mordecai Finley, says “It doesn’t matter what other people do, it only matters what kind of person you want to be.” I really took that to heart. I want to share what I know with everyone, but if they won’t have it, move on! They’ve taken nothing away from your path.
What do you say to Veg parents whose children don’t want to go vegan and don’t want to eat what their veg parents are eating?
Parents really need to gain back authority of their households. In France, there is no “kid” food. The kids eat everything adults do by the time they’re in kindergarten because eating is treated as joyful, adventurous, and social—and if the kids don’t want to eat something, they don’t make a big deal of it, but they don’t offer alternatives either. You make the purchases, you create the meals. Involve your kids in the process at the grocery store, in the kitchen, and in conversations where you discuss what you, your yourself, are learning about veganism, what’s at stake. Make it fun and adventurous and a family affair! It’s not about forcing or controlling, but giving your kids all the information they need to make educated choices. If there are “mishaps” at school or at a friends house, don’t make a big deal about it, just continue on.
Finally, what are some of your favorite meals for your family?
Raw kale salads, hummus wraps, cacao smoothies, lots of avocados, and veggie soups galore!
Any parting thoughts?
Join my newsletter at www.WeDontEatAnimals.com to continue the conversation and let’s build this movement together!
Check out Ruby’s quick video for her new book:
Also, leave us a comment below on why you would like V is for Vegan and we’ll choose three readers who will win an autographed copy of Ruby’s new baby/ book.