Story by: Smriti Prasadam-Halls
Illustrations by: Katherine Manolessou
When it comes to veganism and children, sooner or later, the issue of being different from other children will pop up. No matter whether these children were born in a vegan family or they are children of parents who have transitioned or are transitioning to veganism, the world can become a confusing place for these little ones. Likewise, for parents, explaining why your family is vegan can pose a certain set of challenges you may not have been prepared for. But no worries, there are many resources out there which will help you rise to the occasion. In a sea of meat eaters, there are a lot of misconceptions and lack of knowledge about veganism and children can be particularly cruel towards kids that are perceived as being different. It’s an opportunity however to teach your little vegans about social responsibility and the importance of knowledge and education. It’s important to understand, that children can reason and really understand the rationale behind a vegan lifestyle. You simply have to put it in terms they will understand and have the capacity to process.
One of the first questions these children will have is “why, when it comes to food, they are so different from their friends and classmates. They have to be re-assured that even though they eat differently, they are just as strong and are just the same as their meat eating counterparts. That’s when T. Veg the plant eating dinosaur comes to the rescue…
“T.Veg” is the story of Reginald, a vegetable and fruit eating dinosaur who is misunderstood by other T.Rexes because he is a little different. Like his friends, he loves to play, run, roar and stomp but unlike the others, Reginald doesn’t eat meat. He is laughed at, judged and made to feel like he is wrong for being who he is.
So little Reginald leaves home and embarks on a journey to find a family that will accept him for who he is. Maybe a family of herbivores will do the trick. However, Reginald soon finds out that he is indeed a T-Rex and he doesn’t like to do what herbivores do.
On his way back home, Reginald comes across his T. Rex friends who were looking for him. Unfortunately, they are also in grave danger of being crushed by a giant boulder. Reginald jumps into action and saves his friends from impending doom. While doing so, the T. Rexes realise that Reginald, despite his odd eating habits is a T-Rex just like them. He is welcomed home with open arms and the dinosaurs have a big party in his honour all feasting on vegetable kebabs and roasted squash.
This book is a wonderful resource for parents of kids who have gone through some of the same issues as Reginald. While the book doesn’t go into any details on why Reginald is a plant based dinosaur, it does a wonderful job at highlighting that even if someone eats differently, there is nothing one can’t achieve while eating plants. We purchased this book for our six year old daughter but my eight year old son is also quite fond of it.