Treat others as you want to be treated
Adults usually give children lessons on how to be kind and how to treat living creatures. It is expected of adults to be wiser and set an example for children by their own behavior. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Animal cruelty laws rule the adult world, so sometimes children are there to teach them true values instead. In the story ‘The Doctor Donkey‘, the child teaches the adults how to treat animals kindly.
As an author, I describe animals primarily in an anthropomorphic way by giving them human traits. Children can connect easily to animals because animals show them that they have feelings and that they are also playful and smart. The human ability to make emotional contact with animals is a valuable trait that is unfortunately limited mainly to relationships with animals we consider pets (such as dogs and cats).
Vegan books help children understand how other animals, not just pets, deserve to be treated kindly. ‘The Doctor Donkey’ is a story about the difficult life of a donkey on a Greek island. The donkey’s owner takes advantage of the poor animal to make money, ignoring how this creature suffers from thirst in the heat while carrying a heavy load. A young boy is driven by kindness and compassion towards the donkey, and his actions have a positive and life-changing outcome.
We live in a world where children are taught that it is completely normal that man exploits animals to exhaustion because that is simply ‘tradition’ and their purpose. Children then grow up into people who will continue to behave that way. The role of vegan books is to teach children that compassion and empathy are more important than making money, so one day when they grow up, they can take action to reduce this accepted violence against animals. This story teaches children that donkeys can be more than just entertainment for people. Like all other animals, they are our friends who deserve to be treated kindly. This book shows the reader that it is not enough to empathize but to act as well.
The main character of the book has the ability, like the famous Doctor Dolittle, to talk to animals. He understands their language and recognizes their emotions. While this story advocates a friendship between man and animal, it primarily encourages the virtue of compassion. The story is also a critique of people who ruthlessly exploit sentient animals for fun and monetary gain while not caring for their well-being. In the adult world, laws are cruel towards animals.
In the mind of a child, this vegan story can create a vision of a world in which the welfare of every being is manifested in harmonious coexistence. Awareness of violence and injustice in a world we cannot change may seem powerless to us, but any change begins at the level of consciousness. In the story, we see the main character return to the island to help the donkeys, thus making a profound difference in their lives. These vegan books have the power to inspire action and help us raise kids who will one day do their best to create a better world.