Ruth Carter Stapleton once said, “Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” Christmas, and the broader holiday season, has traditionally been seen as the time to love harder and give more generously than we do the rest of the year. Bountiful feasts, glimmering lights, glossy packages with bows sitting beneath a fir tree, the children giggle as their parents send them to deliver freshly baked cookies to the less-fortunate neighbors. When we think of Christmas, we all want to feel that warm sensation in our gut that comes from the satisfaction of doing good for others. Sadly, there is a stark contradiction between our traditions and our treatment of non-human animals during the holidays. When it comes to celebrating Christmas traditions, animals are left out in the cold.
In our latest podcast, we speak to Robin Raven, author of the recently published children’s book, Santa’s First Vegan Christmas. Her delightfully colorful, inspiring poem shines a bright light on Christmas literature’s traditional use of animals, and what a change of heart might look like for Santa.
It all begins when Santa comes to collect a family of reindeer to do the hard labor of his Christmas errands, and Dana, a young reindeer asks him to look at things from her perspective. She convinces Santa to spread the spirit of Christmas by including all beings, uniting holiday values with his actions, and freeing animals rather than using them for his own purpose.
In our podcast, we talk with Robin about her initial inspiration for the story (which included an insightful realization about traditional Christmas art), her experience sharing the book with a diverse audience of children, adults, vegans, and non-vegans, and our surprisingly emotional reaction to first reading the story.
Santa’s First Vegan Christmas is a story for everyone, not just for kids (we happened to love it so much we bought it for our mom for Christmas). In the true spirit of Christmas, this beautiful children’s book is the perfect addition to the holiday collection, with stunning illustrations that will inspire the hearts of anyone that reads it.
Resources from this episode:
We’d like to extend a huge thanks to Conor Porter and his team at Sparrow Insight for their diligent hours of sound editing, for designing and creating the Earthix podcast artwork, and for publishing the podcast on all its platforms. We are so thankful to have Sparrow Insight as a resource.