Monday, July 28, 2014

     Welcome to the inaugural post of The Vegan Librarian! Yes, if you are an avid blog follower, and happen to be vegan and a librarian, you may have already found my old blog "The Vegan Librarian." Well, stupid account issues meant that I couldn't get into that old account (it HAS been four years since I posted!- it would figure I would forget my password and be unable to reset anything). So, I'm TAKING IT BACK! :) If you are interested, here's a link to the old blog:

     I've been blogging overall since about 2006, so this isn't new hat to me, but I've also been out of the blogosphere (at least as far as writing goes!) pretty much since then, so I have a lot to catch up on! Work, children, and life have taken up much of my time, but I've made it a work goal to post on this blog again, and catch up professionally, so here goes!
    I'll be writing about anything young adult literature-related, obviously, but if something food-ish makes its way onto these pages...well, I don't think most readers will mind!
    What I've noticed over the past few years in my writing sabbatical, is how many teen vegetarian characters there are - vegan as well - in YA lit. So I'll be posting a lot about what I'm reading in regards to that. I hope you will leave your feedback and let me know of titles you are reading that are similar!

    First case in point....Counting by 7s by Holly Sloan.

     A beautiful book, despite some of the professional reviews, that draws heavily on character development, although the plot is intriguing as well. Twelve year old Willow Chance has lost both her parents in a tragic car accident, and now must piece together a new life. Living temporarily with a very kind, but poor family, she doesn't feel right in asking for anything, even vegetarian meals. She simply picks out the meat and, even at the very end of the story, still says nothing when they offer her a bite of picked tongue sandwiches (p 374).
     "I don't want to cause trouble," she thinks, in an earlier passage, "so I haven't said anything about being a vegetarian. I just push the chicken or the pork pieces off to the side and then later transfer them to a napkin, and then at the end of the meal I sneak them into the trash. I know I'm eating meat bits that escape this tragically simple procedure, but the principle of my decision is intact, even if the reality is compromised."
(p 176).
    Willow, a true genius with a gift for numbers and biology (she is an expert on skin diseases and gardening) demonstrates that choosing vegetarianism can be an intellectual choice, even if later it becomes an ethical and heartfelt one. I say, "even if," not to diminish the ethical and heart, but just to say that sometimes you make an informed decision that later makes its way into your values and heart.
    I think that caring for other sentient beings is a heartfelt choice but also one that many authors are having their insightful teen characters make. Addie, in Addie on the Inside by James Howe is another example. Strong and smart, she informs herself about the world around her, and cares deeply about the plight of others, including animals. Being vegetarian or vegan is simply another facet of Willow and Addie, and I applaud Sloan and Howe for not making it a laughable one.