This is probably a sentiment that will alienate me from abolitionist vegans at large. But here it is.
A toy that depicts a red and white farm with the cows, the piggies, the chickens, the sheepies…isn’t teaching kids how to fall in line with mainstream farming practices. It’s a toy. It’s a setting for the player’s imagination. It could be animal sanctuary or it could be Old McDonald’s Farm. It’s all up to the person (or people) who’s playing with the toy.
Videre licet, my review for a Playmobil rabbit playset I bought for myself. I’ve been collecting Playmobil since the early ’90s and have amassed quite a collection, from Inuits to pirates to an organic corner store to cats and now bunnies. I already have the girl with cats Playmobil set and the bunnies seemed like a natural addition to my empire. When I read the one-star reviews for the sets, I saw vegangelicalism here and here.
Vegans tend to pride themselves on being “enlightened” and having “open minds.” If enlightenment was so easy to attain, then as a vegan of five years, why am I not free of samsara yet?! An openminded vegan parent or child could easily make the bunny hutch (or any farm playset) into an animal rescue as the sentient critters run around and live their free-range lives. I said as much in my review. Others told off the vegangelicals in a similar manner.
Ownie Mom gave me the school cafeteria playset a few years ago for Christmas. She said, “Look, it’s an organic corner store!” With a little flexing of my imagination, I played it as an organic store stocked with vegan and gluten-free rolls, kombucha in the vending machine, and local apples. The guy who runs it is a hippie and the kid patronizing the store rode his bicycle (or flew, all my Playmobil peeps fly) to the store, creating a zero carbon footprint. The store is powered by solar panels on the roof. I mean, this was easy to think of and the Inuit family and pirates stopped there, too!
Anything is possible with toys. Having been a stagehand at a professional children’s theatre for four years, I’ve seen more plays that I care to count that had songs or messages about using your imagination (Seussical, The Story of the Nutcracker, Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, Junie B. Jones, Alice in Wonderland…to name a few).
I’m not saying to keep quiet about the plight of animals in factory farms or to stop questioning why humans need to consume animals. Be vocal, hand out pamphlets, blog your blogs and vlog your vlogs. Just be the open-minded vegan we know you are and see the possibilities for positive vedgucation in toys.
I worked out with a squirrel on Christmas Eve
I paleo-cized the rugelach from Babycakes Covers the Classics
But they cut nicely and served up like this for a Hanukkah party.
As for Xmas treats, I made Mile-High Cinnamon Roll bread (at two miles above sea level!) and a green smoothie in my new smoothie container.