I thought Our Animal Neighbors: Compassion for Every Furry, Slimy, Prickly Creature on Earth would be an environmental book because of the cover. Instead, Matthieu Ricard, Jason Gruhl and Becca Hall created something a little unexpected, but honestly, not surprising.
This book is very pro vegetarian. (Sidebar: it is funny I find this book now as a Facebook friend has been a vegetarian for years and recently started posting more pro memes, comments, and articles).
It talks of the community of Earth. How people and animals are connected not just by being on the same planet, but because there is always the “grumpy one” or “happy one” or the other ways we are alive/living/alike/sharing the planet. The sweet poetry of the beginning makes this book seem like a “everyone is okay/everyone and thing is valuable/we all have worth” commentary. It is sweet, comfortable, and done before. However, the end pushes ideals of why vegetarianism is a better choice. Not only is the text less comfortable, but the images are also almost brutal at times.
With that said, the illustrations are good and are pleasant to see until they start showing the none too subtly done illustrations that illustrate the horrible treatment of animals and the results of what is going to happen to them (a hamburger joint for one). Because of this part, I personally felt it was, while a valid presentation, a bit pushy. I felt judged being a meat eater.
Still, it is a good resource for an introduction to the subject. It is just for the older, not too sensitive child.