For many of us, the first lessons in compassion came at a young age through the loving guidance of a parent, older sibling or a kind friend. Still we’ve had those instances when strolls through the park or our neighborhoods will bring us face to face with a child who may not understand the fragility and vulnerability of animals and insects.
When children exhibit aggression such as throwing stones at the ducks swimming in the pond or pulling forcefully on a puppy’s leash it may not be intended to cause harm. That moment becomes an opportunity for the child to be guided on the effects of our actions on others. Creating a tool that offers that guidance is what led author Jess Lohmann to create an eco-fantasy middle-grade book series.
Her first book came at the end of a journey where the loss of her mother led to self-discovery and to a heightened connection with nature. She knew that writing something unique and purposeful was her new calling. This is how on April 24th Lily Bowers and The Uninvited Guest was brought to life. The day is of significance to Lohmann for being World Day for Laboratory Animals – a day set aside to honor the millions of animals who have lost their life as a result of animal testing.
“My hope is to inspire children and help them to embrace a deep ecological viewpoint in that we, as a human animal species, are not on top of a pyramid, but are just one part of the circle of life and when we destroy another part of that circle by destroying habitats or driving species into extinction, we’re creating imbalance in ecosystems that are vital for all life on Earth which also means our own survival on this planet.”
vKind spoke with Jess Lohmann about her book and her mission during a time when many parents are trying to help their children come to terms with the dramatic changes in our world.
vK: Why did you focus on creating content geared towards children?
Children have become a very important voice for love, compassion and justice. They are true leaders and when we support them, magic happens. Even though they are more self-confident now than ever before, they still need inspiration, so I wanted to show them they really do have the power and influence to change the world by helping people, animals and our planet. I hope my book inspires them to act and ask critical questions.
I want to teach children that they really can make a positive impact in this world when they lead with compassion and are motivated to act.
When we respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of, we are at peace with ourselves.
When we are at peace with ourselves, we are at peace with others.
When we’re at peace with others, we will have world peace.
From self-awareness to broad awareness
The digital age has brought a flow of information into our lives. Few decisions are made without going online to research every detail of something we are considering purchasing. Jess Lohmann wanted to instill this critical thinking approach in children. Help them be empowered through asking questions about everything they come into contact with, from their food to their clothing: How was this made, where did it come from?
vK: How is the topic of cruelty-free products incorporated in your book?
I published the first book of my eco fantasy series: Lily Bowers and the Uninvited Guest, https://jesslohmann.com/lilybowers on April 24, 2019: World Day for Laboratory Animals where I address animal testing, so questions such as ‘Is my shampoo cruelty-free?’ are discussed. I want them to learn how to read labels, understand ingredients and research cruelty-free brands to support instead of those who test on animals.
I want to teach them to make others think about how their actions and purchases affect animals, humans included, and our environment and to find ways to live a more compassionate and sustainable lifestyle.
In my 2nd book, I’ll address the animal farming industry, so questions such as ‘How did my food get on my plate?’ ‘Can I become vegan and still be happy and healthy?’ or ‘Can I inspire my parents and friends to eat less meat?’ will help in starting difficult conversations surrounding veganism because that topic triggers many humans.
Learning from what is created
Through teaching others the author herself shares what she learned in the course of writing her book.
vK: What are your main takeaways from writing this book?
I learned that the main challenge in this word is inspiring others to change systems and practices, even though they make more sense. Change is difficult for humans though but if we don’t change how we live, eat, shop, produce products and run our businesses, we’ll continue to have even deadlier pandemics and see more destructive effects of climate change.
I also learned about a national organization in Germany that is working towards banning animal testing called Doctors Against Animal Experiments. I noticed a woman carrying a tote bag with their logo on it while waiting in line at a vegan food booth during a local festival in 2018, so I approached her and then researched the organization as soon as I got home.
Now I’m a supporting member of this organization and am giving back 5% of my book profits to help them put an end to the unnecessary torture and murder of millions of laboratory animals.
You are invited to a live virtual reading of Lily Bowers and the Uninvited Guest!
November 27th at 12pm EST (6pm CET) to give an alternative to shopping on the most destructive day for our planet.