We live in an area where there are some but not tons of veg families, and we are vegan. At this time, I haven't really given my young 2 year old any information about the fact that we are vegan and why. She just knows we don't eat as many others do. (We also don't eat refined sugar or much added sugar at all.) We have a big community of friends with children. None of them are vegan, but they are very tolerant of our habits/beliefs so far. For the next year or so at least, she will probably never been in a group environment without me or her father with her. I know the time is coming when my daughter will need to understand what the story is with our eating habits, to avoid emotional discomfort and to help her make vegan choices. (We have already decided that, if when she is school aged, she chooses to eat animal products with friends or other people, we won't stop her, though we will remind her why we don't eat animals.)
I don't want to tell my daughter the story of animal cruelty in detail at this point. I don't expect her to be an animal rights activist unless when she is older that is what she feels it in her heart to do. I just want to give her the opportunity to feel good about how she eats even in the face of many awkward circumstances and needing to sometimes say "no" to foods that are appealing. I have played with the idea of her not being vegan at birthday parties, etc., but I don't really like that idea.
So, are there any good books for really little ones like her that don't emphasize the pain and suffering of animals too much? How have you dealt with this subject with your toddlers?