Being a vegan mother who allows her children to watch television I am often subjected to some highly irritating TV shows which have the ability to send me crazy!
In most shows the characters are usually quite vegan un-friendly, promoting milk and other dairy products, and even meat. One of the shows my daughter Leilani loves is Charlie and Lola. While I actually quite like this show, the characters are forever drinking pink milk, and after seeing Lola eat fish fingers on one episode, I had to source some of the Redwoods Vegideli Fishless Fish Fingers. I had to explain to her that fish fingers “hurt the fishies” and we buy fish fingers that don’t hurt the fishies… Which is why I find The Wonder Pets so refreshing!
Celery and education
The thing about The Wonder Pets, aside from the fact that they promote celery as being a celebratory food, is that the show has a humorous and tongue in cheek undertone which adults can appreciate but is just mild enough to be appropriate for small children.
The show revolves around three classroom pets (ok not so vegan to keep a guinea pig, duck and turtle caged up in a classroom) but once the children leave for the day, the Wonder Pets rescue animals in trouble all around the world by using teamwork. Linny the Guinea Pig is basically the team leader and provides facts about the destinations they visit and the animals they save making the show an educational experience. I also like that they use lots of complicated language rather than baby talk and a lot of the show is in song. The other characters are Tuck, who is a lovey and affectionate kind of turtle with a big heart, and Ming Ming, the very cheeky and funny little duckling.
Every time Leilani watches the Wonder Pets she begs me for celery because this is the Wonder Pets favourite food and they eat it as a reward after successfully rescuing animals (along with a sample of some native food from which ever country they have visited) – and to be honest I think this is a far cry from Cookie Monster who compulsively binges on cookies all the time! I would rather have my daughter asking me for celery than cookies any day! And celery is of course vegan, and most of the time the accompanying ethnic food is vegan too!
So from a vegan mum perspective, The Wonder Pets is a winner as a TV show due to the concept of saving animals, encouraging language development, healthy eating, worldly knowledge and of course teamwork and sharing! Go Wonder Pets!
Cover image: The Wonder Pets/ Nickelodeon cable television