REVIEW: In A World Of Animal Abuse, 'Toro, a Calf’s Tale' Aims To Enlighten

The author has created a book that is thought-provoking and moving
The book tells the story of farm animals

Toro, a Calf’s Tale is a children’s book by Michael Fleming that aims to teach children about compassion. 

The more children learn to empathize with others, the better, and this unique book goes about this education in a very matter-of-fact way. In a world that’s far too full of animal abuse, I applaud the author for this book that has a clear aim to educate and enlighten people about the unfair exploitation of animals.


Toro is a calf who is ultimately rescued and able to live out the rest of his days in peace. However, not one to just be content with his own rescue, Toro later becomes a hero when he grows up to be a big and strong bull. 

Toro returns to rescue his mother and other cows from a cruel dairy farm. It’s a triumphant moment that is cheer-worthy! If only that could happen to all farm animals. 

This book begins with 'Once Upon a Time', but this is no traditional fairytale. Instead of dealing with princes and princesses, it delves into some of the most depressing things going on in the real world when it comes to the abuse of farm animals. 

I’d recommend that parents read the book before sharing it with children to decide if it is appropriate for them. 

The book is interesting and intense. It shows that some farm animals are lucky enough to find sanctuaries, but it may leave little ones worried about what happens to all those that don’t. 

It goes into the horrible lives of calves and their stark fate. 

Parents may want to read the book before deciding whether it is appropriate for their children (Photo: Michael Fleming)


Sensitive children are sure to be very upset by the horrors that are described in the book. 

It includes a rat character telling Toro, the calf, that he will become food for adults, and a group of five-year-old female cows shudder when they think about how they will be killed because they no longer produce milk. 

Spoiler alert: There is a happy ending to this story for the cows it depicts. It will no doubt make one think about the cruelty of the dairy industry. 

It will certainly be an eye-opening read for people of all ages who are ready to learn the full, horrific truth about the way that cows are treated in the world today. 

I hope to read more from Michael Fleming in the future. 

The author’s unique voice and bravery in storytelling help Toro’s tale come vividly alive for readers who will be cheering on the endearing calf’s rescue and heroism in the face of great adversity. 


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Robin Raven is the author of Santa’s First Vegan Christmas. She has written for publications such as The Malibu Times, Alabama Baby & Child Magazine, the official website of Melissa Gilbert, and She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and is now furthering her education. Robin often has her nose in a book and her arms around a rescued animal. She’s a vegan foodie who blogs at and loves to connect with readers on social media. You can follow her @RobinRaven on Twitter.

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