Little Tyke: The True Story of a Gentle Vegetarian Lion

Little Tyke (Re-Quest Book)

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Little Tyke: The True Story of a Gentle Vegetarian Lion

Author: George Westbeau

Publisher: Quest Books, republished in 1995

ISBN-10: 0835606058

ISBN-13: 978-0835606059

Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable that I recall)

Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Westbeau, George. Little Tyke: The True Story of a Gentle Vegetarian Lion (originally published in the 1950s). Many years ago, when I was still in elementary school, I recall reading a book about a lion named “Little Tyke.” I don’t remember now whether it was from our public library, in the small library of the rural school which I attended, or perhaps loaned by a friend. I read it before I read Born Free, but I was still aware of either the book or the movie about the lioness Elsa or both. I had forgotten about Little Tyke until being reminded of it while reading a book about another tamed lion. Little Tyke was an African lion who was born in a zoo sometime in the 1940s. Her mother had been born free in Africa, and later captured. After being in captivity, the mother had given birth to four litters of cubs and quickly killed all of them. When a fifth litter was born, zoo officials were standing by to try and rescue the cub before the mother could harm it.

Georges and Margaret Westbeau, animal lovers and ranch owners, were also standing outside of the lion cage that day and witnessed the mother’s violent reaction. When the mother lion flung the cub against the cage and had the newborn’s front leg in her mouth, George quickly grabbed the small lion and pulled her out of the cage. Feeling sorry for her he said, “You poor little tyke.” The next day Little Tyke was taken home to live on the ranch of the Westbeaus who lovingly raised her and bottled fed her several times a day. Taking the advice of a zoo curator, when Little Tyke was three months of age they gave her bones of freshly slaughtered cows in an effort to wean her, but her reaction was one of repulsion, and she threw up. Then they tried putting drops of blood into her milk bottle, but she would not drink it. Since Little Tyke wouldn’t eat meat, her owners fed her a vegetarian diet that consisted of grains mixed with milk and raw eggs. Realizing that they would not turn Little Tyke into a carnivore, the Westbeaus focused on finding high protein grains to add to her diet. No one is quite sure why Little Tyke never exhibited any signs of meat deficiency.

Lions, even in captivity, are typically thought to be carnivorous hunters, but Little Tyke was just the opposite, becoming sweet and gentle. She enjoyed spending time with all of the animals on the ranch where she lived. The Westbeaus received an invitation to take Little Tyke, who was by then age nine, onto a popular television show of the time hosted by Art Baker. Unfortunately, after spending a few weeks in Hollywood, Little Tyke contracted viral pneumonia and died one night in her sleep after an evening of watching television. George Westbeau wrote this book their experiences with Little Tyke sometime in the 1950s. It was republished by the Theosophical Publishing House in 1986, and republished again in 1995. I remember enjoying the book. One reviewer commented, “More of a kids book than a serious analysis of the implications, it is a good read and the photos are amazing.”

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0 Responses to Little Tyke: The True Story of a Gentle Vegetarian Lion

  1. Diane says:

    If only we would give the original diet designed by our Creator a chance, we would see immense, continual benefits to our health. We were not ever intended to eat the flesh of animals. In Genesis chapters 1 & 2, you will see the original diet intended by God was vegetarian, or more correctly, vegan – grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables – the healthiest diet in the world. Hippies I mixed with in the 70’s knew that flesh food creates an aggressive state in our minds – what we eat affects all of our bodies, including the brain. Gradual weaning from a meat diet was the best thing to happen for my health – urinary infections I had suffered for years ceased immediately and my health improved dramatically (35 years ago). Also, there is so much danger in meat & fish now, mainly caused by what man is adding to them – pollutants, for one, and we get, second-hand, the refuse from vet antibiotics/other drugs they feed to these poor animals, and slaughtermen do not know or care about or remove many cancerous tumours, which are transmitted in the meat to our flesh to grow. Claims that humans need meat are a myth and a lie, made mainly to keep the meat industry profitable. People need to trust that God knows best for all His created beings – all we need is available from a plant-based diet. We just need to research what plants give us which nutrition. Seventh-day Adventists have been trying to warn the world about the flesh diet for two centuries! Animals have to have Taurine which is found only in meat, but it also exists in plant algae and tablet supplements. Humans if they transfer to vegetarianism/veganism need to be sure they get enough Vit B, calcium etc until they know what plants supply enough of these.

    • Wayne says:

      Every person has the right to eat or not eat whatever they wish, but it was God Himself who said after the flood, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs” (Genesis 9:3).

      • Diane says:

        To Wayne: (Sorry, may have posted this without it coming to you as a reply, so am repeatingi it!)
        Yes, we all are given the right of choice; however, with OPTIMUM health in mind, plant food is the superior diet, and God intended that to be the diet for man – that is why He gave that to us. Also, meat-eating was only permitted by God to be used as an emergency food source due to the earth not being able to yield plant food after the 40-day Flood – the waters of the Flood took around about a year to subside, and the earth took time to produce healthy food once again. Flesh food was only meant to be an emergency ration, not an ongoing food source for man – however, man chose himself to continue with this diet, and much sickness and disease has come from it and the one time Jesus ate fish, it was because He was simply using that which man had persisted using as a dietary source, to make something clear to His disciples. Whether or not men should eat fish was not the subject being addressed. The Lord also ate this at a time when flesh food was healthier and things such as pollutants and mercury had not contaminated our oceans. Today we have abundant evidence that all flesh food is diseased or polluted. I believe, in the light of that evidence, if that is the ‘choice’ men consider best for their health, then they obviously are not thinking right. We need to submit our mere human preferences to commonsense and reason!

  2. Diane says:

    To Wayne: Yes, we all are given the right of choice; however, with OPTIMUM health in mind, plant food is the superior diet, and God intended that to be the diet for man – that is why He gave that to us. Also, meat-eating was only permitted by God to be used as an emergency food source due to the earth not being able to yield plant food after the 40-day Flood – the waters of the Flood took around about a year to subside, and the earth took time to produce healthy food once again. Flesh food was only meant to be an emergency ration, not an ongoing food source for man – however, man chose himself to continue with this diet, and much sickness and disease has come from it and the one time Jesus ate fish, it was because He was simply using that which man had persisted using as a dietary source, to make something clear to His disciples. Whether or not men should eat fish was not the subject being addressed. The Lord also ate this at a time when flesh food was healthier and things such as pollutants and mercury had not contaminated our oceans. Today we have abundant evidence that all flesh food is diseased or polluted. I believe, in the light of that evidence, if that is the ‘choice’ men consider best for their health, then they obviously are not thinking right. We need to submit our mere human preferences to commonsense and reason!

    • Wayne says:

      It is not my intention to get into an extended argument, so this will be the last I will say on this topic. Of course, you are entitled to your opinions and practices, but I agree with neither them nor your exegesis of scripture. Jesus, the very Son of God Himself said, “Are you thus wiwthout understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying ALL FOODS?” (not just plant foods but all foods–and remember, God had told Noah after the flood that He had given them every moving thing flesh for FOOD just as He had previously given them the green herbs–and NOTHING in the context of Genesis 9 says or even implies that it was only to be temporary, Mark 7:18-19). Also, the inspired apostle Paul, a messenger of Jesus Christ, wrote about those who would be “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods [KJV meats, not just plants] which GOD [not man, but God Himself] created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” and he goes on to explain what foods or meats he’s talking about, sayinag, “For EVERY CREATURE of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). You refer to the “one time Jesus ate fish,” and there is only one time MENTIONED, but the whole point that Jesus is making is that He was doing just the same things after His resurrection that He was doing before His death and resurrection, and that obviously included eating fish. You can go on and on with the claim that flesh food was healthier then, but that is just your opinion and cannot be substantiated by the Scripture. And, by the way, even total vegans also get sicknesses and diseases, even from some of the foods they eat, so the fact that people who eat meats get sicknesses and diseases really doesn’t prove anything. I really don’t care what people choose to eat or not eat–that is their right (Romans 14:2-3). But I do care when people make statements about one choice of food somehow being more scriptural or more holy or more righteous than another, since the kingdom of God is “NOT eating and drinking” (Romans 14:17).

      • Diane says:

        Just for one reply, I first would like to give you two texts – one is “Whatever ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God”, and “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit”. If we eat diseased food or flesh with transmitting tumours, mercury poison, etc, I think it stands to reason we are honouring neither of these instructions! I think the Christian’s aim in glorifying God is to eat what is best for the health of the “temple of the Holy Spirit” – wouldn’t you agree? As to your repeat comment about Gen. 9, I have already replied to that. Also, the texts you quote regarding judging of eating and drinking relate to judging that was occurring regarding the eating of specific ceremonial foods of that time, not the general daily diet, then or now. This can only be confirmed on thorough study. We cannot give a full in-context Bible study here, unfortunately, but I will say to you that there is further light on scripture for these days, Wayne, and I can refer you to the Seventh-day Adventists for total explanation of all texts you refer to, and for absolute assurance on these matters. God has given further instruction on the dangers of flesh-eating for our time, and this, despite what you claim, is only now starting to be admitted to by science. You can do whatever you wish about your personal diet, but I can assure you, you do not know all that God has given to man on this subject. I pray you will look into it, as I once also believed as you now do, and was very pleasantly surprised to find there is much more light on this subject given by God. As to vegans getting ill – yes, this happens of course – but I was not ever speaking about totally eradicating every single sickness man can get’! As I said, I was referring to our achieving the OPTIMUM, healthiest diet that humans were meant to have. I also said NOTHING about one diet being”more holy or more righteous” over any other, so you are over-reacting and accusing me dishonestly. I am saying God gave man the best diet at Creation, and that even today we obtain the best health in obeying that original diet. Whatever I have said does not deserve angry responses or irate, inaccurate comment – it does warrant honest research and honest response, however, on the facts! The texts you quote are not being interpreted with the full light available on them, and they have not been connected correctly according to subject matter. As I said, for just one thing, you are pulling texts out relating to what the Lord said at those times about ceremonial eating and drinking, and they do not relate to our eating today. I suggest you think about these things when you are calm, and as I said, totally check what I have said out. I never intended to even get into Bible study on the issue, and regret that you seem to have taken personal offence, as of course none was intended. But as I say, like you I thought I knew what the Bible said about eating and drinking, until I saw there is a very great deal that God has left to us about what we should be eating and drinking in these days – Bible prophecy for these times is very revealing on this very important aspect of our lives – our health. You only have to use reason to see that a God who truly loves and cares about us would hardly tell us we can ‘eat anything we want’ – especially if that food contains cancerous matter, mercury poisoning, etc! I wish you all the best in your research.

  3. Lorna says:

    My mother remembers this lion. Her parents would get meat from the Westbeaus. She remembers playing with little Tyke and she remembers them bringing it to school for Show & Tell. She was living in Enamclaw, WA at that time.

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