I was asked to do a sketch for a picture book that deals with animal cruelty. At first I was very taken aback by the subject matter. I think it's good if kids get a taste of reality, but (and know that I'm an employed environmental educator as well), my instinct has always led me to encourage a love of nature first, and then share the doom and gloom stuff when the children are a bit older, let's go with 4th - 6th grade (around the same time you'd delicately educate a class about the Holocaust or any atrocity of that caliber). If kids grow up with a love of nature, the advocacy for preserving our environment will come more naturally. Just one man's opinion.
With that said, drawing lions is always awesome, and I take every project that comes my way.