Dr. Seuss wasn't trying to be sneaky with The Lorax. The message is pretty clear, don't you think? Even his publishers call this book one of his most "most blunt" (source).
If this were a story for grownups, the book jacket might read something like this: The Lorax depicts the battle between environmental activist the Lorax and his arch-nemesis the Once-ler, a greedy inventor who has opened a factory in town.
This kind of message isn't universally popular with parents, especially those involved in the logging industry. Answering such critics, Seuss said, "The Lorax doesn't say lumbering is immoral. I live in a house made of wood and write books printed on paper. It's a book about going easy on what we've got. It's anti-pollution and anti-greed" (source).
So if you're a fan of pollution or greed, this book might not be for you. Otherwise, there's definitely some redeeming value.
Although the message—take care of the environment and the environment will take care of you—is easy to explore as a real life issue, The Lorax is about as far from realistic as you can get. As far as we know, most fish can't walk on land and most environmental activists don't pop out of cut-down trees. But these fantastical elements help lend a timelessness and universality to the story—making it a Seuss classic and giving it top billing on Shmeuss.