John Joseph thoroughly demolishes the commonly held but ridiculous idea that meat-eating is an essential part of masculinity. I admit I enjoyed readinJohn Joseph thoroughly demolishes the commonly held but ridiculous idea that meat-eating is an essential part of masculinity. I admit I enjoyed reading this book in public places, knowing that other guys might catch a glimpse of the cover.
This book is a fairly good one for any man who won’t be offended by Joseph’s in-your-face, vulgar writing. This is the “by-a-man, for-a-man” version of Rory Freedman’s “Skinny Bastard.”
Joseph focuses almost entirely on the health aspects of veganism, confining ethical and environmental considerations to the book’s appendix.
He also mixes in an ample amount of motivational material, mostly along the lines of “beat with a stick the voice in your head that is telling you to eat junk and remain sedentary.”
In addition to dozens of vegan recipes, there is a workout plan that is primarily oriented toward lower-body strength. ...more
Stewart Rose and Amanda Strombom took on a challenging, essential project and executed it exceedingly well.
They produced a fairly comprehensive guideStewart Rose and Amanda Strombom took on a challenging, essential project and executed it exceedingly well.
They produced a fairly comprehensive guide to vegan grocery shopping, while keeping it to a concise 72 pages.
To my knowledge, this is the first guide to grocery shopping ever written for new or aspiring vegans. With more and more people going vegan or at least reducing their consumption of animal products, the essentialness of such a guide is obvious.
Although the book is slender enough to slip into a purse or backpack, it offers an entire chapter of on food labels and ingredients, as well as descriptions of various types of beans, spices, vinegars, sweeteners and another plants and plant-derived foods.
For newcomers to the plant-based lifestyle, this book is a must-own. But even longtime vegans will learn a few things.
All doctors are familiar with the Hippocratic Oath, but most either ignore or are just ignorant of something else Hippocrates famously said:
“Let foodAll doctors are familiar with the Hippocratic Oath, but most either ignore or are just ignorant of something else Hippocrates famously said:
“Let food be thy medicine.”
Washington, D.C, physician Michael Greger may be the biggest exception.
Upon graduating from medical school, he made it his life’s mission to read every nutrition study he could get his hands on and then disseminate what he was learning. He traveled the country, speaking to medical students and to Rotary Club members, living out of his car.
His quest eventually took shape as a Website, daily e-newsletter and nonprofit organization called NutritionFacts.org. His book “How Not to Die” then arrived this winter as the culmination of two decades of work.
Dr. Greger devotes one chapter apiece to the 15 leading causes of death, showing the relation of diet to each of them.
It should be noted that the book is not called “How to Not Die.” Even Dr. Greger would admit that no matter how much broccoli we eat, we all have to go sometime.
But we don’t necessarily have to spend our last two or three decades undergoing bypass surgeries, chemotherapy, and dialysis -- dying slowly and painfully from chronic diseases. That is how not to die.
Instead, we can greatly improve our odds of aging in good health and enjoying active lifestyles well into our golden years, depending on what we eat. And the evidence continues to mount that an unprocessed, plant-based diet is our best hope.
In the book’s second half, Dr. Greger dispenses practical yet very specific advice on how to rework your diet for optimal health. While this isn’t a traditional cookbook, he does present a number of simple, delicious, healthy recipes. How about a cauliflower steak served with tahini and paired with a pumpkin pie smoothie?
Undergirding everything in the book are a staggering 133 pages of footnotes. He cites literally thousands of studies from nutrition and medical journals.
Dr. Greger has been accused in some quarters of cherry-picking research and exaggerating the benefits of a vegan diet. But his case rests on a mountain of evidence.
While the media loves to trumpet outlying studies showing that butter is good for you or that carbs are the devil, the reality is that the largest, long-term nutritional studies have reached remarkably similar conclusions: Vegans and vegetarians live longer and experience lower rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
It gets trickier when it comes to smaller studies that look at the effects of specific foods on specific diseases. Here, rock-solid, incontrovertible conclusions are much harder to come by. But Dr. Greger argues that it makes no sense to deprive yourself of the remarkable, evidence-based benefits of turmeric, blueberries, kale and other antioxidant- and phytonutrient-packed plants while you’re waiting for absolute proof.
In “How Not to Die,” Dr. Greger avoids using the word “vegan” and makes a point of stating that you can still enjoy a serving of your mother’s Easter ham, so long as your regular diet revolves around vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, spices and whole grains. Health, in other words, is not an all-or-nothing proposition, but it is based largely on nutrition.
This year, doctors in the U.S. will write 4 billion prescriptions for various ailments. That’s a lot of disease, and a lot of drugs.
Before Richard Schwartz and Roberta Kalechofsky arrived on the scene to write authoritative books on the Jewish ideal of vegetarianism, there was LouiBefore Richard Schwartz and Roberta Kalechofsky arrived on the scene to write authoritative books on the Jewish ideal of vegetarianism, there was Louis Berman.
A professor of psychology at the time, Berman wrote "Vegetarianism and the Jewish Tradition" in 1982, almost two decades before Schwartz and Kalechofsky advanced the cause.
In making the case that Jews should adopt animal-free diets, Berman puts forth a strong argument, but it could have been even stronger. He neglected to mention several verses and stories from the Jewish canon that are part of the foundation of a vegan Judaism.
But despite its limitations, Berman's book is interesting to consider in its historical context. More than three decades ago, Berman observed that farmed animals were being horribly mistreated and that their flesh was unfit for human consumption -- from both a health and Jewish perspective. ...more
Professor Gross has written a highly important book that is well worth the effort needed to read and comprehend it.
Yes, it does require effort for thProfessor Gross has written a highly important book that is well worth the effort needed to read and comprehend it.
Yes, it does require effort for the lay reader, as this is a book written for academia, in thick academese, with many references to scholars with whom I was wholly unfamiliar.
But Gross, in just 202 pages, has managed to produce a work that is both sweeping in its scope and penetrating in its depth, raising existential questions about what it means to be human amid the global, annual slaughter of 60 billion land animals in food production.
The professor reminds us that we owe our very existence to the compassion and restraint of others – a compassion and restraint that is tragically missing from our relationship with farm animals.
Judaism’s sacred texts place a great deal of emphasis on the human-animal relationship, establishing a moral imperative to treat animals with exquisite sensitivity. Sadly, this area of textual emphasis is “a disavowed centrality” in religious practice, Gross writes.
With this book, Gross has issued a clarion call to restore the compassionate treatment of animals to its proper, central place in Jewish discourse and practice. Given the intensity of the violence and the immensity of the bloodbath in modern animal agriculture, it is more important than ever that Jews hear the call. ...more
If you have a limited time to read vegan-related books – and by definition, you do – you would be wise to pass on this one. By the same token, you shoIf you have a limited time to read vegan-related books – and by definition, you do – you would be wise to pass on this one. By the same token, you should never give this book to anyone whom you hope will consider veganism.
The book is likable and inspiring on some level. Sandra Kimler’s prescription of a vegan diet for what ails us physically and spiritually certainly resonated with me.
But she makes uber-specific recommendations for the optimal diet without substantiation. She doesn’t cite nutritional research and offer any evidence to support her ideas. And her diet recommendations are overly complicated.
“So, Why Become Vegan?” has the feel of a self-published book. Kimler sorely needed a good editor to reign in her rambling, somewhat disorganized writing style. Even more annoying are the numerous references to a certain Dr. Bernard Jensen, whose credentials are never presented.
Amazingly, though, the book was published by a division of Hay House.
Fortunately, the vegan community has produced many excellent, helpful books, so you can safely skip this one. ...more
"Bleating Hearts" is virtually an encyclopedia of human-caused animal suffering. It covers some of the more familiar forms, such as factory farming an"Bleating Hearts" is virtually an encyclopedia of human-caused animal suffering. It covers some of the more familiar forms, such as factory farming and vivisection, as well as a few I had never heard of, such as the Gadhimai Jatra Mela bloodbath, which happened to take place as I was reading this book.
Since this book is encyclopedic in scope, it is also, by its very nature, somewhat superficial. Each chapter stands on its own. You don't necessarily have to read the chapters in order -- or read them all.
The real payoff comes in the final chapter, when author Mark Hawthorne lets some of the deepest thinkers in the AR movement have their say. What I found particularly heartening is that such luminaries as Carol Adams, James McWilliams and Marc Bekoff seem to agree that the diversity of approaches in the vegan-advocacy movement is a good thing. That is an important message for the AR community to hear, and absorb. ...more
What if animals suddenly acquired the capacity for political consciousness and human language?
It would not be a good day for humans, the authors suggeWhat if animals suddenly acquired the capacity for political consciousness and human language?
It would not be a good day for humans, the authors suggest. This book envisions a bloodbath, with mammals waging war against their human oppressors.
On one level, “The Awareness” is a suspenseful, violent thriller, with pigs struggling to escape from a spreading inferno and a bear exacting revenge on a hunting party.
On a deeper level, though, the authors are trying to help readers understand their own complicity in the exploitation and oppression of innocent animals.
The outrage of the mammals in the book is really the outrage of lead author Gene Stone, who is himself conscious of the distressing reality that humans regularly cage, mutilate, and kill animals without any ethical justification.
It’s a mind-stretching and thought-provoking book, and a lively read to boot. The only thing missing is the solution. I’ll provide part of it for you: Go vegan. Please. ...more
This is an important book. But even at a mere 57 pages, it is too long. The problems with comparing factory farming and other forms of animal oppressiThis is an important book. But even at a mere 57 pages, it is too long. The problems with comparing factory farming and other forms of animal oppression to the Holocaust could be adequately described in a 10-page essay.
Kalechofsky summarizes the problems well in writing:
“There are terrible cogent connections, dark connecting threads, between animal suffering and the Holocaust, but an embracing comparison between the two depletes both of meaning. The motives, causes and symbolism of each form of suffering differ vastly. Unless we (recognize) this, each victim – human or animal, Jew or non-Jew – becomes a generalized metaphor for any other victim. History is obliterated in a wash of metaphors.”
The reason the book extends to 57 pages is because Kalechofsky indulges her interest in vivisection, devoting most of the first 30 pages to unnecessary details about the history of medical experimentation on animals.
But the book, despite its flaws, is nonetheless important, because the “embracing comparison” is heard too often in the animal rights movement. ...more