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Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger?: And Other Questions People Ask Vegans

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  279 ratings  ·  34 reviews
For vegans and non-vegans alike! A highly readable, witty, original, and provocative book.

What about plants? Don't animals eat other animals? There are no perfect vegans, so why bother? If you're vegan, how many times have you been asked these, and other similarly challenging, questions from non-vegans? Using humor and reason, Sherry F. Colb takes these questions at face v
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Lantern Books
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May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Has this ever happened: You sit down for dinner with a group of friends, coworkers, or family members. Suddenly someone notices you have no meat on your plate and comments on it. “Well, I’m vegan/vegetarian,” you cautiously explain. And then the folks around you let loose with a torrent of “How do you get your protein? What do you eat? I could never do that! Plants are living things too! Did you hear about PETA’s latest stunt? But the Bible says…” If you can relate to this experience, this is th ...more
Jennifer Greene
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book surprised me—in a good way. What was I expecting? From the title, I thought it might be a light romp. I should have realized that the author, a Cornell law professor, has listened carefully and thought deeply about the questions people frequently ask vegans. The result is a book impressive for both its depth and clarity.

This is the first time I've read a clear explanation why it is consistent for someone to be vegan when it comes to animals, and pro-choice when it comes to abortion (Ch
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: nutrition
Interesting, well written book about veganism and the answers you could give to people asking questions. I must say I don't really agree with some of the things the author has said (especially about pro-choice and pro-life) where she never considers the trouble of people being born while they are very unwanted. She goes on about the mother having to have a pregnancy while she doesn't want the kid, which must be a horrible experience, but she misses a great point by not also considering feeling u ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, a must-read for anyone interested in vegan advocacy, or who's interested in better understanding the reasons for living vegan / eschewing all animal use on principled grounds.

Nitpick: while I very much appreciate Colb's desire and efforts to take her interlocutor seriously, by being as charitable as possible in constructing their arguments for them, and responding to it, I would suggest focusing less on the words, and more on the underlying worries, and making those explicit (be
Jeffrey Spitz Cohan
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: veganism
Part of becoming a vegan is learning how to cook delicious vegan dishes. And for that, there are literally hundreds of recipe books to help you.

But another part of becoming a vegan is learning how to respond to the multitude of questions, and even challenges, that friends, co-workers and family members will throw at you. For that, there have been precious few books to help you, which makes this one an unusually important addition to your vegan bookshelf.

A law professor at Cornell, author Sherry
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
First of all, Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger is not meant to entertain in any way, despite the misleading title. Yes, as a vegan you will be asked that question but I personally felt using it as the title of the book alluded to some sort of humor on the author's part. It did not. What you find within the pages of this book is a fairly thorough summary of why one would/should be vegan in the format of questions commonly aimed at vegans. As a long time vegan, I have heard it all and honestly? Th ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Should you consume less animal flesh/secretions? Probably.

Should you read this book? No.
Andreas Thaler
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good book, well and compassionately written, and full of important and correct information.

It is helpful for vegans and non-vegans alike to understand the problems associated with a non-vegan lifestyle and the ways to resolve them.

I would add that it is especially helpful for vegans who care about educating their fellow citizens about the advantages of a vegan lifestyle in a friendly and informative way.

People have asked me "What is the most important thing you have taken from th
Chris Sosa
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
No matter how you feel about animal rights, read this book. It's a masterclass in persuasive argument for a mainstream audience. Anyone interested in the discussion of personal ethics will be engaged and challenged.

For those specifically interested in animal rights, this is the best introduction to the subject I've ever read. I cannot recommend it more highly. Sherry Colb presents a warm and thorough exploration of the issues, sidestepping the overwrought tone readers may expect from those who c
Sarah Hack
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I truly think this is a must-read for anyone interested in food, in animals, in the environment, in health, in ethics, in rights-issues, or in the law... Does that leave anyone out?!

And of course it's a must-read for vegans. As a vegan, I wish I could memorize entire paragraphs to be able to respond to vegan-related questions with the intelligence and nuance and humor that Sherry Colb has.

This book is so thorough, thought-provoking and and wide-ranging. I highly, highly recommend it!!
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is incredibly well researched and thought-provoking. I would consider myself a seasoned vegan, and even so, Colb poses topics and questions that I have yet to even consider myself (for example, how can you be for abortion but against the killing of animals?). The author draws on comparisons and analogies to proves her points, but they work incredibly well and help the reader to think of the use of animals in our everyday culture in a different light.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent, concise discussion of many of the most common questions that people who consume animals ask those who don't, with respectful, thoughtful responses to each. An important read for vegans and non-vegans alike. ...more
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
She does a great job of thoroughly addressing many of the questions that people ask vegans.
karen Colman
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

a lot of great answers as to why be vegan. I have a better knowledge of veganism and I am prepared to answer questions about my decision to non vegans
Carol Cox
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very intelligent reasoning about common questions vegans are asked.
Emma Peel
Preachy and patronising I am afraid; had hoped for a more practical conversation guide as a vegan navigating an omnivore world.
Melissa Da Costa
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is the most important thing I've read in my life, and the best Christmas present I've received since I was seven. ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting food for thought. I had a hard time with some of the comparisons. To me there was a lot of apples vs. oranges. Still, the author introduced topics I wouldn't have ever thought of. ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This has been the most impactful book on my thoughts about food since "Eating Animals," which I read about 10 years ago. Some of Colb's arguments/analogies didn't resonate with me and I skimmed a few chapters that were less compelling to my personal questions/curiosities, but overall it was the most clear, thoughtful, intelligent, rational, and well-written book I've read on this topic so far. Books that uncover the deeply sad and disturbing things happening in modern animal agriculture are over ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately I can't say it lived up to my expectations. The questions asked are well picked and listening to another persons reasoning was without a doubt interesting, especially as her reasons for being a vegan differs from my own. She gives long and detailed answers based on her own views and experiences, but it comes off as quite preachy most of the time. Her focus on gory details and emotions to spread her message rather than scientific data and refer ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
If you're seeking a philosophical explanation as to why people might be vegan vs. vegetarian or "plant-based" eaters, this is the book to read. The author uses numerous analogies to explain her points, and some of them are a little disturbing. I'm glad I read it, but I wouldn't revisit it. The book that I found has the most convincing argument for being vegan would be Colleen Patrick Goudreau's On Being Vegan. For nutrition information, you can't beat How Not to Die by Dr. Greger. Cheeseburger c ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
What I liked most about Colb's writing is how balanced and unpretentious she is. I've read other books about veganism where authors have come off as haughty and arrogant, even when I fundamentally agree with a lot of what they're saying. It's a difficult subject to write about but Colb handles it with tact and logic which is really all you need with this kind of contentious debate. I NEEDED and appreciated the chapter on abortion. Excellent work. ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well written and thoroughly researched, this book will enlighten non-vegans as to why vegans do what they do and also enable vegans to understand better and explain their ethical stand to others who are trying to understand. This book will also help those who are curious on becoming vegan but can't wrap their head on other concepts. Finishing this book enabled me to strengthen my knowledge and articulately wrote what ive been feeling and thinking all along. ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing and informative book. Sherry Colb has backup to every statement that she makes. As an ethical vegan it was hard for me to finish because almost every page made me want to cry. Because I believe the torture animals go through to be on human's plates, in their cosmetics, clothing etc. is wrong. Would advise everyone to read it. ...more
Apr 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-the-animals
I can vividly imagine Sherry Colb explain in great length and detail why she does mind if her friend orders the cheeseburger.

The book offers insights logically written by a professor of law. It is heavily informative.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly clear writing style. Answered all my objections to veganism. Helped make my eating decision final.
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
At times riveting, at time difficult to read, this book took me quite a while to get through, mostly because I was digesting all the material! I expected this book, because of the title, to be somewhat humorous, but it certainly was not that!
There were a couple of chapters that didn't resonate with me…to be more blunt, I didn't agree with the author's reasoning, but hey, it's her book and I still learned something even if I didn't agree with it. For instance, the chapter on coming out at a vegan
Does a good job answering common questions people ask vegans

The explanations are for the most part fairly complete and persuasive but there are a few flaws. For instance, some of the analogies were more complicated than necessary and the author assumed that the reader doesn't hunt or fish. I still recommend this book to people looking for a light read on the subject of veganism.
Bob Stocker
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been eating mostly vegan for more than a year. Recently, I started attending a vegan book club. Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger? And Other Questions People Ask Vegans by Sherry F. Colb was the selection for the September 2016 meeting. I don't feel as strongly about veganism as Colb or most other members of the club. However, Colb's careful research and persuasive, digestible arguments do provide outstanding food for thought. I'd recommend this book to anyone considering the ethics of the h ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Colb offers well-constructed arguments for some of the most common (and annoying) questions people ask vegans. I want to miniaturize her and carry her around in my pocket to do all my arguing. It's pretty obvious that she's a lawyer from her writing and reasoning style. She lost me occasionally in her efforts to consider issues from a variety of angles, but overall she provides plenty of good answers for curious interrogators. ...more
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12 likes · 2 comments
“What this means is that most non-vegans can only imagine what it would be like for them to be vegan, whereas the vegan can actually remember what it was like for her to be non-vegan. And yet, against all societal odds, he lives, thrives, and continues to enjoy food.” 4 likes
“From the perspective of many ethical vegans, the “What about plants?” question sounds absurd. Does the omnivore really believe in plants' rights? More likely, the vegan assumes, the omnivore is suggesting that granting rights to animals is as ridiculous as granting rights to plants. But perhaps the non-vegan sincerely wants to hear the vegan's answer to this seemingly-rhetorical question.” 3 likes
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