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Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  3,589 ratings  ·  292 reviews
From John Robbins, a new edition of the classic that awakened the conscience of a nation. Since the 1987 publication of Diet for a New America, beef consumption in the United States has fallen a remarkable 19%. While many forces are contributing to this dramatic shift in our habits, Diet for a New America is considered to be one of the most important. Diet for a New Americ ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 448 pages
Published April 14th 1998 by HJ Kramer (first published September 1st 1987)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,589 ratings  ·  292 reviews


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Morgan
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who already don't want to eat animal products
Recommended to Morgan by: Bark & Grass zine
The experience of transitioning into veganism was, for me, one of "coming out." Over the course of a week in March of 1993, I stopped wanting to eat dairy, eggs, sugar, chocolate, or anything artificial. I didn't completely know why I was I doing this other than it was what my body needed. The first books I read about veganism were cookbooks that focused on recipes and a smattering of nutrition. I figured I'd get around to learning about the moral, ethical and environmental merits of veganism la ...more
Andrea
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
I have been 95% vegan now for two years and finally got around to reading this classic expose of American factory farming, food industry propaganda and brainwashing, and environmental destruction, plus so much more.

Written in 1987 by the heir to the Baskin-Robbins empire, Robbins' book was highly influential and shocking at the time. These days, with Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan's proselytizing on organic produce, and, really, the Internet's vast stores of information on feedlots and food p
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Lisa Vegan
May 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: compassionate people, vegetarians, everyone
This is the book that introduced me to veganism. It makes compelling arguments for eliminating animal products, and happily living on all plant products for all you consume. Talks about the ramifications of animal vs. plant products concentrating on 3 aspects: for the animals, for the earth, for human health. If you care about the future of the earth and its inhabitants, you'll be interested in this book.
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-15
Why couldn't I have read this when it was published in 1987, before I brainwashed two innocent children into the same screwed up fallacies about nutrition that I was raised on? I remember reading the pregnancy and first year books and believing all of the nonsense they taught me. Must have balanced protein. Must drink milk. Animal cholesterol required for growing brain. Must take prenatal vitamins.

And all this hogwash is based on (1) Western cultural history (2) studies on rats who were fed milk
...more
Lain
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
I know I should love this book, or at least consider it life-changing, but I just could not muscle my way through it. The typos and poor grammar had me questioning everything (if you can't bother to proof-read, did you bother to fact check?). And the individual anecdotes, cute though they were about dogs tracking hundreds of miles to find their owners and hens who surrogate parented ducks did not have the intended effect of making me see animals as more like "us." In fact, the whole idea of cond ...more
Lin
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
He was a millionaire twice over. He produced and sold more ice cream than anyone on the earth at the time. But when it was John Robbins turned to take over the Baskin-Robbins (31 Flavors) ice cream empire from his father Irvine, he left, leaving his fortune behind.
Diet For a New America (HJ Kramer Publishing, 1987), is Robbins’ potent condemnation of American food consumption and is a revealing expose of the truths about the meat and dairy industries.
Robbins’ father lived the materialistic Ame
...more
Kathryn
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Eye opening facts about the food system. However, it only focuses on animal products and not the mass deforestation to promote corn, soy, and wheat fields to feed a vegetarian diet.
Marshall
Jan 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is one of the pivotal vegetarian advocacy books. Now I understand why. Reading this book made me a vegetarian all over again. My understanding of the issues that led to my decision to become vegetarian is only a fraction of what this book covers. I was truly astonished by what this book revealed. I really understood how so much of the meat industry depends on ignorance and deception.

It starts out by going straight for the heart. It talks about what animals are like--what they're really like
...more
Chris Mcmullen
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was a very detailed depiction of where our food comes from here in America and how it affects our diet, our health, our community, and the effect it has on our planet. The book starts with stories of human encounters with animals in which animals prove to understand more than what most people think. It is clear that animals have the capacity to show love, gratitude, and friendship toward people, however, it is even more clear that they feel pain and they hurt just as humans do when the ...more
Erin
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nutrition-food
What a wonderful book! I have been a vegetarian for over 9 years and this book just convinced me to be a vegetarian until the day I die.

I read "The China Study" a few years ago and was amazed to see all the benefits of having an animal-free diet. For one, there is a drastic reduction in cancer rates among vegetarians, they have lower cholesterol, healthier hearts, bodies, and live longer and healthier lives than their meat-eating counterparts.

This book, unlike The China Study, delves further in
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Monicaaa
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: veganism
The thing about Diet for a New America is not that it isn't important in the vegan movement, but that it's not necessary to read as of right now. First published a couple of decades ago, it was a game changer. People were confronted with their impact for the first time. The idea that propaganda could be so neatly tied into the milk, egg and dairy industry was so new that it shocked so much of the US population. To not aknowledge this book's impact is not what this review is saying. Of course thi ...more
David Meyer
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Why did this book change my life forever???

First of all my uncle died of a heart attack at 37 years old. My mother passed away from cancer at 44. A teacher of mine died of a heart attack at 38.

Since reading this book I have been close to 99% - 100% plant-based for the last 13 years. I am able to do over 125 pushups in a 6 minute military style pushup test at 37 and have never felt stronger or more energetic in my entire life.

I eat superfoods like broccoli (one pound 1/2 per day), oatmeal, blube
...more
Aleks
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
When I first started reading this book, I felt it was overly sentimental. I'm not one to be moved into great emotion or change by stories of smart animals or their friendliness or human-ness. However, in the end, this book turned me vegan overnight.

Though the book opens with the sentimental, it moves onto information on how food affects the body, the environment, and the social impacts it makes to the world at large. The latter two were what affected me most.

While I've had lapses into lacto-ovo
...more
Kathleen
Aug 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All thinking people
Diet for a New America is to Kathleen, as My First Summer in the Sierra is to Sylvia Seymour (by John Muir, see review). Though I did not drop to the floor in tears, I did begin a no-looking-back, 20 years and counting, life of ethical vegetarianism. This book completely changed my thinking about the world, and my place in it. This honest, intelligent, and gentle appeal to consider how food gets to the table is transforming at a cellular level. Without anthropomorphizing, Robbins explains the tr ...more
Lani Muelrath
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: healthy-living
The honorable John Robbins - it seems 9 out of 10 people I meet who follow a vegan and plant-based diet credit John Robbins and this book with their initial inspiration. EVERY bookshelf should have a copy!
Beth
Mar 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
Read this many years ago. Remember disliking it intensely. So I've erased most of the content. It is a very preachy kind of book that doesn't simply present fact but tells you what to think about them and how to behave based on them.
Mila
Jan 21, 2009 added it
For those who are ready for a paradigm shift. Not for those who can go through life with blinders on. Reaffirms my choice to be a vegan.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
John Robbins' writing style is not my favorite, but I always read his books and sort of scan the parts where he gets to wordy and mushy. The information is good, and worth having.
Olya Korzh
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you only choose to read one book in your entire life, choose this one.
Korina Mills
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I could get every person on the planet to read just one book, it would be this one. And if our planet and species collapses due to our wasteful and destructive habits, let this book be a proof and a reminder that there was a small minority of humans who sought the truth and aimed to convey it to the rest of the world.

To fully understand the (figurative) weight of the contents of this book, it is important to have a little background information on the author. John Robbins, the author of the
...more
Brian
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-researched account of the meat, egg, and dairy industry from a man who left an ice cream empire and created many waves in the more than 25 years of advocacy; seems like every week in my area there is a vegan fair on the weekends, vegetarian options are seeping into traditionally meat-only restaurants, and every year a new vegan meat/cheese is coming out. However, I'm not a fan of negativity as a means of conversion, meat is murder, the environment is dying, and we're all unhealthy. I'm mo ...more
Ellen Lim
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
John Robbins writes a well-researched book on the down side of eating meat. Robbins covers the health effects, that these animals are fed hormones that are not natural and the inhumane conditions the animals go through. The reader will open up their minds to uncovering all the behind-the-scenes of the meat industry in U.S. The reader may have seen this story in news magazines if you watch 60 minutes or any other show. If you read articles on regular basis from magazines and newspapers, you are f ...more
Runder
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this is in college and have to say because of this book, I have yet to eat veal. I gave up all red meat as well as chicken because of the impact this book had on me. Unfortunately, I do eat meat again but still have no interest in veal and rarely eat red meat. Recommend this to all Americans.
Carla Villar
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who cares about animals and/or the environment and/or geopolitical stability
I bought this book in the mid-nineties when I was in college. I should have read it then. The best I can say is that I kept it all these years, and I finally read it. Now that I have read it, I know that I have a lot of work to do. The science shows us the path to save the planet and everyone on it. May we follow the science in time.
Kellee Warren
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a classic! Seeing the cover of the book makes me want to read it again. I was in my late teens, early-twenties when I read this book, and it completely freaked me out! John Robbins, the heir to the Baskin-Robbins business, decided to opt out because of how the U.S. processes meat, dairy, and other food stuffs. I highly recommend this book.
Kathy Helm
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very enlightening, which really made me rethink my food choices.
Tiff
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
What a revolutionary book. Educated me on my ignorance of the meat and diary industry. Highly recommended for everyone!
Casey
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A life changing book.
Cherie
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great read for anybody interested in why being a vegan is a good idea for one's health and the animals' welfare It is not a 'heavy' read at all. It flows well.
Whitney Rogers
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book transformed my way of nutrition. I have been a vegetarian for over 11 years now because of this one book. It's truths impacted me to levels of understanding I did not know possible.
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John Robbins is an American author, who popularized the links among nutrition, environmentalism, and animal rights. He is the author of the 1987 Diet for a New America, an exposé on connections between diet, physical health, animal cruelty, and environmentalism.

Robbins is the son of Irma Robbins and Baskin-Robbins co-founder Irv Robbins. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in
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“...The real cause of hunger is a scarcity of justice, not a scarcity of food. Enough grain is squandered every day in raising American livestock for meat to provide every human being on earth with two loaves of bread.” 4 likes
“It is not only Frances Moore Lappé whose mind is changing as new evidence comes in from protein research; the most rigorous scientific journals are likewise convinced. An editorial in the medical journal Lancet reports: Formerly, vegetable proteins were classified as second-class, and regarded as inferior to first-class proteins of animal origin, but this distinction has now been generally discarded.” 0 likes
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