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Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,053 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Curious about veganism? Want to be a vegan? Already a vegan? Just wondering how to be vegan without going insane? In this informative and practical guide on veganism, team Torres helps you love your inner vegan freak. Loaded with tips, advice, stories, and comprehensive lists of resources that no vegan should live without, this book is key to helping you thrive as a happy, ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by AK Press (first published July 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  2,053 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
May 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all vegans, especially new vegans, those genuinely interested in veganism, & anyone who knows vegans
I loved this book. (I am a vegan, mostly for animal suffering reasons, as are the authors.) In my opinion, this is the best support book for vegans out there (also see Living Among Meat Eaters by Carol Adams). I do have to admit, I felt angry at times during the reading of this book. In my opinion, it kind of encourages outrage. So, for those already unfriendly toward vegans or veganism in general, or those just mildly curious but largely ignorant about the lifestyle or the message promoted in t ...more
Aug 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
I also really did not care for this book. The section on making your cats vegan just blew me away. As a vegan AND a student of veterinary medicine, I can tell you that cats are true carnivores that quickly become quite sickly when fed a vegan diet. If you don't want to feed your pets meat, get a naturally veggie pet; but don't risk your pets' health, and don't read this crappy book. ...more
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I fucking loved this book. period.
May 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: new vegans
Shelves: non-fiction, vegan
Some of the information is good, but I didn't particularly enjoy the snobbish, holier-than-thou attitudes of the authors. I think this book would turn omnivores and even vegetarians off to the idea of veganism based on the authors' communication style. The book is just not all that well-written. ...more
Jessica  Gwen
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
As someone who is trying to transition to a vegan lifestyle, I found the advice in this book to be somewhat condescending. It totally trashed lacto-ovo vegetarians as well as vegans who "cheat" every once in a while. I think the draconian message of this book is likely to discourage people who are on the verge of becoming vegan, rather than encourage them to take the steps necessary to complete their transition.

I would have appreciated advice on how to avoid temptation at restaurants and around
Feb 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: human beings
Shelves: vegan
The best advice book for people who want to go and stay vegan about dealing with all the non-vegan bullshit they will inevitably encounter from other people. The most helpful piece of advice is these three words: MEEK VEGANS SUFFER!

This book will teach you to be a strong vegan and not compromise your animal rights ethics just to fit in to the dominator culture, which is full of people who are always looking for an excuse to justify animal exploitation. I'd recommend borrowing this book from some
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: vegan, non-fiction, 2008
I was honestly not expecting much from this book, but it turned out to be an incredible resource, even though I assumed I already knew a lot about veganism (being a vegan for several months and having a seasoned vegan boyfriend).

This book goes over a lot of really practical issues that vegans deal with quite regularly. The tireless prodding from friends, family and co-workers about "what do you EAT?" and how to deal with them tactfully. It gives some great suggestions and recommendations on eat
Jun 04, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So far so bad. I don't like the first chapter. I tried to read it but skipped over. I feel as though they are angry. I am vegan, I do it for myself and for the animals, but I do not push it on anyone else. I have encountered the same prejudices, but it has not made me hate people. (I hated people before I went vegan) I kid. The book has a very negative feel to it, my other books don't like it. ...more
Scoop Edwards
Jul 07, 2010 rated it liked it
An alternate subtitle could be "How to Survive and Appropriately Behave Amongst Meat-Eaters." Basically, it's a book by a cool, tattooed college professor couple for other hipsters that don't eat meat or meat byproducts. A librarian and fellow vegetarian friend of mind loaned me the book, and I recommend it. I disagree with the occassionally snotty attitude that the authors display. I think that they may fail to understand that many people in inner-city neighborhoods, e.g. my community, have a h ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: vegan
Poorly argued--ranting but no logic. And with a great deal of inexplicable animosity towards vegetarians. This books seemed written by and for a small coterie of vegans that are less interested in making the world a better place and more interested in maintaining the purity of what they think the word "vegan" should mean.

If you're interested in the health benefits of a plant-based diet, read The China Study. If you're interested in a an overview of health, environmental and ethical reasons--wri
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hilarious, abrasive, direct, cutting, precise. This book is a lot of fun if you don't take yourself more seriously than you take veganism. They don't sugar-coat things: exploiting animals needlessly is not an option. If you went vegan to feel good about yourself because you love (cute) animals, then don't bother. If you went vegan because you give a shit about the rights of sentient animals to be left the fuck alone, then this is probably worth a read. Denying rights to others is not a choice, i ...more
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiksi
I have a love-hate relationship with this book :) but it is actually my biggest reason to be an ethical vegan (freak, as the title).

This book is quite controversial for everybody (new vegan, old vegan, vegetarian, or even non-vegan) because the authors are very harsh and direct with their theory of defining a "real" vegan. In each chapter, the authors define (and keep remembering the reader) that vegan means ethical vegan with no exception. Ethical vegan means that the purpose of implementing ve
Katey Lovell
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it

As a newbie to veganism, I was keen to find an accessible and informative book to help me adapt to my lifestyle change.

Vegan Freak is a highly readable resource covering many aspects of veganism, including which products are and are not vegan, ethics and animal rights, common issues new vegans struggle with and personal anecdotes.

The edition I read has dated slightly (not sure if there are newer editions available) and many of the recommended products are hard to source in the UK.

That said
Dec 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
I wish I could say I liked this book, but I just didn't. Perhaps because according to their standards I'm not an 'ethical' vegan, I'm an 'enviro' vegan. I also live in Paris... I know this city like my back pocket, and still find eating out difficult. I can tell you, you will most likely succumb to Peter Singer's "Paris exception" knowingly or unknowingly. Here, there is mayo, cheese, milk and butter in strange places, lentilles are usually boiled in beef stock, etc. As far as "accommodating res ...more
Feb 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as someone considering going vegan. I was supposed to be the target audience for this book, and for the latter half, at least, the authors seemed to be thinking about readership like me. The first half of the book, however, was one big circle-jerk for people already vegan. Every page breathed the "those poor vegetarians. They think they're actually doing something! We better show them how damn enlightened we are" attitude. The tone for this book is everything people hate about vegans ...more
Bri Arsenic
As a vegan of 2 years I thought that this book was very interesting. It was funny and made some good suggestions on how to deal with non-vegans judging you. I also like the books they suggested and plan on reading a few of them as well. The only thing that I didn't like about the book was that it made you feel like it you weren't rich enough to do all the things they stated you were a bad vegan. Like if you were still wearing your old leather boots, rather then immediately going out and buying n ...more
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The author's intent was good, but I didn't care for all of the profanity in the book. There were also quite a few minor typos throughout, which don't affect the message but I find annoying and distracting when I'm reading. What I didn't like about the message was the authors's take on veganism from a purely ethical standpoint, while dismissing or minimizing other reasons people might have for choosing veganism (like environmental or health reasons). I wouldn't consider myself an ethical vegan, t ...more
The authors’ tone will likely to be polarizing to readers. Those who like their commentary spiced with snarky asides will enjoy it. Those who prefer a kinder, gentler approach will likely be frowning.

However, you have to respect folks who have the guts to say that some vegans do much more harm to the animal rights movement than good. These people range from fake vegans who only eat animal foods “sometimes,” to those who feel that the best way to convince others to care is by screaming at them.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
What I enjoyed about the book are it's practical tips on what to eat as a vegan, how to eat in restaurants and how to deal with other people. There are many vegan recepie books where you can branch out if you want to learn more about cooking vegan food, but I think as an starting point it was helpful for me. What I didn't enjoy was their claim that bejng vegan for environmental reasons wasn't moral (and their comparisons between animal cruelty and the Holocaust). I understand that people have di ...more
Vegan freak is an interesting and helpful, in many ways, read.It’s main concern is ethical veganism.The authors support an abolitionist stance which states that human beings are not entitled to use animals for any reason because they have the basic right not to be harmed or treated as an object. As a logical consequence they claim that the only consistent/non-contradictory stance is becoming a vegan meaning no use of any animal product whatsoever and a vegetarian view misses the point and suppor ...more
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really appreciated this book and it brought for me exactly what it promised. It acts as a companion, a vegan best friend, to help galvanise your resolve if you're trying to get onto the vegan wagon and has lots of useful tips for dealing with eating out, managing your relationships, and all those other annoying things besides just changing your diet- which it does help with too.

Some criticism has been levelled at the authors because they are so clear cut when it comes to ethical issues (such a
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not really for those curious about veganism or the philosophy behind it. Although it gives a rundown of animal rights and why they're important, it's not as in-depth a resource you would want for someone who's undecided. It is however a good resource for those who are already on the same page ethically speaking and who are strongly considering it or are already vegan. The strongest point of the book is the chapter that gives advice about how to deal with hostility towards veganism a ...more
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
2-3 stars. Sorry to report I didn't fall in love with this book. The tone is very direct and that definitely suits some people (I have friends who swear by this book), but Francione this, Francione that, etc. Maybe that's not a terrible thing, what do I know, I just haven't been won over by him thus far in life. I just know Vegan Freak isn't what I'm looking for in a book to recommend to the vegan-hopefuls I know. A lot of the gripes in this book are directed at commonly asked questions (from wh ...more
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is an excellent book for referring you to other more informative books. This book is your snotty punk rock cheerleader that is begging you to take a hard line on your veganism. "WHY ARENT YOU VEGAN ALREADY!!?", over and over. OK, Cool. A easy read that gives you coping techniques for your nasty evil meat animal consuming friends, family, coworkers. "YOUR FRIENDS MIGHT TRY TO SNEAK MEAT IN YOUR FOOD!?!?". OK, cool, probably not people you want to hang out with to begin with. Not much deep in ...more
Eli Claire
I have mixed feelings about this book. I understood why the authors were very upfront and direct and insistent that you should go vegan and STAY vegan - it doesn't help anyone if you're being wishy-washy about it - but I still had trouble reading it at times because I felt like it was quite negative. Perhaps I thought so just because I was uncomfortable being judged (I am working on being vegan but am not 100% there yet) and I don't think being vegetarian is the worst thing you could possibly be ...more
Aug 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mostly people who are already vegan or have been for a short time
Shelves: read-in-2010
I didn't find this book as abrasive as some other reviewers did. The authors do take a very no-nonsense in your face approach to their veganism, the book is about becoming and living uncompromisingly as a vegan and that is stressed through the whole book. They are a little harsh on vegetarians but I expected that from reading other reviews and it didn't put me off at all.

This book is just an overview of what veganism is and what it means to be an ethical vegan. It is not as in depth as a new ve
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blunt and to the point in their characteristic no-shit style Bob and Jenna Torres break down veganism into all it's moving parts. Perfect vegan primer for someone who can handle a little fire in their morality. The authors cover everything from why cheese is addictive to which brands of latex condom are vegan. (Note: non-latex condoms are ALL vegan, hypoallergenic and HELL OF easier to find not to mention cheaper.) Bob and Jenna are not hippies, they are not anachronists. They live in the same w ...more
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm not a vegan, and i'm not trying to become a vegan, but i thought this would be an interesting book to read, to learn their viewpoint. i did learn some new facts and some insights. i also found it a little judgey, especially the part where they're saying you have to become vegan for the right reasons, and can never cheat. it seems to me as long as you're doing your best, it's better than nothing! the funny thing is, they say they're against judgey vegans. lol. Anyway, overall, this was a fast ...more
I am not sure what this was supposed to be - a guidline for new vegans? An attempt to get more people to become vegan? An autobiography?

With the kind of smug attitude I am not sure either works. And no, sorry, drawing my attention to your sense of humor in the introduction while slamming those who criticised it in the first edition, only made
me notice how corny it is. Ok, i would have noticed anyway. Hard to miss with the 'i am
so perfect' attitude.

I skimmed to the end, i admit, but it was a qu
Linda Hopf
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I read it because I was curious. I wanted to get a mini lesson on what being vegan means. I know a few who practice and am always amazed at the list of "verboten" foods/candies/products. I agree - people should be more aware of where/how we get our food. I am trying to make ethical choices. I do not like meat - I always think of it as chewing flesh but I do own a leather sofa and I still can't manage to worry about taking honey from a bee. ...more
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