There’s nothing like a new year to inspire lifestyle changes, and there is no better time than now to pick up The VegNews Guide to Being a Fabulous Vegan by Jasmin Singer & VegNews Magazine. This gorgeous book, whose subtitle is Look Good, Feel Good & Do Good in 30 Days, is a perfect companion for those who may be going vegan for Veganuary or as part of their New Year’s resolutions. (With its wealth of recipes and information, it’s also a wonderful companion to Protest Kitchen by Carol Adams and Virginia Messina.)
Singer and the VegNews team have created an incredible resource for anyone who is vegan or on their way. Singer’s warm and inviting writing style makes reading this book a pleasure, and it covers every aspect of being vegan, not only as a diet but as a compassionate way of life for all animals, human and nonhuman alike. And perhaps most important, it reminds us that we’re not here to be perfect but to be the very best we can be. What better way to begin 2021?
The thirty short, accessible chapters in the book cover issues related to veganism—from health to animal agriculture to fashion—accompanied by mouth-watering recipes for everything from breakfast (like Day 4’s Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Boat) to snacks (check out Day 8’s Chocolate Almond Oat Power Bars) to desserts (don’t miss Day 25’s Heavenly Dark Chocolate Torte).
This guide is as perfect for longtime vegans as it is for new vegans. If you’re new to the vegan life, you’ll learn why it’s the best diet for your health, for animals, for fellow humans, and for the planet (not to mention for your sex life). You’ll learn why you will have no trouble getting the protein you need, and how to deal with friends, relatives, and strangers who may question your new way of living and eating. You’ll learn the history of veganism and how to raise healthy, happy vegan kids. And so much more.
If you’re a longtime vegan, not only will you love the recipes, but you’ll enjoy the inspiring information that reminds you why you’ve chosen this path, like the lists of new and amazing foods (from fast foods to faux meats to plant-based cheeses) that make being vegan easier and more delicious than ever; the forward-thinking designers creating beautiful and cruelty-free fashion choices; and the mantra that all vegans must keep in mind: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
For new vegans, this book openly and honestly addresses and refutes the myths about veganism that often stand in the way of those who are considering trying it. To name just a few, you’ll learn why soy is beneficial, not harmful (Day 16: “Soy Joy (or, No, You Won’t Grow Man-Boobs”); how easily you can get all the protein you need (“You’ll get your protein from the same place as the elephants, giraffes and moose: nutrition-packed plants”); and how to stay happily vegan on the road to anywhere (including fast food, airport, and small-town options).
The VegNews Guide to Being a Fabulous Vegan also discusses the most important reasons for being vegan: the animals. You’ll learn about the personalities and social lives of farmed animals, the cruelty of factory farming, the use and abuse of animals in fashion, and the degradation of the environment. You’ll learn why animal agriculture (even “humane” farming), animal testing, and animal products in cosmetics, clothing, and furniture are not okay—and how to easily substitute any animal-use products for compassionate options.
And the final chapter addresses the difference compassion makes: Every individual life matters, human or nonhuman, and by making a difference for nonhuman animals and the planet, you’re making a difference to every human you encounter by way of example. “Most important,” Singer writes, “you’ll be out there shining in your corner of this world, knowing deep down that you’re doing your absolute best, and living your own, beautiful truth in your one, glorious life. Enjoy the ride.”
Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.