Book Review: Vegan Minded: Becoming a Steward for Animals, People, and the Planet

It’s not often that I come across books with ‘vegan’ in the title — particularly now that ‘plant-based’ has become the less controversial, more mainstream alternative. Yet I still prefer vegan and probably always will.

In Vegan Minded Christine Cook Mania has penned a heartfelt and inspiring account of her vegan journey, from the day she turned vegetarian at age 17 (shout out to PETA) to today. Along the way, we learn about the stages of change, the joys of FOMO, insights into living a more sustainable life and the many ways that a vegan journey changes not just you but the relationships you have with those around you. We are all social creatures, which can make veganism particularly challenging for those more comfortable fitting it. As the author notes, while it may be easier to eat vegan nowadays it’s not necessarily any easier to be vegan.

Sometimes it’s not easy being vegan because of people, not because of the food or the clothes or the shampoo or the shower cleaner. It’s the people. Humans make it challenging. Humans are challenging … The human need to belong is not to be underestimated, and we eat three meals a day at least. When I’m different at almost every meal, sometimes it feels like I don’t belong. I find that nonvegans — the omnivores — tend to talk about my vegan more than I talk about it.

Very few of us are born vegan. Which means we each have to find our way there. It can take a great deal of courage to get there. And it can be a lonely life. I find that learning from the journeys of others provides both comfort and strength.

Which is why this book will make such a great companion on anyone’s vegan journey.


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