Starter kit for new vegans: Up the Folks style.

January 8, 2011 at 9:35 am 2 comments

Today’s post was inspired by Mama Pea’s Employees Pick post over at Peas and Thank You

I feel like I talk a lot more about veganism than most of my friends and acquaintances would like. This would normally bother me, as I try to live my life in a way that offends as few people as possible. However, with veganism I usually throw caution to the wind, state my opinion, and encourage others to look in to changing their habits in a similar way. It is one of the only things about which I am unabashedly an activist.

I was recently able to see a whole new crop of vegetarian college students come in to being during an english 101 class where we read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I watched them beginning this journey and I felt old. They were worrying about things like protein and family dinners and all the things that I had to deal with when I first switched to a vegetarian lifestyle at 12 years old. 8 years later,  because of my years of experience, I want to offer a list of the resources, cookbooks, and reading materials that helped me when I was first starting out and have continued to use as I have been living my vegan life. I hope that if you (a theoretical stranger considering veganism) stumble on to this site, this list may help you with this process.

1.) Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

I first read VwaV about 6 months after going vegan (I say read, because I sat down and read it cover to cover like a novel) and even though the recipes are great and I have used them consistently for the last 4 years, they were not the most important thing about this book to my  newly vegan, isolated self. What struck me, and helped me about this book was Isa. Her writing made me feel like this choice I had made was smart and dooable and not something outlandish like most of my family (excluding the 5 people that make up my mother and her family) and all but one of my friends were implying at the time. this book made me feel like I was normal, and more importantly it made me feel like I was super punx.

2.) Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

I’ve talked about this book  ad nauseam, but in case you don’t feel like reading my lengthy review I’ll sum up my feelings about it in one sentence: It made me cry, and gave me hope.

3.) Earthlings
It is informative, terrifying, heartbreaking, and not something to watch if you aren’t completely ready to become a vegan. That is to say, it would be hard for the average human with even the slightest bit of empathy to watch this and not eschew all animal products and systems that allow animal abuse. I know vegans who could not watch this all the way through, but it is important. I leave the decision up to you, but suggest trying to give it a watch.

4.) Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook by Carole Raymond

This book really doesn’t have much to do with the ethics of veganism, but it does have a bunch of really delicious cheap recipes that make enough for 1 or 2 people. This works particularly well for me as a single college student. It uses simple ingredients that most starter vegans can find at a “normal” grocery store, and doesn’t require trips to specialty stores for every recipe.

5.) Vegan a Go-Go by Sarah Kramer

This is another book, much like VwaV, where the recipes are amazing but what really rules are the travel tips and stories that Sarah Kramer shares. I can relate to her stories, and she has an easy way about her writing that makes it seem like she accepts everyone. This is particularly great for new vegans who may be feeling intimidated by people in the community that may appear standoffish or superior. Sarah Kramer is neither of those things, she is awesome.

Please feel free too leave further suggestions for new vegans in the comments!


Entry filed under: Book talk, food, vegan, Wall Of Text.

Joe-Joe winner!! Procrastination Station

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Emma  |  January 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I love posts like these! Saw yours linked from the comment section on Peas and Thank You, and I think it’s great. I love books, but don’t like to spend my hard earned money on just anything! It’s nice to have recommendations for people who are interested in this lifestyle from people who have experience.

    • 2. Emmeline  |  January 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm

      I’m glad you liked the list, I try to support people who are new to the lifestyle, but I’m not always sure how.


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