A few months ago I was offered the opportunity to review a new publication for an interesting audience: vegetarians interested in learning more about veganism. The book is called Vegetarian to Vegan: Give up Dairy. Give up Eggs. For Good. and is authored by Sarah Taylor. It includes detailed sections on the dairy industry, egg industry, impact on health, impact on the environment, how to make the switch, and some yummy recipes to get started.
Within the first few pages, I was impressed by the honest and genuine approach Sarah took: identifying how each person needs to be ready to make a change. Highlighting this reality, I think, really opens some doors to people who may have otherwise felt turned off by veganism and makes the book inviting.
I have to be honest: this book took me quite some time to finish. I read it straight through, without skipping around, and needed to take breaks to preserve my sanity. The first two sections of the book, devoted to the deplorable details of the dairy and egg industries, are difficult to swallow. And they SHOULD be, because that's reality. Each section is meticulously detailed and comprehensive, providing information down to the specific infections that are common on dairy farms and in hatcheries. I learned so much from reading just these two sections - and I've been vegan (and a token vegan who gets questions on the daily about the lifestyle) for nearly 6 years!
The section devoted to physical health and the effects of dairy and eggs was eye-opening. Those chapters clarified information that I had known anecdotally, providing hard evidence and medical explanations in easily understood terms. Do you know, mechanically, how cow's milk affects cancer cells in the body? You will after reading this book.
The environmental chapters were especially mind-blowing… I now can say that I have a firmer, and more terrifying, understanding of climate change - especially just how factory farming has become such a major contributor. This section, as well as the others, equipped me with the knowledge needed to combat asinine questions about environmental issues, as well as genuine ignorance about the issues.
I would highly recommend this book to any vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, omnivorous, health-conscious, hippie environmentalist, and/or animal loving human out there. A BIG thank you to Ms. Sarah Taylor!