Sunday, 10 June 2012

Being Vegan by Joanne Stepanik

Book Review by Emily, Vegan Pledge Buddy 2012 

Being Vegan reads like a definitive guide to vegan living. Incredibly easy to read, the author appears to speak in a soothing tone as she answers many of the common questions that people often have about this lifestyle. The book itself is a compilation of some of the thousands of questions that she has received about compassionate vegan living from individuals all over the world.

The questions and responses reflect a number of varied topics. These include definitions of veganism, veganism and evolution/religion/spirituality, alternatives to animal fibres, vegan students on campus, employment, reproduction, activism and so forth. A large chunk of the book examines questions concerning social relationships with others who are not vegan. These questions are addressed extensively and focus on mixed relationships (when one person is vegan but the other is not) as well as dealing with parents, friends and relatives. The author further offers insights into raising vegan children, talking to teachers, being vegan at social celebrations (a wedding or party) and vegan etiquette (constructive ways of dealing with non-vegan gifts).

The book is very thorough and even manages to shed light on fine-tuned issues. For example, one person writes with questions concerning vegan art supplies, whilst others ask questions pertaining to ethical ways of controlling uninvited intruders (e.g., ants, mice). Another vegan ponders what to do with non-vegan heirlooms.

Being Vegan examines ethical veganism in its entirety (i.e., veganism that extends beyond plant based eating alone), so it is an excellent resource for those who wish to extend veganism to other areas of their life aside from food. An excellent read and very worthwhile exploring.

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