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Diet for a New America: Animals, the Environment, Human Health, and the Vegan Diet
Diet for a New America and Being Vegan
Diet for a New America is the book I read during my first days of becoming vegetarian, and then vegan. It is forever linked with that profound stage in my personal history, and I am grateful to have picked it up during that time of transition.
This book is a powerhouse of information and inspiration!
For about eight or ten months prior to reading Diet for a New America, I had an uncomfortable feeling that eating animals was wrong. This was a disturbing concept, since - like most other people - I had been raised to believe that eating meat, eggs, and dairy products was perfectly fine, natural, and healthy. For some time, I tried not to listen to my inner voice telling me that it may be better for me to be vegetarian. But my thoughts kept returning to this "crazy" idea of not eating meat. (I had not yet heard the term "vegan.")
I had the vague sense that eating meat was unhealthy for both my body and the environment. And it was obviously not healthy for the animals being consumed. It seemed that these things were all connected somehow, but I didn't have a clear sense of exactly what that meant.
How This Book Helped Me
I decided to learn more about vegetarianism. Browsing in a bookstore, I found Diet for a New America and started reading it within a day or two of when I stopped eating meat.
To say that reading this book at that time was a powerful experience would be a great understatement.
It truly changed my life and altered forever the way I saw myself, the meat, dairy, and egg industries, and how my food choices matter to myself and the wider world.
Diet for a New America puts into words that vague, nagging feeling I'd had that eating animals went hand-in-hand with poor human, environmental, and animal health. It compassionately and scientifically connects the dots to create a compelling picture of why a vegan diet is better for human health, the earth's environment, and the lives of animals.
I saw for the first time that the egg and dairy industries are every bit as unethical as the meat industry, and that they are inextricably tied to it. This was a huge reason for why I then became vegan and not just vegetarian. For more information, please read my article Veganism: What's Wrong with Dairy and Eggs?)
Although the topics covered in this book can be depressing, Diet for a New America is also uplifting, optimistic, and empowering. That is because it is clear that we all have a choice. We have an opportunity with each and every meal to make a difference in the world!
It should be noted that the author, John Robbins, is from the Robbins family of Baskin-Robbins, the great ice cream empire. He was raised strongly believing in the greatness of dairy and the dairy industry. The fact that someone with his background has come to the conclusion that the vegan lifestyle is far better for humans, animals, and the environment says a great deal to me about both veganism and his personal integrity and capacity to learn and grow.
Diet for a New America is an intelligently written resource outlining the facts about the benefits of a vegan diet. It cites numerous scientific studies and other data while also stressing the compassion of cruelty-free meals.
Now, some 20+ years after I first became vegetarian, Diet for a New America has been updated with a second edition, providing current information and statistics relevant to the discussion.
Here is a video interview with John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America. He gives a bit of information about the benefits of a plant-based diet and also clearly states that we must each make our own decisions with regard to our diets. Importantly, though, we cannot make good choices unless we know the facts and can understand the issues.
This video is less than 7 minutes long and gives a good sense of what he's all about.
What John Robbins has to say is truly profound and important, though the video itself is decidedly understated.
John Robbins Interview
My Vegan Living Articles
- Vegan Journey
Here are links to my numerous articles about vegan living. I've divided them into several categories: Getting Started, Family and Community, and Recipes. I've also included links to other websites.