The intent of this book and video review guide is to help us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth.
Authors: Carol Adams, Patti Breitman, Virginia Messina
Reviewed by: Robert Cohen, NotMilk.com
Teaching Middle-Agers New Vegan Tricks
"You can't teach the old maestro a new tune."
- Jack Kerouac
"You cannot teach old dogs new tricks."
- Joseph Chamberlain
After a devastating stroke, my father became a vegan during the ninth decade of his life. Dad could not boil water or toast bread, and mom was his lifelong food preparer. Two old dogs faced the challenge of learning together how to recreate their daily cuisine by having only their son as a guide. There was no book to teach them that it is never to late to go vegan.
Yesterday, I read such a book. The title perfectly describes the 330-page contents:
NEVER TO LATE TO GO VEGAN, written by three brilliant well-known vegans, Carol Adams, Patti Breitman, and Virginia Messina. The collaboration was creatively conceived. Patti Breitman became a well-known and much-respected literary agent who edited the 1985 book which acquainted me with an alternative way of eating, Harvey and Marilyn Diamond's "Fit for Life".
During the 1990's, Virginia Messina became the co-author (along with her husband Mark) of many vegan texts including a landmark book on soy.
Last but not least, is a woman whom I often refer to in my own lectures as the modern-day Hypatia of Alexandria, a female Greek philosopher who changed her world, just as Carol Adams has inspired many of today's vegans and non-vegans with her spiritual wisdom.
Throughout life, a man or woman must take a (sometimes painful) first step in order to begin a lifestyle change. I have taken hundreds or more steps during my 20-year evolving process, and continue to learn every day about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. Along the way, I have made many errors. Two steps forward, one step back. Three steps forward, two steps back. It has not been an easy journey. I have a theory. Most people recognize the benefits of a plant-based diet, and know (deep, deep, deep down inside) that one day, they will forever give up cheesesteak sandwiches and ice cream sundaes. During past generations, doctors were not taught the benefits of a vegan diet as part of their medical school education. During this generation, doctors now put stroke and cardio patients on vegan diets after the traumatic event to prolong their lives. In the next generation, doctors will advise their patients to become vegan to prevent cancers, bone disease, and heart disease which plague us.
We have come a long way without a detailed road map.
"Never Too Late to Go Vegan" is much more than such a guide. It is the GPS fast-track to an Edenic garden of good health.
The book begins with a preface explaining those journeys of the three authors. Patti admits:
"I was a terrible cook before I became a vegan."
Our hearts go out to Carol, who writes:
"I became a vegan in 1974 when I was 23, after the death of my pony in a hunting accident... Two teenagers were target practicing in the woods behind our land... That night, I bit into a hamburger mid-bite: What was the difference between eating a dead cow and a dead pony?"
Ginny's statement mirrors the acts of many people I know and have grown to love: "I was one of those kids who was always bringing home stray puppies and injured birds - but it wasn't until adulthood that I made the connection between the food on my plate and the lives (and deaths) of animals."
Right near the beginning (page 4), the authors present their unique proposition to the book's readers:
"We propose that what are commonly thought of as diseases of aging (cancer, heart disease, diabetes) are no such thing. They are often the result of lifestyle choices over many decades that increase our odds of getting sick."
I'll drink to that!
The author's writing styles and theme presentations make for interesting reading. To support major conclusions, the writers present top five or top ten lists, with references. For example...
PAGE 6: You probably could eat 5 vegan snacks right now
PAGE 20: Five Things to Know as You Become Vega
PAGE 23: Ten Ways to Get Started
PAGE 26: Tips to Get Started:
Patti: "I attended a monthly potluck dinner for vegetarians..."
Carol: "The realization that tofu could become a cheese substitute..."
Ginny: "I rarely eat traditional breakfast food, but instead am likely to have a bowl of lentil soup or a veggie burger first thing in the morning."
PAGE 28: Five Vegan Myths Busted
PAGE 32: Five Things to Enjoy as You Become Vegan
On page 49, they offer Four Step advice any future vegan should digest:
How to Give Up Cheese
Throughout the book, many different vegans offer their own experiences regarding the lifestyle change. These presentations are fun to read, and informative.
In PART 2 (beginning on page 64), we are treated to their treatise on: Why and How We Age.
On PAGES 80-81, there is a valuable chart: Healthy Plant Foods: The Best of the Best. This chart alone is worth the price of admission (he Purchase of this book!).
Satisfying Your Protein Needs?
PAGE 88: Five Things to Do With Canned Beans
I particularly enjoyed how the authors deal with family dynamics. There are always friends and family members who aggressively critique the vegan lifestyle choice. On page 141, they offer 5 Tips for Affirming Family Traditions.
This book is about acceptance and denial. On page 156, 5 Tips for Talking with Non-Vegans are creatively offered.
Adams, Breitman, and Messina save the best for last. The food. The recipes. The menu.
On Page 205, you are invited: Let's Eat!
AND...for the next 100+ pages, be prepared for extreme Pavlovian conditioned responses.
Carol J. Adams is the author of the pioneering The Sexual Politics of Meat, called a “vegan bible” by The New York Times and now in a twentieth-anniversary edition, plus more than twenty other books and over one hundred articles. She frequently speaks on college campuses. She is working on a memoir about her decade as a caregiver. She lives near Dallas, Texas, with her partner and their two rescued dog companions, Holly and Inky. Find out more about Carol at caroljadams.com.
Patti Breitman is the director of the Marin Vegetarian Education Group and a cofounder of Dharma Voices for Animals. She is the coauthor, with Connie Hatch, of How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty and, with Carol J. Adams, of How to Eat Like a Vegetarian Even If You Never Want to Be One. Patti is on the advisory council of the Animals and Society Institute and grows vegetables in her community garden. She teaches seasonal vegan cooking classes in Marin County, California, where she lives.
Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, is coauthor of Vegan for Life and Vegan for Her and of the first textbook on vegetarian nutrition for medical professionals. She writes and speaks on vegan nutrition for both consumers and health professionals. Ginny serves on the advisory board of the Vegetarian Resource Group and on the board of directors of VegFund. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington, with her husband and an ever-changing population of rescued cats. Find out more about Ginny at TheVeganRD.com.
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