Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Vegan Must-Read!

A brief departure from food today, to talk about a vegan must-read - Meat Market.

When Erik Marcus published his new book Meat Market last year, I bought a 'six-pack' from his early print run. Since then, I have given these copies to some friends and family members that have expressed interest in the vegan diet.

Two very good friends have made significant changes in their diets after reading Erik's book. One friend that was previously vegetarian is now eating almost completely vegan, and her family as well. My other friend is making more gradual changes, but in a carnivorous household that is now eating vegan meals several times a week and less meat. They have both said that Meat Market is a powerful book that has made them stop and think about how they live and has impacted their daily choices.

I initially met Erik through e-mail. I was completely delighted when he agreed to write the foreword to Vive le Vegan! I finally met Erik in person at a vegetarian festival back in October. How pleased I was to chat with such an important, influential leader of the vegan movement that is also so very genuine and 'real'!

If you listen to Erik's podcasts on Vegan.com and have read his books, you will understand that this is his life's work. Erik writes, travels, records his podcasts all with the goal to reduce and hopefully one day eliminate the animal suffering primarily caused by factory farming. Meat Market is important reading for all of us. It is even more useful if we can get others, who have even a hint of interest in vegan living or reducing animal suffering, to read it.

Please promote Erik's book and support his activism by buying a copy of Meat Market, or maybe two. You too may have friends that make a shift towards a healthier, more compassionate diet after reading this book.


Harmonia said...

A friend of me asked if there was a vegan alternative to cottage cheese. Do you know of one?

Maddy said...

I will getthis book Dreena,
thankyou for the recommendation!

Dreena said...

Hi Harmonia! I haven't seen anything commercially available, but I'm sure there are some 'mock' recipes. Gosh, I never much liked cottage cheese, so I can't imagine wanting to imitate it... but maybe some of you have a recipe out there....? Sorry I don't have anything off-hand! :)

Hi Madelyn, I know you will find this a fascinating, thought-provoking read. It is incredibly well researched and written as well.

Harmonia said...

Yeah. I was never a fan of it when I did eat a lot of dairy. I googled it and found a tofu based recipe...I gave it to her.

Incase anyone else knows of one...let me know. Thanks!

I also responded about the Gnocchi! As I will do here since it wasn't all that much...LOL...it was good but I think I may have cooked it a little long. Some of it was mushy. I can live with it for as often as I eat it.


Emily said...

I really want to read this book, but I'm scared. I just know that it will make me want to give up dairy and that's just not a real possibility for me at this time. But then, I know a lot of meat-eaters who are scared of reading Fast Food Nation for the same reason and I would encourage them to read it.

In the same vein, have you read Diet for a New America? I keep meaning to read that as well.

On a different note, I made your peanut better cookies this weekend and they are great. I still have one more at home (if my husband doesn't get to it first!).

Anonymous said...

Good recommendation Dreena. I always thought I had good reasons for being vegan. Meat Market confirmed everything for me.

juliehasson said...

Hi Dreena!

Even though I haven't had time to respond to your posts lately, they're great as always!

I bought this book when Erik Marcus came through Portland last fall. I've only recently started reading it, but it's a well written and thought-provoking book.

Harmonia, although I have personally always disliked cottage cheese, you can make a great faux ricotta (somewhat similar) with mashed up tofu and seasonings. There's a fabulous recipe in one of the Moosewood cookbooks where you puree tofu with tons of fresh basil and garlic and layer it into a lasagna. But you could also spread it on a pizza too (or simply eat it with a spoon : ). Yum!!

Rae said...


White Mountain Cottage Tofu Salad
I've never tried it, and I've seen another brand (whose name I'm forgeting) in a store near me. But I usually go for the Eggless Tofu Salad instead.

Follow Your Heart restaurant serves Cottage-Style Tofu which I've had on their Reuben. It became very tiresome after a few bites and scraped it off.

Usually if I need a cheese alternative on a sandwich, I reach for an avocado instead.

Dreena said...

Hi Emily! Glad you are enjoying the pb cookies!! You really should have check out this book - even have a look at your library. Unlike some of the activist literature out there, there is not a lot of gruesome animal suffering stories to have to read through. Erik has some information through the first couple of chapters that is somewhat difficult to read, however he explains in his book that he doesn't want to turn off readers so he doesn't include a lot of examples of animal cruelty cases. I appreciated that because those images and words just disturb me terribly. I have read Diet for a New America as well. It is excellent. It covers more of the health aspects of the vegan diet, whereas Meat Market focuses on the economics of factory farming, the lives of these animals, and strategies for change.

Thanks anonymous. I just feel it's very important to help Erik continue his valuable work, and people reading his books and spreading the word is one way to do so. :)

Hi Julie! Thanks again for your pleasant feedback!! I guess you are gearing up for your demo this weekend? Can be a lot of work to prepare for those events.

Thanks Julie and Rae for your tips to Harmonia!! :)

Julie said...

This looks like a great book--I will see if they have it at my library.

Since we are on the topic of books, Dreena... what is your favorite cookbook (besides your own!)?

Vicki said...

I have a hunch you are referring to me when you talk about your friends making dietary changes....Meat Market is excellent ( I am still reading it! ) but I really have to give you a lot of credit as well!! Your recipes make me realize that a vegan diet doesn't mean making "sacrifices" - it means eating delicious food, and feeling better on so many levels. My part-time meat-eater husband brought me home a vegan treat, and I said "thanks so much....but you know, it doesn't really compare with Dreena's baked goods!" Dreena, you must know how much of a postitive effect you have on the people around you (and the people that have the opportunity to make your recipes!!!)! Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dreena,

Thanks for the reminder! I love Erik's podcasts, and have been meaning to order this book.

I'm relieved to hear what you said about the lack of 'gruesome animal suffering stories'. While I know they are sometimes powerfully necessary for people who are unaware of them, for those of us that already are concerned and educated on the issue, these stories are just too horrifying to wade through with every new book.

Anyway, I'm so excited to read Erik's book, and plan on giving it to my husband to read first. He's not a vegan, but eats like one as long as we dine at home. Since my husband is a human rights activist, and studied ethics at university, he takes quite well to the ethical arguments for being a vegetarian/vegan. So far he has really enjoyed Peter Singer's essays, and now I think Erik's "Meat Market" will be a welcome companion.

~Marisa :)

Harmonia said...

Thank you for all of your help everyone! I will send the info to her soon!

Midweek Munchies is up! Check it out!

Dreena ~ What can I do with Kumquats?

Dreena said...

Hi Julie, yes, definitely go check it out! Re cookbooks - well, I'm a bit of a funny duck. I actually don't have as many cookbooks as people would think. I do have a nice little selection, but I am so often excited to create things on my own that I don't use them as much as I would like to. Then when I do, I often adapt the recipe a bit here and a bit there. Having said that, I get a lot of inspiration from cookbooks. One of my first cookbooks that got brought me into veggie cooking was of course the original Moosewood Cookbook. Although mostly lacto/ovo, it has great basic info in there and you can adapt many recipes. I also adore that it is in handwritten notes! I also love to peruse through Millenium cookbook, but I have never really made anything from it - too time intensive, BUT again, great material and educational. For Christmas I got the Cafe Flora cookbook that I was SO very excited about, because I love their food. Not all vegan recipes, but that's okay, however there are no dessert recipes in there, which puzzles me. But the other recipes look great (while not 'everyday' stuff), but I haven't tinkered with it yet.

Ah Vicki, yes, of course you are the dear, almost-completely-vegan friend I speak of!!! No more mystery, I don't have to keep you quiet anymore, phew!!! :) Well, thank you SO much. What a beautiful compliment. You are a darling and encouraging friend, thank you... thank you. (Are you trying for a double batch of brownies here?) :) :)

Hi Marisa! Thanks for your feedback. I think Meat Market will have a very strong impact on your husband if he already appreciates the ethical argument for being vegan. I can't imagine him not being convinced to eat vegan after reading Erik's book. And yes, you won't find it too gory to read. Erik includes some case studies in the epilogue, but you can get through the heart of his book without having to read those case studies. The other examples throughout the book are a few and there more to explain the conditions rather than to recount one horrible story after another. I can't read that kind of thing, I already know about it, and don't need more awful images swimming in my head. Anyhow, I hope you pick it up and good luck to you and your husband! :)