Months ago, I saw an episode of Oprah (I'm not a huge fan, but I'll watch when it's a topic I find interesting) and Alicia Silverstone was featured promoting her new book, "The Kind Diet." I loved the episode and I couldn't wait to learn more. I immediately put myself on the library waiting list for "The Kind Diet." Along with everyone else in the Tucson area. Oh, yeah, the list was really really long. But I waited. And I waited. And I waited. I watched as my name crawled toward the top of the list. I thought I would never get there, but finally I could see some light at the end of the tunnel. I was in the single digits- "You are now 9th of 389 holds on 15 copies." And then I found out we were going to France for three months. That was awesome, but I knew my name would come up and I would miss it. So I removed my name and put it right back on the list. The point is this: I've been waiting a LONG time to read this book and I was thrilled when I was able to bring it home.
It is a book promoting the Vegan lifestyle and explaining how a plant-based diet is so much better for the planet, the animals and, probably most relevant for me, for yourself. Don't get me wrong, I love the Earth and I try to be as green as I possibly can and, while I'm not a huge animal person, I have no interest in the suffering of other creatures. It's just that the "this is so much better for your body" part is what spoke mostly loudly to me.
From the book jacket: [Alicia Silverstone] explains how meat, fish, milk, and cheese- the very goods we've been taught to regard as the cornerstones of good nutrition- are actually the culprits behind escalating rates of disease and the cause of dire, potentially permanent damage to our ecology.... Whether your goal is to drop a few pounds, boost your energy and metabolism, or simply save the world, Alicia provides the encouragement, the information, and the tools you need to make the transition to a plant-based diet deliciously empowering.
I found the book interesting, easy to read and relatable. It begins with all the reasons meat and dairy products are "nasty" to the Earth, the animals, and our bodies. I didn't find it graphic like many things I've read about animal rights and the cruelty of the animal-food system, but it was clear enough. The next section of the book explains how easy it can be to go from a meat eater to a vegan and beyond to a version of macrobiotics if the reader is interested. Finally, the last section is filled with delicious-looking recipes. I admit I haven't tried them yet, but I will. Oh, I will.
After reading this book, I can make no promises that I will become a vegan, but entering that lifestyle does appeal to me on more than one level. I have found myself looking at my dinner plate with a very different perspective lately. I have committed myself to serving more meat-free meals to my family and to reducing the amount of dairy I consume. That last part will be a little easier since I've never really been a milk fan. I want to be healthier. I want my husband to be healthier. And I especially want my children to grow up healthy and prepared to take care of those little bodies that I worked so hard to create within mine.
I may have borrowed this book from my local library (I love my library! If you aren't on excellent terms, nay, best friends with your local library, you don't know what you are missing! Please get over there right away!), but I have already put it in my Amazon.com shopping cart. I can't wait to have my own copy to re-read and to use in my kitchen. Even if you aren't interested in going vegan, I would encourage you to pick this book up, give it a read and see what you learn. You just never know...