Nonfiction Food Books for My Vegetarian Soul

/ posted in: FoodReading

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of food memoirs about people who are really into food. The more offbeat the food is, the better. They love their offal and bone marrow. I like food memoirs but I’d like to read one that actually has food that sounds good. I want to read one that doesn’t take numerous cheap shots at vegans. I want to read one that doesn’t make me feel bad about donkeys.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering MyselfFinding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve read Finding Ultra before but it is a good place to start with vegan memoirs. Rich Roll was a 40 year old former college athlete in the worst shape of his life when he decided to take control of his diet. His wife was into healthy eating so he decided to listen to her and almost accidentally became an ultra-endurance athlete.

Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's MemoirCommitted: A Rabble-Rouser’s Memoir by Dan Mathews

 

“Committed” is a bold, offbeat, globe-trotting memoir that shows how the most ridiculed punching bag in high school became an internationally renowned crusader for the most downtrodden individuals of all — animals. This irresistibly entertaining book recounts the random incidents and soul-searching that inspired a reluctant party boy to devote his life to a cause, without ever abandoning his sense of mischief and fun. “Everyone has a tense moment in their career that makes them wonder, how the hell did I get into this mess?” writes Mathews. “For me, it was when I was dressed as a carrot to promote vegetarianism outside an elementary school in Des Moines, and a pack of obese pig farmers showed up and peeled off slices of bologna for kids to throw at me.”from Goodreads

I’m not a PETA fan but this one might be interesting.

The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern TimesThe Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times by Tristram Stuart

 

“The Bloodless Revolution is a pioneering history of puritanical revolutionaries, European Hinduphiles, and visionary scientists who embraced radical ideas from the East and conspired to overthrow Western society’s voracious hunger for meat. At the heart of this compelling history are the stories of John Zephaniah Holwell, survivor of the Black Hole of Calcutta, and John Stewart and John Oswald, who traveled to India in the eighteenth century, converted to the animal-friendly tenets of Hinduism, and returned to Europe to spread the word. Leading figures of the Enlightenment among them Rousseau, Voltaire, and Benjamin Franklin gave intellectual backing to the vegetarians, sowing the seeds for everything from Victorian soup kitchens to contemporary animal rights and environmentalism.” from Goodreads

I’m excited about this one! I’m already reserved it at my library.

Veganomics: The Surprising Science on What Motivates Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the BedroomVeganomics: The Surprising Science on What Motivates Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the Bedroom by Nick Cooney

 

“Vegetarians differ from omnivores not just in their eating habits but also in their psychology, personalities, friendship choices, even their sex lives. Extensive studies from around the world show that they vote differently, take different jobs, and have brains that fire differently. This research also provides insight into why people who consider themselves vegetarian may not really be vegetarian at all, and why so many fall off the vegetarian wagon.

Veganomics is a fascinating journey through the science on vegetarians and vegetarian eating, shedding new light on how and why people eat the way they do, and what impact their dietary choices can have on the world around us. Be forewarned: after reading this book, you may never look at vegetarians the same way again!” from Goodreads

This one may journey a bit into the “Ooooh, vegetarians are weird…” category. I’m not sure but I’ll check it out. I’d also like to recommend it to the fella who recently took my order for a specific breakfast sandwich “without meat” who responded, “Do you still want the bacon on that though?”

Vanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream OrchidVanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream Orchid by Tim Ecott

 

“From the golden cups of Aztec emperors to the ice-cream dishes of U.S. presidents, Vanilla has mystified and tantalized man for centuries. The only orchid that produces an agriculturally valuable crop, vanilla can mask unpleasant tastes and smells, but also makes pleasant tastes stronger, smoother, and longer lasting. Because it has over four hundred separate flavor components, choosing premium vanilla beans is as complex as judging the aroma and taste of fine wine. Vanilla finds its way into over half of all dessert products sold worldwide, as well as the finest perfumes, well-known brands of rum and vodka, and even Coca-Cola and Pepsi.” from Goodreads

This isn’t a vegan book per se but vanilla is my favorite scent and flavor and I can’t think of a meat dish that uses it so it gets to go on the list.