Reviewed by TVA volunteer Florence McCambridge
Raised in a half-Italian, half-Swedish household, Eric C. Lindstrom basically grew up on meatballs and chicken Parmesan. He was a meat lover and proud of it. But after several of his friends in their mid-forties and early fifties died of heart attacks and after having his own health scare that landed him in the hospital, Eric was forced to reevaluate his diet. In his new book, The Skeptical Vegan: My Journey from Notorious Meat Eater to Tofu-Munching Vegan – A Survival Guide, Eric tells the story of how he went from an insatiable meat eater to a vegan, seemingly overnight.
His decision to go vegan was influenced by Jen, his girlfriend at the time and now his wife. She was vegetarian and gluten free when they first started dating, and when she decided to go vegan for 30 days Eric agreed to do it with her.
He writes honestly about the struggles he faced in those first few weeks. Even though going vegan wasn’t easy, he decided to keep it up when the 30 days were over and he hasn’t stopped since. He went all-in early on, giving away everything leather, wool, and silk in his closet. He stresses that this was his choice, but that if you would rather transition to that phase slowly that’s fine too. As he puts it, “…I am doing the very best I can and would never go against being vegan intentionally. Being vegan simply means I am trying to suck less.”
If you’re thinking about becoming vegan, this book will give you some useful tips and prepare you for some of the conversations people will want to have when they hear about your lifestyle, like “Is breast milk vegan?” and “Do plants feel pain?”
If you’re already vegan, you’ll be able to relate to Eric’s anecdotes, and you’ll probably laugh out loud at some of the experiences he had, like attempting to order anything from a steakhouse.
The Skeptical Vegan is a lighthearted, funny look at one man’s transition to veganism. It includes a tongue-and-cheek reference guide to the ABCs of Being Vegan, which includes many of the “types” of vegans like the Angry Vegan, Lazy Vegan, and Oreo Vegan. There are recipes for everything from a super simple spaghetti Bolognese made with lentils and store-bought marinara sauce to a protein-packed tofu scramble with peppers, broccoli, and jalapenos. I also appreciate that Eric takes the time to address raising children vegan and even having a vegan dog as a pet, as many other books on veganism don’t touch on these subjects.
The Skeptical Vegan also has a guide on how to order vegan at fast-food restaurants in the United States. (You can check out our own fast food guide here!) And Torontonians will be thrilled to see YamChops mentioned in the chapter on the growing trend of vegan butchers.
The Skeptical Vegan by Eric C. Lindstrom is published by Skyhorse Publishing and is available in bookstores now. This title will be available at the TVA bookstore at this year’s Veg Food Fest.