BOOK REVIEW: The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals

The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals

Today’s vegan cookbooks have stylish layouts and snazzy professional photos; they’re urbane and gourmet—sometimes to a fault. Welcome back to the old school. The Cookbook for People who Love Animals was first published in 1980. It features typewriter text and sparse line drawings by somebody’s 5th grade sister. Here’s a cookbook that hearkens back to the day when veg*nism was still heavily influenced by the 60s counterculture; when health food stores were dark and dusty little nooks—not sprawling megacorporations.

That said, it’s not a bad little cookbook. Aside from the wheatgrass concoctions, it contains recipes for dishes I enjoy eating and preparing. This book ‘s authors see diet and activism as intertwined. I’m pleased to see the humane reasons for a plant-based diet presented along with recipes, but some of the over-earnest, New Age-tinged material had me wincing. Honestly, is an activism march set to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” going to convince anyone to choose a cruelty-free lifestyle? Much better to leave in the timeless quotes by Gandhi and Tolstoy, ditch the silliness.

What also should have been left out of subsequent printings, but for a far more serious reason, is the chapter “Recipes for Dogs and Cats.” The authors posit that cats can be healthfully maintained on a homemade vegetarian diet, advice that tends to result in sick and dying felines. The authors also suggest a grain-heavy diet for cats—which is in fact a nightmare for a cat’s system and can result in deadly urinary tract blockages and diabetes. Finally, several of the recipes include onions, which are toxic to dogs and cats! These diets won’t help your companions “evolve into gentler, healthier pets,” but they will rack up some impressive vet bills. Not exactly a good way to love animals.

If you disregard the misinformed section on pet diets, this is still a decent and friendly little cookbook. You’ll find yourself referring to it when you want to cook simple, homestyle meals.

(review originally appeared at goodreads.com)

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbie Talamo
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 16:42:38

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  2. Gutterhelmet
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 03:18:21

    My neighbor had their gutters replaced this summer and found a parrot living in one of them! Some of the places animals escape to and hide when they are released are crazy! Have you seen these? http://www.gutterhelmet.com/blog/8-crazy-photos-of-animals-living-in-gutters/

    Reply

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