Customer Reviews: The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life: Cruelty-Free Crafts, Recipes, Beauty Secrets and More
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on November 3, 2010
I just received this yesterday, so I haven't made any of the recipes yet. The book is stuffed full with timely, relevant info about leading a vegan lifestyle - vegan cooking/foods, vegan clothes and footwear, lists of vegan cosmetics companies on the Web, etc. Oh, and crafts, too! All presented in an attractive and fun format. I'm 44 and not all that hip, :), but I really like this book so far, a lot more than I thought I would. It's more like a little reference book for vegans. I wish I had this book 3 yrs ago when I first went vegan. The recipes look great, too, can't wait to try them. (Thank you for including a biscuits and gravy recipe!!)
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on November 4, 2010
I just received this book yesterday and I have already read the whole thing! The book is very aesthetically pleasing, with pretty page layouts and nice thick pages. There is basic info on animal rights, vegan nutrition, and how to deal with friends/family, which is to be expected in any vegan book. What sets this book apart is it's focus on things that many other books overlook: makeup, tattoos, and more DIY things like crafts, homemade cleaning supplies, and gardening. Short interviews with prominent female vegan bloggers, business owners and artists are spread throughout the book.

The recipes are a nice mix between simple, quick eats and fancy, impressive entrees. I highly recommend this book and look forward to any other books Melisser Elliott comes out with.
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on November 4, 2010
I got my vegan girl's guide to life today! I am ecstatic about the content. The book offers more resources for modern, urban vegan girls than any other source I've encountered. There's everything from a list of vegan cosmetic companies, clothing and shoe designers, and bakeries to recipes, how to stock a pantry, and advice for budget vegans. I can honestly say that this is THE vegan read of the year.
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on April 4, 2011
When the title included beauty secrets I assumed that there would be actual beauty tips or maybe even homemade beauty recipes. But there are none, she includes vegan and cruelty free products but I could get that for free from PETA. It feels like every other page has information on some company or blog which feels to me like one big advertisment.
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on March 14, 2011
This book would be extremely helpful to someone just starting out in veganism. It gives the reader a lot of really great information and is done in a *really* cute style. I do take issue with the section in the book where Ms. Elliott writes about vegan pets. If a reader wants to feed their dog a vegan diet, I get it, but just because that gels with your beliefs, it isn't necessarily the best thing for your pet. Ms. Elliott states that dogs are purely omnivorous, which, scientifically, isn't true. They are non-obligate carnivores with opportunistic omnivorous traits - I just feel the subject was dealt with too lightly, and people should REALLY do their research on the pros and cons of feeding companion animals vegan diets. Talk to your veterinarian, do your research, and do what is deemed best for your furry family member, whatever that may be. Other than that this book is great to start with, and has really good product lists and other good information.
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on December 22, 2010
As a vegan, I was excited to get this book as I've been following Melisser's blog for some time, the book is really informative and does a great job of listing vegan manufacturers and products, but I think the thing that really grabbed my attention with this book was the "beauty secrets" it lists on the cover, nowhere in the book does it list beauty secrets, unless listing manufacturers for vegan makeup is a beauty secret. Also, I was a little put off by the vegan blogger bio's/entrepreneur profiles that took up quite a few pages. If you are familiar with the author as a blogger and follow blogs...than you are more than likely already familiar with all the people it lists. Overall it's a great book and the vegan manufacturer lists and recipes are great, but would of personally like to of seen some real vegan "beauty secrets".
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on November 15, 2010
So my copy arrived a few days ago. Of course, I spent the afternoon reading it, pretty much cover to cover. First off, the book is adorable, which makes flipping through the pages (that happen to be thick and glossy and full of color on every page) so much fun. Secondly, Melisser does an awesome job of highlighting vegans from all over the world, from every walk of life. It is so interesting to read their stories. But, don't think that this book is for beginners only, either. Vegans of every level will learn a thing or two from this book. For example, we all do our best to check the ingredients of our foods, and our beauty products, right? Of course we do. We check to make sure our shampoo, our make-up, our toothpaste, our hair dye, even our shaving cream is vegan and wasn't tested on animals. I do too, but I never would have thought to check the actual RAZORS! Melisser has schooled me in my bad shaving ways, and I will no longer buy razors with those little moisturizing strips...becuase guess what? They're not vegan! I wholeheartedly recommend this book. There are tips for just about everything a vegan girl does in her daily life. Not to mention DIY crafts, beauty hints, recipes, and cute little drawings.
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on November 19, 2010
I really wish I'd had this book when I first went vegan. Melisser details the hows and whys of being vegan and compassionate simply and succinctly, with wit and charm. The crafts are relatively easy and super fun! Who doesn't want to make their own produce bags? The recipes are out of this world delicious, my personal favorites include the acorn squash stuffed with apple-sage rice, the ladybros apple pie, the almond-lime cake with lime-rosemary icing, the sloppy joes, the chipotle hominy stew, and the 2 bean potato hash.

The book is full of adorable illustrations, interviews with vegan ladies from around the world, and helpful information (even for those of us who have been vegan for a long time). Do yourself a favor and pick it up!
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on October 12, 2012
What I liked: I appreciated the way she broke down the nutrition information in an inexpensive vegan diet, and compared that to a person's actual dietary needs for protein. Also, I marked almost every recipe to try. They looked way good. The long lists of vegan products would have been more helpful if I had money to buy those things, in which case I would have appreciated it. The interviews with vegan parents were helpful too, as I am considering having children. I liked hearing that parents can give their children vegan food for the long term and see them grow up healthy. And the Kindle version is only $1.00.

What I didn't like: I guess should have known this would happen, but I strenuously disliked the litany of torture that animals have to go through (Chapter 2). It was so upsetting to me that I had to fast forward through the chapter. As far as that argument goes, Melisser was preaching to the choir. On the other hand, her assertion that zoos and circuses are abusive just didn't resonate with me. I'm not convinced, without further evidence, that keeping animals in confinement and training them to do tricks is any worse than when I keep dogs and train them to sit before I give them a bonie. Modern training techniques are nowhere near as harsh as they used to be. Anyway, she didn't convince me of that. Moving on, I noticed that there are a dizzying arrays of products I'm supposed to examine carefully to make sure nothing living has ever touched them -- I'm supposed to buy expensive vegan makeup, and meanwhile ordinary chocolate has cockroaches in it. The problem of wading through all my body products and buying newer, more expensive ones seemed utterly insurmountable, although I can imagine using them up and working toward paying more attention to ingredients in the future. The crafts seemed geared mainly toward vegans, which was OK. The cross stitch pattern read, "Flesh is for Zombies. Go Vegan!" I thought it was cute, but I felt the omnivores in my life would find it pushy and vaguely insulting. I wouldn't display it in my house. And the page that I'm supposed to photocopy? Not happening on the Kindle version. So that one craft was out.

In the end, here's what I think: if you're interesting in vegan cooking, got get Vegan With A Vengeance and Appetite For Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Isa's style is all positive, and she doesn't include a torture porn chapter about factory farming, she just writes great recipes. Like I mentioned, I marked almost all of Melisser's recipes to try, so if you want this book, buy the kindle version and skip straight to the recipes. Otherwise, this may be a good read for committed vegans but horribly daunting for someone who is just getting started and is slightly sickened by the major life overhaul she has to do if she wants to be vegan. I was so blissfully ignorant, thinking it was enough simply to eat a vegan diet! Here's me, starting to doubt my decision to become vegan: "What have I done? What have I done?"
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on January 21, 2011
A really nice intro to veganism for young women who want to stay cool while being un-cruel. Elliott speaks to readers like your fun young aunt, the one who won't comment on your stupid haircut and lets you watch movies your mom doesn't want you to see.

In addition to guidance on being an ethical consumer, I appreciated that Elliott is willing to take on some tougher subjects in this book like eating disorders and contraceptives. Many introductory pages are devoted to animal rights issues, something some lifestyle books wouldn't touch. In some cases, however, her advice amounts to "use your best judgment" or "decide for yourself," which isn't as helpful as telling us what the most ethical choice is.

The inclusion of crafts, gardening, recipes for homemade cleaners, and other diversions round out the expected topics like nutrition, clothing and beauty sections.

As mentioned by others, the book is also a sweet treat for the eyes, like an Etsy shop exploded on paper. I can see why some reviewers found the inserted profiles of fabulous vegan women to be distracting, and it might have made sense to use a different page design/format for the essays supplied by other experts. An index would have been a good addition too for quick look-ups. However these are minor complaints in what is otherwise an excellent read.

May we have more books, please? Vegan home decor? Vegan etiquette?
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