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"In this down-to-earth and entertaining guide, Bob and Jenna Torres not only convince you that you have to go vegan today, they also give you what you need to live as a healthy and happy vegan for the rest of your life." Gary L. Francione, distinguished professor of law, Rutgers University
"Wherever one falls on the meat-eater to vegan continuum, you need to make the Torres duo your truth-speaking, profanity-spewing, tough-loving pals. They will move you closer to ethical veganism." Feminist Review
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Tattooed vegan freaks themselves, Bob and Jenna Torres both hold PhDs from Cornell University. The authors maintain a vegan blog (veganfreaks.org) where they refined the ideas that grew into this book. Bob and Jenna teach at a small liberal arts college in far upstate New York, where Bob has taught classes on animal rights and vegetarianism.
If you're vegan or even considering it you'll want to pick up this book. Vegan Freak is like having a good friend cheering you on, reminding you that it is possible to be Vegan in a world that often labels vegans as freaks. Call it Vegan Freak pride, call it mentoring, or just call it fantastic support, this book is chock full of advice and information that's essential for anyone even investigating veganism. Bob and Jenna Torres bring together a ton of information from a wide array of sources into an extremely quick and easy read. Their conversational style is refreshing, warm and friendly. The book is much more about supporting a vegan lifestyle than slamming non-vegans, so if you're not yet vegan you won't feel like you're under attack. The subtitle for this book could be I'm an OK Vegan and You're OK, it's incredibly supportive and inspirational and I highly recommend it.
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Vegan Freak is a great resource for new vegans, longtime vegans, people who are toying with the idea of veganism, or people who know vegans. Bob and Jenna Torres do a great job of explaining the feelings of "freakdom" that often accompany the shift to veganism, but offer comfort in the idea that being freaky really isn't such a bad thing.
There is a lot of great information here, written in a very accessible style, including a fair bit of wry humor. The book focuses not only on the ethical basis of veganism, but also includes suggestions for how to get along as a vegan in a largely meat-eating world. The appendix is chock-full of resources (including reading lists, helpful websites, online stores, veg-themed blogs, and so forth), which is incredibly helpful especially for new vegans and/or people who don't have a big ol' in-person vegan support system at the ready.
Vegan Freak does a great job of filling a gap in the vegan booklist: it's perfect for people who just want the straight story about living as a vegan. As a relatively new vegan myself, I've done a lot of reading in the past year, and I found Vegan Freak to be on par with Obligate Carnivore in the "tell it like it is" arena. This is a good thing--you won't be disappointed!
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"Vegan Freak" is unlike any vegan book on the market because it is a survival guide to living vegan in a non-vegan world. According to the authors, "All of us who are vegan have at some point felt like absolute outsiders..." These authors embrace they're vegan freakdom and combine knowlege, wit, and personal experience into book that is both survival guide and handbook to living vegan.
"Vegan Freak" begins with the 'whys' of veganism. The authors give some basic definitions of veganism, how to go vegan in three weeks, how the authors went vegan, and possible pathways to veganism. The book continues with an indepth discussion of Animal Rights, specieism, and factory farming. The authors strongly suggest that the most horrific treatment of animals will only end if conserned persons chose a vegan lifestlye. This idea is furthur echoed in thier discussion of vegan health and nutrition.
The following section explains the 'hows' of veganism. The authors give a through discussion of dealing with others such as friends, family members, and co-workers. The authors even discuss dealing with vegetarians and how deal with those who believe veganism is "taking it too far". Bob and Jenna also give food advice in the chapter titled "What do vegans eat anyway?", giving tips on survival the grocery store, resturants, how to travel vegan, and even vegan pet food.
The final section gives a basic overview on the non-food elements of veganism. The authors cover alternatives to fur, leather, and wool and how to dispose of them once you become vegan. They also give advice of finding cruelty-free alternatives to most soaps, tooth pastes, shampoos, and other tolietries that are usually made with animal products. The book ends with two appendixes full of ways to get involved an extensive list of books about Animal Rights, veganism, health, and cooking.
While this book was an easy read (you could probably finish in a day depending on your free-time) it is not at all what I thought it would be. I was expecting good advice on how to survive as a vegan in our non-vegan world (hmm where could I have gotten that idea?) but all the advice was VERY general. As others have said, they reference other books and websites on nearly every page, basically telling you to read other work if you want the whole story. Finally, even as an ovo-lacto vegetarian looking to make the switch to veganism, I really didn't find much I didn't already know. The beer section was informative, but I don't drink. I suppose this book would be best for someone that doesn't know much of anything about AR or the vegan diet. The most I got out of it was a new reading list.
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First of all, I really thought this book was going to offer some valuable information or at the very least, a new insight for an old timer vegan like myself. I do like keeping a fresh perspective on the issues that I find important. Unfortunately, like many of the other reviewers, I was left disappointed. This book seemed a bit juvenile, and I kept thinking that I would have been more into it in my teen years, or even my early college years. It will also appeal to those who are really pissed off and have a huge vegan chip on their shoulder. This definitely isn't for the kind vegan or the first-time vegan newbie... and if you are new to veganism, please know that this is just one viewpoint and there are plenty of other more expertly written books on how to become vegan that are much more welcoming, less negative, and less exclusive. For the seasoned vegan with a broad mind, pass this one up. Personally, I don't care for the black and white view of anything, and their all-or-nothing stance on veganism seems repellant. I believe that for any cause to be taken seriously, you have to drop the club cards and open the doors to everyone. It's interesting how they blame Oprah for inspiring people to take the cause less seriously as if it were a passing trend, and that may be true, but I don't see them doing much better as far as getting people to take the cause seriously with their writing style. The repetitive negative opinions grate on your nerves after a while, as do their unsuccessful attempts at wit and curse words (woo, we can say the eff word in print, how cool are we?) and I found myself zoning out halfway through chapter one.Read more ›