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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Vegetarian Reading

Each issue the VIP birds will endeavor to soar to the highest literary peak to peck out the most unique, informative, and accomplished book that contributes to vegetarian enlightenment. In this issue we review two books by Gail Davis, one loaded with information, the other filled with inspiration.

Vegetarian Food for Thought

Quotations and Inspirations

By Gail B. Davis

New Sage Press, 1999


The principal challenges of creating a volume of quotations are the selection of significant statements and assembling them into an attractive, thought-provoking package. Gail Davis has successfully met the challenge in this collection of "words of inspiration from others whose lives as vegetarians mirrored my own."

Quotation Book>

In the three years of preparation spent researching, she has traveled through thousands of years of history to gather the 208 quotations presented. The people quoted are a diverse group that includes writers, entertainers, religious leaders, doctors, scientists, political personalities, activists, philosophers, artists, and athletes. Most of the quotations come from authors, although entertainers, doctors, and religious leaders are well represented.


The book begins with a Chinese proverb that states, It concludes with H.G. Wells saying, "In all the round world of Utopia there is no meat. There used to be. But now we cannot stand the thought of slaughter-houses. And in a population that is all educated and at about the same level of physical refinement, it is practically impossible to find anyone who will hew a dead ox or a pig. We never settled the hygienic question of meat-eating at all. This other aspect decided us. I can still remember as a boy the rejoicings over the closing of the last slaughter-house."

On the pages between these two quotations in this attractively designed and laid out book are statements by celebrated people throughout the ages. Some like George Bernard Shaw, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Henry David Thoreau, Dr. Michael Klaper are represented more than once. The cover painting by Patricia Morgan, simple illustrations by Sylvia Walker, and book design by Nancy L. Doerrfeld-Smith make this a quality work. The book is printed on recycled alkaline paper using soy ink. Included is an extensive bibliography and an author index.

In Vegetarian Food for Thought Gail Davis has produced a compendium of vegetarian ideas and philosophy through the centuries. It is a reference work that belongs on every vegetarian's bookshelf.

The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Convenience Foods

By Gail B. Davis

New Sage Press, 1999


You decide you're going vegetarian. You've read John Robbins and Howard Lyman and you don't like how meat and poultry come to the dinner table via a system which is cruel to animals. Or, perhaps, you visited the doctor and he has told you your blood pressure and cholesterol are too high and you need to lose weight.

You hate to cook, and, besides, you don't have the time. What do you do? Go out and find a copy of The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Convenience Foods. It will make your transition to vegetarianism easier.

 Davis If you're not sure about the difference between vegetarian and vegan (vee-gun), Gail Davis explains it all. All of the food items are coded so you will know which are vegan. If you have any doubts about obtaining sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, she reassures you with up-to-date information.

As she states, "All of the foods listed in this book are completely cholesterol-free. Many products are fat-free or low-fat, making these foods second choices for a heart-healthy diet. Foods that are fat-free are identified by the heart symbol (in black)."

Other symbols she uses are a hand holding a pen for author's favorite, a flower for kid's pick, a "C" in a black circle for "contains casein or caseinate (derived from milk), and an "H" in a black circle to indicate the product contains honey.

She devotes a chapter to each of the following categories:

Convenience Foods

  • Dairy substitutes for milk, cheese, sour cream, and yogurt
  • Soups, chili, and macaroni and cheese
  • Snacks and camping foods
  • Meat analogs for hot dogs, hamburgers, bacon, meatballs, deli slices, and tuna
  • Frozen meals of different ethnic varieties
  • Foods for holidays and special occasions, including hors d'oeuvres and turkey substitutes
  • Desserts
  • Coffee and tea substitutes
  • Sweeteners with information on nutritional and health aspects
  • Food for cats and dogs

    The book concludes with Networking Resources, Vegetarian Resources on the Internet, a Glossary, a bibliography of Suggested Reading, an Index of Suppliers, and a Food Index.

    Dr. Neal D. Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has written the forward in which he says, "The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Convenience Foods is a handy reference companion that should be on your kitchen counter next to your grocery list and in your glove compartment as you head to the store. It will save you hours of time shopping and will let you skip embarrassing purchases when you're shopping for others. It lets you make the change to healthier fare quickly and with confidence."

    We couldn't agree more.

    Click here for past book reviews

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