Book Review: Why We Should Go Vegan by Magnus Vinding

For those of you researching, thinking or just curious about veganism, Magnus Vinding certainly covers a lot of bases regarding why veganism is important for animal welfare, environment and overall health.

A very informative read and in that sense, there’s a lot to take in. I found it extremely “wordy”, which seems an odd adjective to use however, amongst the overwhelming amount of information, I found certain snippets absorbed easily and were extremely interesting.

Much to the contrary, it isn’t mindless bashing of meat eaters and anyone who DARE talk against the vegan lifestyle. It’s respectfully and maturely written, promoting the damage cattle farms are having on third world countries and the planet. The information I found within was met with interest by my peers who aren’t vegans – the amount of grain we need to feed cattle in the West could feed the third world countries where it is grown. Featuring a quote Vinding uses from philospher, David Pearce, explains this perfectly:

“Over the past few decades, millions of Ethiopians have died of “food shortages” while Ethiopia grew grain to sell to the West to feed cattle. Western meat-eating habits prop up the price of grain so that poor people in the developing world can’t afford to buy it. In consequence, they starve by the millions.”

So the costs and damage in flying over said grain is damaging in itself, along with being a fine source of food for those producing it in their home country. It’s silly really.

This is a must have for anyone interested in the vegan lifestyle or the planet altogether but although it is a lot to take in, it isn’t complicated. It reads plain and simple and the message is loud and clear – eating meat is unnecessary and damaging to all:

“It [meat] pollutes the environment in ways that make people sick, it contributes to hunger in developing countries, it is a catalyst for making our otherwise life-saving antibiotics ineffective, and it causes lethal diseases to spread to, and kill, human beings.”

Broken down into a few, small chapters with further reading ideas and – what is truly wonderful – the appendix. It provides a series of the basic “ignorant questions” we, as vegans, are asked. Although my normal response is to be blasé about it as most people asking idiotic questions are only doing so to humiliate me, but Vinding offers some really interesting ideas that I had certainly never thought about. It isn’t about shutting up others, it is about debate, conversation and informing so I don’t think we should look for ways to “win”, but merely think about reasonable explanations because, let’s face it, the vegan lifestyle is meant to be about being open-minded and tolerant of others.

Find out more about Magnus Vinding here.

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