Never Too Late To Go Vegan

According to popular folklore, wisdom comes with age. What could be wiser than choosing compassion, vibrant health, and a vast, delicious cuisine to be the guiding principles in our life?

I wrote Never Too Late to Go Vegan with Patti Breitman and Virginia Messina to introduce you to a lifestyle that brings all of those things plus a new sense of purpose, and a new experience of power to affect change. That’s what it has done for us and for countless others who choose a vegan way of life.

Imagine if reaching retirement age was just as exciting as entering high school or getting accepted to college. Imagine that this milestone is, like those, an opportunity to widen our perspective on the world, encounter new, interesting people and ideas, develop new skills, and share what we learn to help others. Veganism offers all of this, and it is yours for the taking whether you are still working or long into retirement.

And in veganism, there is something that ties together many of the aspects of positive aging. If aging makes people feel they have less influence and power in the world, veganism offers a strong rebuttal to that feeling. We love the amazing health benefits that come with plant-based diets. We love that our choices do not hurt animals. We love that the food we eat reduces the methane production that is a major contributor to global climate change.

Praise for Never Too Late to Go Vegan:

Never Too Late to Go Vegan is, somewhat amazingly to me, the first-ever guide for everyone over 50 who wants to or already does eat and live vegan.

It’s a book I’d been looking to publish for a number of years, and then a proposal by Carol, Patti, and Ginny materialized in my inbox earlier this year. These three authors make a superlative case for the benefits of plant-based eating and living when one is over 50. And they provide a handbook to vegan living that goes well beyond diet tips. Here is a thoughtful and wide- ranging consideration of the benefits, and the consequences, of a plant-based diet—for oneself, one’s loved ones, animals, and the planet. It’s an all-in-one resource that I believe arrives at an ideal moment, as more and more people – including over-50s – are embracing plant-based eating and living.

– Matthew Lore, publisher of The Experiment

How to Eat Like a Vegetarian Even If You Never Want to Be One

Don't have time to cook? Don't like to follow recipes? Cutting back on meat but don't know what to serve? Want an easy way to eat healthfully? This is the book for you.

Filled with more than 250 kitchen shortcuts, strategies and simple solutions, the book is intended for people who want to eat well, but who:

  • Think it takes too much time to prepare meals at home;
  • Are cutting back on meat and don't know what to serve;
  • Do not like following recipes.

Dozens of lists, charts, and hints in How to Eat Like a Vegetarian provide meals, snacks, and surprises that are as easy to make as they are delicious. And whether they become a way of life for the reader of just an occasional experiment, these strategies will help anyone become more at home in the kitchen and more comfortable preparing scrumptious, delightful, health promoting food.

Contents include:

  • Two Hundred (and More!) Ways to Eat Like A Vegetarian
  • How to Cook Like a Vegetarian
  • Vegetarian Cooking without Recipes
  • Everything In Its Season
  • Thinking and Feeling Like a Vegetarian, If You Want To...
  • Appendix I: Resources for Eating, Thinking, and Feeling Like a Vegetarian
  • Appendix II: Guide to Ingredients

Praise for How to Eat Like a Vegetarian:

Adams and Breitman prove that we don't need a lot of time or even recipes to create delicious, satisfying vegetarian meals.

– Neal Barnard, M.D., President, Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine

Do you sometimes feel that it's difficult to eat healthfully?

This book is the answer. It's quick, very to the point, and right on target. Read it, use it, and there will be two results. You will know a new level of vitality and health. And your body will thank you for the rest of your life.

– John Robbins, author, Diet for a New America, The Food Revolution, and Healthy at 100

Living Among Meat Eaters

Living Among Meat Eaters is a survival guide for vegetarians. 

An invisible meat eater/vegetarian dynamic exists. Left unacknowledged it traps both groups in social interactions that can be painful and upsetting: conversations that become arguments; interactions that become confrontations; meals that exclude vegetarians; friends who sabotage them; nonvegetarian lovers who alienate them. Living Among Meat Eaters guides vegetarians through these sticky situations with friends, relatives, co-workers, waitstaff, and partners. Whereas meat eaters may be surprised that such a book is necessary, vegetarians will understand immediately.

People who haven’t recognized the absent referent (i.e., people who still eat dead animals) must deal with many feelings when they are reminded of what they are doing. Vegetarians often become the targets of those emotions. Living Among Meat Eaters provides suggestions for talking, eating, living with and cooking for people who have not responded to their awareness of being meat eaters by changing their diet.

In Living Among Meat Eaters, I suggested that we should view people we should view meat eaters as blocked vegans, blocked vegetarians, and that in their response to us they are telling us why they are blocked. And if we look at them as being blocked vegans, then we’d realize that the question is not “Why did I become a vegan?” but “What’s keeping them from being a vegan?” And if we approach it that way then perhaps we could destabilize the conditions and open up the possibilities.

Since Living Among Meat Eaters has been published, I have heard from people who have read it and write, "I keep saying ‘yes, yes, yes' as I read it. You put into words what so many of us have felt." Meat eaters have written to say that they realized they were blocked vegetarians and have stopped eating animals. Some read the book yearly.

Praise for Living Among Meat Eaters:

Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat), a writer and lecturer on vegetarianism, offers advice to practicing vegetarians about eating with omnivores.

She covers everything from how to answer the question, ‘Are you a vegetarian?" to tips for dining out and handling meals in a business setting. She also includes a selection of favorite recipes, adapted from classic vegetarian cookbooks. Adams argues that vegetarians today have it rough: "we see death in [meat eaters'] meals, they see it in ours. Attempts will be made to disempower your viewpoint. Your diet is the issue, but you become the target.' Point well made.

– Publishers' Weekly

Vegetarians often get defensive and feel under siege when coworkers, parents, siblings, and friends challenge their selective eating practices. For them, Carol J. Adams' Living Among Meat Eaters may prove a real gift.

Adams shows how using humor, being patient, and accepting the fact that general society values eating meat can deflect pointless arguing and begin to raise consciousness of others. She should know–she lives in Texas, where identity is inextricably linked with steaks and chili con carne. Some may argue with Adams' generalization that meat eaters are simply ‘blocked' vegetarians. Nevertheless, her advice also brings comfort to anyone not omnivorous, including meat eaters who eschew pork or seafood or anyone keeping a strict Kosher diet.

– Booklist

No Meat? No problem. Being a vegetarian in a meat-eaters' world isn't easy and Carol J. Adams knows it. She has written Living Among Meat Eaters, a common-sense guide to help vegetarians navigate sticky situations.

– Chicago Sun-Times

To new vegetarians, Living Among Meat Eaters offers hope: it is possible to live by your principles without saying good-bye to family, friends, and job.

To every vegetarian who lives, works, and eats with carnivores, it offers peace of mind, as well as the prospect of opening the meat eaters in our lives to vegetarianism. It should be read by everyone who encounters the Dilemma [of interacting with defensive meat-eaters] on even an occasional basis.

– Satya

A theme woven through the entire text is that staying out of arguments–even with the most argumentative of meat eaters, modeling peace, and very importantly having excellent vegan food at hand, are important ways to alleviate or avoid friction.

Rather than bursting out of the starting line with this simple but profound advice, she leads readers to the bottom line by way of a multitude of colorful passages that you won't want to miss. Be sure to check out the Meat Eaters' Classification of Vegetarians (the Ascetic, the Puritan, the Bambi Vegetarian, the Freak, the Holier-Than-Thou-Vegetarian, and the Phobic) and the Classification of Saboteurs (Adams explains that meat eaters engage in sabotage in order to block the painful process of bring the truth about animal products to their consciousness, and some of the types profiled are the Caring Saboteur, the Dominance and Control Saboteur, and the Hostile Saboteur).

Adams also spends ample time in the practical realm, too, offering dynamite advise on fielding comments.

– Vegetarian Voice

After hearing you speak, I bought your book, the Vegetarian Survival Guide. I do not find that meat eaters confront me very often. In fact, I have not thought much about what I would say to a meat eater until your talk at the UPC conference. Now, after reading your book, I feel so inspired! I cannot thank you enough for the kindling you have provided to light my “vegan fire” again! I sincerely appreciate the work you do and cannot wait to read your other books and to hear you speak again. I wish I could explain the motivation you have given me to face the world as a proud and educated vegan. All I can say is THANK YOU!
I recently read your book, Living Among Meat Eaters, and I wanted to let you know how good it was to finally gain some understanding about why my diet matters to so many people. [Your book] helped me re-affirm why I’m a vegan at a time when I was feeling alone and discouraged.

The Inner Art of Vegetarianism

The Inner Art of Vegetarianism provides a way to engage with veganism from a spiritual perspective, whether you are or are not a vegetarian.

If you are not a vegan, this book offers a gentle, non-forced practice for becoming a vegan which I call “Growing Vegetarian Roots." And if you are a vegan, these books offer exercises and meditations to deepen one’s sense of spirituality and connectedness and for responding to the complex emotions we feel because of our awareness of animals’ suffering. The Inner Art of Vegetarianism provides insight into how to go about recognizing the absent referent.

The Inner Art of Vegetarianism is an inspiring book that explores the intersections of vegetarianism and spiritual practice. It shows how those who cultivate a spiritual practice--whether it is meditation, yoga, working with dreams, keeping a journal, breath awareness, and even cooking--can extend the spiritual awareness they have nurtured to acknowledging how eating meat affects their health, the health of the planet, and the welfare of other animals. It reveals how vegetarians can extend the meaning of their vegetarianism into other areas of conscious awareness, and how doing so can deepen and strengthen their commitment to their diet, worldview, and concern for changing the status quo. The Inner Art of Vegetarianism offers the possibility for change for all those seeking to live with more integrity and holism on this Earth, while giving us tools for relaxation, inner work, self-knowledge, and spiritual growth.

The Inner Art of Vegetarianism provides practical exercises and draws upon my own life as a yoga practitioner, activist for women's and animal rights, anti-violence campaigner, and parent, partner, and cook. I discuss the insights and wisdom that are revealed by paying attention to what we have consigned to insignificance: whether it is what we put in our bodies or in the day-to-day routines of our lives. I call upon us to cherish all bodies--whether our own or those of other animals--and to honor our best impulses to live consciously on this planet. I also ask us to care for our souls--to cultivate joy and compassion, care for our selves and our own spiritual journeys, and to honor the process by which we can be transformed.

This process is both evolutionary and revolutionary. When I became a vegetarian, I began to experience the world in a more positive way. I learned how to make a commitment through vegetarianism, and then I learned how to keep a commitment. Anyone who wants to change the world or themselves can learn this too. Veganism offers this to everyone.

Written to those in process from someone in process, The Inner Art of Vegetarianism is the first book that addresses the heart of what has been an unfortunate divide between vegetarians and spiritual practitioners. The former may be reluctant to cultivate a spiritual practice because they see religious and spiritual traditions condoning the eating of meat. The latter may see vegetarians as too rigid, doctrinaire, or concerned about the everyday (rather than the transcendental) world.

Aware that everyone is at a different place on their spiritual journey, I show how the path of transformation and the healing of the division between spiritual practitioners and vegetarians takes place one step at a time. You can only be a vegan one meal at a time. Let’s immerse ourselves in our veganism and/or spiritual practice by metaphorically dipping our toe into the waters—a daily deed that I call touching the process. Touching is how you practice your spiritual path. If it is yoga, you practice; if it is vegetarianism, you choose your food accordingly; if it is keeping a journal, you write. Touching the process is the practicing of the practice; you touch the process to let the process touch you. These are body-related practices; they involve us. We cannot be spectators to our own spiritual growth.

The Inner Art of Vegetarianism celebrates my discovery that vegetarianism had deepened my spirituality. I wanted to express this joy and invite others into the process. The nature of an inner art, I suggested, is that it simultaneously has the feeling of being both necessity and spontaneity. When we develop what I call “the habit of vegetarianism” we discover this nature–a vegetarianism in which what has been willed becomes so necessary to who we are that it has the fresh feeling of both necessity and spontaneity. An inner art is a living, glowing aspect of ourselves, constantly transforming us as we extend its presence in our lives.

Praise for The Inner Art of Vegetarianism:

In The Inner Art of Vegetarianism, Carol Adams thoughtfully discusses how the practice of vegetarianism demonstrates care for animals and the environment while advancing good health.

She explores spiritual practices–such as yoga, dreamwork, nonviolent action, meditation and journal-keeping–to encourage readers to attend fully to the present moment. The book’s final section focuses on vegetarian cooking as a form of meditation.

– Publishers’ Weekly

After spending two decades practicing yoga and vegetarianism, this Dallas-area author has created a book detailing how her food selection is embedded in spirituality.

While the book targets vegetarians, even a meat eater might enjoy its insight. And as Ms. Adams suggests, “it is also for spiritual seekers interested in practicing vegetarianism.” The book details how readers can use journal writing, meditation, and cooking to reach a level of the subconscious mind previously reserved for spiritual practitioners.

– The Dallas Morning News Religion Section


The Ethics of Diet

I worked with University of Illinois Press to bring Howard Williams’ classic history of vegetarianism back into press. Ethical vegetarianism is no recent development, as this unrivaled historical anthology dramatizes.

When it was first published 120 years ago, countless people read and endorsed The Ethics of Diet. But then it became a rare book, hard to find even in libraries. For countless more readers, it is at last available again. In this classic of vegetarian writing, Howard Williams presents a line of thought, a continuous thread, a tradition, a catena of protestation against living on 'Butchery'. What he finds striking is the variety of the witnesses, the prophets of 'Reformed Dietetics' who have 'shrunk from the regime of blood', including Gautama Buddha, Pythagoras, Plato, Hesiod, Epicurus, Seneca, Ovid, Thomas More, Montaigne, Mandeville, Pope, Voltaire, Swedenborg, Wesley, Rousseau, Shelley, Byron, Lamar-tine, Michelet, Bentham, Sinclair, Schopenhauer, and Thoreau. Their words are accompanied by the vigorous narrative voice of Williams himself, who put to rest, once and for all, the idea that vegetarianism is a fad.

Now we can join Gandhi and Tolstoy and nameless others who encountered this vigorous and invigorating book. Welcome to a company of radicals who believed we could and should stop eating non-human animals. They brought vegetarianism out of history and into the here and now.