Friday, August 30, 2013

Four Books and One Move Review

These are all food related in one way or another.

The Lucky Ones – My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals
The Lucky Ones – My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals

by Jenny Brown, founder of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
What an amazing person. This gal was 10 years old when she was diagnosed with bone cancer and eventually lost part of her leg below the knee. When she was in her teens she made the connection between food and animal exploitation. She eventually founded the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, whose mission is the hands-on work of rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for farmed animal refugees — as well as educating the public about the horrific treatment of animals who are raised for food.

This is her journey, along with stories of some of the animals. The book is highly readable with a friendly, casual style. The back of the book includes resources for further reading, films, cookbooks, websites and some recipes. This book shows how much a determined person can do and really make a difference.

Defiant Daughters – 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and The Sexual Politics of Meat

Defiant Daughters – 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and The Sexual Politics of Meat
I have had a copy of The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams for over 20 years. I have yet to read it. It just isn't an easy read even though I do enjoy non-fiction. All of the contributors of Defiant Daughters have read the book and credit it with the awakening of their identities as feminists, activists, and women. I did find most of their stories interesting. I have drug out my copy of The Sexual Politics of Meat and hope to read it before 2014!

Warrior Pose – A War Correspondent's Memoir. How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life 

 Warrior Pose – A War Correspondent's Memoir. How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life
by Brad Willis aka Bhava Ram
What a powerful book. And what does it have to do with food? Towards the end of the book he eventually becomes a vegan. But that is just a very small part of the book. This guy was a successful war correspondent. At the height of his career he breaks his back and manages to work through the pain and deny that it is broken. Eventually he has to get it fixed, the surgery fails (of course!) and he is permanently disabled. Then comes all the alcohol, medications, and to top it all off he is diagnosed with throat cancer. He was treated for cancer and then they could do no more and gave him a couple of years to live. Talk about bad to worse. He ends up abandoning Western medicine and goes to a pain management center which leads to yoga. Today he is pain free and cancer free. This book is so well written. Some memoirs are boring. Not this one. His talent for writing shines. This is a memorable book that I think will be lodged in my brain for a long time to come.

Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats from Around the World.
Fantastic, Alergy-Free Ethnic Recipes

 Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats from Around the World. Fantastic, Alergy-Free Ethnic Recipes
by Allyson Kramer

I was lucky enough to win this book online. Most recipes have a color picture. The chapters are African, European, South & Central America, Asian & Oceanic Fare and North American from Canada to Mexico.

Recipes that caught my interest

Africa: Peanutty Parsnip and Carrot Soup; Spiced Lentil Harira Soup

Europe: Pain Ordinaire, a crusty white bread; Roasted Tomato and Beet Bisque, a good way to try out more beets; Veggie Frittata with Salsa Verde; English Cottage Pie although I'd leave out the TVP and use some lentils instead; Baked Pierogi with Dilled Sour Cream

South & Central America: Fennel and Kale Corn Bread; Caribbean Black Bean Soup; Farina Pizza, the crust is made from garbanzo flour

Asia: Tofu Noodle Soup (Pho); Savory Stuffed Grapes (stuffed with chickpeas and spices); Masala Mushrooms (stuffed with cauliflower and spices); Vietnamese Salad Wraps; Spinach Mushroom Curry; Indian Crepes with Sorrel and Spinach; Australian Veggie Pie

North America: Mini Potato Skins; Baked Potine; Cheddary Cheese Wheel (a cashew based nut cheese); Maple Pumpkin PIe with Cinnamon Walnut Crust

What I don't like about this book is the heavy use of faux meats, cheeses and coconut cream. Some of the recipes are fried. Only a couple of dessert recipes caught my eye but there are sweets in each section. This would be a good book for a transitioning vegan or someone who wants to eat less meat and desires gluten free meals. Quite the variety of recipes.

Vegucated – DVD

Synopsis: Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. This entertaining documentary showcases the rapid and at times comedic evolution of three people who discover they can change the world one bite at a time.

I enjoyed this moved except for the part where they showed them the "hidden side of animal agriculture." I really, really wish everyone would acknowledge what goes on in factory farming. There is such a disconnect between that hunk of beef, hamburger, etc., and where it comes from. I've seen it and don't need to anymore. I get it. Every time I think of a chunk of aged cheddar cheese I visualize that poor cow in miserable conditions. But I digress. The movie was entertaining and two of them are still vegan (although there have been slip ups) and one is still struggling.

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