Veganism – and Gardening – for Justice and Compassion

Here in western Massachusetts, there is a blanket of snow on the ground, but I’m dreaming about my garden. It’s what gardeners do. If we’re not out and about among the flowers, we’re planning and reading and dreaming about them.

One of the most consequential books I read last year about gardening is A New Garden Ethic by Benjamin Vogt. It advocates for gardening with native plants but is much more than a gardening book. It’s a plea for justice and fairness in the way we view our landscapes and those who […]

By |2023-03-06T12:34:35-05:00March 6th, 2023|8 Comments

Going Vegan: Five Tips for Success

Whether you’re diving headfirst into a vegan diet or making a gradual transition to more plant-based eating, you’ll maximize your chances of success by learning a little bit about nutrition, finding foods you enjoy, and having realistic expectations. Most of the information here comes from the Keys to Success section of Vegan for Life.

Be Smart About Nutrition

It’s easy to meet nutrient needs on a vegan diet but it’s not enough to simply eat a variety of whole plant foods. If you’ve always depended on cow’s milk for calcium and meat for […]

By |2023-01-01T13:48:01-05:00January 1st, 2023|2 Comments

Finding the Best Vegan Diet (And Why It’s Not Low-Fat)

It’s been quiet on this website for a long time while I’ve had my attention on several all-consuming projects. One was the new edition of Vegan for Life. By the time that book was published last May, I was already immersed in an even bigger endeavor which was a 10-year update to The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets, scheduled for publication in October 2021. Co-authored with Dr. Reed Mangels and Dr. Mark Messina, this is a textbook and a comprehensive overview of all aspects of vegan and vegetarian nutrition.


One subject that […]

By |2021-04-22T13:46:51-04:00April 22nd, 2021|10 Comments

Vegans and Bone Fractures: New Findings and Best Practices for Keeping Bones Strong

New findings from the EPIC-Oxford study in the U.K. have raised questions about vegan diets and bone health. In this study, which included around 55,000 (mostly white) subjects, vegans had a 43% higher risk of fractures overall compared to nonvegetarians, as well as higher risks of hip, leg, and vertebral fractures.

The biggest difference was for hip fractures; vegans were more than twice as likely as people who ate meat to break their hip. Vegetarians and pesco-vegetarians (their diets include fish but no other meat) also had a higher risk of hip fracture, […]

By |2020-11-30T10:49:59-05:00November 27th, 2020|10 Comments

Vegan For Life: Updated, Revised, Expanded, and All-New

I’m excited to announce that a completely updated and expanded edition of Vegan for Life is headed into the world. Its pub date is May 12, 2020 and it’s available for pre-order now.

My co-author Jack Norris and I have added lots of new material to the book – a brand new and much simplified food guide, a chapter on eating to manage intestinal issues, and a compassionate guide to addressing body size issues within a vegan ethic. All the nutrition information is updated as are the guidelines for eating to […]

By |2020-05-08T11:35:15-04:00May 8th, 2020|3 Comments

Prepping the Vegan Pantry for a COVID-19 Quarantine

On any given day I’m well prepared to be quarantined. I have stacks and stacks of books waiting to be read on my bookshelves and kindle, plus supplies for all kinds of craft projects, and plenty of work. I’m the ultimate homebody anyway and am never bored. Also, I have sort of an odd penchant for dystopian literature, and it inspires me to be prepared for the worst. I’m not a prepper by any means, but I do get a little anxious if there is less than a six-week reserve of food […]

By |2020-03-06T15:43:49-05:00March 6th, 2020|0 Comments

Giving Up Dairy is a Good Idea. And It’s Easier than You Think

According to social media, Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar acceptance speech has a lot of people asking whether it might be a good idea to ditch dairy. The answer is yes. In the name of compassion and justice, dropping dairy foods from your menus is a very good idea.

Farmers insist that dairy cows live happy, protected lives. They share photos and videos that certainly make it look like the cows on small farms are content. But every single one of those cows and every single one of their calves eventually goes to slaughter. […]

By |2020-02-12T10:26:15-05:00February 12th, 2020|3 Comments

For World Vegan Day: 5 Things to Know About Veganism

November 1 is World Vegan Day marking 75 years since the word vegan was coined. Even though the concept of veganism has been around for a while, there are plenty of misconceptions about it. Here are five things to know about veganism.


  1. For most people, going vegan is a process, not an overnight transformation. Staying focused on that process, making one choice at a time, can make the endeavor seem way less daunting. That is, instead of worrying about whether you can ever be vegan, just start making more vegan choices and […]
By |2019-11-01T12:37:56-04:00November 1st, 2019|3 Comments

On Privilege, Priorities, and Processed Foods in Vegan Diets

Lately it seems that every restaurant chain is scrambling to add some type of vegan meat to their menu. And these new products are so excellent that they appeal to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Is this good news for vegans, or are we all going to suddenly keel over and die now that we can eat fast food just like the rest of America? Detractors, including some plant-based diet advocates, are quick to point out the processed nature of the new burgers. They say people are being led astray if they believe […]

By |2019-05-17T17:56:04-04:00May 16th, 2019|18 Comments

Vegan Children and Vaccines



A couple of weeks ago, I took myself to the pharmacy for the first of two doses of the shingles vaccine. I didn’t want to do it at all. For one thing, I’m highly needle-phobic. (I don’t even have pierced ears.) Also, I was working toward a major deadline and didn’t have time to be sick. Headache, fatigue, and low-grade fever are common side effects of this vaccine, according to the CDC, and they can last for several days.

But I had recently heard from two people who have had shingles in the past […]

By |2019-04-10T17:52:07-04:00April 10th, 2019|24 Comments
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