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Vegetarian Journal May/June 1998

Book Reviews


By Gail A. Eisnitz

As I finished reading this new book, I came upon an article in our local newspaper titled "How Meat is Inspected Changes Today." The point of this article was that under the new rules, slaughterhouses will install their own preventive measures to reduce E. coli and salmonella bacteria and improve sanitation. Food inspectors feel that the rules are aimed at mainly shifting blame for outbreaks of food-borne illness from the government to private industry.

Gail Eisnitz's book, Slaughter-house, should be a must-read for all middle-school-age children. I'm certain that if kids were taught the truth about how animals are raised and slaughtered for food, more of them would choose to follow a vegetarian/vegan diet. This book certainly reinforced the reasons why I chose to become vegan over 18 years ago.

Ms. Eisnitz has produced a book that is easy to read, but nevertheless disturbing. A glossary of terms is helpful, as are drawings depicting the methods used to slaughter various types of animals including cows, pigs, chickens, and even horses. Some black and white photos are also presented.

Ms. Eisnitz has strung together stories told by slaughterhouse workers that were willing to speak to her (many others feared they would be fired if they spoke to the author). In chapter after chapter, the reader learns about what really goes on in slaughterhouses. I've had the opportunity to visit a chicken slaughterhouse, watch pigs being forced up a wooden plank into a small truck, and hear cows bellowing in a stockyard. From my own experiences, Ms. Eisnitz's book is extremely accurate. My only wish would have been for a few more footnotes to be included when statistics were quoted, and perhaps a better list of references. Overall, however, this book is excellent and a must-read.

Slaughterhouse (ISBN 1-57392-166-1) is a hard-covered book published by Prometheus Books, 59 John Glenn Dr., Amherst, NY 14228. You may want to visit their website at Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

So, Now What Do I Eat?

By Gail Davis

Have you ever wished that you had a guide to vegetarian convenience foods that don't need to be cooked or simply need to be heated up? Gail Davis' new book offers an extensive list of vegetarian convenience items found in natural foods stores today. Most of the items are vegan, with the exception of those that contain casein or caseinate (such as many soy cheeses) or honey. Chapters include dairy substitutes; soups and canned foods; traveling fare (including items good for backpacking trips); meat analogs; dressings; dips; sauces and spreads; frozen meals; party foods; desserts; coffee substitutes; and even items to purchase for vegetarian pets. You won't find recipes in this book, but it's certainly a valuable tool to show friends who are interested in knowing what vegetarians can eat.

So, Now What Do I Eat? (ISBN 0-9660296-0-7) is published by Blue Coyote Press. The book can be ordered by sending $16.95 (includes postage and handling) to Blue Coyote Press, PO Box 2101, Corrales, NM 87048. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

The Joy of Soy

By Vance Lehmkuhl

Vegetarians certainly can have a sense of humor, and Vance Lehmkuhl's new vegetarian cartoon book beautifully demonstrates this trait. Although I personally did not find all the cartoons to be funny, many did make me laugh. If you're looking for a small gift for your favorite vegetarian, you may want to purchase this new book.

The Joy of Soy (ISBN 1-889594-03-2) is published by Laugh Lines Press. The book can be ordered by sending $9.95 to Laugh Lines Press, PO Box 259, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Best Gourmet Recipes from the Chefs of Five Loaves Deli & Bakery

By Neva Brackett

Three years ago I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet the staff of Five Loaves Deli & Bakery while visiting Seattle, Washington. This vegan establishment is owned and run by the Seventh-day Adventist churches in Western Washington. Not only do they offer delicious vegan fare, but they also go out of their way to educate their customers about vegan diets. Now there's a book containing all the delicious dishes and baked goods found at their restaurant and bakery.

Breakfast items include several waffle recipes, French crepes and sauces, vegan omelets, granolas, and more. Among the entres, you will find several loaf recipes, as well as stews, stroganoffs, and casseroles. Lunchtime fare includes burgers, soups, and other items. You will also find a lot of recipes for baked goods including muffins, breads, cakes, pies, cookies, and puddings.

Best Gourmet Recipes from the Chefs of Five Loaves Deli & Bakery retails for $15.95. You can call the restaurant at (206) 726-7989 for more information. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Sausage Patty

By Diane Allevato

It's very difficult to find children's books with an animal rights theme. Sausage Patty fits into this hard-to-find category and is written for kids between the ages of 10 and 14.

The book is about a young girl who moves from New York City to California and desperately wants to own a horse of her own. To raise money to purchase a horse, as well as to make new friends, Sydney joins a local 4-H club. She decides that a quick way to raise enough money to purchase a horse would be raising a livestock animal and selling it for a profit. Her father supports the idea and before too long Sydney is fattening a pig for market.

As time goes on, however, Sydney decides that it's wrong to kill animals for food. Her vegan friend helps her find a solution to this dilemma. Children will absolutely enjoy this story. (A side note: the beautiful illustrations in this book were drawn by an extremely talented 18-year-old vegan.)

Sausage Patty (ISBN 0-9655062-1-7) is published by Animal Place, 3448 Laguna Creek Trail, Vacaville, CA 95688. The book retails for $3.99. Discounts are available if you purchase the book in quantity. Call Animal Place at (707) 449-4814 for more information. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Better Than Peanut Butter and Jelly

By Wendy Muldawer and Marty Mattare

The subtitle of this book is "Quick vegetarian meals your kids will love." After testing some of the recipes on my two-year-old daughter, I can attest to the accuracy of this subtitle.

One of the best features of this book (and there are many) are the "vegan," "vegan option," and "vegetarian" designations at the head of each recipe. This makes it very easy to find recipes that fit into your child's diet and those which can be easily modified.

Also included are tips for keeping your pantry and refrigerator well-stocked, getting your child to eat well, family menu ideas, vegetarian resources, and myths about the vegetarian diet.

Plenty of great serving tips are included throughout, as well as hints for getting your child involved in the preparation of some of the dishes. I have always found that my daughter is much more likely to eat something that she assisted in preparing.

The recipes themselves run the gamut from breakfast dishes to party creations. Especially helpful are the sections on sandwiches and packables and the chapter on snacks.

Among my daughter's favorite recipes were: Banana Muffins, Crispy Snow Peas, Tofu Tenders, Falafel Sandwich, Couscous Tacos, and Peanut Butter Tortillas.

These recipes will also appeal to adults in their simplicity and good taste.

The authors, both veteran moms with plenty of experience with kids and food, have produced a real winner of a book here. Better Than Peanut Butter and Jelly would be an excellent addition to the bookshelf of both novice and longtime vegetarian parents and kids.

Better Than Peanut Butter and Jelly (ISBN 0-935526-37-4) is published by McBooks Press, 120 West State St., Ithaca, NY 14850. The book retails for $14.95. You can call McBooks' toll-free order line at (888) 266-5711 or visit their website at

Reviewed by Michael Vogel.

The Health Promoting Cookbook

By Alan Goldhamer, D.C.

The Health Promoting Cookbook features vegan, wheat-free (some contain oats) lowfat recipes. The book begins with a short section on "thinking about food" which promotes a plant-based diet. This section has a few questionable assertions, such as "humans are not designed to eat meat."

Most recipes are quite simple to prepare, contain no added oil, and focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. This book contains around 150 recipes, all with nutritional analysis.

The Health Promoting Cookbook (ISBN 1-57067-024-2) is a 190-page book published by the Book Publishing Company. The book retails for $12.95. Reviewed by Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D.

Excerpts from the May/June Issue:

The Vegetarian Journal published here is not the complete issue, but these are excerpts from the published magazine. Anyone wanting to see everything should subscribe to the magazine.

This article was converted to HTML by Jeanie Freeman

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