Plant-Based Pause No 24: Research, Research, Research

In November 2011, I made the decision to progress towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt so much about where our food comes from, and what it does to our bodies and the environment. Along the way, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. I have also been asked lots of questions, most of them valid and a few off them more than a little odd. One of the aims of my blog is to chronicle my experiences as a plant-based traveller. So, hopefully these Plant-Based Pauses will provide a little more explanation and maybe answer some questions that my readers may still have.

‘I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.’ – Pablo Picasso


This isn’t as boring as it sounds, I promise. Converting to a plant-based lifestyle has possibly been the biggest learning experience of my life. Planeat and Forks Over Knives provided the foundation for my education, and from that point on I couldn’t get enough. I’m addicted to finding and absorbing as much information as I possibly can about vegan food, home cooking and eco-living. I’ve read countless books, watched documentaries and movies and signed up to the mailing lists of numerous websites. And I don’t think it’s a learning curve that will ever see an end. I’m constantly faced with questions about how I can be more plant-based. Where can I buy vegan make-up? What can I cook for Christmas dinner? Who sells quality vegan-friendly shoes? The list goes on.

Once again, the internet is my first port of call for answers. It’s hard to imagine how we used to cope without the world wide web at our fingertips 24 hours a day. However, I still go old school sometimes. Local libraries stock a surprising array of books about plant-based food and lifestyle, and the more we borrow them the more it will encourage them to buy more books for us. So, if you’re not quite committed enough to plant-based living at the moment to invest in your own books, check out what your library has to offer. If you ask nicely, they will even borrow books from other areas for you and possibly buy a copy of a specific book at your request.

Before you know it, you’ll soon want to spend you spare time scouring plant-based websites and the vegan cooking section on Amazon.

Here are a few of my favourite books that you might want to check out to get you started:

The China Study T.Colin Campbell – It’s like the bible for all plant-based vegetarians. It’s nowhere near as scientific as it sounds, a really easy read.
Whole T. Colin Campbell – Once you’ve read The China Study, you just have to read the follow-up. Whole lifts the lid on how and why the people who should be looking after us try to convince us that living unhealthily is the right way forward.
Mad Cowboy Howard Lyman – Proof that even the most die-hard meat-eater can be converted. You will not believe Lyman’s life story.
Silent Spring Rachel Carson – A scary eye-opener of a book that shows us the evidence of what we are doing to the planet has been right in front of our eyes for many years.
Eat and Run Scott Jurek – Not everyone converts to a plant-based lifestyle because of health or ethical reasons. Jurek made the switch simply because it helps him run better, and oh boy can he run!
Finding Ultra Rich Roll – This is one of the most amazing life transformations that I have ever heard of. Once an overweight alcoholic who narrowly missed going to prison due to a technicality, Roll is now one of the biggest promoters of plant power on the planet. Oh, and did I mention that he competes in ironman triathlons in his spare time? His autobiography is truly incredible, and provides inspiration for all plant-based converts at any stage.
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows Melanie Joy, PhD – This book will answer questions that you’ve never even thought to ask. It’s a strange world that we have created where we put some animals on a lead and others on our dinner plate.

If you have read, or get around to reading any of these books, drop me a comment and let me know what you thought. I’m also open to suggestions to add to my own reading list.


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