Most vegan books center on food, but a vegan lifestyle is so much more than the food you eat. Yes, it’s the main component, but for many being vegan extends into all areas of their life and it really changes how you view life.
Jerry’s Vegan Women by Ben Shaberman is a book that doesn’t focus just on the food but on the journey one man takes on a more humane lifestyle. It’s interesting because it takes a look at the vegan women in Jerry’s life that influence him to change and grow as a vegan. Each chapter is a new woman and each woman plays a role in Jerry’s lifestyle. Sometimes it’s in a negative way and others it’s in a positive way.
The book starts with Jerry in 6th grade and progresses throughout his life ending with him in his late forties. Jerry isn’t a vegan or even a vegetarian when we first meet him, so you really get to see his whole journey. It’s fun to see a kid who never thought twice about the burger on his plate eventually wind up working for the Vegetarian Action Committee. It’s also nice to see how the people around him help influence him to change and take action because I’m sure that each of us has a person or a few people in our life that spurred the change to a cruelty-free lifestyle.
I really liked this book because it WASN’T all about the food. Don’t get me wrong, I love food. I love eating, creating, making, and watching everything about food. But sometimes we get so caught up in the food part of a vegan lifestyle that we forget all the other important aspects. I also like that we get to see the interactions between people. Sometimes being a vegan can feel like an island, especially if you’re the only one in your family or group of friends. We can connect with others online and through social media, but that person-to-person contact is missed. Jerry’s story is all about the real relationships that change him and that is refreshing.
I will say that this book might not be appropriate for a younger crowd because of language and certain scenarios. Other than that, this book is pretty relatable and a fun quick read. If you’re looking for a book to break up the cookbooks and humane pamphlets that you normally read, Jerry’s Vegan Women is a nice change of pace.