The year was 1989. Brenda Davis had recently graduated with a degree in nutrition and a growing conviction that a plant-based diet was best for humans.
An unexpected conversation with a friend reconnected Brenda with the compassion for animals she remembered feeling as a young girl. He’d dropped by for coffee on his way to hunt deer. She decided to confront him.
Was it right for him to shoot the defenseless deer? Did it make him feel more like a man to shoot and kill another creature?
His response stunned her:
“You have no right to criticize me. Just because you don’have the guts to pull the trigger doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for a trigger being pulled every time you buy a piece of meat camouflaged in cellophane in the grocery store.
You’re simply paying someone else to do the dirty work for you. At least the deer I eat have had a life. I doubt very much you can say the same for the animals sitting on your plate.”
Those words, Brenda recalls, literally left her speechless:
I was silenced… In that instant, I vowed to take responsibility… to find out about the lives of the animals I ate. What I learned filled me with shame… but more importantly, it reawakened my compassion for animals.
As uncomfortable as it made her, vegans everywhere are lucky that conversation over coffee occurred. Otherwise, Brenda might never have joined fellow registered dietitian Vesanto Melina in co-authoring Becoming Vegan.
First published in 2000, and updated with the Comprehensive Edition in 2014, it’s widely regarded as one of the best-researched books on plant-based nutrition.
Not only does Becoming Vegan detail all the ways a vegan lifestyle helps animals and our environment; it presents study after study supporting the countless health benefits of whole, plant-based foods.
It includes individual chapters devoted to:
The authors provide exhaustive information on our nutritional needs in every stage of life, from pre-birth to old age. Athletes and over- or underweight people get their own chapters as well.
The end result is truly the only nutritional textbook anyone could ever need!
Given the amount of highlighting I did in the weeks I spent reading its 600-plus pages, I’m confident that Becoming Vegan will be among my most-used reference guides.