A compelling new book, Even Vegans Die, makes the seemingly obvious point that no diet can stave off the prospect of eventual death. There are many reasons this book is mandatory reading for vegans and non-vegans alike. Here are a few:
All of these themes of the book touched me on a personal level. When I was diagnosed with cancer in my twenties, I had not yet prepared a will, an oversight I quickly fixed. As someone who had already been eating a plant-based diet for several years, I was stunned by the cancer diagnosis. I was also embarrassed by the cancer diagnosis. I felt I was letting down the vegan community by having succumbed to a disease that was completely beyond my control. This consumed scarce mental energy at a time when I couldn’t spare any. The truth is that serious medical conditions can arise in spite of our best efforts. While some risks can be significantly reduced by careful lifestyle choices, none can be completely eliminated. People who don’t smoke can get cancer; vegans can too!
The reasons to stop eating animal products are many, and while they don’t include immortality, they do include lower risk of disease, as well as clear benefits to the environment and of course animals. This book reminds us that vegans are human too, and counsels all of us – vegans and non-vegans alike – to take better care of ourselves and each other.
Adams, C.J., Breitman, P., & Messina, V. (2017). Even Vegans Die. New York, NY: Lantern Books.
Callwood, J. (1986). Twelve Weeks in Spring. Toronto, ON: Lester & Orpen Dennys.