"Oh, I'd love to be vegan, but I just don't have your willpower. It must be so hard!"
I've heard some variant of this all too often since I went vegan 14 years ago. Maybe some people are insincere and they don't care one way or another and the supposed difficulty is a convenient excuse. But for at least some of them, I know they're convinced there's something really hard about going, and staying, vegan.
But for anyone able to read this blog post, there really isn't. The only hard thing is everyone else not being vegan. And that's slowly, slowly changing.
Hopefully helping to accelerate that change is Rebecca Gilbert's book It's Easy to Start Eating Vegan: Yummy Plants 101.
This is what its Pennsylvania-based author rightfully terms "a how-to book" that can be read in an hour "so people can get started right away." Unlike her exhaustive blog Yummy Plants, which Gilbert launched in 2010 "to share the joy of vegan food," this content is packaged in a bite-size format as portable as your pocket. You can go to the grocery store with it and not only compare the shelf labels to the book's pages, but rip out the coupons in the back of the book and buy some stuff to start off with. Now that's making it easy!
With sections devoted not only to ingredients and meal types but to situations (such as chapter 4, "Out and About"), the book focuses on practical basics while delivering motivational nuggets about staying vegan once you go there. Gilbert herself says she went vegan "for health reasons" after suffering joint pain as a competitive ice skater, but that it was "other reasons that inspired me to stay vegan."
Gilbert is still lining up a Philly-area appearance but if you're down south toward Baltimore you can catch her this Sunday, October 19th, at Great Sage in Clarksville, MD between 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and come away with a signed copy.
"It's a great primer for people without a support network," remarked the Pittsburgh-based author, perhaps envying the vegan abundance and plant-based tastiness routinely enjoyed by those who have the good sense to live on the eastern side of the state. But she's not alone out there, as she reports that "some people are buying the book to give to their loved ones so they'll know what things to have in the house for them to eat."