I’ve started doing a new thing in the hope to save some money: read the free Kindle sample Amazon will wire you first, and then only when I’ve reached the end of that, if I’m still interested, order the whole book. It might improve my current situation of having downloaded too many books I’ve never opened, in the way my parents’ house is filled with books I bought never to read them. In some cases, I’ve also taken to reading the free sample just for its sake, as I would read an excerpt of a new release in a magazine out of interest for the topic, never contemplating buying the whole book.
The latter strategy is what I was planning on doing with How to Be Vegan, but I ended up liking the sample so much, and was in such an appropriate state of mind for it, that I ended up ordering and reading the whole thing straight away. I cannot remember exactly whether I had decided to go fully vegan at the time (as opposed to simply vegetarian on a little cheese and no eggs) but I think not. I was still in those few days when I was toying with the idea without having committed myself to it. If I recall well, it’s fair to think that Elizabeth Castoria partly contributed to my going vegan, even if only in a small way.
I know that what drew me to her book particularly was how inclusive it was; her writing style is engaging, chatty and relaxed, and more importantly, her take on veganism is too. She points out from the start that veganism is all about minimising the suffering you cause others “when practical and possible”; it’s not about making yourself sick with guilt at having licked by accident a biscuit that might perhaps contain traces of milk (okay, so I made that example up… but there are anal vegans out there). She gives a lot of no-nonsense advice and tells you about what going vegan is all about in practice, which is handy when you don’t have access to any real-life vegan specimens you can just quiz ad vitam. So I would recommend her book to anyone remotely interested in veganism, and certainly to anyone considering going vegan; but if you’re short on cash, or ready to weed out the hysterically stupid from the sound golden-nugget-quality stuff that can be found online, you can also search the internet instead.