Since 1987, John Robbins’ Diet for a New America has been a definitive source on the merits of plant-based eating. This year the classic celebrates its 25th anniversary, and an honorary edition has been released to educate and empower a new generation of people striving for better health, a cleaner environment, and fairness for animals on factory farms.
Robbins bravely rejected his family’s Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire to instead promote “compassionate stewardship of a balanced ecosystem.” He wrote Diet for a New America to make the public aware of the interconnectedness of ourselves with our planet and the other animals who live on it, to unveil the frightening food system upon which we’ve become dependent, and to paint a picture of a brighter future that we could attain if we start a food revolution.
The book examines the link between our food habits and the current epidemics of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer; the inhumane treatment of animals in agriculture; the alarming amount of pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics routinely pumped over crops and into cows, chickens, and pigs; and the staggering amount of resources depleted from our global stores to produce meat, dairy, and eggs.
Fortunately, we’ve seen lots of progress in two decades, in part because of the book’s influence. Meat, dairy, and egg consumption have been declining, and vegan alternatives have exploded on the market. Most exciting, these improvements have been spurred by consumer demand. Just this week a Purdue University study cited that people are eating less pork due to animal welfare concerns.
This news is encouraging, but we still have a long way to go to convince the public that plant-based foods are the key to prevention, that our environment is truly in a state of crisis, and that animals deserve more than the unbearable torment they endure on factory farms. So pick-up the book. Pass it on to a friend. You’ll be changing more than one life that day.