A book that covertly markets the vegan lifestyle

It’s completely coincidental that Farm Sanctuary is in my book. Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer and Feeling Better Every Day was already on my reading list. Published in 2015 by Rodale Books and authored by Farm Sanctuary Co-Founder and President Gene Baur and Gene Stone, it allows any plant-curious reader to live the same lifestyle a sanctuary owner or staff person might.


Is Living the Farm Sanctuary Life a memoir?

Like many of the books I’ve read that are classified as non-fiction, this book has memoir elements, but isn’t a memoir of Baur’s life. The authors cover Farm Sanctuary’s history and the structure of the book revolves around the 5 Tenets of Farm Sanctuary Living:

  1. Live & Eat in Alignment With Your Values
  2. Engage in a Mindful Conversation with Animals
  3. Engage in a Mindful Connection With Your Food
  4. Eat Plants…For Your Health
  5. Eat Plants…For the Health of the Earth

A couple cool stories that are memoir-like include:

  • Notable people who’ve visited the sanctuary, like vegan Steve-O of Jackass fame
  • The story of Bob Comis, a former hog farmer turned vegetarian
  • Stories of people who’ve adopted animals and how that’s affected them

Gene Baur and dairy-industry survivor Ari. Courtesy farmsanctuary.org.


Is Living the Farm Sanctuary Life a vegan book?

Yes. As mentioned earlier, this is a great pro-vegan book I’d even call a “transition” book that would help anyone ease into a vegan lifestyle. I wonder if the title was intentional, as I was expecting to learn about how Baur and his team actually run the sanctuary—but there really wasn’t much content around that.

More of the highlights I took away from the book include:

  • The fact that most veterinarians the sanctuary staff interacted with don’t care much for animals and thought they weren’t worth saving. So sad!
  • Political advocacy for animals
  • The mental health benefits of companion animals
  • Personalities of farm animals
  • The health benefits of a plant-based diet
  • Environmental affects of the animal agriculture industry
  • How to live more eco-friendly or minimal, even if you’re already vegan

Half of the book is about the sanctuary and why it’s important to go vegan (without outright saying so). The rest of the book contain recipes from notable figures. Here are the recipes I added to my cooking arsenal:

  • Hakuna “No Worries” Frittata
  • The Best Tofu Scramble You’ve Ever Had
  • Sweet & Sour Salad by Victoria Moran, who endorsed my book
  • Vegiterranean Tempeh Sandwiches with White Bean Rosemary Salad
  • Gumbo
  • Faki Soup by Biz (co-founder of Twitter) & Livia Stone
  • Ellen DeGeneres‘s Red Beans & Rice

Because of this book, I learned about Gene Stone, who has an impressive writing career and has ghostwritten, co-written, or authored numerous (best-selling) books related to veganism. (Life goals!)


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