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On the Importance of Freebees and Comments


Yesterday, Elaine mentioned something I neglected in my commentary about Ellen’s show, and that is the audience was given both Skinny Bitch books, and they tried vegan chocolate chip cookies. That reminded me that I just received my replacement copy of THE JOY OF VEGAN BAKING as well as VEGAN CUPCAKES TAKE OVER THE WORLD and VEGANOMICON. I baked the above chocolate chip cookies using THE JOY OF VEGAN BAKING, as I find that recipe to taste the most like the cookie dough I ate as a kid–raw of course–and kept in the freezer. I even saved some dough in a freezer container, and I’m sure it’ll never see the oven. I’ve always been told not to use the whipped Earth Balance for baking, but I did and it made no difference in the taste and was slightly less fattening.

I re-bought the cookbooks because one of my strategies is to give guests a cookbook–preferably one that contains a recipe they just sampled and enjoyed immensely. Or I’ll cook a dessert to bring to a dinner party and take the cookbook with me. The hostess and guests find the dessert delectable, I give a brief spiel about how the goodies contain no eggs, butter or milk, everyone’s interest is piqued (or they’re amazed, as they cannot fathom desserts without eggs and butter), and I give the cookbook to the person who appears most interested in using it or learning more about vegan cooking or baking.

If the people in Ellen’s audience read through the books and learn something and perhaps cut back on dairy, or start replacing a couple of meals with vegan meals, I’d be thrilled. And if the people who are completely uninterested gave their free books to someone who might be interested, I’d be thrilled.

Never underestimate the power of freebees. I know nearly a dozen people who are either vegans now or on their way (by replacing animal-based meals with animal-free meals, not by purchasing different kinds of animal products or eliminating beef and replacing it with chicken), and their entry point was a free book. Of course, a trip to the store to show them that the ingredients are accessible and reasonably priced, helps seal the deal. And the prospect of better health and weight loss doesn’t hurt, particularly for women.

In my experience, food is the best way to get someone interested in veganism. Having a discussion about animal rights and what it means is great, but the food discussion has an action attached to it. It allows them to do something immediately that’s a win-win-win for their health, the animals and the planet.

And on an unrelated note, for all of you who didn’t submit a comment regarding the Kofa mountain lions, the scoping period has been extended to June 23 so you can still let your voice be heard. Also check out Ron Kearns’ timeline, which is a great lesson in how exploiters get what they want and attempt to silence (or eliminate) dissent.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dustin Rhodes #

    I do the same thing. Over the past year, I've probably given away 5 copies of Dining with Friends because someone has been taken with Priscilla's Linguine with Cauliflower and Onions recipe (I am kind of obsessed with it, and by kind of, I mean ~completely~). I've also given at least 5 copies of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. However, I don't think, sadly, that it's converted anyone to the Dark Side, which of course was the motivation. The best success I have had is a friend who makes a lot of vegan meals, because she now has an arsenal of vegan cookbooks that she likes. Of course I think that's great, but I am always wanting someone's culinary world to be so rocked that they are inspired to change on the spot.

    May 24, 2008
  2. Obviously, I totally agree with you that freebees are great.

    May 24, 2008
  3. Ron Kearns #


    Thank you for the mention of the cougar timeline. My effort was to give people a sense of how their public servants can deceive rather than serve. I often wonder if such deceit occurs with Animal Rights issues or legislation within government.

    May 26, 2008

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