SCIENCES

The Garden of Vegan: How Plants Can Save the Animals, the Planet and Our Health

Pimpernel. Sept. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9781910258477. pap. $27.95. GARDENING
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This is not a book about gardening, but rather, it is an attempt by West, an award-winning British garden designer, to convince gardeners to go vegan. The first few chapters cover the author’s early life, an introduction to vegan organic gardening, and profiles of gardens West designed. The remainder of the book makes the environmental, health, and ethical case for veganism. Many of the arguments are familiar—the cruelty of the meat and dairy industries, the environmental impact of animal agriculture, and the health advantages of a plant-based diet. West’s arguments are detailed and extensively footnoted, but some sources are pseudoscientific and biased toward veganism. He also repeats claims unsupported by scientific evidence; for example, that milk consumption is linked to autism, and describing humans as “vermin” and comparing animals to marginalized groups, including the enslaved.
VERDICT Vegans and animal rights activists will find plenty of validation, and readers on the fence about becoming vegan may be convinced to do so. Others will likely be put off by the author’s questionable claims, inflammatory statements, and judgmental tone.

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