In this fun and heart warming book, Ben Shaberman leads us through the life of Jerry Zuckerman, via the vegetarian and vegan women he meets along the way.
It would be easy to think that this book would be crammed full of heavy vegan manifesto, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, Shaberman cleverly introduces a range of core vegan values into his colourful characters with ease and a respectful subtlety.
Jerry is a young and impressionable boy at school when we are first introduced, via his friendship with the compassionate and intelligent Gail. Gail is the first person to open Jerry’s eyes to the idea that eating meat is an option, and to the suffering of animals on farms. I fell in love with this clued in young lady.
I hate spoilers, so I will keep my further discussions of the inner workings of the remainder of this novel short and sweet. Throughout each chapter, we meet a different woman who has come into Jerry’s life. Some romantic, some platonic. This is by no means a vegan version of Mills & Boon (which the title could lead you to believe)!
There are some very strong women represented in this book, and I love them. It’s a shame that there aren’t more vegan men in the stories, however, and Jerry digs a fairly lonely track besides his colleague Marty at a vegetarian charity.
Each of the individual stories touched me in a different way. From animal sanctuary owners to chance meetings at conferences, there a an ecletic mix of vegans, showing that we’re definitely not all the same, and a mostly just normal human beings.
This novel gives a light hearted and fun insight into the moral and environmental reasons behind choosing a vegan diet, and a window into the every day lives of those who follow one.
I thoroughly enjoyed each and every story, and found myself longing for Jerry to find happiness and success. The end of the book – no spoilers – an absolute heart warmer and one which took me by surprise.
This is by no means a ‘Vegan Only’ read, and I think that omnivores and herbivores alike will gain pleasure from the well constructed and engaging stories.
Jerry’s Vegan Women is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and you can take a look at Ben Shaberman’s website here.