I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon Bob and Jenna. It was during the early days of my veganism, and I wouldn’t put it past me to have typed something like ‘I have no vegan friends’ into Google. Somehow I landed myself on iTunes, listening to these two people on a podcast. I feel in love. I was 19 with no vegans in my life, and overnight I found two fanatical, sarcastic best friends who whined about the omnivores and how stupid some people could be (especially PETA). They also had an amazingly angsty theme song, not to mention their insane sound board featuring George Bush quotes—including an invitation to pet the turkey—and Oprah, welcoming the hommus to the table. Scouts’ honour.
Unfortunately they’ve since gone MIA so the podcasts have stopped and the website has timed out, taking the old recordings with it. But, fear not! Someone over on Youtube has uploaded 20-something of the most recent episodes, which you can find here.
Vegan Freak: Being a Vegan in a Non-Vegan World is a practical survival guide for veganism, written by Bob and Jenna Torres, published by Tofu Hound Press (best publisher name ever?). If I recall correctly, they wrote it because they were sick of answering the same questions over and over. Which is just naturally what you do.
The book includes: a how-to on becoming vegan; smart ways to deal with reactions from family and friends; it explains what is and is not vegan; and more importantly, why you should be vegan. Bob and Jenna have done their research (Bob has even written a second book about the political economy of animal rights, Making a Killing). Vegan Freak recommends some further reading and every chapter has a list of references you can follow up if you feel that way inclined.
The book is written in a casual tone—occasional language warning by the way—which means you feel less like you’re being lectured at and more like they’re just giving it to you straight. The authors are Americans living in America but they take a very global position towards veganism, and I felt I could apply most of the book to my day to day Australian life.
Looking back now, there’s so much content both in the book and the podcasts that’s relevant, even after three years. And if nothing else, it reminds me why I made this decision in the first place and it keeps me passionate.
You can check out Vegan Freak over on The Book Depository: grab a sneak peak and buy a copy for around AU$13 here.