Review: Michelle Rivera’s The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book (2009)

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book by Michelle Rivera (2009)

Review: The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book: Cruelty-Free Recipes for Canines by Michelle A. Rivera (2009); published by the Book Publishing Company in Summertown, Tennessee.

I had originally planned on recommending The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book as a cute lil’ stocking stuffer for the holiday season. Alas, December was a hectic month, and I never did get around to reviewing the book in time for Christmas – or even compiling a gift-giving guide, I might add! Instead, I shall suggest that you gift a copy of The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book to the dog guardian in your life this Valentine’s Day – because the dreaded V-Day is so much more delightful when celebrated with/for canines, don’t you think?

(Remember:

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Dog is Love!)

Dog is Love; Vegan Dogs, Doubly So!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review from the publisher.)

The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book is a quick, easy read. Part cookbook, part nutritional primer, part lifestyle guide, the book is divided into several sections:

1. The Vegan Lifestyle briefly examines the reasons for and benefits of veganism for dogs (here called a “vegan lifestyle,” since dogs are not “vegans” in the ethical/moral/philosophical sense of the word). Throughout this chapter, Rivera offers anecdotes from several guardians of vegan dogs, detailing how and why they decided to transition their dog-kids to vegan diets. She also includes some basic information about canine nutritional needs.

Though Rivera did consult with veterinarians while writing The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book, the book is not intended as a comprehensive nutritional or health guide. Rather, it helps to provide encouragement and support to those parents who have already decided to transition their dog-kids to veganism. In this way, the dog parents profiled within these pages function as a sort of support group for those already on the path to canine veganism, instead of an impetus to begin the journey.

That said, if you’re still struggling to decide whether veganism is the right choice for you and your dog-kids, The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book isn’t for you. Instead, I recommend searching your local library for books on canine nutrition – and not, necessarily, books specific to veganism and dogs. (To the best of my knowledge, no such books exist. Publishers, are you listening? *wink*) I think you’ll find that most veterinarians, while generally opposed to vegetarian and vegan diets for dogs, will begrudgingly admit that such diets can be healthy, as long as they’re formulated with care and knowledge. For me, hearing these words from speciesist omni (nonhuman) animal medical and nutritional professionals is what ultimately compelled me to make the leap to homemade vegetarian and, eventually, vegan foods.

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I bark, you bark, we all bark for Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise!

Monday, November 30th, 2009

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As you can see, I’m in a silly mood this morning. A weekend of FSMas decorating will do that to you!

Anyhow, here’s another recipe from The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book. This one’s a main dish, quick and easy to make – perfect for a chilly December evening when you’ve a dozen gifts to wrap (or is that adoption packets to print up?) and a Peace Corps worth of Vegan Gingerbread People baking in the oven. You can even prepare the barley and lentils in one pot to save on dishes!

Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise

Reprinted from The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book (page 53) with permission.

For everyday feeding or just a quick meal on a busy day, this is a staple you can always count on. The finished product looks a lot like standard dog food. If you like, add any dog-friendly vegetables you have on hand. It’s a great way to clear out the fridge!

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Ingredients

1 cup cooked barley
1 cup firm cooked lentils
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup salt-free vegetable broth

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The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book Presents: Snickerpoodles!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book by Michelle Rivera (2009)

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the Book Publishing Company was kind enough to send me a copy of Michelle Rivera’s The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book: Cruelty-Free Recipes for Canines for review. Over the weekend, I tried out two recipes, including this sweet treat called Snickerpoodles. (A canine play on Snickerdoodles, which I’ve [ducking] never tried!)

I hope your dog-kids enjoy these as much as mine do!

Snickerpoodles

(Reprinted with permission.)

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Ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup molasses
1 overripe banana, mashed
3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

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