I love you, John Robbins.

One of the perks of working a summer camp job is that by the end of the summer, you get tips from parents. One of my tips was a $20 Barnes and Nobles giftcard, which I gloriously brought to the Union Square Barnes and Nobles tonight.

I proceeded to walk straight up to the third floor, where the "Vegan Cookbook" section was (yes, they have a "Vegan Cookbook" section!), and as I rode the elevator, thoughts of delicious new recipes happily swirled in my head. Until I passed by the "Diet" section and saw a few books worth taking a second glance at. One of them was a book that has been recommended to me for some time now - John Robbins' "Diet for a New America".

If you don't know John Robbins, you should - he was the heir to the Baskin Robbins dynasty. The interesting twist in Robbins' story is that when finally given the chance to take over the family job, he respectfully declined. Because Robbins' had another pursuit in mind - finding a way to create a healthier, more humane, more loving world. And "Diet for a New America" was born out of that pursuit.

I'm only past the introduction, and I am totally enamored by this book. Below is a quote that really spoke to me:

" The suffering [farm] animals undergo has become so extreme that to partake of food from these creatures is to partake unknowingly of the abject misery that has been their lives. Millions upon millions of Americans are merrily eating away, unaware of the pain and disease they are taking into thier bodies with every bite. We are ingesting nightmares for breakfast, lunch, and dinner."

As much as I love to devote my blog to cooking and baking and food lovin' in general, I am also interested in my own pursuit: promoting ethical eating. It's a credo I live by, and one that has become a spiritual guide for me as I learn more and more about the connection between our environment and what we put into our bodies. John Robbins wrote "Diet for a New America" in 1987, and if I hadn't known that, I would have thought it was written this year. The words are timeless in a way, because it's twenty-two years later, and we are still dealing with these issues. For better or worse, I'm thankful that I at least get to be a part of it all - and tonight, that's enough for me to want to keep reading this book.

Food for thought, I guess. (Pun intended.)