It’s no secret that I adore Sarah Kramer and her amazing vegan cookbooks. I’ve profiled her pocket-sized Vegan A Go-Go and interviewed her for my Shameless Women column. Now the 10th Anniversary Edition of How It All Vegan has been released and it’s better than ever!
Ten years after its first release HIAV is still one of the most popular vegan cookbooks around and a staple of any vegan cook’s kitchen.
I had the chance to interview co-author Sarah Kramer about the success of the book, the continuing rise in veganism, and even tried a few recipes from my very own treasured copy of How It All Vegan 10th Anniversary Edition (check out a pic of the results below).
How It All Vegan is now celebrating its 10-year anniversary and is often called the bible of vegan cooking. When you started this, did you think it would become so popular?
No. Never. I was hoping that we would get lucky and sell a few thousand copies.
What changes in veganism have you seen over the last 10 years?
Well… 10 years ago there weren’t a lot of vegan cookbooks or vegan products. I made almost all my food from scratch and finding vegan products like shoes, make-up, etc was a real hassle but these days you can pop onto websites like Moo Shoes, Vegan Essentials, Karmavore, and Cosmos Vegan Shoppe and buy just about anything your vegan heart desires.
But the biggest change I’ve seen is that veganism is now part of popular culture. You can go to a restaurant and tell your server you’re vegan and they don’t look at you like you said “Venus”. Most people out there understand the fundamentals of veganism.
When How It All Vegan celebrates its 20th year, where do you hope veganism will be? Where do you think it will actually be (if there’s a difference)?
Wow. That’s a tough one … I’m not very good at looking into the future and predicting - I thought we’d all have solar powered cars by now. But what I see happening currently is a greater consciousness about how animals suffer for food and fashion and my greatest wish is that we as a planet will continue to place our focus on protecting and loving all animals and nature. I think that by taking care of nature that nature will take care of us.
How It All Vegan includes info and recipes for everything from lipgloss to cleaning products to playdough, and on your Canada AM appearance to promote the book, you mentioned that veganism is not just about the food you eat, it’s an entire lifestyle. Can you explain that a little more?
Well food is a big part of it. We have to eat. Food is the fuel that keeps our bodies alive and it’s important to eat healthy foods. But veganism is about not using or consuming any animal products - so that includes your shoes, clothing, make-up, cleaning products, just to name a few.
There is NO reason for an animal to suffer so you can have what you want.
Is there any advice you could give to someone who is interested in veganism?
My advice is to get yourself a couple of good cookbooks (I can think of four off the top of my head) and start to educate yourself.
I would suggest you read some books, watch some movies, check out the internet … there’s a lot of information out there for people who don’t know about how animals suffer so we can consume food and fashion.
Veganism can be overwhelming at first … it can feel like there’s a lot of things you can’t have so it’s important to focus on what you CAN have. The introduction to HIAV talks all about becoming vegan and has lots of tips so you’re not overwhelmed with all your new rules.
I would also highly recommend you read Becoming Vegan by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis. It will answer just about every vegan nutritional question you might have.
Any new projects?
Well HIAV-X just hit the bookshelves and it has a new introduction, five brand new recipes as well as food photography.
Also, my 2010 Go Vegan wall calendar is now in stores. The calendar is full of funny goofy photos and also includes recipes.
I just finished shooting photos for a 2011 calendar and am working on the text for that. A portion of the proceeds of the calendar go to Sea Shepherd
Check out the pic below of the amazingly delicious How It All Vegan 10th Anniversary Edition “Spicy Black Bean Burgers” my partner and I created: