Growing up, I knew one vegetarian. I met my first vegan when I was 30. A couple of decades on, many of my friends are nonmeat eaters and the number of vegans rises exponentially depending on how many teenage guests are at my table. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants are increasingly popular, and a meat-free lifestyle grows ever more mainstream. The publishing industry has not been slow to respond to this burgeoning interest in plant-based eating. Year on year, larger numbers of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks are published and 2019 sees the flowering of the trend for vegetarian books written for and by nonvegetarians. This new slew of books is great news for cooks in households where often a range of eating styles has to be catered for. Despite the lure of braaied chops, boerewors and slow roast lamb, my children have given up meat; I too eat far less, partly for health reasons but also in response to the ethical and ecological implications of what is on my dinner plate.


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