Amazon interviews Erik Marcus How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?

E.M.: I never imagined that I would ever write books. As a college student, I envisioned myself teaching high school English, and perhaps writing occasional magazine articles.

After college, I became keenly interested in vegetarian activism. I did lots of volunteer work for various vegetarian groups. After a while, I developed misgivings about my activism. I was distributing a lot of pro-vegetarian materials that I didn't have the opportunity to research first-hand. Much of the material I gave away came from dated sources, and I knew that there was a great deal of persuasive information that wasn't making its way into the flyers I was handing out.

When I was about 28, I realized I would have to become an author after all. I became convinced that the vegetarian movement needed a book with super-current sources, one that had been checked over by top experts for accuracy. I wanted to write a book that integrated late 1990s research on health, environmental concerns, and animal protection, so I moved to a place where
I'd have access to first-rate medical, veterinary, and agriculture libraries. I worked seven days a week and nearly round-the-clock. More than two years of research and countless drafts later, I had my first book-- “Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating.”

During this writing process, my chief goal was to assemble huge amounts of challenging information into an entertaining and readable format. I'm just beginning to see the first reviews and responses to my book, and it seems like people think I accomplished this goal. What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

E.M.: There are many writers whose work I love, even though I have great differences with their personal philosophies. For example, I love to read Hemingway even though I find his world-view unnecessarily violent and perhaps morally bankrupt.

On a brighter note, I admire a lot of wonderful writers who wrote passionately about human and/or animal exploitation: people like Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair, Victor Hugo, and Scott Nearing.

Then there are the writers who haven't just witnessed oppression but have themselves suffered it. Zora Neale Hurston, Gandhi, Langston Hughes, and Frederick Douglas are just a few. I can't imagine trying to write about animal victimization without first having read stories of human victimization. Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or similar events?
Do you interact with your readers electronically through e-mail or other online forums?

E.M.: Yes to everything! If somebody's going to plow through 200+ pages of my work and buy my book in the process, it's basic courtesy to be interested in what they have to say. I'm going to be doing a lot of touring and I can't wait to meet people around the world and discuss vegetarian issues with them.

Marcus' book shows why a change in what you eat can be so simple and yet so significant. For the sake of your health, the earth, and compassion toward animals, learn about the vegan diet through the work of many featured experts such as Heart Specialist, Dean Ornish, M.D.,   Nutrition Scientist, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., and others.

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Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus. This well-researched, factually-based book outlines the health, ethical, and ecological reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle. Writing in a compassionate style and from personal experience, the author outlines many practical reasons for making this conscious, although not always easy-to-follow, health decision, among them the fact that 70% of all Americans are dying from illnesses related to diet. If you have never been exposed to these vegan concepts, this book is sure to be an eye-opener and could change your life. If you are seeking well-documented information on nutrition and the potential and probable   links of nutrition to disease, this is the book to buy.

Book Review: Copyright 1999 CyberParent. All rights reserved.

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