Food & Nutrition

Reflections on The Great Plant-Based Con

I was chatting to someone at the May 2022 Public Health Collaboration conference (after I had done my “Should we be vegan?” presentation) and they said we needed a book that pulled together the health and climate aspects of the plant vs animal debate, but that also covered the history and the conflicts. I said, “funny you should say that – this book has just been written.”

In her 20 years as a published author, Jayne Buxton has written on a wide variety of subjects. Her work includes non-fiction, two novels, many short stories, a blog and journalistic pieces for the Independent, Guardian and others. Her latest book is called The Great Plant-Based Con.

Jayne approached me in August 2020 to ask if she could interview me for a book she was writing on plant-based food. Jayne approached numerous other writers and speakers in the field of diet and health at the same time and we were all ‘grilled’ for hours in a rigorous and objective way. The interviews were followed up with detailed questions by email and requests for references for facts we had shared. Final passages were shared with interviewees to check for accuracy. I have been approached by a few people writing books; none with this thoroughness and determination to get to the bottom of issues. I was impressed with Jayne before I met her. I first met her at the same PHC conference mentioned above and she gave me a copy of the book – hot off the press.

It’s a weighty tome – over 500 pages of text and references, but it’s highly readable and minimally technical. Most people try to write for the average reader. This book has achieved that aim.

I think I’ve only had one, maybe two, guest posts in over 10 years? I invited Jayne to do one as I thought you would enjoy some background to what I think will become a classic book in this field – like Big Fat Surprise and The Vegetarian Myth (which this book pays tribute to). I didn’t know what angle Jayne would take. I gave her a complete free hand. She has chosen to share the reaction to the book and how life has been for her and her publicist since. It is raw, emotional and quite shocking in parts. The rest of this post is Jayne in her own words…

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