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In just over a month, my second non-fiction title will be on the shelf (2 July). The dilemmas, struggles and answers included in Buddhism for Meat Eaters were ones that had been brewing for around thirty years. I always wanted to be vegetarian (preferably vegan) but my physical body did not agree. I was left with a constant sense of guilt, shame and grief over this struggle–my spirit was willing but my body wasn’t.
For years I kept a journal, thinking I could wrestle out this conflict on the page, until years later I had to accept that I had no answers. I put the journal away, and carried on with my life, never having found the peace I craved.
Then one day, I was lying awake in the middle of the night. It was a full moon and I often struggle to sleep during that lunar phase. I can’t even remember what I was thinking about specifically, but somewhere between midnight and two am, it was like the decades of struggle finally made sense. All the threads came together, and I’d finally begun to find peace in the last place I expected to uncover it: Buddhism.
I jumped up and grabbed by laptop and wrote out a page, then sent it to my agent. This! I wrote. This is what I want to write about! For the record, I don’t actually recommend you send your agent/publisher wild ramblings at two o’clock in the morning as a way of pitching an idea, but in this case, it worked. Haylee said she loved it, asked me to write out some sample chapters, began pitching it before I’d finished writing it, and I was blown away to find that it sold so quickly. Clearly, my struggles with eating meat were not unique to me. There was a market for this book. Certainly, by the number of you who have left me comments saying things like This book was written for me or I need this so much or I can’t wait to read this, I am absolutely not alone in this quandary.
Ultimately, this book is one of hope, of healing and making peace with your body, mind, plate and world. If you are drawn to it, I hope it brings you as much encouragement as it did me.
p.s. I love this cover so much. It was designed by Lisa White, who also designed the cover for my first novel, The Tea Chest. I think Lisa truly gets my vibe.