Transform the Way You Eat and Live--One Meal at a Time


By Kristie Middleton

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Countless people are now cutting back on meat by enjoying more plant-based meals-to look and feel better, have a lighter eco-footprint, or to help animals. If you want to eat less meat and dairy without giving them up entirely, MeatLess offers concrete rationale and easy steps for reducing animal products. Kristie Middleton, senior food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States, shares inspirational stories from people who’ve lost weight, reached their health goals, helped animals, and improved their environmental footprint through plant-based eating. Along with its delicious, satisfying recipes that anyone can make, MeatLess offers tips and tricks for overcoming common barriers to diet change and how to make a better lifestyle stick-such as easy food swaps, where to dine out, and how to set and meet your goals. Whether you’re a passionate meat lover or vegan-curious, MeatLess is the roadmap for a healthier life and a better you.



In December 2009, my husband, Mark, received an email from an animal sanctuary where he'd volunteered. The email requested that a group of us help transport several dozen "spent" egg-laying hens, who had been discarded by an egg factory farm, to the sanctuary. Mark explained that we'd leave early on a Saturday morning to meet the rescue agency, move the birds from their transport crates to comfortable boxes we'd prepare for them in advance, and then drive them a couple hours north. He asked if I'd like to come along but warned that I'd be seeing animals who had been through hell. I couldn't turn down the opportunity to help deliver these animals to a safe haven, but in spite of Mark's warnings, I wasn't fully prepared for what I would encounter.

When I saw these hens, I couldn't help but think of the time I was nine years old, and my older sister taunted me about the eggs I was eating:

"You know what that is, don't you?"

"What?" I asked.

"Dead baby birds."

As a nine-year-old, eggs happened to be the only food I knew how to cook. My uncle Rodney, who'd once stayed with my family for a month, taught me how to make scrambled eggs. To me, it was magic watching them go from liquid to congealed to cooked within moments of hitting the hot skillet. That was when I fell in love with cooking.

It took a moment for my sister's comment to hit me. Dead baby birds? I stopped eating eggs immediately.

Though I later learned that my sister was wrong—that the eggs we eat are actually unfertilized—as a child who loved animals, my sister's ribbing was sufficient to turn me off eggs for good. Twenty years later, during that rescue, I came face to face with the actual ugly truth behind the egg industry.

Having been involved in animal advocacy full time for many years, I knew that the majority of egg-laying hens are confined in wire mesh cages with up to seven other birds. I knew that virtually all of their natural behaviors are denied—dustbathing, perching, and even spreading their wings. But I was still shocked to see the condition of the birds.

On the cold winter day when we transported the hens, they arrived stuffed into tiny plastic crates with several other birds. Many were missing feathers, exposing raw, pink skin, and some had malformed beaks from botched debeaking (when factory farmers cut their beaks off with a hot blade to prevent them from pecking). They all had overgrown toenails from standing on wire for the last year or more, and some were too weak to stand up on their own.

Retirement for egg-laying hens typically means being gassed to death then sold as low-grade meat for pet food or farm animal feed. These fortunate birds would experience something much better. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, the hens were gently removed from the crates and placed inside a barn that had been prepared for them. At first they were tentative, but a few brave souls began exploring their surroundings. Watching the birds explore the solid ground under their claws instead of the cage wire to which they were accustomed was deeply moving. Some curiously scratched at the hay that had been placed on the ground while others pecked at it, and there were a few hens who were so weak they never stood up while we were there.

Slowly, the birds who had never properly exercised extended their wings, flapping them for the first time without touching the sides of their cages or one of their cage-mates. A few began taking dust baths, flinging the straw and dust up around them and relishing in the experience of cleaning their feathers. This, I thought, is why I work every day to help animals.

Caring about animals is something I've done from the time I was a young girl. Like most children, I had a natural affinity for animals and adored the animals I grew up with. As a small child growing up in Chesapeake, Virginia, I'd recite the following prayer nightly:

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep;

If I shall die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Amen. God bless Mom, Dad, Jenny, Tinker, KC, Pete, Garfield, Elvira, Bud.

"Mom, Dad, and Jenny" are pretty obvious. And the others? The rest of the family: Tinker, KC, and Pete were our dogs; Garfield was my goldfish; Elvira was a parakeet; and little ol' Bud was a Siberian hamster. (If you think hamsters are cute, you haven't seen cute until you've seen one of these guys.)

I grew up in suburban America with a typical childhood: spending time outdoors playing with my friends, riding my bike, and vegging out watching cartoons on Saturday mornings and MTV after school. My pets were always at my side—they were family members whom I loved dearly.

My diet was also typical. I grew up eating Kraft macaroni and cheese, McDonald's hamburgers, and Chick-fil-A nuggets. At one point, in my early teens, I considered becoming vegetarian. I bought a container of water-packed tofu, drained the water, and tried eating the blob for dinner—plain, unadorned, and flavorless. And there ended my first experiment with vegetarian eating. (If I could share but one gem of wisdom, it'd be this: don't try eating plain tofu for dinner!)

Later in life, my college marketing professor discussed the concept of euphemisms—how words can make unpleasant things sound more appealing. She asked how appealing it would be to eat chicken nuggets if we instead called them "processed flesh of dead animals."

Her words affected me. I'd sit down to eat a sandwich and think about eating the "flesh of dead animals." I couldn't do it, so I became a vegetarian.

Around that time, I started volunteering for an animal protection organization and became aware of the myriad ways humans use animals—for food, research, entertainment, and more. So, I decided to work full time to help animals, and that's what I've been doing ever since.

Today, I'm senior director of food policy for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)—the nation's largest animal protection organization. In the nearly two decades I've been working in this field, I've seen tremendous progress: the number of animals euthanized in shelters has decreased dramatically, cruel farming practices once considered standard are now illegal in some places, and animal cruelty and dogfighting are now felonies in all fifty states.

These transformations are happening because, as a society, we care deeply about animals. From the time we're young, we're taught to have compassion for animals. We're exposed to animals throughout childhood in seemingly endless ways. Who didn't have a favorite stuffed animal as a kid? We watch animals on cartoons, wear animal print clothing, and read stories prominently featuring animals such as Charlotte's Web and The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

And we live with lots of animals. According to the American Pet Products Association, nearly 80 million US households—65 percent of us—have animal companions. Forty-two percent of those homes with animals have more than one.1

As it turns out, our animal affinity extends to those animals raised for food. Technomic, a foodservice industry research and consulting firm, found animal welfare to be the third most-important social issue to restaurant-goers.

Yet while we want animals to be treated humanely, there remains a cognitive dissonance in which our daily actions don't necessarily align with our values. According to 2015 polling by the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG), only 3.4 percent of Americans are vegetarians—the same percentage of Americans who reported to be vegetarian in 2009.

However, VRG also found that 47 percent of us eat meat-free meals at least one day a week.2 In fact, USDA figures indicate that we're eating 10 percent less meat now than in 2007. So though the number of us becoming vegetarian or vegan remains consistent, the number of us actively reducing the meat we eat is growing. As a society that loves animals, we haven't succeeded in reconciling our love of animals and how we eat. Yet that's beginning to change with more of us desiring to eat less meat—for animals, our health, or for the planet.

Transitioning to vegetarian was easy for me: I was exposed to information that I found compelling and made simple changes to what I ate; I continued cooking my favorite meals but made them without meat; I sampled new vegetarian products at health food stores and ventured to new restaurants to try food that was brand new to me.

Although I'd stopped eating shell eggs as a child, I still consumed them in baked goods. As a new vegan, I experimented with baking with egg replacers. I tasted a variety of dairy-free milks and swapped my cows' milk for soymilk. And I explored ice creams made from almonds and rice milk instead of dairy.

Although the shift from omnivore to vegetarian to vegan was a slow process for me, I have friends who became vegan overnight, and others who are enjoying more plant-based meals while still eating meat from time to time. Everyone is at a different place in their transition: maybe you're thinking of committing to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, or maybe you want to be more of a flexitarian and reduce the amount of meat you eat while still eating meat occasionally. Whatever path you choose, we can all eat healthier and more in alignment with our values.

Of course, eating more plant-based foods and less meat will be better for our health. Numerous studies conclude that overconsumption of meat is associated with obesity, and the most common preventable causes of death such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke.3 On the other hand, eating a more plant-based diet has been found to help improve weight management and to prevent and even reverse these illnesses that claim millions of lives prematurely every year.4

Plant-based eating is also better for the environment and animals. To produce the large quantity of meat and other animal products we consume each year, the United States grows (and imports) vast quantities of grains, funneling them through billions of animals. That's an inefficient way of producing protein and causes land, water, and air pollution and creates greenhouse gas emissions.

And those billions of animals are often warehoused in cramped facilities, stuffed into cages and crates barely larger than their bodies—like those hens I helped rescue had been—and abused in ways that most people would find unacceptable.

Fortunately, the tide is turning toward a healthier future for all, with Americans' recent reduction in meat consumption and move to make vegetables the center of our plates. Eating more plant-based foods and less meat is becoming wildly popular. In 2015, a food industry publication, Foodservice Director magazine, named the most popular menu stories and "Vegan Went Mainstream" came in at the top.5

Sir Paul McCartney, Senator Cory Booker, Reverend Al Sharpton, Al Gore, Beyoncé, and Jay Z: every month it seems we hear of a new celebrity or public figure who's eating a meat-free diet to lose weight, stay fit, or help animals. How'd forty-five-year-old Jennifer Lopez drop 10 pounds? She went vegan, embracing what the Daily Mail called "Hollywood's hottest eating plan."6

It's not just Hollywood. As an employee of the HSUS, I work with institutions nationwide, helping them add more meatless options to their menus. More than two hundred K–12 school districts—including in Kansas City, Detroit, San Diego, Houston, and Los Angeles—are participating in programs like Meatless Monday. Hospital systems nationwide are reducing their meat usage. There are even some public schools and a county jail that have gone 100 percent vegetarian every day of the week.7

With more of us eating less meat, we've found ourselves at a crossroads. On one hand, we have big corporations tantalizing us with inhumane and unhealthy food products, and our waistlines continue to grow. On the other hand, we're desperate to take control of our health, we want to align the way we eat with our moral compass, and we've been taking steps to get there. We're searching high and low for easy answers, and companies desperate for a buck are feeding off our food frustrations: from plans to avoid carbs and pile bacon high on our plates to plans that would have us eat like cavemen—everyone is trying to sell a magic bullet.

MeatLess is about shedding the burden of the old model of dieting and sacrifice—it's about reclaiming our health, eating greener, and sparing animals. It's about exploring, cooking, and enjoying new foods. It's about turning away from the notion that we need a slab of meat at every meal and instead enjoying delicious, clean meals that are packed with all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we need—meals that will energize us rather than slow us down. We can each liberate our plates from always having meat at the center, just as millions are already doing.

Wherever you may be on this journey, this book will meet you there. My goal is to help explore why going meatless is a healthy choice—and one with so many other benefits—and to help you find your way. With simple strategies, recipes, swaps, ingredient talk, and more, together we'll find an approach that works for you. Get ready… we're going to make many changes.


Why MeatLess?


Eating Ourselves to Death

Few people can say that watching television changed their life, but that's exactly what happened to Eric O'Grey. The Whirlpool Corporation area sales manager was watching CNN one evening when he saw former president Bill Clinton being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer about Clinton's new diet: plant-based and mostly vegan.

O'Grey watched the former commander in chief discuss his struggles with heart disease and fast food and the healing power of his newly adopted plant-based diet. The president looked great. He said he felt great. Inspired by the interview, O'Grey thought, If Bill Clinton can transform his health and life, why can't I?

Indeed, O'Grey's health needed transforming.

"In August 2010, I weighed 340 pounds and had type 2 diabetes," he confessed. "My waist size was 52. I couldn't fly on an airplane without a seat belt extension. My cholesterol was 300 and my blood pressure was stratospheric. I couldn't walk up stairs without getting winded. I was spending more than $1,000 each month for medications to treat high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. My doctor advised me to have weight reduction surgery and told me if I didn't reduce my weight, I might as well purchase a cemetery plot."1

O'Grey took immediate action. He purchased The China Study—a book about the link between chronic illnesses and animal product consumption. He sought help from a nutritionist, who taught him what to eat and how to cook using a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while avoiding meat, dairy, and eggs.

O'Grey had never consciously incorporated meat-free meals into his diet—the majority of his meals were acquired from delivery or drive-through. But he began replacing all animal products in his home with protein-packed plant foods such as quinoa, tofu, and beans. He added more fresh foods like kale, tomatoes, and mushrooms. He figured out which staples in his diet were already plant-based—cereal, bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice. And he implemented a moderate exercise program of walking his newly adopted dog, Peety, for thirty minutes each day.

And it worked: O'Grey lost more than 100 pounds in seven months. His weight dropped to 175 pounds, and his blood glucose levels returned to normal. His waist size decreased to 32 inches. His cholesterol dropped to 114. His blood pressure became normal. And he was able to stop taking medications. His newfound health allowed O'Grey to take up running and, in 2012, he ran seven full marathons and 15 half marathons—even qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Just a few years before, struggling to climb a single flight of stairs, O'Grey's new life would have seemed impossible.

Five years after breaking free of animal products, O'Grey says his "energy, health, and weight continue to be optimal," adding, "I'm satisfied with my food, and have no food cravings or desire to overeat."

O'Grey, who made the adjustment to a plant-based diet with ease in just a few months, was most surprised that eating meat-free didn't mean giving up his favorite foods.

"My favorite dishes are what I call vegan comfort foods, such as lasagna, Mexican, Chinese, and similar international cuisines," he says. "So when people ask me what I eat, I turn the question around and ask them what they like to eat. When they answer my question, I explain how to make those same dishes without animal products."2

Plant-Strong for Life

O'Grey's inspirational story is just one of many from people who've changed their lives and revolutionized their health by adopting a plant-based diet. For some, the change comes easy; for others, change is hard. Consider the smoking physician or the overweight dietitian. We may know what's good for our health, but aligning our lifestyles accordingly doesn't always come easily.

Yet, most of us have some goals for change. We want to eat healthier, we want to quit smoking, and we want to focus more on the positive and less on the negative. It may seem hard, and sometimes impossible, but rest assured, it can be done.

We're living in an exciting time because so many people are taking the first step to make changes. Americans are embracing healthier eating—studies are showing we're consuming fewer calories and less meat—and it couldn't have come soon enough.4 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease.5 It's likely many of us know someone who has suffered from this sad, often diet-related fate.6 In fact, it's so prevalent that someone in the United States dies from heart disease every sixty seconds.

Many people tend to think of these conditions as inevitable or age-related; many resign themselves to taking medications in middle age to stave them off. But what if you were to learn that the leading causes of death weren't necessarily inevitable and, in fact, could be prevented with simple dietary changes? Would you make some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle if it meant you could live a longer life, look better, and feel fitter? Most of us would. And it turns out, we can.

To begin to solve this public health crisis, we must first look at its cause. Heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic, "refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke."7 When your blood vessels become narrowed or obstructed, it prevents your heart, brain, or other parts of your body from receiving enough blood. The University of Southern California's Keck Medical School simplifies it for us: "A non-clinical analogy would be a traffic jam on a highway."8

As Dr. Dean Ornish, the president and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute further explains, "Heart disease results when your heart becomes starved for oxygen that the blood carries. In part, this can be caused when blockages build up in the arteries that feed the heart."9

What causes plaque to build up, leading to blockages in the first place? According to W. C. Roberts, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology, "It's the cholesterol, stupid!" (His words, not mine!)10 Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in all of our body's cells. It's animal-derived, which means meat, eggs, and dairy all contain cholesterol.11 And although we need cholesterol in order for our body to function properly, our body already produces all that we need.12

Yet we keep eating diets high in animal products. In fact, in the United States we eat more meat per capita than almost any other country in the world.13

The good news, though, is that we're learning more about the causes of these lifestyle illnesses, and some pioneering researchers are finding innovative solutions—and preventions—and people are listening and ready to make changes.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his peers at the Center for Lifestyle Medicine of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio found, "The epidemic of cardiovascular disease is nonexistent in cultures that thrive predominantly on whole foods, plant-based nutrition."14 In an Experimental & Clinical Cardiology article, Dr. Esselstyn presents a powerful case for patients who suffered heart disease and later adopted a whole foods, plant-based diet. The patients who had previously undergone stents, tried prescription drugs, and after much frustration tried a plant-based diet found that the change in diet was what ultimately arrested and reversed their disease.

Losing Weight, Feeling Great

Nearly 80 million US adults—more than one-third of us—are obese.15 Although we're no longer the most obese nation in the world (Mexico has taken the lead), let's face it: we're fat, and we're getting fatter. Dr. Eric Finkelstein with Duke University's Global Health Institute predicts that by 2030, up to 42 percent of Americans will be obese.16

This is more than just a cosmetic issue, of course. Conditions relating to obesity include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and stroke—many of the same conditions that top the list of the leading causes of death.17 Dr. Michael Greger, a physician, bestselling author of How Not to Die and public health expert, combed through the world's nutrition research to put together Having looked at thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles on health and nutrition, he cleverly points out, "Death in America is largely a foodborne illness."18

Quite simply, there's an abundance of support for reducing meat, egg, and dairy intake in order to lose weight.

"A diet that promotes meat consumption might increase your risk of becoming obese," researchers concluded at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.20 Dr. Youfa Wang and colleagues at Johns Hopkins reported findings of a consistent positive association between obesity and meat consumption.

Reducing the amount of meat we eat can help us with weight management.21 People who eat meat-free tend to have a lower risk of obesity, according to the American Heart Association, because they typically eat less fat, including saturated fat and cholesterol, than those who eat meat.22 In fact, in a study presented at the Obesity Society's 2013 annual conference, Dr. Brie Turner-McGrievy revealed results of the first randomized study that found "participants consuming vegan and vegetarian diets lost an average of 8.2 to 9.9 pounds over eight weeks, while those consuming some meat lost 5.1 pounds."

Okay, by now you might be thinking I'm trying to tell you that reducing meat consumption is a cure-all; I'm not. It won't solve all your problems. It won't make you rich. It won't ensure your children get straight As. But there's ample evidence that eating more plant-based food and less animal-based food is better for our health.

As it is, we're consuming foods that are laden with fat and cholesterol, and these foods may be cutting years off our lives. As doctors Greger, Esselstyn, McDougall, and so many others in this field show us, it doesn't have to be that way. We can live full, satisfying, and active lives well into our golden years. We can stay fit, look and feel great, and eat delicious, nourishing foods by making simple lifestyle changes.

You don't need to eat a 100 percent plant-based diet in order to make a difference. As healthcare providers at Kaiser Permanente tell patients in a guide to plant-based eating, "Any movement toward more plants and fewer animal products can improve your health."23 In a nutritional update for doctors on this topic, Kaiser physicians write, "The benefits we realize will be relative to how many animal products we consume."24

Today, millions of Americans are eating with this recommendation in mind. Many are simply incorporating more plant-based foods into their diets. Others, like Eric O'Grey, are switching entirely to plant-based foods. The common thread among the many people reducing their meat consumption, regardless of the degree to which they make the change, is that they've chosen to live a healthier, happier lifestyle—starting with their plate. This choice is aligned with today's best science and is supported by some of the best minds in health and nutrition.


A Tale of Two Chickens

My parents live in rural Virginia on several acres of land they rent to a local soybean farmer. They have a small flock of chickens: a few hens and one rooster, Henry. They initially started keeping chickens after I brought them a few broiler chickens—what the industry calls chickens raised for meat—who had been rescued from a factory farm. They've had a few flocks over the years and enjoy them as companions because of their silly antics and the occasional egg they lay. The chickens live in a spacious run with two areas for pecking around for worms and bugs and investigating. Inside the safety of the henhouse, they have nesting boxes in which to lay their eggs and perches to stand on.

Sitting at the kitchen table during a recent visit, I watched Henry poke his head through the chain-link fence to reach a blade of grass outside the enclosure. I'd traveled to rural Virginia from my home in California to visit my family and to enjoy a change of scenery, and I empathized with Henry's desire for the same. I asked my father if we could let the birds out. "Sure. How you gonna get 'em back in?" he asked. I didn't wait to answer. My sister, niece, nephew, and I trekked outside to let the birds out to enjoy the day with us.

All but one of the chickens—Lyle, named after Lyle Lovett because of their similar "hairstyle"—tentatively crept out to explore. (My parents later discovered Lyle was a female when she started laying eggs, but the name stuck.) Quickly, they disappeared under the soybeans, which were at the height of their maturity, obscuring the birds completely. I instantly understood my father's question about corralling them back into their enclosure.


  • "MeatLess provides simple tips and exciting recipes for people wanting to reduce meat in their diets - a book to inspire positive change!"—Paul McCartney
  • "So many of our chronic diseases are preventable by eating fewer animal-based foods and more whole plant-based foods. Kristie Middleton's reduction approach has helped translate millions of meat-based meals served in our nation's cafeterias to meatless. I'm excited that she's now bringing this methodology to the public with inspiring stories and tips, tricks, and recipes to make it easy."—Dr. Michael Greger, bestselling author How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
  • "In her book MeatLess, Kristie Middleton offers insight into why millions of people are choosing to eat less meat and enjoy more plant-based foods. Middleton shares how easy it can be to make simple changes to our diets that will add up to massive changes in our food system."—John Mackey, co-CEO and founder, Whole Foods Market
  • "Whether to go vegetarian or vegan, or simply eat more meatless meals, more people are interested in plant-based eating. Kristie Middleton's new book, MeatLess, helps show how simple-and enjoyable-it can be while offering tips to make it easy. I hope it's a massive success."—Tal Ronnen, founder and chef Crossroads, author of New York Times bestseller, The Conscious Cook
  • "If you are the student waiting for the teacher to appear, Kristie Middleton is it! Take this journey with her and you'll find yourself lifted in every way-body, mind, and soul."
    Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of Quantum Wellness, The Lean, and The Book of Veganish
  • "If we want to create a more compassionate world, we have to give people the tools to make it easy. While everyone might not be ready to go vegan or vegetarian, Kristie Middleton's book MeatLess provides insight into how individuals can make small changes that add up to making a big difference for their health, the planet, and animals."—Gene Baur, bestselling author of Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food and Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, and co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary
  • "Packed with information and delivered in a friendly, non-judgmental voice, MeatLess is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking a more health-, planet-, or animal-friendly way of living."—Jonathan Balcombe, author of What a Fish Knows
  • "Meat-free eating is gaining in popularity with more and more people opting to eat less meat for their health, the environment, and animals. This book is not only timely, but I can't think of anyone better positioned to provide this guidance than Kristie Middleton, who has been an HSUS leader successfully promoting meatless options at institutions across America."
    Wayne Pacelle, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Society of the United States and author of New York Times bestsellers The Bond and The Humane Economy
  • A growing number of Americans are looking to eat healthier, plant-based diets, but often don't know where to start. MeatLess provides the foundation for why it's important to make these changes as well as how to begin making the transition. Kristie Middleton's unique approach not only examines barriers to diet changes, but offers solutions for overcoming them, making this a powerful tool."—Miyoko Schinner, author of Artisan Vegan Cheese, The Homemade Vegan Pantry, and founder of Miyoko's Kitchen
  • "MeatLess is the perfect incarnation of my maxim, 'Don't do nothing because you can't do everything. Do something. Anything!' Kristie expertly and compassionately guides you in your journey to do something - which happens to be the most significant something you can do for yourself, the animals, and the planet."—Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, bestselling author of The 30-Day Vegan Challenge and The Joy of Vegan Baking
  • "The level of meat, egg, and dairy we're consuming is devastating our planet, our health, and results in animals being treated in appalling ways. Kristie Middleton is doing great work to help institutions reduce the meat they're purchasing and getting more plant-based options on menus. In this important new book, she's bringing this successful intervention to the public too."—Moby
  • "The best available science provides evidence that a plant-based diet is optimal for our health. In MeatLess, Kristie Middleton lays out the basis of why eating plant-based is better for our health and provides a solid foundation to help people achieve their eating goals."—Dr. Neal Barnard, founder and president, Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, author of New York Times bestselling-books 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart and Power Foods for the Brain
  • "Countless critters can thank Kristie for her incisive book and long-time advocacy of the Meatless Monday movement. Kristie combines personal stories, hard science, and practical suggestions that make going meatless easy and delicious on Monday . . . and any other day."—Sid Lerner, chairman and founder, Meatless Monday
  • "I am convinced the single most powerful thing that any and all of us can do to make the world a better, kinder, and healthier place is incredibly simple and painless. Eat less meat (or none at all!). In her beautiful, thoughtful, and personal book, Kristie Middleton explains the how and why of that process and does so in a way that will surely change every reader's life in wonderfully positive ways. I highly recommend it!"—Suzy Welch, best-selling author and TV commentator
  • "This work is perfectly timed. Just look at the Journal of American Medical Association from September 1, 2016. There is an analysis of the correlation of animal consumption and dying - relative to vegetable protein, all animal products produce cancer deaths, heart disease deaths, or both. Changing our entire health system from 'sickcare' to 'healthcare' is suddenly more critical than ever. One can imagine down the road that every patient who develops heart disease or cancer after a hospitalization would sue that institution and its staff for ignoring the peer-reviewed literature and bringing a food tray with our usual hospital food menu. Let's change it now. It's time to turn liability into opportunity!"
    Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, The James B. Herrick, MD, Professor of Heart Research; Chief, Division of Cardiology, Rush Medical College
  • "One of the most passionate leaders in animal welfare, Kristie creates an articulate plea for eating meatless-in defense of animals, people, and the planet. She follows this up with practical advice for how to make this happen in your own life, gleaned from her years of experience working with movers and shakers in the plant-based eating world."—Sharon Palmer, RDN, the Plant-Powered Dietitian, author of Plant-Powered for Life
  • "A knowledgeable and reader-friendly tract on the benefits of befriending grains, greens, beans, and veggies in place of the animal-rich menus that characterize the Western cuisine."—San Francisco Book Review

On Sale
Mar 7, 2017
Page Count
256 pages

Kristie Middleton

About the Author

Kristie Middleton is the senior food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States and a leading figure in the movement to reform our global food system. She’s a sought-after speaker, and thought leader on the topic. Middleton and her work have been covered by national media, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico, CNN, and countless others.

Middleton directs the HSUS’ efforts to increase plant-based eating. She’s partnered with some of the nation’s biggest school districts — including Los Angeles Unified, Detroit Public Schools and Boston Public Schools — to implement Meatless Monday. And she’s helped some of America’s top universities develop and implement programs to add more plant-based options to their menus and train culinary staff in plant-based food prep.

Middleton holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Kristie lives with her husband, dog and four cats in Oakland, California.

Learn more about this author