Jackie Day has been vegan for more than 30 years, but it wasn’t until the release of 2016’s The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You that the plant-based world took note. Celebrities such as Mayim Bialik and James Cameron heralded the 320-page tome—which includes vegan recipes, plant-based facts, and photographs taken by Day—that serves as a lifestyle guide for anyone looking to go (or stay) vegan. With a writing style that gives readers a sense of empathy, Day evokes a feeling of sincerity throughout the book, as if she is by readers’ sides as they flip through the pages. And because the holidays are all about being mindful of the good in our lives, we decided now was a good time to speak to Day regarding her book and how her fans have inspired her to spread her cruelty-free message.
VegNews: What inspired you to write The Vegan Way?
Jackie Day: I always wanted to write a book to help people transition to a healthy vegan way of life, but the opportunity to do so actually just landed in my lap. A literary agent who was impressed with my work asked if I’d be interested in writing a book. I seized the opportunity on the spot, of course!
VN: What have been the biggest rewards and challenges of being an author?
JD: I had to get over the fright of knowing I had to write a minimum of 70,000 words. Once I found my groove, though, I went well past the goal and then had difficulty letting go. Sending the final draft of my manuscript off to the publisher, knowing it was going to become a book, was more difficult than I’d ever imagined. The rewards? Ah, there are so many. Best of all, so many people who have read The Vegan Way are going vegan! That means there’s more wellness and happiness in the world and less suffering.
VN: What do you hope readers take away from the book?
JD: I hope readers feel inspired and empowered, and from what I’ve heard, they do. With every dollar we spend, and every bite we take, we have the power to make the world a better place, in an easy, affordable, fun, and delicious way. I want my words to reduce suffering throughout the world, and to increase happiness and wellness for all. I want people to read The Vegan Way and say, “Hey, this is easy, tasty, and fun.”
VN: What’s the coolest thing about the vegan lifestyle?
JD: As a vegan, you live your ethics; there’s no cognitive dissonance. As I wrote in The Vegan Way, “When you’re vegan, no matter how bad your day goes, you always know you’re making someone else’s day a little bit better.”
VN: What’s your favorite compliment from a fan?
JD: People have told me The Vegan Way has helped them lose weight, feel healthier, and that it’s their “go-to” resource for everything vegan. One reader just sent the sweetest card saying, “I have gotten more out of your book than all the others I have read” and another said it’s “like talking to your best friend.” I’ve also heard from seasoned vegans that it’s a “game-changer” and that they, too, have learned tons of new things.
Robin Raven is a journalist and the author of Santa’s First Vegan Christmas.