Margaret Hurley wants the world to know two things: Eating animals is a major cause of environmental degradation worldwide. And it is deadly for trillions of animals yearly.
In her new novel, The Dog Who Ate the Vegetable Garden and Helped Save the Planet, Hurley assumes the voice of her vegan dog Dori to highlight the consequences of eating animals, and advocate for whole foods, plant-based diets.
“I wrote the book, first and foremost, because I love animals and I am heartbroken by what we do to them—and to our planet,” says Hurley. “It’s all connected.”
The result is moving in both powerful and humorous ways. With Dori as the narrator, Hurley’s writing reflects dogs’ internal “thoughts” using fragmented sentences. In this stream-of-consciousness style, Dori gives a cheeky take on a challenging issue.
“I asked myself: What can I write that convinces readers to change, radically, the way we humans exist in the world, which begins with how we [treat and] eat animals?” says Hurley.
Though other writers have written books about today’s environmental problems, Hurley says many authors have not identified a plant-based diet as a sustainable and powerful solution.
“The most healthy, compassionate and environmentally sustainable change we can all make…is to eat a whole-foods plant-based diet, because raising and processing land and water animals for food is not only deadly to three trillion animals, annually…it is the single biggest driver of global warming and the poisoning of the environment,” says Hurley.
She hopes that her writing will inspire people to make the lifestyle changes she and Dori have adopted in favor of kindness to both animals and planet. As Dori says in the book, “Animals are people! Too. Non-human persons entitled to live. Their own lives. To the fullest! Free! From human harm. On a healthy planet.”