Veganissimo — 1 n: one who is vegan to the highest possible standard; 2 adj: the most veganSo basically, a gold star super-vegan. That's probably not me. I do as good I can, but I don't fret if I accidentally drink wine processed with egg albumin or eat a slice of buttered bread in a restaurant. I do, however, try to learn from my mistakes. We can only try to be the best vegans we can be, but it's normal to slip up from time to time. And it's nearly impossible to be totally vegan, since things like car tires contain animal products and our prescribed medications are likely tested on animals.
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to be veganissimo. And there's a new book out that can help you and me be the best vegans we can be. It's called Veganissimo A to Z: A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying and Avoiding Ingredients of Animal Origin in Everyday Products.
Veganissimo isn't what you'd consider a pleasure read. It's a guide, plain and simple. Inside the pages of this pocket-sized volume are more than 2,500 entries for obscure animal ingredients and safe plant-based ones. Each entry is defined, and it has little symbols that let you know whether it's made from animals, plants, or both. The symbols also indicate whether something is mineral, synthetic, or microbiological.
Let's do a little quiz. Here are two terms I pulled from the book. Guess which one is always vegan and which one always comes from animals.
* Hydrogenated Orange Roughy OilI intentionally picked names that I figured would throw you off, but the Parkii Butter stuff is from vegetables (it's related to shea butter and is used as an emollient in cosmetics). The Orange Roughy Oil comes from killed animals, and it's used as an emollient and skin conditioner in cosmetics too. Did you guess right? If so, you're pretty darn veganissmo!
* Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Unsaponifiables
Anyway, you too can be a vegan expert with this handy little volume. I have an app on my iPhone that also tells me about animal ingredients, but I don't think its nearly as comprehensive as this book. Plus, the book is purse-sized, so it's easy to carry around.