Free Download! Well Fed, Not An Animal Dead (1985 edition)
The Vegan Book of Permaculture was published two years ago – but the seeds of that book were sown way back in 1985, with the production of a tiny but influential photocopied pamphlet called ‘Well Fed Not An Animal Dead’. Graham Burnett tells the story of this DIY vegan classic…
Today marks 32 years since I became vegan, on the 13th December 1984. Even as a small child in the 1960s I seemed to make the mental connection between the cows I would see in fields on Sunday drives out to the countryside with my grandparents, and the meat on my plate that would then be served up for lunch. I became vegetarian when I left school in 1977, but by the early 1980s I’d begun to realise that the dairy industry had as much (if not more) involvement in animal cruelty as the meat industry. It was through meeting a young woman who became a life long friend called Seema Kapoor at a protest event in 1984 that I finally joined the dots and become vegan myself.
It was a year or so later that I produced a tiny A6 16 page pamphlet called ‘Well Fed, Not An Animal Dead’. I basically wrote and drew it by hand, as a way of passing the time whilst bored in the office where I ‘worked’ at the time. This is also where it was printed, surreptitiously on the office photocopier. The title was suggested by another good friend, fellow vegan and Southend punk Paul ‘Polly’ Dossor. It was mainly put together to provide a selection of simple vegan recipes as a positively focused answer to people who kept asking me why I hadn’t died from a lack of eggs and cows milk in my diet. Alot of people were genuinely interested in wanting to know what vegans actually did eat, and so I could easily just hand them a copy when the subject came up. It was also a little celebration of what was at the time a fast growing movement, embraced by many of my friends and peers who had had their awareness of animal exploitation raised by bands such as Flux of Pink Indians and their succinctly entitled album ‘Strive To Survive Causing the Least Suffering Possible’, plus The Smiths and Conflict, who both had (very different) songs addressing the idea that ‘meat is murder’.
By the early 1990s ‘Well Fed’ had grown into a 48 page booklet, full of vegan recipes with supplementary information about vegan organic food growing, foraging for food and raising vegan children. This remained in print more or less constantly with only a few minor changes and updates from 1992 until 2014. I have no idea how many copies were produced, especially taking into account bootlegged ‘pirate’ editions and unofficial translations into languages including French and Croatian, but the numbers circulating must run into the thousands! Here’s a nice little blog post about the 92 onwards edition, complete with the blogger’s additional annotations in the margins, from the very lovely Violet’s V*gan E-Comics…
In November 2014 ‘Well Fed…’ was finally superseded by the massively expanded and rewritten Vegan Book of Permaculture published by the lovely folk at Permanent Publications. However at that time I also thought it would be nice to mark my 30th Veganniversary by uploading a copy of that original 1985 16 page pamphlet version of Well Fed as an object of historical interest, the little seed from which The Vegan Book of Permaculture later grew, download it here or by clicking the image below… I hope you enjoy it! (NB, note that the addresses on the back page were current in 1985, and are now long out of date! I have also redacted what was my contact home address at that time, other than that this document is unaltered, warts and all, from it’s original incarnation)
Graham Burnett is the author of The Vegan Book of Permaculture – order your SIGNED copy today and get a bonus free copy of ‘The Ecology of the Self – Zone Zero Zero Permaculture Design Notes’, or buy it together with ‘Permaculture A Beginner’s Guide’ plus extra booklets for the special price of just £21!