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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Tenderheart: Veganism for Creative Growth

Forthcoming in 2019

How tenderhearted he is to love even things that are so different from us.

—Henry Lien, Peasprout Chen,
Future Legend of Skate and Sword

Spending time with Gail, a former dairy cow now living at Maple Farm Sanctuary in Mendon, Massachusetts. Photo by Chrissy Toti.

We live in a culture in which the eating and wearing of animals is taken for granted, so this is one limiting mindset people rarely recognize as such. But if artists can employ their imagination to draw and paint and compose and design and create worlds from scratch, they can surely use that imaginative power to recognize themselves in a creature who is suffering. On the other side of that transformation is a lifestyle that is ideal for their own physical and emotional wellbeing and much more environmentally sustainable.

Tenderheart is a no-judgment exploration of the creative benefits of ethical veganism, drawing on vivid examples from art and literature to offer

  • specific ways to “unstick” from common creative hazards like perfectionism, defeatism, self loathing, and ego-based comparisons using the vegan ethos
  • practical methods for resolving one’s cognitive dissonance and moral confusion with regard to animal cruelty and the socioeconomic injustice of our current food system
  • Camille’s firsthand experiences of everything from foraging and juice fasting to scuba diving and vegan hip hop
  • candid interviews with vegan artists, writers, and performers
  • tips for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle and recipes to fuel your creative work and celebrate your successes

The reward for you: a newfound sense of ease and joy in your creative process, and maybe a remarkable boost in productivity.

For news on the Tenderheart pub date and book tour and the Tenderizer companion course, you can sign up for Comet Party email updates. And if you’re a vegan artist (of any stripe) and this project sounds interesting, please drop me a line! (The book is finished, but I’m planning an additional interview series to coincide with publication.)

I’ll be donating a significant percentage of each royalty check to food justice and animal rights organizations. Details to follow.

Featured Artists

Nava Atlas, Lacresha Berry, Heidi Braacx, Debra DianeJanyce Denise Glasper, Maya GottfriedYitzy Holton-Hinshaw, Cynthia King, Henry Lien, Melanie LightNicola McLean, Tanya O’CallaghanJosephine Skapare, Alec Thibodeau, Colin Weeks, more to be announced!

A peek at the online course.

Things to Read (and Listen to) in the Meantime

The Main Street Vegan Podcast with Victoria Moran, September 12, 2018. Listen here.

Ouija Boards, Oracle Monkeys, and Vegan Delights with Henry Lien, author of Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword, April 2018

Monstrous Festive: How Going Vegan Ruins Christmas Forever on Medium, December 2017.

The Literary Feasts of Scarlett Thomas on the Main Street Vegan blog, August 22, 2017.

The Main Street Vegan Podcast with Victoria Moran, February 8, 2017. Listen here.

The Dietary Habits of Imaginary People on the Main Street Vegan blog, January 10, 2017.

Vegan Edinburgh on the Main Street Vegan blog, September 15, 2015.

Veganism and Personal Evolution on the Main Street Vegan blog, May 12, 2015.

How Going Vegan Can Make You More Creative on the Main Street Vegan blog, July 8, 2014.

Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.