A generally well-balanced introduction, which makes the points that ""most people in the world eat little meat or none at all,"" that large meat animals are not very efficient food machines, and that ""the meat-heavy American diet monopolizes food resources."" Perl surveys, without examining, various reasons for becoming vegetarian--essentially, conscience, cost, and health--and she rounds up some famous vegetarians (Gandhi, Hitler, Leonardo) as examples. On the subject of vegetarian nutrition she mentions different approaches to vitamin B12, which might be missing from a total vegetarian diet, but doesn't pretend to advise would-be vegetarians on the subject. She makes clear that getting enough protein is not a problem for vegetarians, and she explains how different plant proteins can be combined to get a complete amino acid pattern. Oddly, though, despite her rejection of the protein myth, the introduction to her appended recipes emphasizes ""cramming complementary proteins into a dessert. . . even such sweet snacks as cookies and fudge,"" as well as into other dishes. Not only is this unnecessary; it also beclouds the fact that sweet snacks are essentially extra calories. Out of eleven recipes included here, three are out-and-out sweet snacks and seven use some form of sweetener. Only five could possibly be considered main-dish alternatives to meat. Still, the text offers a sensible impression of a subject often misconstrued.