This is book is absolutely necessary for anyone transitioning into a vegetarian or vegan diet and a great reference for those of us already there. It goes through all of the nutrients that vegetarians and vegans might have trouble getting enough of and explain why it's important and the best ways to incorporate that nutrient into your diet. It also gives dietary advice for prenanct women, children, and the elderly. There is so much information, I find myself constantly referring to this book as a reference guide.
Many other reviwers have noted that this book is objective and not "preachy." I agree. It points out honestly what's wrong with and what's good about omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan diets and then shows how to improve in each case. It does address reasons for veganism, but this book is in no way dogmatic. There's also an entire section on "diplomacy," that is how to resolve issues between ominvores and vegetarians.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the latter half, in which advice is given on transitioning to vegetarianism or veganism. To often the changes that need to be made in lifestyle aren't addressed, in favor of reasons for going vegan or recipes. Here, however, they provide advice on mundane but necesary topics like meal planning and grocery shopping.
This is definitly not a recipe book by nature, by several recipes are provided in the back. These are not gourmet or experimental recipes. Rather they are recipes that the authors themselves eat on a regular basis and which new vegetarians can realisticly incorporate into their menus. The recipes were also all chosen with nutrition as well as taste in mind, so they contribute to learning how to plan well-rounded vegan meals. My favorite, for instance, is a traditional marinara pasta with lentils dissolved in the sauce to make it creamier and add protein. In addition, instead of meatballs, a variety of vegetables are added to make it chunky. I've tried several of the other recipes as well, and have been pleased with them all.
I really can't stress how amazing and necessary this book is. I find myself returning to it over and over again, so it was definitly worth buying.