This is a great initiative—a cookbook designed to promote healthy eating and meal sharing with family and friends while at the same time draw attention to the mental health crisis facing the veterinary profession.
Vet Cookbook: How to feed and care for the domestic human is the brainchild of Dr Anne Fawcett, Dr Deepa Gopinath and vet nurses Jenna Moss-Davis and Asti May. Sydney University’s Centre for Veterinary Education volunteered to design, produce and market Vet Cookbook free-of-charge as their way of ‘giving back’ and supporting a profession that has some of the highest rates of compassion fatigue, burnout and suicide.
“Being stressed out is bad enough, but everything’s worse when you’re hungry,” says CVE’s marketing material for the cookbook. “And sometimes a good meal can lead to a meaningful conversation. Which can break down barriers.”
Vet Cookbook contains over 100 recipes, many of which can easily be whipped up in the most rudimentary of vet practice kitchens from just a few simple ingredients. The recipes are interspersed with personal accounts from colleagues—vets, vet nurses, groomers, students, practice owners—who have overcome tough times as well as tips from mental health professionals and others on how to manage difficult emotions, maintain wellbeing and get help if need be.
You can order Vet Cookbook by visiting the CVE website. The cost is $35 (incl GST) with all sale proceeds to be used to produce and deliver mental health resources designed specifically for use by those in the veterinary profession and accessible to all free of charge.
If you’d like to read more about mental health issues within the veterinary profession check out these articles in Vet Practice magazine: Mental health first aid for vets, No way out, and Compassion fatigue.