Vegans on the American Frontier?

LindaBroday2With times so hard and food as scarce as it was on the American frontier, being a vegan probably wasn’t heard of that often. But given people’s phobias I have a hard time believing they didn’t develop until the 1900s. People are people no matter what century you live in.

Carnophobia is the fear of meat.

And it’s not limited to vegans. It can apply to anyone who stopped eating meat because it wasn’t prepared well and made them sick.

Rayna Harper in my new book—FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE—is a carnophobic.

ForeverTexasBridemedShe stopped eating meat for a very horrific reason and it makes perfect sense. The only thing is, Brett has a hard time understanding it at first. He’s definitely a meat eater. Game is plentiful and provides critical protein that gives a person energy so it seems odd to him that someone stops eating it.

I’m not going to say what Rayna’s reason is because it’ll give away too much of the story, but she finds a champion in Brett.

Once he learns of her phobia, he makes sure to have plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and eggs available for every meal.

No one understands inner pain better than Brett. When he learns hers, he folds his arms around her, vowing to protect her to the last breath.

I’m giving away a copy (winner’s choice of title and format) of one of my Bachelors of Battle Creek series. All you have to do is leave a comment.

Here’s a short excerpt from the book:

Rayna moved to the fire. Cooper handed her a pointed stick that had a rabbit skewered onto it and asked her to hold it over the flames. She looked as though she might retch. Still, she kept her head averted from the dead animal and did as he requested.

Funny thing though, as soon as Cooper relieved her of the rabbit, she rushed behind a tree and emptied her stomach.

Rand strolled over to Brett. “What’s wrong with Rayna?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe she got something bad in the jail. The food they served was little better than slop for the most part.”

When Rayna returned, Brett took her aside to ask if she was all right.

“I’m fine,” she said, not meeting his eyes.

He knew a fib when he saw one, but he didn’t press. She’d talk when she wanted. Or not. Being one who had never felt the need to do much conversing, he understood her desire for quiet.

His gaze followed her as she walked down to the stream. Suddenly, he remembered her refusal to eat the fried chicken the kind jailor had brought them. He suspected it wasn’t just chicken she didn’t eat. Without a word to anyone, he moved into the woods and found some wild berries, roots, and nuts. Wasn’t much, but it would keep her from getting too weak to travel.


Romantic Times gave a 4 star review, saying this:

“Broday’s Westerns always captivate with realistic settings, rugged cowboys and feisty heroines. Broday ends her Bachelors of Battle Creek trilogy with a bone-chilling thrill. Two lonely hearts came together against vigilantes determined to destroy all they hold dear.”


The whole series is available online and in bookstores everywhere.

Bachelors of Battle Creek BANNER



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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

41 thoughts on “Vegans on the American Frontier?”

    • Good Morning, Linda…….I hope you’re having a good day so far. Thank you for coming to read my blog. I’m glad you found it interesting. I’ve entered you in the drawing.

  1. I have a vegan son and a vegetarian D-I-L. Their restrictions make holidays and other dinners interesting. I do not like rice or beans. In addition, others in the family are allergic to nuts.

    I’m interested in Rayna’s phobia. I’ve never read a story with a person having carnophobia. Brett sounds like a sweetheart!

    • Good Morning, Laurie……So glad to see you. Makes me smile. Yes, food phobias and restrictions really make holiday meals (or any for that matter) very challenging. My son hates cheese. Can you imagine? He won’t put a bite of anything with cheese on it in his mouth. And my youngest daughter hates onions. Again, won’t eat a thing with onions in it. I’ve even tried to hide them in dishes and she always finds them. Sometimes I throw up my hands.

      Rayna is a very interesting and complex character. She’s had such a hard life. She never owned a pair of women’s shoes until Brett buys them for her. Or slept in a real bed. The things we take for granted she’s never had. Good luck in the drawing! You may win a copy.

    • Good morning, Janine…….Thank you for coming. Great to see you. I’m glad I could give you some information you didn’t know. I’m sure it was pretty rare to find a vegan in the old west but I’m sure they existed. I loved writing a character with a phobia like this. Rayna is a very interesting and strong woman. She lived a hard life but she didn’t let it defeat her. And her love for Brett brought tears to my eyes sometimes.

      Good luck in the drawing!

  2. I never thought of anyone back in those days not eating meat. I figured it was just what people do today. Hard to imagine that – when I thought you ate to survive. But thinking about it – people grew there own food. Maybe it was easier.
    Thank you for the thought provoking write up.

    • Good Morning, Mary B……..Thank you for stopping by to read my blog. I’m glad you found it interesting. I’m sure vegans did exist somewhere in the old west and I loved exploring this phobia. Rayna is one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever written. She has such a will and strength to survive when others would’ve folded. Brett needed a woman like her.

      Good luck in the drawing! Have a great day.

    • Good morning, Kimberly……..Thank you so much for coming. I’m glad you enjoyed my blog. I’ve never written a woman like Rayna before. Her strength and courage touched me very deeply. She’s been spit on and treated like trash her whole life but she wouldn’t give up. The stigma of her father’s profession as a bone-picker made people ostracize her. But she rises above it to reach for her dream. I do think you’ll like the story, especially the vegan angle.

      Good luck in the drawing! And have a great day.

  3. Carnophobia…this is a new one, Linda. WordPress is marking it as a typo so it’s a new one for them, too. I can’t wait to read this.
    I had a heroine be a (mostly) vegetarian in one book. It was because she was just to soft-hearted to eat an animal. I made it a sort of recurring joke as everyone else would just dig in to any meal and she’d shudder.
    At one point she called her husband (forced marriage) a sheep-eating savage.

    • Good Morning, Mary Connealy………I’m glad you found my blog interesting. I agree that the word is probably new. These days everyone has to label everything. Thankfully, there were few labels back in the old west. They were too busy to worry about such things. Focusing on survival took all their energy. Your heroine would’ve been classified as having a carnophobia if the word had been coined back then. Being one in those times would’ve been very difficult I think. Meat was the main dish almost every meal. Those men needed protein! I’ll have to remember sheep-eating savage! LOL Love it!

      Rayna Harper and Brett Liberty were a perfect match. Both had to overcome huge obstacles to find their HEA. I hope you like it.

    • I’m glad you like my subject, Charlene. Yeah, I like things a bit out of box too. But the funny thing is….I didn’t plan on her being a vegan. It just happened. I love surprises like that though. Appreciate the congrats. 🙂

  4. Oh I can’t wait to read the next book in your series! It sounds wonderful! I haven’t even been a vegan but there hare things that I will refuse to eat because of how much fondness I have for the animal. Such as veil, lamb, duck. Thanks for entering me into the drawing.

    • Hi Cori……I’m glad you liked my blog. This story is so different from any that I’ve ever written and I had such great fun with Brett and Rayna. Hey, I can understand no wanting to eat something you’re fond of. I don’t think I could either.

      Good luck in the drawing!

    • Awwww, thank you so much, Catslady! I really appreciate you saying so. Hopefully, you’ll like my next series as well. It’s called Men of Legend and the first book comes out in October.

    • Hi Karen Kay……I’m so glad you like my subject. I daresay no one else has ever written a story quite like this. The reason for her no eating meat is an incident that happened to her. Her father was so mean.

  5. Super post, Linda! Who woulda thunk? I actually have not eaten beef for years. It started when I volunteered at the horse rescue, where we save them from slaughter. I am not completely vegetarian however, and trust me, the conundrum hasn’t escaped me, duh. I love the premise for this story and can’t wait to cuddle up with it! It’s making the time, sheesh. Love to you, my friend. xo

    • Hi Tanya……I’m glad you like my blog. It’s sure different. Before this book, I never would’ve thought vegans existed back then. But her reason for never eating meat again makes perfect sense. I sure wouldn’t either if it had happened to me. Yeah, it’s strange how things in our lives shape us. I can understand why you stopped eating beef. I hope you like this book when your life settles down enough to read it.

      Love you too, lady!

  6. Morning Miss Linda. This is great information. Thanks for sharing. Very intriguing. I can hardly wait to read the newest “Bachelors of Battle Creek” installment!!!! A great story. Hugs, Phyliss

    • Hi Phyliss……Wow, wonderful to see you. Glad you’re back on the computer even for just a little bit. I hope you enjoy the story when you finally get to read it.

      Love you, friend!

  7. Interesting! I am going to be reading Forever His Texas Bride soon. I am just about finished with the last of my stack of Christmas romances, and your book is next!

    • Hi Cheryl C……..Thank you for coming! Great to have you. I hope you enjoy Forever His Texas Bride when you get to it. Ha! You should see the big stack of books by my chair. Good grief!

  8. Linda, just finished this book and Rayna had good reason to hate meat. What her father forced her to do with meat would make me a vegan too, I am glad that Brett understood.
    Enjoy all your books, can’t wait to read more. My grandchildren hate tomatoes, but love ketchup….go figure.

    • Hi Lois……I’m so glad you enjoyed this book. Thank you for letting me know. Yeah, Rayna’s father was horrible and mean to the core.

      We have such a strange family. My son won’t eat cheese, won’t even put a bite of anything in his mouth if it has cheese on it. And my youngest daughter hates onions. She gags if she finds one in her mouth and she can pick them out even if they’re chopped very fine and hidden in a dish. Strange kids.

  9. Hi Linda, just dropping in to say hi and to let you know how much I enjoyed this book. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful series. I can’t wait for your next book.

    • Hi Quilt Lady…..Thanks for coming! I’m so happy that you liked this book and the whole series. I was very satisfied with the way each turned out. And the epilogue at the end of Forever His Texas Bride wrapped everything up and tied a big bow around it.

  10. My daughter stopped eating beef several years ago because of both Mad Cow disease and watching several videos about how cows are treated prior to slaughter. She would sort of like to be a vegetarian, but she loves bacon and ham too much to do so. A coworker’s daughter just spent a year in China and came back determined to be a vegan. Her dad is sorta ok with her doing so, but is worried about her getting a balanced diet. Her mother doesn’t get that anyone might consider giving up meat….

    • Hi Glenda…….Thank you so much for stopping by. I had to laugh at your daughter. Bacon and Ham would be hard to give up I guess so that’s a deal breaker. Don’t blame her for not eating beef. My youngest sister was a vegan for a long time. But then she started craving a good old hamburger and everything went right out the window. Now she eats everything.

    • Hi Susan P…….Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad my subject got your attention. It is a bit different for a historical. In this case, it really works. I hope you give the book a try. Or win in the drawing!

    • Hi Natalie! Wow, thanks for coming. I’m glad you liked my blog. Well, you know, I’d like to say that I sat down and thought of this….but no, it just happened as I was writing. I love surprises like this. Each time I sit down at the computer, I can’t wait to see what surprise is going to come next. I love this writing process!

  11. Things are finally settling down here. It looks like I will finally be able to read FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE. I didn’t want to start it and have to leave, waiting a few weeks before I could finish it. I never really gave much thought to being a vegetarian or something similar in a historical sense. It is much easier for us today to make sure we still get the nutrition we need. Back then, it would have been harder to make sure you ate enough of the right things to keep up your strength with the demands put on people back then.

    • Hi Patricia! Glad you stopped by. It’s always great to see you. Yeah, being a vegetarian back then would’ve been pretty difficult. But there was no way she could put a bite of meat into her mouth without throwing up. What happened to her was horrible.

      Enjoy the book when you get to it.

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