Whether you’ve taken the pledge to try vegan for Lent, or are a long-term proponent of the lifestyle, books can provide continual inspiration and information throughout your vegan journey. In fact, the more knowledge you’re able to gather, the more confident and informed you’ll feel about all things plant-based!
Some books will widen your perspective, challenging and changing the way you think about animals or consumption. Others will provide practical information about incorporating veganism into your everyday routine.
Get ready to cosy up with these gripping stories, persuasive arguments, striking facts, and delicious recipes. Warning: these ten books may change your life!
1. Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer
Written by bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer, this book delves into the cultural, social and economic roots of meat-eating. Foer contrasts a thorough investigation into modern-day factory farming with tales of his childhood. In doing so, the author presents an anthropological take on the way that humans try to justify eating meat.
Renowned as the book that turned many notable celebrities vegan, this gripping read is part memoir, part investigative report. It has been dubbed a ‘must read’ for anyone striving towards a kinder, healthier lifestyle. In 2018, Eating Animals was also turned into a documentary with Foer’s co-producer and narrator, Natalie Portman.
2. The China Study, by Dr T. Colin Campbell
The China Study has been hailed as one of the most comprehensive nutritional studies ever conducted. As an obesity epidemic continues to plague western society, Dr Campbell demonstrates the direct connection between a modern diet based on animal products and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The New York Times has described The China Study as “the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease”. In fact, Dr Campbell clearly illustrates the benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet in this seminal research piece.
3. How Not to Die, by Dr Michael Greger
How Not to Die reveals groundbreaking scientific evidence that proves nutrition and lifestyle can sometimes outweigh medical approaches to both prevent, and reverse, disease. Dr Greger is an internationally renowned expert in nutrition, an experienced physician, and the founder of NutritionFacts.org. Through this book, he examines the top fifteen causes of premature death in America and their underlying causes. How Not to Die offers advice, backed by scientific research, about which foods to eat and what lifestyle changes to make to help you live longer.
4. The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food, by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
The Face on Your Plate offers a psychological insight into the decisions which influence what we eat. The author examines the ethical questions attached to meat-eating, and evaluates how these choices impact our moral selves.
Masson also takes this examination a step further, looking at how our everyday habits impact the health of our planet, and animals. With a background in psychology, Masson also investigates the power of denial in preventing us from recognising that the meat on our plate was once a living, breathing animal.
5. How to Go Vegan, by Veganuary
This is the ultimate ‘how to’ book that explores not just the reasons why people become vegan but the practical aspects, too – eating out, shopping, dealing with difficult questions, meal ideas, essential vegan ingredients, traveling as a vegan, plus all the best products and foods to try. Written by the group that has helped a quarter of a million people try vegan in January.
Created by multi-platinum musician (and famous vegan) Moby, this book brings together ten of the world’s leading foodies, doctors, policymakers, business leaders, and activists. Together, they offer a smart and succinct collection of essays that will change the way you think about meat.
7. Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
This cooking gem offers more than 250 recipes, full of delicious plant-based ideas that are bound to satisfy vegans and meat-eaters alike. The authors offer clever menus and meals suited to all occasions, whilst catering to a variety of dietary needs; including soy-free, gluten-free, and low-fat options.
8. Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement, by Peter Singer
Originally published in 1975, Animal Liberation has been responsible for awakening millions to the grim realities of ‘speciesism’. In fact, Peter Singer’s book is largely considered to be a foundational work in disseminating the philosophies of animal liberation worldwide. Singer defines speciesism as our disregard for non-human animals. His work has helped inspire a movement that transforms these attitudes towards animals, and eliminates the cruelty we inflict upon them.
9. Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat, by Howard Lyman and Glen Merzen
Howard Lyman, a cattle rancher-turned-vegetarian, uses this book to outline why he turned vegetarian, and reveals the dangers of the cattle and dairy industry. Lyman offers a unique insider’s perspective, having previously been a supporter of chemical farming, whilst pumping his cattle with hormones and antibiotics. After discovering the impact of these highly dangerous practices, Lyman and Merzen wrote Mad Cowboy to expose the health impacts of an animal-based diet.
This book is exactly what it promises to be – luscious! More than just a cookbook, Back to the Cutting Board aims to help you rediscover the joy and passion of cooking. The author, Christina Pirello, offers over 100 plant-based recipes using techniques designed to optimise natural flavours. Pirello combines simple and delicious meal ideas, with wise advice on streamlining the cooking process.
Which vegan books changed your life? Tell us in the comments below:
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Cover Image from Veganuary, used with permission.