Looking for interesting stories to sink your teeth into? Consider Alicia’s recommendations as food for the brain – because Veganuary is not just about choosing tasty, plant-based meals that would benefit our bodies and the planet. It’s about enriching our minds and improving our outlook as well. Happy reading!
The power of a good book should not be underestimated. While documentaries are a great source of knowledge, books deserve the same love as well! Here are some of the very best vegan books to get you rolling.
1. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy
This book tops the list as one of my personal favourites. As a social psychologist and animal rights activist, Melanie introduces us to the term “carnism” – the ideology that conditions humans to eat certain animals. She deconstructs the reason why carnism is such a successfully dominant belief, and sheds light on the harsh reality that billions of animals face each year.
2. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Written as a memoir, this book is a breath of fresh air on the topic of veganism. The part I found most riveting was when Jonathan made a case for eating dogs, and talked about how euthanising millions of shelter dogs yearly is an economic and ecological problem. He even went as far as to share a recipe on how to prepare dog meat. But fret not! The point he was trying to make was how uncomfortable readers would feel when thinking about the preparation of dogs as food, and addressing the hypocrisy in that. Interwoven with morbid humour and thought-provoking ideas, this book is a brilliant one not to be missed.
3. 30 Non-Vegan Excuses and How to Respond to Them by Earthling Ed
Great news: this one is absolutely free! Written by a vegan activist, this book addresses the many common excuses against veganism, and how to react to them. As vegans, we might be familiar with some of them, such as “Our ancestors ate animals” or “We’re omnivores with canine teeth”. It can be frustrating, but Earthling Ed has always been known to keep his cool, and he is now imparting his wisdom to us!
4. Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina
Written by registered dieticians, this book is one of the most quoted guides to plant-based nutrition. It has everything you need to know on how to stay healthy on a vegan diet, even covering the topic of being vegan while pregnant! It is a handy book that even seasoned vegans should read.
5. How Not To Die by Michael Greger
Michael examines the top 15 causes of deaths plaguing Americans, such as heart disease, various cancers, and high blood pressure. Backed by his extensive knowledge on nutrition and peer-reviewed journals, he explains how it doesn’t have to be this way. Find out how you can cut your reliance on Western medicine by giving this highly informative book a read!
6. The Mindful Vegan by Lani Muelrath
Lani addresses how mindfulness can be the key to successfully adopting a vegan diet, instead of feeling frustrated by repeated attempts. It emphasises the importance of mindfulness in building a healthy relationship with food. She also dishes out techniques on mindful meditation, and how it can be incorporated into building a healthy vegan lifestyle.
7. Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals by Karen Dawn
A humorous and light-hearted read, this book addresses the many aspects of animal exploitation beyond eating them, such as animal testing and using fur for fashion. It is littered with comics and imagery that will get non-vegans thinking about their animal-related choices without making them feel too guilty. Karen brings up issues that allow the reader to weigh them against their own moral compass. She also talks about various celebrities and why they refuse to eat or wear animals.
8. How to Create A Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach by Tobias Leenaert
Given that many societies still rely on the use of animals, Tobias argues that we need a more pragmatic approach regarding animal liberation. Small and realistic steps are important, rather than immediately demanding for the immediate halt of animal exploitation. This is a book that can benefit everyone, from animal rights activists to organisational leaders, as he lays out practical steps on every level.
9. Comfortably Unaware: What We Choose to Eat is Killing Us and Our Planet by Richard Oppenlander
This book tackles the global issue of depleting resources due to our food choices, bringing to light the true cost of the food we choose to eat. Richard is unapologetic in clearly laying out the detrimental effects of eating meat on our planet, and the dire state it’s in. We only have one Earth and there is no Plan B; it is important to stop being complacent and to start living more sustainably.
10. Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard F. Lyman
Growing up in a farm, Howard was a cattle ranger who refused to eat meat. He saw first-hand the treatment that cows are subjected to, and questioned the practices of meat and dairy production. His writing style is straightforward, easy to comprehend, and occasionally humorous. This book serves as a compelling personal story and a serious call to action.