Why Be Vegan?
Books Exposing the Injustices of Animal Agribusiness
If you’re already thinking about going vegan, reading a book or two on the topic may well seal the deal. Plus, there’s no better time than right at the very start of your transition to become deeply informed about food politics. Be wary about what you read, since unreliable pro-vegan and anti-vegan information abounds. The following books offer excellent and authoritative research on the topics of factory farming, food politics, and vegan lifestyles. Keep in mind that for many people, film is a more accessible way to learn about the advantages of being vegan, and there are several excellent movies on the topic.
- Project Animal Farm, by Sonia Faruqi
- Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer
- The CAFO Reader, by David Imhoff
- Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer
An incredibly thorough investigation into the myriad ethical failings surrounding animal agribusiness. Faruqi is a gifted writer and skilled investigative reporter, who brings her keen economics background to analyzing an industry that consistently puts profits before compassion.
Renowned novelist Jonathan Safran Foer took two years away from fiction in order to research and write this extraordinary book examining animal agribusiness. Fair, nuanced, and deeply-informed at every turn, this book reveals the ethical implications of factory farming.
An anthology of dozens of essays by the leading critics of animal agribusiness. Offers in-depth coverage of every major topic pertaining to meat, milk, and egg production.
First released in 1975, this title is today regarded as the book that launched the modern animal protection movement. In 2009, Singer thoroughly updated this classic with new information regarding factory farming, and the substantial progress that has been made toward achieving the book’s title. If you want an introduction to the rigorous thinking that underlies opposition to the meat industry and factory farming, there’s no better place to start.
Get Started Eating Vegan
Guides to Going Vegan
Going vegan is ten times easier if you’ve got the help and advice of somebody who’s been doing it for years. These books will make it easy to complete the transition.
- But I Could Never Go Vegan! By Christy Turner
- The Ultimate Vegan Guide, By Erik Marcus
- Vegan For Life, By Jack Norris & Ginny Messina
- But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!, by Kristy Turner
If you want help going vegan and can only buy one book, this is our top pick. It’s got loads of helpful advice plus more than 100 easy recipes that are perfect for getting started. Gorgeous full-color photography throughout.
From the publisher of Vegan.com, a comprehensive yet entertaining guide to every aspect of becoming vegan—from shopping to cooking to nutrition to budget and gourmet dining. The book’s first two chapters offer what’s probably the best available introduction to the ethical, environmental, and health advantages of being vegan. You can buy the Kindle edition of this book for just 99¢.
The best book covering vegan nutrition, written by two top experts in the field. A great many vegans fall prey to easily-avoided nutrition mistakes. This is the book to get in order to make sure all your bases are covered.
A book designed to get your whole family on board to eagerly eating more plant-based meals—this book is so good it even works on husbands! 125 fantastic family-friendly recipes, with enticing full-color food photography throughout.
Easy Vegan Starter Cookbooks
Start with the Easiest Vegan Cookbook You Can Find
The very first vegan cookbook you own ought to be geared toward quick and easy recipes you can make every day. Once you master the basics of easy vegan cooking, you can branch out by exploring new cuisines. There are hundreds of vegan cookbooks in print, covering every type of food imaginable. We’ve collected the very best on our Cookbooks page. But before you buy any of the books featured there, make sure you pick out one of the basic titles featured below.
- Thug Kitchen 101, by Davis & Holloway
- Isa Does it, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
- More Quick-Fix Vegan, By Robin Robertson
- Oh She Glows Every Day, By Angela Liddon
This cookbook is full of profanity, but that’s only because its recipes totally kick @#&. Of course, that may make it a poor choice for some people. For all the rest, this is some of the most delicious vegan food you can make. Plus, it’s in hardcover, which means it’ll better stand up to years of use in the kitchen. Beautiful full-color food photography throughout. You won’t believe the quality of food you can produce in just a few minutes’ time.
Isa’s probably best known for her dessert recipes and for coauthoring the classic vegan reference cookbook Veganomicon, but here she brings together her favorite quick-and-easy selections. Like Thug Kitchen 101, this book’s full of beautiful photography, and has a durable liquid-repelling hardcover binding.
The second quick-and-easy outing by the most prolific cookbook author in the vegan community. Robin’s books are widely acclaimed, and her recipes here and dead-simple and written up in the clearest possible style. This title is the perfect choice for newbie cooks!
The quick-and-easy cookbook offering from a wildly-popular vegan cooking blogger. With her reliance on fresh vegetables, this may be the most healthful easy cookbook you can find.
Nutrition and Health
Expert Advice on Vegan Nutrition
Just as it’s possible to get into trouble on an omnivorous diet, a vegan diet has potential pitfalls of its own. Fortunately, most of these hazards are easily avoided if you have the right information. These terrific books will show you how to construct a well-planned, healthful, and satisfying vegan diet.
- Becoming Vegan: Express Edition, by Davis & Melina
- Vegan for Her, by Messina & Fields
- Never Too Late to Go Vegan, by Adams, Breitman, & Messina
- The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book, by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD
A current and concise guide to nutrition, authored by two veteran dietitians who have devoted their careers to advising vegans on how to make sensible food choices.
A thorough guide to women’s nutrition for vegans. Covers all the topics you’d expect, including pregnancy, nursing, menopause, osteoporosis. Also features expert advice on nutrients of special interest to women like calcium and iron.
Since the vegan population is disproportionately young, the vegan literature skews to a youthful audience as well. This may be the only vegan book written specifically to an older audience. And it’s got a wealth of nutrition information of special interest to everyone middle-aged and up.
If there’s ever a time to take vegan nutrition seriously, it’s during pregnancy. Not only does the author of this book have both a PhD and RD, she’s also a longtime adviser to the Vegetarian Resource Group.
Fitness and Sports
Vegan Diets are Great for Strength, Bodybuilding, and Endurance
A vegan diet is compatible with most casual and serious fitness regimens. Whether you’re looking to bulk up, run the Iron Man, or just lose those last ten pounds, these books will help you match your vegan diet to an appropriate fitness or training program.
- Finding Ultra, by Rich Roll
- Eat & Run, by Scott Jurek
- Vegan Fitness for Mortals, by Ellen Jaffe-Jones
- No-Meat Athlete, by Matt Frazier
One of the fittest humans alive, Rich Roll tells his story of embracing veganism while adopting an extreme fitness lifestyle. Roll once completed five different Ironman triathlons in Hawaii in the space of just one week.
One of the world’s elite runners, for many years Jurek held the record for the greatest distance run in 24 hours. A man of supreme willpower, Jurek tells the story of how he transitioned from a kid who hunted his own meat to a vegan who is one of the world’s most famed ultra-endurance runners.
Admittedly, reading the stories of people like Rich Roll and Scott Jurek can be intimidating. Here’s the book for vegans who want fitness in moderation, and better health without massive commitment. If you want to bump up your activity a notch while getting the biggest payback for your training time, this is the perfect title to get.
This highly regarded and relentlessly encouraging book splits the difference between Roll and Jurek’s books and Jaffe’s Fitness for Mortals. Frazier is an ultramarathoner who takes you through the basics of setting up an effective training program, and this book includes solid nutritional advice from Matthew Ruscigno, MPH, RD. Also check out the companion volume: The No-Meat Athlete Cookbook.
Veggie & Animal Activism
How to Step Up Your Advocacy Game
A little reading can make the difference between being a moderately successful vegan advocate, and one who creates change at every turn. Here are the best books to get started.
- The Animal Activist’s Handbook, by Ball and Friedrich
- Change of Heart, by Nick Cooney
- Uncaged, by Benjamin Davidow
- Self-Care for Activists, By Erik Marcus
It’s easy to get started doing activism that will keep large numbers of animals from harm, and this is the perfect book to learn the key skills and opportunities.
If The Animal Activist’s Handbook is the perfect introductory guide to activism, Change of Heart is like graduate-level coursework on the topic. This is the book to read for when you’ve gained some experience as an activist, and are looking for refinements that can bump your effectiveness up a notch.
Thirty short but invaluable essays from top veteran animal advocates focusing on the secrets to winning massive change for animals.
Caring for animals, and working on their behalf, can exact a heavy emotional toll over time. And many activists, though skilled at protecting animals, don’t know how to avoid burnout and recover from trauma. This lengthy essay is available free on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and Google Play.
Big Ideas for Little Ones
If you want to instill compassionate values related to animals and eating, here are some terrific children’s titles worth purchasing.
- Where’s the Turkey?, by Caroline Jones
- That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, by Ruby Roth
- V is for Vegan, by Ruby Roth
- Not a Nugget, by Stephanie Dryer
- Linus the Vegetarian T. Rex, by Robert Neubecker
- Horton Hears a Who!, by Dr. Suess
Everyone learns a lesson of compassion during a family Thanksgiving.
This book gently introduces children to the injustices of animal exploitation in its myriad forms, and the compassionate alternative.
Not only does this book teach compassionate food choices, it also introduces children to the fundamentals of good vegan nutrition.
“Food or Friend?” This book raises the question and affirmatively chooses the latter. Foreword by Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur.
Kids love dinosaurs, but unfortunately for parents seeking a great vegan children’s book the T. Rex is the biggest, baddest carnivore of them all. Until along came Linus.
No compassionate children’s library is complete without some Dr. Seuss, and this beloved classic has introduced millions of children to empathy and extending compassion to every being, no matter how small.