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The 10 best vegan books for beginners and long-time vegans
7 January 2022
Attention bookworms! ProVeg presents 10 of the most inspiring and helpful books about veganism. This list ranges from compact guides that will get you started on a plant-based lifestyle to instructions for effective communication and philosophical texts on various aspects of animal rights. Whether you’re new to the plant-based lifestyle or you’re a longtime veggie, these titles will broaden your knowledge.
Enabling others to start living cruelty-free is a central goal for many vegans and vegetarians. Whether grounded in morality, environmental protection, or health, there are many reasons for making the move towards a plant-based lifestyle. Books that provide answers to the most important questions surrounding veganism and vegetarianism provide a good starting point. The authors below deal with topics such as health, ethics, environmental concerns, and everyday vegan living.
1. Vegetable Kingdom – The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes
by Bryant Terry
Food-justice activist and author Bryant Terry shows you how to make delicious meals from popular vegetables, grains, and legumes. With a focus on Afro-Asian vegan creations. Terry’s recipes are filled with fresh ingredients and vibrant spices. The book is organised by ingredients, making it easy to create simple dishes with your favourite foods! Beautiful images and a classic approach to design make this book a must-have for contemporary plant-based cooks.
2. More Plants Less Waste
by Max La Manna
The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged us all to rethink our consumption patterns. Named the Most Sustainable Cookbook of 2020 by Gourmand Magazine, zero-waste chef and sustainability advocate Max La Manna connects vegan eating with waste-free cooking, using his More Plants Less Waste approach. La Manna’s recipes will save you money and food, while eating well. Max also provides practical tools for the path to a more sustainable lifestyle, including a 21-day zero-waste challenge.
With the wide variety of vegetables available and the increasing number
of vegan and vegetarian products on the market, a plant-based diet
can be delicious and satisfying.
3. Living Lively: 80 Plant-Based Recipes to Activate Your Power and Feed Your Potential
by Haile Thomas
Haile Thomas, a 19-year-old activist and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, is an advocate for conscious living who promotes resilience, positivity, and a healthy, nourishing lifestyle for young people around the world. This inspiring and uplifting guide explores the world of Gen Z veganism, which takes a holistic approach, focusing not only on physical nutrition but also on mental and emotional resilience and the influence of society. Thomas combines her delicious, health-boosting recipes with insights and advice from her own life, which she hopes will empower others.
4. How Not to Die
by Dr Michael Greger
Some of the most deadly diseases in Western society, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, can be prevented and, in some cases, even reversed by changing one’s diet. This is the conclusion at which Dr Michael Greger arrived after sifting through countless pieces of medical literature. How Not to Die details his findings and provides tools for readers to make better dietary choices for themselves. In order to illustrate the relationship between diet and health, Greger provides relevant facts, explained in casual, easy-to-digest language. If you want to take charge of your health and avoid the pitfalls of modern, animal-based diets, give this book a read.
Vegan and vegetarian diets have the potential to prevent most modern lifestyle diseases, which is why an increasing number of doctors and health institutions promote plant-based nutrition.
5. Plant-based on a budget
by Toni Akomoto
One of the most common misconceptions about plant-based eating is that a plant-based diet is more expensive than a diet containing meat and dairy. However, the truth is that plant-based eating can be very affordable – and Toni Akomoto is here to prove it! With 100 customisable recipes, Akomoto encourages her readers to create their own substitutions based on the ingredients they have on hand, thus saving money while also reducing food waste. In short, Plant-Based on a Budget provides you with everything you need to make plant-based eating easy, accessible, and most of all, affordable.
There is a general misconception that a plant-based diet is more expensive than a diet containing meat and dairy. However, it can actually be (and often is) very affordable!
6. But I could never go vegan!
by Kirsty Turner
Excuses, be gone! Blogger-author Kristy Turner takes a humourous approach to veganism by countering excuses to not eat plant-based with easy-to-follow vegan recipes. The easy-to-make dishes, accompanied by colourful images, are suitable for everyone, regardless of where they are on their plant-based journey.
7. Once Upon a Time We Ate Animals
by Roanne van Voorst
How will future generations look back at us, living in a world characterised by the overconsumption of animals for food, clothing, and other items? In Once Upon a Time We Ate Animals, acclaimed anthropologist Roanne Van Voorst invites readers to explore this question, shifting the focus from the present, looking forward, to the future, looking back. By imagining a world in which eating animals is no longer the norm, this powerful and thought-provoking book is sure to change the way people think about eating meat.
Whether it is pigs, cows, chickens, or fish, industrial farming methods cause suffering to countless animals, all of whom are sentient beings and have complex social lives. A plant-based diet minimises the number of animals who live in these conditions, and is easier than ever.
8. Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer
In this non-fiction book, acclaimed author Jonathan Safran Foer examines the question of what food means to humans. Why do we eat animals when there are numerous plant-based alternatives? Would we still eat animals if we knew how much they suffer? Foer became increasingly concerned with these and other questions after becoming a father and experiencing a growing interest in the essence of life itself. Finally, he decided to do his own research. At night, he entered animal farms to document the cruel conditions that we subject animals to. He also spoke to countless animal rights activists and nutrition experts about the connection between nutrition and animal ethics.
9. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism
by Melanie Joy
Why do we eat certain animals and not others? Social psychologist Melanie Joy takes a psychological approach to animal consumption, exploring the belief system around meat eating, which she refers to as “carnism”. In this challenging and enlightening book, readers will learn how we are conditioned by dominant belief systems, as the book chronicles the many ways in which we numb and disconnect ourselves from our natural empathy for animals. A must-have for all critical thinkers who want to have a more extensive understanding of the psychology of eating meat.
10. Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
by Peter Singer
In Animal Liberation, Peter Singer, a philosopher and scholar of ethics, takes a theoretical but practical approach to the extensive topic of speciesism – the unequal treatment of living beings on the sole ground that they belong to a certain species. Among other things, Singer criticises the ubiquitous exploitation of animals for food and research purposes. The book offers a comprehensive insight into the history of speciesism, providing a classic resource for newcomers with no previous knowledge.
Please note that ProVeg is in no way responsible for the content of these books.
Here is an eclectic selection of documentaries that focus on the compelling arguments for eating more plant-based.