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The best vegan books for beginners and long-time vegans
August 27, 2021
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. While these recommendations are suitable for vegan/vegetarian beginners, long-term veggies will also be able to broaden their knowledge with many of these titles.
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 moving 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. The following are ProVeg’s top 10 books on veganism.
Books providing key tips and information on the vegan lifestyle
1. The Mindful Vegan: A 30-Day Plan for Finding Health, Balance, Peace, and Happiness
by Lani Muelrath
(BenBella Books 2012, 400 pages, ISBN 978-1944648473)
Muelrath’s book takes readers on a 30-day journey toward a more mindful relationship with food. Rather than just listing facts and recipes, the book gets to the core of why people struggle with changing their dietary habits. It also provides convincing evidence that doing so enables people to live happier lives that are more in tune with their most strongly held beliefs. Kiss your snack attacks goodbye and find serenity with The Mindful Vegan.
2. Mainstreet Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World
by Victoria Moran
(TarcherPerigee, 400 pages, ISBN 978-1585429332)
Moran has written a book about veganism that is thoroughly pragmatic. In both her reasoning and her strategies for going vegan, she sticks to an approach that does not look down on minor concessions and accommodates readers with small budgets. Mainstreet Vegan not only features recipes but also explores people’s relationships with food in a down-to-earth way. The author knows exactly how ‘going vegan’ sounds to the average person and starts from there, addressing common fears and questions head-on. A line from the book that perfectly sums up her approach is: “This is not difficult; it’s just new. New and wonderful.”
3. Never Too Late to Go Vegan: The Over-50 Guide to Adopting and Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet
by Virginia Messina, Carol J. Adams, and Patti Breitman
(The Experiment 2014, 368 pages, ISBN 978-1615190980)
As the title suggests, this book is geared toward people who find their way to veganism later in life. Its unique selling point is its focus on older generations and their changing nutritional needs, as well as common diet-related diseases and the ways in which a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of developing these illnesses. In addition to detailing how food choices impact on the human body, Never Too Late To Go Vegan also explores topics such as the impact our diet has on the environment, how to talk to relatives about the move toward a plant-based lifestyle, and how to stick to your new diet while travelling.
Vegan nutrition and health books
4. Becoming Vegan, Express Edition: The Everyday Guide to Plant-based Nutrition
by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina
(Book Publishing Company 2013, 284 pages, ISBN 978-1570672958)
This broad overview of vegan living offers information on the animal industry, health, nutrition, and food in general. Davis and Melina, both registered dieticians, offer a concise yet comprehensive guide to healthy vegan eating that also serves as an everyday reference book for a vast number of nutrients and where to obtain them on a plant-based diet. This more accessible version of the comprehensive edition is the perfect entry point for vegan beginners who are looking for a quick summary of the various reasons to embrace a plant-based lifestyle.
5. How Not to Die
by Dr Michael Greger
(Pan Macmillan 2017, 672, ISBN 978-1509852505)
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 Greger arrived by sifting through countless pieces of medical literature. How Not to Die explains his findings and gives readers the tools to make better dietary choices for themselves. To illustrate the relationship between our diet and our 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 protein-based diets, give this book a read.
6. Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss
by Dr Joel Fuhrman
(Little, Brown 2013, 336 pages, price, ISBN 978-0-316-12091-3)
Fuhrman’s book explores the topic of healthy nutrition. Following a strictly scientific approach, he discusses two areas that should always be always be examined in tandem: nutrition and health. Fuhrmann shows that widespread lifestyle diseases such as diabetes or obesity can be permanently overcome with the help of switching to a purely plant-based diet. He uses the latest findings of nutritional science to revolutionize the way we think about our eating habits.
Vegan books about the nature of relations between humans and animals
7. Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer
(Back Bay Books 2010, 352 pages, ISBN 978-0316127165)
In this non-fiction book, the author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 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.
8. Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
by Peter Singer
(Harper Perennial Modern Classics 2009, 368 pages, ISBN 978-0061711305),
In Animal Liberation, Singer, a philosopher and scholar of ethics, takes a theoretical yet 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, he criticizes the ubiquitous exploitation of animals for food and research purposes. Singer’s book offers a comprehensive insight into the history of speciesism, providing a classic resource for newcomers with no previous knowledge.