Knowledge is power, right? We read books about how to change our financial status, how to change our style, and how to better ourselves in general. Women read books to learn what men are thinking. Innocent people are fascinated by and read books about the lives of criminals. City dwellers like to read about those who lead simpler country lives.
So, what do omnivores read when they want to learn about veganism? Here is a list of books and cookbooks that will explain, entertain, and satisfy all types of curiosity. And maybe even satisfy stomachs too.
1. That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals by Ruby Roth
Don’t let the cover fool you into thinking this one is just for kids. Different kinds of animals are mentioned and the parts they play in human relationships. This book describes how they live naturally, versus how they are treated in captivity and sent to slaughterhouses. The information is explained gently and in a matter-of-fact manner, making it an easy read for all ages. “Whether it has gills, wings, whiskers, or roots, every living being shares the will to live and grow.”
2. Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement by Peter Singer
Originally published in 1975, Animal Liberation was an eye-opener from the very start. It’s the story of animal rights told from a scientific point of view, offering compromises and alternative suggestions to the cruel treatment of animals by medical researchers and food processing plants. A must-read for anyone seeking systemic change or considering the path to veganism, the truths written here in 1975 still ring true. “All the arguments to prove man’s superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals.”
3. The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins
Whether you’re a meat eater or a veggie connoisseur, this book is a must-read for anyone concerned with personal health and/or the health of the planet. Written in a factual, non-judgmental tone, Robbins is urgent yet respectful in his quest to have us examine our own behavior. While it may have been written more than twenty years ago, and the author’s questions about the future of the food industry and the plant’s well being may now be answered with unfavorable outcomes, reading this book can give hope. “It always matters what you do. It always matters what you say. And it always matters what you eat.”
4. Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger?: And Other Questions People Ask Vegans by Sherry F. Colb
All vegans have been asked questions that they felt were insensitive or just plain stupid, but discussion between vegans and non-vegans doesn’t need to resemble the argument of a recently divorced couple. Colb uses humor in the introduction, yet explores the deeper issues of veganism in a logical way. The title may suggest a lighthearted tone, but the content is practical and educational. “Saintly sacrifice is not required, though self-reflection and self-education are.”
5. Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck by Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis
This is not your grandmother’s favorite cookbook. Created by a couple of normal, real world people trying to encourage other non-pretentious types to eat more *bleeping* veggies, this is probably the most fun you’ll ever have with a cookbook. In a borderline food-shaming introduction, the authors nearly beg readers to think twice before going for chemical-laden convenience foods and instead try these recipes with basic, fresh, and preferably local ingredients. “We don’t understand why eating real, healthy food has to be such a BIG F*ING DEAL.”
6. The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon
This author suffered from several eating disorders before finally researching and trial-by-erroring her way to veganism. She began the Oh She Glows blog about ten years ago, and now her website receives over six million hits per month. Not bad for a woman who simply wanted to feel better! The recipes compiled here are simple, delicious, and accompanied by stunning photos. “I used to think that vegan was a code word for weird, limited, or unappetizing food, but I’ve since proven myself wrong.”
7. Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romano
This one is a staple in vegan kitchens, written by the Post Punk Kitchen lady herself, Isa Chandra. It lists more than 250 various recipes, most of which are kid-friendly. And also weeknight-friendly, meaning they don’t take hours to prepare or require obscure ingredients you have to scour the city for. Make one of these meals for an omnivore and show them just how the other side lives! The introduction states that Veganomicon is “like a love song (‘80s power ballad, with some light ‘70s rock and a touch of post-punk angst) to our favorite things about vegan cooking – its diverse, delicious flavors and limitless possibilities.”
So, after reading this, I feel more like grilling a Portobello for my dinner instead of steak. How about you?
YouTube Channel: BBC Three