Becoming Vegan Books
Are you looking for some great reading material on veganism for yourself or as a gift for someone else? I love veganism as a topic in general, there is a lot to learn....
I started my vegan journey several years ago now. As a chef, my story started out of curiosity surrounding food and ingredients. I can't really remember what I tried first in my kitchen, only that my interest was piqued, and everything evolved from that initial curiosity. I had been vegetarian for about a year up until that point, and then within a month I was all in.
Through reading, listening to podcasts and conversations from educators on the topic of veganism, my understanding and connection to this belief system has only strengthened. I definitely went through a period of grief, feeling angry and sad about all the ways animals are being exploited. Once you dive in and watch enough video content, you can't unsee it. It isn't that my heart doesn't still break, but it is that I have learned to soften towards the fact that we do not live in a vegan world, and I don't think shoving veganism down peoples throats in an angry, "you are an animal abuser", kind of tone is helpful to the movement. I recognize when people do react like this, it is from a place of perhaps fear, trauma, anger or sadness surrounding the immense amount of suffering that takes place every minute of every day. The psychology of our belief systems surrounding carnism and veganism brings me to my first book recommendation.
1. Why we love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows." by Melanie Joy Ph D.
Human Psychology is a topic of interest to me in general, I studied psych in University right out of high school, and while I didn't pursue that as a career, I still love it. Melanie dives into the psychology of carnism in this book. I found that the way she breaks down the belief systems which exist in modern society really helpful to expanding my own understanding. My compassion for people who aren't even thinking about this topic only deepened, as it should. We are all born into this world, shaped and molded by whichever society we land in, and it is really difficult to break free from all sorts of programing, not just carnism.
2. The Proof Is in the Plants: How Science Shows a Plant-Based Diet Could Save Your Life (and the Planet)
Next up is The Proof Is in the Plants by Simon Hill.
I am a huge fan of Simons. I listen to his podcast "the proof" on a regular basis. He is has a masters in Nutrition Science and regularly has conversations and guests on his show to dive deep into all things related to wellness. He makes a point to talk about the science, in a non biased way, and the work he does is beyond valuable if you are looking for solid reliable information.
His book covers so much ground and great for anyone who wants to dive into learning more about the benefits of this lifestyle. A snippet of what this book covers....
3. This is Vegan Propaganda:
(And Other Lies the Meat Industry Tells You.)
It's pretty hard to be involved in the vegan movement and lifestyle and NOT have heard of Ed Winters. He is undoubtedly one of the most important vegan educators and activists of our time. His viral online content is definitely worth checking out. He has compassionate debates and conversations with university students and people all across the UK (and maybe elsewhere I am not sure). He is a pleasure to listen to, and is incredibly eloquent and kind is his delivery. You can find him lecturing on the topic of veganism, climate, and animal rights. I've listened to a few of his interviews (Like on the Rich Roll Podcast), he is impressive to say the least and his newest book is definitely worth checking out.
4. The Plant-Based Athlete: A Game-Changing Approach to Peak Performance
While I am far from being anything close to an athlete, I really enjoyed this book by Matt Frazier and Robert Cheeke. I love going to the gym and heading outside for a run when the weather is nice, and I find the stories from the athletes in this book to be inspiring and interesting. Anecdotal experiences from athletes are just one segment of this book though. You will also find info about current research, what athletes eat specifically to fuel their workouts, 60 + recipes, a section on plant based protein, and a whole lot more. I first heard about the book while listening to the Rich Roll Podcast. Rich was interviewing the authors. You can find the show on Spotify if you are interested.
5. The Sprout Book: Tap into the Power of the Planet's Most Nutritious Food
This is a book for really anyone who wants to introduce healthy habits into their life, vegan or otherwise. I follow Doug Evans on social media and he is a bit quirky and I enjoy watching him and his love for all things sprouts. He takes the sprouting lifestyle to a new level. I got this book when I starting sprouting in my own home, and it is a great read. Adding sprouts to your diet can has incredible benefits. In this book you learn about one of the most nutrient dense ingredients on the planet. Not convinced? Sprouts have 20 - 30 times the phytonutrients of other vegetables, and 100 times those of meat. They have cancer fighting properties and help protect us from cardiovascular disease and environmental pollutants....and more. Don't miss out on learning about the benefits of adding sprouts to your diet....and then add them!
6. Hidden: Animals in the Anthropocene
The next book written by Jo-Anne McArthur, takes us in a different direction completely. I don't personally own it (yet), because it is on the pricier side. It's one I really hope to add to my bookshelf eventually. HIDDEN is a collection of impactful and stunning images of animals in a human environment, as captured by over 30 photojournalists. I don't think this would be an "easy" book to look at, but I think it is an extremely important book. Rather than me trying to summarize, this excerpt instead is too good not to quote. "HIDDEN shines a light on the invisible animals in our lives: those with whom we have a close relationship and yet fail to see. The animals we eat and wear; the animals we use for research, work, and for entertainment; the animals we sacrifice in the name of tradition and religion. HIDDEN is a historical document, a memorial, and an indictment of what is and should never again be."
7. Clean Meat. How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World.
This was a fascinating read. If you haven't heard of cell based meat, or cell based agriculture, then I definitely suggest checking this book out. Imagine being able to grow meat from the cells of animals, to look, taste, and be identical in every way, only that you don't have to kill the animal to have it. It isn't fake meat, it IS MEAT. The technology already exists, and for the first time is being sold in Singapore. This is a scientific advancement that will revolutionize the world. One of my favourite parts of the book is how it looks at snapshots of different points in history. We have used animals for different things in the past, but then due to scientific advancements, society and industry moved in a different direction. Think horse and buggy and then the invention of the combustion engine. This is the kind of advancement we are talking about, one that will render whatever precedes it to be practically obsolete. Animal agriculture might not go away completely, but I'm convinced this industry will look very different in the future. Perhaps I won't be around to see it come to fruition in its entirety, but eventually with this technology we can stop farming animals en masse in the most cruel and inhumane of conditions.
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Hey! I'm Trisha