vegan books

Vegan Books on Every Topic: Recommended Titles

There are hundreds of books related to veganism in print. Here are the very best vegan books on every subject.

Newly-Released Vegan Books

Animal Liberation Now, by Peter Singer

First released in 1975, this book launched the modern animal protection movement. If you to immerse yourself in the rigorous thinking supporting animal protection, there’s no better place to start. This new edition is thoroughly revised for 2023.

Saving Animals, Saving Ourselves, by Jeff Sebo

Sebo is a professor of environmental studies at NYU. His book looks into the staggering public health costs associated with factory farming, including the ever-present risk of jump-starting a new pandemic.

The Supremacist Syndrome, by Peter Marsh

An exploration of the common patterns of thinking exhibited in racism, sexism, and animal exploitation. Marsh holds degrees in psychology and law and devotes much of his time to animal protection work.

Food Is Climate, by Glen Merzer

A detailed look at one of the strongest reasons to consider a vegan diet: the link between our food choices and climate change.

Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide for Families, by Reshma Shah MD, MPH & Brenda Davis, RD

The essential guide to vegan nutrition for the entire family. Includes strategies for ensuring healthful eating and excellent nutrition during childhood and adolescence.

Healthy at Last, by Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams spent decades suffering from advanced diabetes. Here, he details the plant-based diet plan that finally turned his health around.

Why Vegan? by Peter Singer

A compilation of nearly fifty years of Singer’s writing on various topics related to vegan diets. Spans everything from factory farming to COVID-19. This is some of the most important vegan-oriented writing in print, all gathered into one convenient volume.

We are the Weather, by Jonathan Safran Foer

In 2010, Jonathan Safran Foer released Eating Animals, which quickly became the decade’s most influential book documenting the injustices of factory farming. Now he returns to shine the light on the connection between animal farming and climate change.

Compassionate Food Choices

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.

The End of Animal Farming, by Jacy Reese

Lays out a vision for ridding the planet of factory farming and animal agribusiness, focusing on strategies proven to make a difference.

Project Animal Farm, by Sonia Faruqi

Investigates the myriad ethical failings surrounding animal agribusiness. Faruqi is a gifted writer and skilled investigative reporter. She applies her economics expertise to create an insightful analysis of an industry that consistently puts profits before compassion.

What a Fish Knows, by Jonathan Balcombe

A careful and beautifully-written analysis of the ethical issues surrounding the consumption of fish and other seafood. This is an immensely important topic often ignored even within the animal protection community.

Esther the Wonder Pig, by Jenkins, Walter, & Crane

The softest and most entertaining possible entry-point into exploring the issues related to factory farming and food politics. Ricky Gervais calls this book, “Funny, moving, and heartwarming. The greatest love story ever told between two men and their pig.”

Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer

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 exposes the core ethical failings factory farming.

The CAFO Reader, by David Imhoff

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.

Best Vegan Books for Transitioning Your Diet

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

If you want help going vegan and can only buy one book, here’s 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.

The Ultimate Vegan Guide, by Erik Marcus

I wrote this to provide 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 a well-informed introduction to the ethical, environmental, and health advantages of being vegan. You can buy the Kindle edition of this book for just 99¢.

Easy Vegan Cookbooks

Start with the Easiest Vegan Cookbook You Can Find

The very first vegan cookbook you purchase should focus on quick and easy recipes suitable for preparing every day. Once you master the basics of easy vegan cooking, you can branch out to explore new cuisines. There are hundreds of vegan cookbooks in print, covering every type of food imaginable. I’ve linked to the very best titles on my recommended vegan cookbooks page. But before you look over the books featured there, check out one of these recent titles:.

Plant Over Processed, by Andrea Hannemann

One of the most popular vegan cookbooks geared toward easy-to-make meals. Beautifully presented out laid out, with inspiring introductory text and gorgeous food photography throughout. A superb index can help you locate the recipes you want both by recipe type and by the ingredients you have on hand.

Oh She Glows for Dinner, by Angela Liddon

If it’s dinner recipes you’re seeking, this cookbook is probably your best choice. An excellent pick for your second cookbook, after getting the Plant Over Processed book above. At 352 pages in hardcover, this title provides a lot of value for the money and is something you’ll turn to again and again.

Fast Easy Cheap Vegan, by Sam Turnbull

Before moving on to explore the countless niches within vegan cooking, it’s wise to purchase a couple cookbooks specializing in quick and easy recipes. Sam’s new cookbook is one of the best possible choices. A great value. This is a comprehensive yet inexpensive title published by Random House. No corners are cut here when it comes to gorgeous food photography and overall quality.

Vegan for Everybody, by America’s Test Kitchen

When you’re ready to explore serious higher-end vegan recipes, this extraordinary title by America’s Test Kitchen sets the gold standard. Features clearly written and rigorously tested recipes coupled with professional photography. An unrivaled reference cookbook for impressive meals you’ll be proud to serve to guests.

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.

Vegan For Life, by Jack Norris & Virginia Messina

What was already hands down the #1 book on vegan nutrition received a comprehensive update in the 2020 edition. No book does a better job of keeping you out of trouble when it comes to meeting your nutritional needs as a vegan.

Vegan for Her, by Messina & Fields

A thorough guide to women’s nutrition for vegans. Offers thorough coverage of every key topic, including pregnancy, nursing, menopause, osteoporosis. Also features expert advice on nutrients of special interest to women, including calcium and iron.

Never Too Late to Go Vegan, by Adams, Breitman, & Messina

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 for an older audience. It features a wealth of lifestyle and nutrition information of interest to everyone middle-aged and up.

Environmental Concerns

A plant-based diet is the easiest and most potent way to shrink your planetary footprint.

A vegan diet enables you to drastically cut greenhouse gases, protect wildlife, and preserve the oceans. It also minimizes the amount of land needed to grow your food. These books look at both the well-established and the not-so-obvious environmental advantages of embracing a plant-based diet.

Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were, by Philip Lymbery

Britain’s leading factory farm opponent offers a evenhanded look at the staggering environmental costs of intensive animal farming. Lymbery shows how factory farming has decimated ecosystems and pushed numerous species around the world to the brink of extinction.

Eat for the Planet, by Nil Zacharias & Gene Stone

This book brings together the numerous powerful environmental reasons to embrace a vegan diet. Also features inspiring and helpful advice for transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle.

Food Is the Solution: What to Eat to Save the World, by Matthew Prescott

Begins with a comprehensive and up-to-date 50 page introduction to the environmental advantages of a vegan diet. Also features 80 vegan recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts. Hardcover with full-color printing throughout.

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, there’s a vegan fitness book that’s perfect for you. Match your vegan diet to an appropriate fitness or training program with one of these great titles:

Plant-Based Sports Nutrition, by Larson-Meyer & Ruscigno

Hands down the most comprehensive guide to vegan fitness, for both casual enthusiasts and competitive athletes. This book will enable you to make food choices that optimally fuel your body for enhanced athletic performance.

Finding Ultra, by Rich Roll

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.

Eat & Run, by Scott Jurek

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 his person transformation. Discover how a kid who hunted his own meat went on to go vegan and become a world-class ultra-endurance runner.

Vegan Fitness for Mortals, by Ellen Jaffe-Jones

Admittedly, reading the stories of people like Rich Roll and Scott Jurek can be intimidating. Here’s the book for vegans seeking a more moderate fitness and dietary regimen. This book will enable you to bump up your activity a notch while getting the biggest payback for your training time.

No-Meat Athlete, by Frazier & Ruscigno

This highly regarded and relentlessly encouraging book splits the difference between Roll and Jurek’s books and Jaffe’s Vegan Fitness for Mortals. Frazier is an ultramarathoner who takes you through the basics of setting up an effective training program. 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.

Ethics Into Action, by Peter Singer

An updated edition of Peter Singer’s biography of Henry Spira, the world’s first massively effective animal rights activist. Singer teaches the lessons that were at the heart of Spira’s successful campaigns.

Striking At the Roots (10th Anniversary Edition), by Mark Hawthorne

The most comprehensive book written about the many forms of animal rights activism. Geared to explaining proven techniques that avoid counterproductive or ill-advised actions. Consider this the anchor book for your animal rights library.

Dialogs on Ethical Vegetarianism, by Michael Huemer

A collection of easy-to-read dialogs that introduce a variety of key topics surrounding the ethical issues of eating animal products. Foreword by Peter Singer.

Self-Care for Activists, By Erik Marcus

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. I’ve made this available free on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and Google Play.

Vegan Kids, Pregnancy, and Parenting

Expert Advice Plus Lessons Other Parents Learned the Hard Way

If you have kids or are starting a family, these books can help you enormously. Also, please read Reed Mangel’s vegan pregnancy guide, which I’ve published online for free. It will help get your baby off to the best possible start in life.

Your Complete Vegan Pregnancy, by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD

This essential book covers everything a future mother needs to know about nutrition, including optimizing your diet both before and during pregnancy. Includes specific nutrition advice for each trimester, plus information to help prepare for labor and delivery. Also includes grocery shopping tips and nutritionally balanced recipes.

The Plant-Based Baby & Toddler, by Caspero RDN & English RDN

Read this and you’ll be ideally set you up for feeding your newborn from birth through their toddler years. On a matter with so much at stake, you’ll feel confident knowing that this book was written by two Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!, by Kristy Turner

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.

Children’s Books

Big Ideas for Little Ones

If you want to instill compassionate values related to animals and eating, here are some terrific children’s titles.

Where’s the Turkey?, by Caroline Jones

Everyone learns a lesson of compassion during a family Thanksgiving.

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, by Ruby Roth

This book gently introduces children to the injustices of animal exploitation in its myriad forms, and the compassionate alternative.

V is for Vegan, by Ruby Roth

Not only does this book teach compassionate food choices, it also introduces children to the fundamentals of good vegan nutrition.

Not a Nugget, by Stephanie Dryer

“Food or Friend?” This book raises the question and affirmatively chooses the latter. Foreword by Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur.

Linus the Vegetarian T. Rex, by Robert Neubecker

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.

Horton Hears a Who!, by Dr. Seuss

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.

For further reading: please see our “Why Go Vegan?” essay and our recommended cookbooks page
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