Veganism has become increasingly popular in recent years, but still, not too many resources exist for vegans or people thinking of going vegan. There isn't exactly a steady supply of "how to eat vegan" information out there. I mean, is there even one major vegan cooking show on the Food Network? How often do you see vegan recipes at restaurants? Normalization works overtime for carnism, because many people reject veganism on the grounds that they think eating animal products is normal and/or that something being tasty negates its harmful impacts on animals, health, marginalized folks, and our one, and only, planet. There's a variety of valid reasons why someone may want to go vegan, and regardless of the reason, they will certainly need resources to help them navigate the transition.
Luckily, there are many books (and cookbooks!) out there that can help first-time vegans. Even better, you don't have to read a dense historical or sociological book to understand veganism. Fiction and cookbooks work well too! It's all about reading what will help you the most. Below are a few books that might be helpful if you're curious about veganism:
1'The Sexual Politics of Meat' by Carol J. Adams
This is the perfect book for any feminist thinking about their meat and dairy consumption. The factory farming industry and its practices are rooted deep in sexism and objectification, as this book explains. Feminism, in its intersectional form, works to support people across the spectrum and, believe it or not, animal agriculture has oppressive and deadly consequences for people as well.
I'd like to note that no book is perfect and that any book on social theories should be read carefully. Enjoy the good and be conscious of the bad. A book can be both and still be worth your time.
2'Animal Liberation' by Peter Singer
Consider this the classic, iconic animal rights book. Published back in 1975, this book woke people to realities of "speciesism," or a systematic oppression and disregard of non-human lives. This idea may seem radical or over-the-top to some, but, taking a step back, it's pretty hard to explain why animal lives are thought of as lesser than ours.
The reality is that we all share this Earth and that we should all be entitled to it, and while not everyone is required or expected to love animals, it's not a lot to ask people to respect their freedom and right to live free from harm. Animal Liberation has affected people for decades now and it's not showing any signs of stopping.
3'How Not To Die' by Michael Greger, M.D.
This New York Times bestseller is all about keeping yourself healthy and well in a world where doctors have proven that they're good at treating acute illnesses but bad at preventing chronic disease. Meat and dairy are, in the long run, simply not healthy for human beings, this book argues. Regardless of whether or not you agree with that statement, read this book and challenge yourself to think in-depth about its arguments.
4'The Reducetarian Solution' by Brian Kateman
Too many people in this world live in a world of extremes — within which you can only be one thing or its opposite, and nothing in between. The same is true for vegans and carnists. People think they either have to eat meat all the time or not at all, and that's not true.
This where The Reducetarian Solution comes in. It's a new concept working to encourage folks to cut back on meat rather than eliminate it completely.
5'Veganomicon' by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
Consider this the Beyoncé of vegan cookbooks. It's not labeled as "the ultimate vegan cookbook" for nothing. The folks behind this book have written many other classics and are simply the best at what they do. Their recipes are always written in an approachable, fun way, and don't make one feel as if they need to be a top chef to prepare what they make. Now what's better than a guilt-free, approachable cookbook?