Essential Vegan Books to Bolster Your Activism
Browse the following list of books on animal rights, activism, and veganism to enhance your outreach with knowledge, skills, and historical perspective. You can find these books at the links provided in the summaries below, your local library or independent bookstore (see IndieBound and Bookshop), or Amazon.
The Animal Activist’s Handbook: Maximizing Our Positive Impact in Today’s World
by Matt Ball and Bruce Friedrich
This handbook is filled with ideas on how to create a better world through the power of thoughtful, impassioned, and joyous activism. Authors and seasoned activists Matt Ball and Bruce Friedrich build a ground-up case for creating a better world through reasoned and thoughtful activism that makes the most possible difference and suggest a variety of ways to live a meaningful life through effective and efficient advocacy. Learn more.
Animal Camp: Reflections on a Decade of Love, Hope and Veganism at Catskill Animal Sanctuary by Kathy Stevens
This charming book tells the stories of animals who have been brought back from lives of abuse and find kindness, healing, and happiness at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. It’s a great resource to refer people to when discussing the lives of animals in our food industry. Learn more.
Beyond Beliefs: A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters by Melanie Joy
This book offers a collection of useful tools and guidance to assist us in communicating our message effectively to meat eaters, vegans, and other advocates, enabling us to cultivate healthy relationships with those we’re trying to influence. Joy provides advice for creating healthy relationships, effectively communicating about challenging topics, and recognizing how the psychology of being vegan/vegetarian or a meat eater affects your relationships with others — and with yourself. Learn more.
Brotha Vegan: Black Men Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society
by Omowale Adewale (editor) and A. Breeze Harper (series editor)
Black men discuss masculinity, sexuality, race, diet, health, fatherhood, social justice, animal rights, and the environment in this companion volume to Sistah Vegan. Learn more.
Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change
by Nick Cooney
Change of Heart uses a number of popular key questions from across social justice movements to provide insights from a psychological perspective on the effects our outreach efforts have on behavior change. It examines more than eighty years of research in areas including social psychology, communication studies, diffusion studies, network systems, and social marketing, distilling the highlights into easy-to-use advice for anyone wanting to spread progressive social change. Learn more.
Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements
by Bill Moyer, JoAnn McAllister, Mary Lou Finley, and Steven Soifer
Doing Democracy is a guide to understanding the complexities behind social movements and the strategies responsible for making them successful. Through theories and working models, the authors provide an overview and analysis of social movements and outline their eight stages, the four roles of activists, and case studies from across a diverse number of movements to provide insights into what we can do to ensure their long-term success. Learn more.
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Eating Animals is a synthesis of personal memoir, science, and philosophy that investigates the behind-the-plate story of what it really means to eat animals in an industrialized world. This book is helpful to refer to when engaging with others on vegan living. Whether someone is trying to reduce their meat consumption, taking part in a monthly veg pledge, or simply looking for further information, Eating Animals has diverse appeal. Learn more.
The End of Animal Farming: How Scientists, Entrepreneurs, and Activists Are Building an Animal-Free Food System by Jacy Reese
This book describes the role that advances in technology, science, and activism have in making the end of animal farming a foreseeable reality rather than a naive pipe dream. Instead of using an individualist approach, Reese argues that the best way to end animal farming is to advocate for systemic and technological changes that will gradually make consuming animal products the exception rather than the default. Learn more.
Ethics into Action: Henry Spira and the Animal Rights Movement by Peter Singer
This book details the story of Henry Spira, a lifelong animal rights activist who is regarded as one of the most well-known and effective of his time. This classic book describes animal rights activism in the twentieth century, which helped set the stage for activism today. It also serves as a helpful guide for budding activists who are hoping to make a difference. Learn more.
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger, MD
Dr. Greger presents cutting-edge, scientifically-proven nutritional advice to help prevent our biggest killers—heart disease, breast and prostate cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes—revealing the astounding health benefits that simple dietary choices can provide. Learn more.
How To Create A Vegan World by Tobias Leenaert
How to Create a Vegan World contains valuable ideas and insights for budding and seasoned activists, organizational leaders, and even entrepreneurs. Leenaert provides a refreshing perspective on the strategies, objectives, and communication of the vegan and animal rights movement, arguing that we need to take a pragmatic approach in our advocacy efforts if we are to influence and bring about real change within the current setup of our global society. This book offers a new approach to addressing some common questions within the movement. Learn more.
How To Go Vegan: The why, the how, and everything you need to make going vegan easy by Veganuary
This excellent go-to guide for all those interested in going vegan gives a concise overview of the three main reasons to go vegan — for the animals, the environment, and personal health — and offers practical tools to help. Topics covered include surprisingly vegan foods, reading labels, vegan ingredient essentials, easy replacements, eating out, traveling as a vegan, meal plans, tips and tricks, what to do if you’re struggling, and how to celebrate being a vegan. Learn more.
The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way
by Hillary Rettig
The Lifelong Activist is a useful handbook for a diverse readership, including activists, artists, teachers, students, volunteers, and even entrepreneurs. It is also useful for those contemplating a career change and for those at risk of burnout. Learn more.
Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, and Money by Erik Marcus
The author examines animal agriculture’s cruelties and far-reaching social costs while evaluating the successes and failures of the animal protection movement. Meat Market is an excellent resource for those wishing to gain a greater understanding of the ethics and economy of animal agriculture. Learn more.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 3rd Ed. by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD
This classic book teaches you how to interact with others without triggering defensive reactions. Using a selection of case studies, stories, and dialogues, Rosenberg provides guidance and offers solutions to communication problems that can be applied in a variety of relationships and situations. Learn more.
Rethinking Food and Agriculture: New Ways Forward
by Amir Kassam (editor) and Laila Kassam (editor)
Given the central role of the food and agriculture system in driving so many of the connected ecological, social, and economic threats and challenges we currently face, this book reviews, reassesses, and reimagines the current food and agriculture system and the narrow paradigm in which it operates.
Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society
by Pattrice Jones and A. Breeze Harper (editor)
This series of narratives, critical essays, poems, and reflections from a diverse community of North American black-identified vegans is thought-provoking for the identification and dismantling of environmental racism, ecological devastation, and other social injustices. It calls upon us to make radical changes for the betterment of ourselves, our planet, and—by extension—everyone. Learn more.
Striking at The Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism by Mark Hawthorne
This practical guide to effective animal advocacy brings together some of the top tactics for speaking out for animals. Activists from around the globe share the strategies and tactics that have led them to successful outreach. Learn more.
30 Non-Vegan Excuses & How to Respond to Them (e-book)
Ed Winters, aka, Earthling Ed, is a vegan educator, public speaker, and content creator. In this free 122-page e-book, he empowers vegans with the knowledge and confidence needed to have effective conversations about veganism. The e-book is available in French, German, Greek, and Portuguese translations. Learn more.
Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others
by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk
This guide offers those who care for others and the planet a way to stay engaged, hopeful, balanced, and healthy when dealing with suffering and trauma. Through the use of interviews and animations, the authors investigate the emotional toll of advocacy work while offering practices for meeting these challenges without becoming overwhelmed by them. Learn more.
Uncaged: Top Activists Share Their Wisdom on Effective Farm Animal Advocacy
by Ben Davidow
Thirty leading animal activists, including Peter Singer, Paul Shapiro, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, offer insights on effective farm animal advocacy. “Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned activist, Uncaged provides an abundance of wisdom and inspiration that will help you have a big impact for farm animals.” Learn more.
Vystopia by Clare Mann
Author Clare Mann, a vegan psychologist, communications trainer, and existential psychotherapist, not only validates the experience of being vegan in a carnist world, but rejects the claims that such anguish is abnormal. As a telling witness to vystopia — a term she coined in 2017 — she provides vegans with a language and toolbox to work through their anguish and unite with others to examine one of the biggest social justice challenges of our time: our relationship with the animal kingdom. Learn more.
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism
by Melanie Joy
This book offers an absorbing look at what social psychologist Melanie Joy calls carnism, the belief system that conditions us to eat certain animals when we would never dream of eating others. Becoming aware of what carnism is and how it functions is vital to personal empowerment and social transformation, as it enables us to make our food choices more freely—because without awareness, there is no free choice.