7 books on veganism to read during Veganuary

Jan 10 2023, 11:16 | by Michela Becchi
Since 2014, the Veganuary initiative that invites people to refuse animal products for the entire month of January has gathered a growing number of followers. Here are some books to add to your library to understand vegan nutrition.

Books on veganism, from anti speciesism to recipes

Many do it to take the side of animals, but there are also those who choose to adopt the vegan diet for the environment or for their health. In any case, it is good to have a good recipe book at hand for inspiration, plus a few books to understand the principles of anti-speciesism, the movement that fights all kinds of injustice and discrimination against animals. Here is a collection of books to browse during Veganuary, the global challenge to abandon (or at least reduce) meat consumption for an entire month.

Vegan cookbooks

Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen – Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney

For many she was "Paul McCartney's (first) wife", but for those who believe in the animal rights cause, Linda McCartney's name is associated with the battle against intensive farming, as well as with the homonymous brand of vegetarian (now vegan) foods created in 1991. An avant-garde move that in the early Nineties represented a veritable revolution. Today that revolution is told in a delicious and complete recipe book, interspersed with photos of Linda, some of her quotes and the memories of her daughters Mary and Stella McCartney. In the first part there are shopping tips and indications for cutting vegetables and cooking times, as well as a touching introduction of the British pop star, who together with his daughters wanted to remember Linda's cooking by dusting off her recipes, now more modern than ever.

Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney – Published by Seven Dials – 255 pages – 30,87

Books on veganism and the environment

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast - J.S. Foer

Foer's latest book deals once again with the theme of intensive farming. Unlike "Eating Animals", however, the focus in this case is on the environmental damage deriving from CO2 emissions coming from livestock. It is on the need for a collective change that the author insists on page after page, "the impotence of individual action is the reason why everyone must try." In support, a series of valuable data, distributed in the form of bulleted lists, with numbers and research results of an international level. 59% of all arable soil is used to grow forage for livestock, animal breeding is responsible for 37% of man-made methane emissions and 65% of man-made nitrous oxide emissions, two of the most common greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Just to name a few.

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast - Jonathan Safran Foer – Published in Italy by Guanda – 310 pages – €18

Books on anti-speciesism

Empty Cages - Tom Regan

Many of the large animal product companies claim to treat animals "humanely." Empty Cages debunks this myth, telling what lies behind the production of food and clothing, hunting, greyhound racing and other forms of exploitation. Tom Regan explains how and why he changed his attitude towards animals, embracing the anti-speciesist movement and vegan nutrition: "Living in the city, I didn't have real direct knowledge of the conditions of farm animals. I understood that I had to make the invisible visible; I had to, so to speak, go into the stables and see what happens there." And so he did, going on to become one of the world's leading animal rights activists.

Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights, Tom Regan – Published in Italy by Rowman e Littlefield – 229 pages - €19

Eating Animals - Jonathan Safran Foer

Foer's first book that deals with the theme of livestock breeding, an intimate reflection on the relationship with animals and our choices at the table: the volume opens with the memory of his grandmother who, despite her hunger, refused pork meat during the war because it was not kosher. The reason? "If nothing matters, there is nothing to save." Growing up and becoming a father, Foer inquires about the quality of the products and their origin: he becomes an active consumer and begins to ask himself questions. He understands that factory farming is a war, a war that "we have allowed to be waged against all the animals we eat." But that's not all: to find out more, the author infiltrates the food industry to see first hand the living conditions of animals. His is an investigation not only on industries but above all on our sensitivity towards those who are "helpless" and "voiceless."

Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer – Published in Italy by Back Bay Books – 341 pages - €18

This is Vegan Propaganda – Ed Winters

"Every time we eat, we have the power to radically transform the world we live in." This is one of the most famous quotes by Ed Winters (known as Earthling Ed), one of the best known animal rights activists of our century, a communicator of the vegan lifestyle through information stands, street debates, interviews, a YouTube channel that has more than 440,000 subscribers and since 2022 also a book, "This is Vegan Propaganda" (currently only available in English). A volume in which the author reveals "the lies that the meat industry tells us," explaining the values underlying anti-speciesism and the urgency of change.

This is Vegan Propaganda, Ed Winters – Published by Ebury Digital – 310 pages - €31,38

Books on vegan baking

Modern Vegan Baking - Gretchen Price

If you are passionate about dessert, the book by pastry chef and blogger Gretchen Price is for you: 125 sweet and savoury baked specialties are present in Modern Vegan Baking, complete with step-by-step tutorials for easy understanding of the preparations. The goal? Showing how delicious vegan desserts can be, with all the substitutions and modifications.

Modern Vegan Baking, Gretchen Price – Published by RockRidge Press – 296 pages - €16

by Michela Becchi

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