These books about compassionate eating and living inspire and promote ways to transform our food and lifestyle decisions to be more compassionate to animals, the environment and ourselves.
By Will Tuttle, Ph.D
I think The World Peace Diet should be required reading for everyone no matter what your diet preferences are. In this powerful and transformative work, Dr. Tuttle argues for a spiritual consciousness about our eating and diet. He asks us to question the underlying assumptions of our American culture that is not only devastating and destructive to our external environment, but also to our inner human spirit. He talks about the violence and brutality toward animals that is built into our American food system, and the routine mistreatment and abuse toward animals for our food–and sheds light on what this does to us spiritually as people. He explains the “reductionist” mentality of Western cultures where we routinely reduce living beings to “things,” to commodities for our pleasure, and the elitism that we maintain toward other species in order to subjugate them. He reminds us how all beings, human and animals, have the same inherent interests – not to suffer, not to feel pain, to stay alive and not to die, and to avoid being mistreated, and yet we deny animals all of these inherent and common interests we share with them.
Dr. Tuttle exposes our mentality of domination and exploitation over other living beings, and affirms our attitude of “disconnectedness” from the animals we eat and how this “cultural programming” of eating animals starts at a very early age and is unquestioned until our consciousness is raised. Dr. Tuttle asks us for a complete cultural revolution away from eating animals for food, and instead, to embrace a vegan, plant-based diet that is kinder, non-violent, is spiritually aligned with who we are, and is far healthier for us and our environment. Read more about Dr. Will Tuttle and The World Peace Diet. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Eat Like You Care, An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals
By Gary Francione and Anna Charlton
We all agree that animals matter morally, and that it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death on animals. Although we may disagree about whether some specific uses of animals may qualify as necessary, it is clear that harming and killing animals for pleasure, convenience, entertainment or amusement are not acceptable reasons because they do not involve necessity. So how can we justify the fact that we kill 10 billion land animals and fish every year for food? When we consume animal foods, we inflict unnecessary suffering and death on animals. And eating animals is not only not necessary, it is harmful to our health, causes chronic disease, and early death. Eat Like You Care addresses the 30+ most common questions and objections about a vegan diet, and shows that none of our excuses for eating animals works. This short and clearly written book will change the way you think about what you eat. This book is available in 10 languages. The ebook editions can be read on the Kindle or on any smartphone, tablet, PC, or Mac using a free Kindle app. More about Eat Like You Care. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The Face On Your Plate – The Truth About Food
By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep, underlines how our food choices are inter-related with our moral values. “Each bite of meat involves the killing of an animal that did not need to die,” Masson reminds readers. He investigates how our personal sense of denial keeps us from recognizing the animal at the end of our fork and urges readers to consciously make decisions about food every time we eat. He also emphasizes the enormous environmental damage caused by factory farms and the modern agriculture-industrial complex, and highlights the individual suffering that each animal experiences and endures in their inhumane factory farm life. Masson argues for a vegan diet using his own daily menus as an example, and emphasizes how a vegan diet is sufficient in providing people with all the nutrients we need to live well and thrive, but his most powerful argument calls upon the power of empathy and a refusal to put animals through the suffering and torture they experience in their everyday life for our food supply. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better
By Tracey Stewart
Former veterinary technician, lifelong animal lover and advocate, and Jon Stewart’s wife (former host of The Daily Show), Tracey Stewart shows us how to be better guardians to the animals in our life as well as those that live around us. Through hundreds of delightful watercolor illustrations, creative craft projects, and her humorous, knowledgeable voice, Stewart gives us insight into understanding the secret lives of animals and the most compassionate ways to live with and live alongside them. She inspires us to better understand and appreciate all animals and encourages us to treat every animal with the kindness and respect that each one deserves. This book is part practical guide, part chronicle of Stewart’s life with animals, part witness to the power of giving back and how to advocate for animals. Combining sensible advice with grassroots advocacy, Stewart’s passion embraces all animals including domestic pets, backyard critters and wildlife, and farm animals. This book is the perfect gift for all those who love animals and want to make their lives better. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Dr. Joseph Keon
Dr. Keon reveals the milk myth propagated by the billion dollar dairy industry. He exposes the truth that milk is entirely unnecessary and is actually harmful to our health, with many scientific and medical studies now linking dairy consumption with prostate and breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, higher rates of bone fractures and osteoporosis, higher cholesterol, hypertension, chronic diseases and several autoimmune disorders. Whitewash uncovers the biggest health scam ever perpetrated on the American public by the dairy industry and one of the most effective propaganda campaigns in U.S. history. Based on meticulous medical and scientific research and evidence, Dr. Joseph Keon’s Whitewash will have you reeling from the truth—that milk is far from the perfect food and can be extremely harmful to your health and your children’s health. Whitewash may just save your life if you’re a milk drinker or consume dairy products.
Author Dr. Joseph Keon is considered a leading authority on public health. He’s the author of three books, including Whole Health: The Guide to Wellness of Body and Mind and The Truth about Breast Cancer: A Seven-Step Prevention Plan. Read more about the book Whitewash. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The Ethics of What We Eat – Why Our Food Choices Matter
By Peter Singer and Jim Mason
Peter Singer is Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne, but you don’t have to be a philosopher to understand the principles behind this book. In the book, Singer takes a hard look at the food we eat, where it comes from, how it is produced, and explores the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment. Singer and Mason offer ways to make healthful, humane food choices. As they point out: You can be ethical without being fanatical.
By Jonathan Safran Foer
New York Times best-seller Eating Animals addresses the moral dimensions of why we love some animals and not others. Foer explores the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them and raises the unspoken question behind the fish we eat, the chicken we fry, and the beef we grill. It was written in close collaboration with Farm Forward, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that implements innovative strategies to promote conscientious food choices, reduce farmed animal suffering, and advance sustainable agriculture. Part memoir and part investigative reporting, Eating Animals is a book that, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, places Jonathan Safran Foer “at the table with our greatest philosophers.” Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Conscious Eating (2nd Edition)
By Gabriel Cousins
Conscious Eating has been referred to as the “Bible of Vegetarians,” for both beginners and advanced students of health. This classic work in the field of live-food, plant-based nutrition is an inspirational journey and a manual for life. Included is new information on enzymes, vegetarian nutrition for pregnancy, and an innovative international 14-day menu of gourmet, Kosher, vegetarian, live-food cuisine, plus 150 recipes. Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D. is an internationally recognized spiritual teacher, author, lecturer, world peace worker, and physician of the soul. He is the world’s foremost physician promoting live food nutrition for physical health and spiritual growth. He is a leading researcher and practitioner in the field of rejuvenation, he specializes in the healing of many chronic degenerative diseases. To the healing process he also brings experience as a homeopathic physician (M.D. (H)), Diplomate in Ayurveda, family therapist, and live-food nutritionist. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Living Cruelty Free – Live a More Compassionate Life
By Jennifer Thomson
Living Cruelty Free: Live a More Compassionate Life, is a one-stop shop for living a more compassionate lifestyle without it costing the earth. Its the book the author wishes had been available to her when she became a vegetarian 29 years ago and it offers tips and advice on how we can be kinder to animals and each other, and live a kinder life. It’s an essential guide for anyone who wants to become a more ethical shopper and avoid buying the cruelest things on the planet, like fur, Foie gras, lobster, and clothes made using slave labor. There are also tips on how to go free range, become vegetarian and vegan, or just to reduce your meat intake, and to make sure the cosmetics you buy are not tested on animals. Jennifer Thomson has been a vegetarian for 29 years. She also writes fiction as Jenny Thomson. Visit her blog at Greatest Guide to Cruelty Free Living. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society
By Frans de Waal
In this thought-provoking book, the acclaimed author of Our Inner Ape examines how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of animals, including humans. Written in layman’s prose with a wealth of anecdotes, wry humor, and incisive intelligence, The Age of Empathy is essential reading for our troubled times. The author Frans de Waal is a Dutch-born biologist and is one of the world’s best-known primatologists. He’s an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, and was selected by Time as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in 2007. By studying social behaviors in animals, such as bonding, the herd instinct, the forming of trusting alliances, expressions of consolation, and conflict resolution, de Waal demonstrates how animals – and humans – are very much alike and are preprogrammed for empathy and kindness—underlining empathy’s survival value in evolution. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do to Care for The Animals We Love
By Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff
Legendary behavioral scientist and environmentalist Jane Goodall and renowned animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff set forth the ten things we must do to ensure a safe and peaceful world as custodians of the planet. The Ten Trusts provides lessons Jane Goodall has learned from a lifetime of experience. Marc Bekoff contributes his profound insights and research on animals and animal behavior. Together, they share their hope and vision for humanity and all the earth’s creatures, distilled into ten eloquent spiritual lessons. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
- Respect all life
- Live as part of the Animal Kingdom
- Educate our children to respect animals
- Treat animals as you would like to be treated
- Be a steward
- Value the sounds of nature and help preserve them
- Do not harm life in order to learn about it
- Have the courage of your convictions
- Act knowing that your actions make a difference
- Act knowing that you are not alone.
Comfortably Unaware: What We Choose to Eat Is Killing Us and Our Planet
By Dr. Richard Oppenlander
In Comfortably Unaware, Dr. Richard Oppenlander tackles the crucial issue of global depletion as it relates to food choice. We should all be committed, he tells us, to understanding the reality and consequences of our diet, the footprint it makes on our environment, and seek food products that are in the best interest of all living things. His forthright information and stark mental images are often disturbing-and that’s how it should be. As the guardians of Planet Earth, we need to be shaken out of our complacency, to stop being comfortably unaware, and to understand the measures we must take to ensure the health and well-being of our planet-and of ourselves. Dr. Oppenlander has devoted his life to improving the health of our planet and has extensively studied the effect our food choices have on our health and their immense impact on our environment. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The Sustainability Secret: Rethinking Our Diet to Transform the World
By Keegan Kuhn and Kip Andersen
The Sustainability Secret is written by Keegan Kuhn and Kip Andersen, who produced and directed the groundbreaking 2014 documentary, Cowspiracy. The book is based on and incorporates the comprehensive research, statistics, information, and truth that is revealed in the film. Cowspiracy exposes the single largest contributing factor to the destruction of the planet—our consumption of animals and our large-scale industrialized animal agricultural system. The book, supported by information from the movie, reveals the truth about the devastating and destructive effects that animal agriculture is having on our planet and how it has become the leading cause of rainforest destruction, deforestation, greenhouse gas production, global warming and climate change, water consumption and pollution, air pollution, ocean dead-zones, wildlife habitat loss, species extinction, topsoil erosion, is a community and public health hazard, and is causing debilitating chronic disease in humans. The Sustainability Secret is a strong wake-up call for anyone concerned about protecting our planet as well as our own health. Their research findings provide the only viable way out—by making different food choices away from consuming animal products and instead choosing a plant-based, whole foods vegan diet that produces half as much carbon dioxide as an American omnivore, uses 1/11 the amount of fossil fuels, 1/13 the amount of water, 1/18 the amount of land, requires significantly less water, produces negligible pollutions and destruction to resources, and saves an animal’s life! More about the documentary film Cowspiracy. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World
By John Robbins
First published in 2001, The Food Revolution is still one of the most frequently cited and talked about books of the food-politics revolution. It was one of the very first books to discuss the negative health effects of eating genetically modified foods and animal products of all kinds, to expose the dangers inherent in our factory farming system, and to advocate a complete plant-based diet. The book garnered numerous endorsements by everyone from Paul Hawken to Neal Donald Walsch, Marianne Williamson to Julia Butterfly Hill. Divided into five parts, this work deftly covers such diverse topics as agricultural chemical pollution, the diet/disease connection, genetic engineering and inhumane corporate farming practices, while maintaining a conversational, nonjudgmental tone. After ten years in print, The Food Revolution is more timely than ever—and a very compelling read. The 10th anniversary edition has an updated, new contemporary look and a new introduction by the author. Published 2011. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Circles of Compassion: Essays Connecting Issues of Justice
Dr. Will Tuttle, Editor
This is a truly a book of hope—from the hearts of 28 internationally recognized vegan authors and animal activists who are all actively working to end animal exploitation. Each of these visionary writers share their personal, inspiring and insightful essays that illuminate the connections between injustice to animals and the various forms of social and ecological injustice, and the keys to creating a world of peace, compassion and freedom. You will feel their joy, pain, sorrow, frustration and hope while reading these moving essays—that will inspire you, and help you learn to be a more effective activist. Read more about Circles of Compassion by Dr. Will Tuttle on The Thinking Vegan.
No More Bull! The Mad Cowboy Targets America’s Worst Enemy: Our Diet
By Howard Lyman, with Glen Merzer and Joanna Samorow-Merzer
In the documentary Mad Cowboy, Lyman, a fourth-generation Montana cattle rancher turned vegetarian then vegan, told the story of his personal transformation after a spinal tumor, which he believes was caused by agricultural chemicals, nearly left him paralyzed. In No More Bull!, Lyman uses his humor, compassion, firsthand experience in agriculture, and a command of the facts of health to argue that we might all profit by transforming our diets. He makes a powerful case that Alzheimer’s is yet another of many diseases linked to eating meat. And he explains that the steak at the heart of your dinner plate not only may destroy your own heart but actually offers no more nutritional value than a doughnut! If you’ve been confused by the competing claims of the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Scarsdale Diet, and other fad diets, No More Bull! is the book that will set you straight. Lyman’s got a message for meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans — and the message of No More Bull! is that eating meat is not only dangerous—it is deadly. No More Bull! makes the case for a plant-based diet as clearly and powerfully as it’s ever been made. Featuring over 100 vegan recipes from Howard’s friends, cookbook authors, award-winning chefs, and easy-to-follow tips for those transitioning to a vegan or plant-based diet, No More Bull! could be the book that changes your life, or the life of someone you love. Available on Howard Lyman’s Mad Cowboy website, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day
By Gene Baur & Gene Stone
Gene Baur, the cofounder and president of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, knows that the key to happiness lies in aligning your beliefs with your actions. In this definitive vegan and animal-friendly lifestyle guide, he and Gene Stone, author of Forks Over Knives, explore the deeply transformative experience of visiting the sanctuary and its profound effects on people’s lives and hear the heart-warming stories of the rescued animals. The book covers the basic tenets of Farm Sanctuary life―such as eating in harmony with your values, connecting with nature wherever you are, and reducing stress―and offers readers simple ways to incorporate these principles into their lives. Living the Farm Sanctuary Life also teaches readers how to cook and eat the Farm Sanctuary way, with 100 extraordinarily delicious recipes selected by some of the organization’s greatest fans―chefs and celebrities such as Chef AJ, Chloe Coscarelli, Emily Deschanel, and Moby. Winner of a Books for a Better Life award! Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
By Gene Baur
When Gene Baur visited a stockyard raising animals for food, he was stunned at the stench, noise, filth, waste, pain and suffering the animals were experiencing. One sheep in particular had been kicked to the side to die, but when Baur walked by, she raised her head and looked at him—and that was it. Baur could not ignore her, nor the pain she was experiencing, and took her home with him and nursed her back to health. Hilda became the first resident of Farm Sanctuary, an organization he dedicated to the rescue, care, and protection of farm animals. In Baur’s book, he investigates the ethical questions involved in the production of beef, poultry, pork, milk and eggs, and how animals raised for human consumption are confined for the entirety of their lives and live without space, movement, companionship, fresh air, or even adequate food and water. Baur explains these animals are not viewed as living beings with feelings, but as production units—ten billion farm animals are exploited specifically for food in the United States every year. Farm Sanctuary shows us how we individually have an opportunity and a responsibility to consume a plate that doesn’t cause suffering and torture to live beings, making a better life for ourselves and the animals as well. Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
My Gentle Barn
By Ellie Laks
Founder Ellie Laks tells the story of how she started the Gentle Barn, after adopting a sick goat from a run-down petting zoo in 1999. Some two hundred animals later (including chickens, horses, pigs, cows, rabbits, emus, and more), her rescues include mainly sick, elderly, abused and neglected; owner forfeited, and abandoned animals. Ellie Laks worked tirelessly to take these abandoned animals, one by one, and rehabilitate and heal them, no matter how deep their physical and emotional wounds and scars were. The Gentle Barn has become an extraordinary nonprofit that brings together a volunteer staff of community members and at-risk teens to rehabilitate abandoned and/or abused animals. As Ellie teaches the volunteers to care for the animals, they learn a new language of healing that works wonders on the humans as well. My Gentle Barn is filled with heartwarming animal stories and inspiring recoveries and is truly a feel-good account that will delight animal lovers and memoir readers alike. More about The Gentle Barn. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically
By Peter Singer
Eminent philosopher and ethicist, Peter Singer, who the New Yorker calls “the most influential living philosopher,” writes about a new way of thinking about living ethically. Author of Animal Liberation, Singer now directs our attention to a new movement in which his own ideas have played a crucial role: effective altruism. Effective altruism is built upon the simple but profound idea that living a fully ethical life involves doing the “most good you can do.” Singer introduces us to an array of remarkable people who are restructuring their lives in accordance with these ideas, and shows how living altruistically often leads to greater personal fulfillment than living for oneself. Effective altruists are extending our knowledge of the possibilities of living less selfishly, and of allowing reason, rather than emotion, to determine how we live. The Most Good You Can Do offers new hope for our ability to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
By Zoe Weil
Winner of the 2010 Silver Nautilus Book Award for Ecology/Environment/Sustainability-Green Values. Author and humane educator Zoe Weil speaks widely on humane education and sustainable living and is the cofounder and president of the Institute For Humane Education. In this book, she inspires us to live a lifestyle with more meaning, purpose, peace, caring, compassion and joy, by living our lives based on our deepest values. Weil inspires us to make more examined, conscious choices everyday when we shop for products and services by making the most humane, sustainable decisions possible and making choices that don’t exploit, oppress, or cause suffering to people, animals or the environment. Weil shows us easy ways to recognize our patterns and make changes, and shares many real-life stories about inspiring people that have radically changed their lives, in order to live their deepest values everyday. Living the “Most Good, Least Harm” is about choosing to live from our heart and reducing our negative impact on people, planet, animals and the environment. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy
By Dr. Neal Barnard, MD, FACC
Love cheese? New York Times bestselling author Dr. Neal Barnard busts the myth that cheese is somehow good for us. In fact, it’s the opposite. The average American eats 33 pounds of cheese a year, but the truth is that cheese can be dangerous. Loaded with calories, fat, and cholesterol, cheese can make you gain weight and leads to a host of health problems like high blood pressure and arthritis. Worse, it contains mild opiates that make it additive, triggering the same brain receptors as heroin and morphine. In THE CHEESE TRAP, Dr. Neal Barnard presents a comprehensive program to help readers break free of their cheese addiction so they can lose weight, boost energy, and improve their overall health. This easy-to-follow diet features a treasury of healthy recipes that will tame even the toughest cravings-from pizza, to lasagna, to ice cream and cheesecake. Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
By David Robinson Simon
Few consumers are aware of the economic forces behind the production of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Yet omnivore and herbivore alike, the forces of meatonomics affect us in many ways. Meatonomics points out the enormous “externalized” costs that the animal food system imposes on taxpayers, animals and the environment, finding these costs total about $414 billion annually. With yearly retail sales of around $250 billion, that means that for every $1 of product they sell, meat and dairy producers impose almost $2 in hidden costs on the rest of us. These industries are heavily subsidized by the U.S. government, are the largest polluters of carbon and greenhouse gasses, heavily contribute to climate change, contribute to chronic health problems and diseases, and are based on the exploitation of animals. Because of enormous advertising budgets promoting the eating of meat, dairy, fish and eggs, consumers have lost the ability to decide what is best and healthiest to eat. Those decisions are made by industry people.
Written in an accessible, easy-to-understand style, Meatonomics provides vital insight into how the economics of animal food production influences our spending, eating, health, prosperity and longevity. Visit the Meatonomics website. Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Main Photo by Pixabay, www.pixabay.com