Vegan Book Suggestions

| March 18, 2010 | 2 Comments

It may have been a bit of time since my last blog posting, but rest assured: my veganism has continued uninterrupted in the meantime!  The words may have been scarce to cross your computer screen, but great, healthy, and tasty vegan food has been gracing my palate consistently.  And, if you take the following advice, your motivations for going vegan may be duly increased and your plate, too, may hold some delectable vegan delicacies!

I’ve also been blessed to have someone in my life that is truly interested in learning more about veganism—its health benefits, specifically.  I have found that all of the direct and indirect benefits of veganism–including health, animal rights and welfare, social justice, and environmental issues—appeal to different folks.  I personally do not care WHY someone decides to go vegan (all reasons are valid and legitimate) but simply that they do!  And, of course, if I can guide someone through this journey, make it an easier, less confusing one for them, then there is not much that will make me happier and feel more fulfilled (well, except for a damn good piece of vegan birthday cake, which is on my mind as I’m about to ring in a personal “new year”).

Along that vein, here are some great books I recommend to learn more about the health benefits of veganism. Furthermore, the main folks in the field who are noteworthy and will forever wear the “Vegan Crown of Knowledge and Erudition” are, in no particular order:  T. Colin Campbell, John Robbins, Howard Lyman (used to be a cattle rancher who turned vegan), and Neal Barnard.  All of these men (hmm, is there some gender inequality in the fight for equality for all sentient beings?? Ironic, huh? J) are great writers, well versed in the field, and have been in and around the movement mostly since its inception.  In many ways, I think, they greatly brought the movement to where it is today. They advanced it, they propelled it, and most importantly, they brought these issues to the forefront at a time when it was less than “cool” to do so.  In my opinion, such folks fall into the true “hero social revolutionary” category—minus the guillotine and communism.

Recommended Books to Read to Discover Your Inner Vegan Mojo:

  1. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell–Dr. Campbell is a biochemistry professor at Cornell University.  I haven’t read this book personally (yet), but I know the author well, and this book is a BIG deal. It made headlines upon its release, and it’s well researched.  I think this would be a great way to learn more about the health benefits of a veg lifestyle from a renowned nutrition and health expert in the field.

Here is a synopsis of the book:

“The research project culminated in a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, a survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan. More commonly known as the China Study, “this project eventually produced more than 8000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease.”

The findings? “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” said Dr. Campbell.

In The China Study, Dr. Campbell details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also its ability to reduce or reverse the risk or effects of these deadly illnesses. The China Study also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and irresponsible scientists.”

2. Howard Lyman’s book –No More Bull

3. John Robbins — Diet for a New America (the book that made me go vegan senior year in college) and The Food Revolution (I’d read this one as it’s more recent).  His latest book is Healthy at 100.  Here is synopsis of this one:

“In this revolutionary book, bestselling author John Robbins presents us with a bold new paradigm of aging, showing us how we can increase not only our lifespan but also our health span. Through the example of four very different cultures that have the distinction of producing some of the world’s healthiest, oldest people, Robbins reveals the secrets for living an extended and fulfilling life in which our later years become a period of wisdom, vitality, and happiness. From Abkhasia in the Caucasus south of Russia, where age is beauty, and Vilcabamba in the Andes of South America, where laughter is the greatest medicine, to Hunza in Central Asia, where dance is ageless, and finally the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa, the modern Shangri-la, where people regularly live beyond a century, Robbins examines how the unique lifestyles of these peoples can influence and improve our own.”

4. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Also, if you’d like to get more of a “visual,” there is a movie called Earthlings you can view.  If you were going to only watch one thing, this is it. But be forewarned, it graphically portrays animal abuse and cruelty.  Don’t eat beforehand, especially any meat or dairy products!

You can watch it free online at the Earthlings website or on various other sites—just google it.

“Narrated by Academy Award Nominee Joaquin Phoenix and featuring music by the critically acclaimed platinum artist Moby, EARTHLINGS is a documentary film about humankind’s complete economic dependence on animals raised for pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research. Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, EARTHLINGS chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit. Powerful, informative, controversial and thought-provoking, EARTHLINGS is by far the most comprehensive documentary ever produced on the correlation between nature, animals and human economic interests.”

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  2. admin says:

    Hi Lashawna–I’m so glad you found my post on Vegan Book Suggestions helpful. That’s what I’m here for! Thanks for the post. It’s always great to get feedback!

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