Deciding to live a compassionate life by going vegan is as much of an ethical choice as it is a culinary quest. People adopt a vegan lifestyle for various reasons, including ethical concerns associated with animal rights, environmental worries, or health benefits. No matter what motivation drives the change, diving into any lifestyle change can be difficult in its own way, and going vegan is no different. But complicated does not mean impossible. Sometimes, you need a little help to guide you along the way. With the vast array of articles, blogs, and online information about veganism, it may feel overwhelming initially. That’s why we compiled a selection of books to help beginner vegans know where to start.
Books for Vegan Newbies
By Pamela Fergusson
Pamela Fergusson shares step-by-step advice, nutrition guidelines, and science-backed information about a vegan lifestyle. She explores the history of veganism and helps you learn the best ingredients to keep on hand and tips for eating on the go.
By Gene Stone, T. Colin Campbell, & Caldwell B. Esselstyn
This #1 New York Times bestseller addresses the many ways a whole-food, plant-based diet can benefit health. Read along to find medical success stories, such as individuals who no longer require medications and helpful tips for transitioning to a healthy whole-food, plant-based diet. Included are 125 recipes to help you get started.
The Skeptical Vegan shares Lindstrom’s journey from meat-eater to vegan. Eric addresses the nutrition and ethics of a vegan lifestyle and gives a candid take on the potential social implications. The Skeptical Vegan contains twenty “veganized” recipes to take with you on your vegan journey.
By Cadry Nelson
In Living Vegan for Dummies, Cadry Nelson discusses the foods that vegans avoid as well as healthy, animal-free alternatives. This book provides proper nutrition information and several action plans to help you start your vegan journey. In addition, Living Vegan for Dummies offers clear advice for explaining a vegan lifestyle to your friends and family.
By Neal D Barnard MD FACC
The Vegan Starter Kit offers a straightforward, step-by-step approach to starting a vegan lifestyle. When people hope to start a healthy diet plan, they may have questions like: How do I cook a vegan meal? Should I worry about my protein? How can I prepare a vegan meal if I don’t know how to cook? Can I still eat out at my favorite restaurant? In The Vegan Starter Kit, Dr. Neal Barnard offers simple advice on veganism basics: what to eat, what to avoid, and how to ensure you’re getting the proper nutrients. It provides nutrition choices, quick-reference charts, meal modifications, and more information. The Vegan Starter Kit includes nutrition information for all stages of life and a complete set of vegan recipes and meal plans.
By Christina Summers
The Essential Vegan is a simple, easy-to-follow guide to aid your transition to a vegan lifestyle. Summers discusses what vegans eat and gives tips on cooking and eating out on a vegan diet. She also shares tips on discussing your new lifestyle with friends and family.
By Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
In The Joyful Vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau discusses the social, cultural, and emotional obstacles facing a vegan in today’s world. Colleen shares her strategies for dealing with these challenges and staying on the right course. The tools in this book will help you communicate clearly and build healthy relationships with vegans and non-vegans.
Dr. Michael Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org and physician, examines the top fifteen reasons for premature death in America and helps readers understand how lifestyle and diet can help prevent and reverse some of the top offenders. Find out how those living with chronic diseases like heart disease, various cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and more can make lifestyle changes to increase not only lifespan but quality of life. This book includes a daily checklist of twelve foods Dr. Greger recommends his patients eat daily, making it a great starting point for new vegans.
The Plant-Based Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide for Transitioning to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight
By Lani Muelrath
Lani Muelrath guides you on a five-step journey to make your dietary transition. She discusses your “why” for changing to a plant-based diet, then provides the information you need to transition to a long-term, healthy diet. Muelrath also shares the importance of exercise and mindset on your vegan path. The Plant-Based Journey contains 20 recipes as well as meal plan templates.
By Brenda Davis & Vesanto Melina
Dieticians Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina have designed Becoming Vegan for health professionals, curriculum developers, and academic librarians. Still, anyone with an interest in nutrition can benefit from what this book has to offer. Becoming Vegan shares detailed nutrition advice for all stages of life and discusses the benefits of a vegan diet. Also included are informational graphics and sample menus for your specific caloric needs.
Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World
By Victoria Moran & Adair Moran
Victoria Moran and her daughter, Adair, share real-life information for the average, everyday human. Main Street Vegan emphasizes small, baby steps to show that anyone can transition and maintain a vegan lifestyle. The authors offer information on every aspect of cruelty-free, plant-based living.
By Jack Norris & Virginia Messina MPH RD
Registered dieticians Jack Norris and Virginia Messina offer a simple six-step plan for transitioning to a plant-based diet in Vegan for Life. Norris and Messina, both long-time vegans, address some of the myths surrounding vegan nutrition. They share essential nutrition information for everyone, including athletes, kids, and pregnant women. This book has easy-to-use resources such as a food chart, vegan substitutions, and sample menus.
Getting Guidance for Going Vegan
These are just a few of the many books available to guide you on your vegan journey. Many vegans have shared their knowledge and experiences to help others. Whether you’re looking for in-depth nutritional advice, delicious recipes, or moral encouragement, there’s a book on this list for you. So, grab one (or a few) of these books, cozy up in your favorite space, and let these words guide you on your vegan voyage.