Books

Dr. Jo's bookshelf

Here is a list of our favorite vegan and animal welfare titles, with links to purchase. 

Social Justice  

Aphro-ism by Aph and Syl Ko

Aph and Syl Ko provide new theoretical frameworks on race, advocacy for nonhuman animals, and feminism. Using popular culture as a point of reference for their critiques, the Ko sisters engage in groundbreaking analysis of the compartmentalized nature of contemporary social movements, present new ways of understanding interconnected oppressions, and offer conceptual ways of moving forward expressive of Afrofuturism and black veganism.

The Dreaded Comparison by Marjorie Spiegel

Considered a seminal book in the fields of Bioethics and Human-Animal Studies, and a classic in the field of humane thought, Marjorie Spiegel's The Dreaded Comparison makes a significant contribution to our efforts to understand the roots of individual and societal 
violence, tying current cultural practices to the legacy of human bondage, and introducing new and diverse audiences to the history of slavery and institutionalized racism in the United States. Spanning history, psychology, and current events-- and ground-breaking for its thesis which presents the first in-depth exploration of the similarities between the violence humans have wrought against other humans, and our culture's treatment of non-human animals-- The Dreaded Comparison has contributed to subsequent explorations by other scholars, historians, legal scholars, law professors and educators in diverse fields to view and further define the modern system of animal exploitation in terms of the model and legacy of human slavery. 

Eternal Treblinka by Charles Patterson

This book explores the similar attitudes and methods behind modern society's treatment of animals and the way humans have often treated each other, most notably during the Holocaust. The book's epigraph and title are from "The Letter Writer," a story by the Yiddish writer and Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer: "In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka." The first part of the book (Chapter 1-2) describes the emergence of human beings as the master species and their domination over the rest of the inhabitants of the earth. The second part (Chapters 3-5) examines the industrialization of slaughter (of both animals and humans) that took place in modern times. The last part of the book (Chapters 6-8) profiles Jewish and German animal advocates on both sides of the Holocaust, including Isaac Bashevis Singer himself.

Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society byA. Breeze Harper

Sistah Vegan is a series of narratives, critical essays, poems, and reflections from a diverse community of North American black-identified vegans. Collectively, these activists are de-colonizing their bodies and minds via whole-foods veganism. 

Veganism in an Oppressive World: A Vegans-of-Color Community Project by Julia Feliz Brueck

Through the voices of vegans of color, Veganism in an Oppressive World will revolutionize the way you see our movement. A must read for new vegans and seasoned nonhuman animal activists alike, this community-led effort provides in-depth, first-hand accounts and analyses of what is needed to broaden the scope of veganism beyond its current status as a fringe or “single-issue” movement while ensuring that justice for nonhumans remains its central focus.

Animals and Ethics  
 

Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully

Dominion is a plea for human benevolence and mercy, a scathing attack on those who would dismiss animal activists as mere sentimentalists, and a demand for reform from the government down to the individual. Matthew Scully has created a groundbreaking work, a book of lasting power and importance for all of us.

Animal Rights: The abolitionists approach by Gary FrancioneThe exploitation of animals is pervasive, entrenched, and horrific. In this book, the authors reject the idea that animal use is morally acceptable if we treat animals “humanely.” They reject the campaigns for “compassionate” exploitation promoted by virtually all large animal protection organizations. These campaigns, the authors argue, reinforce the notion that we can consume our way out of injustice and trade one form of exploitation for another. They are morally wrong and they are, as a practical matter, ineffective. The central argument of this book is that we need a paradigm shift. We must see nonhuman animals as nonhuman persons

 

A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion by Matthieu Ricard

A powerful and wide-ranging indictment of the treatment of animals by humans--and an eloquent plea for animal rights.
 

The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There a Happy Meat? by Hope BohanecDrawing on peer-reviewed research, worker and rescuer testimony, and encounters with the farm animals themselves, The Ultimate Betrayal discusses the recent shift in raising and labeling animals processed for food and the misinformation surrounding this new method of farming. This book explores how language manipulates consumers concepts about sustainability, humane treatment, and what is truly healthy. It answers important questions surrounding the latest small-scale farming fad.The Ultimate Betrayal is a well-rounded and thoroughly-researched book that touches the heart with an honest and unflinching look at the reality behind humane labels. With real-life examples from multiple viewpoints and thought-provoking philosophical underpinnings, The Ultimate Betrayal is a must-read for anyone interested in ethical food choices.

 

Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat, by Philip Lymbery
Farm animals have been disappearing from our fields as the production of food has become a global industry. We no longer know for certain what is entering the food chain and what we are eating – as the UK horsemeat scandal demonstrated. We are reaching a tipping point as the farming revolution threatens our countryside, health and the quality of our food wherever we live in the world. Farmageddon is a fascinating and terrifying investigative journey behind the closed doors of a runaway industry across the world – from the UK, Europe and the USA, to China, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. It is both a wake-up call to change our current food production and eating practices and an attempt to find a way to a better farming future.

Health 


The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-term Health by
 Dr. T. Colin Campbell PhD

Dr. Campbell details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The report also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and opportunistic scientists. The New York Times has recognized the study as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology” and the “most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.” Dr. Campbell cuts through the haze of misinformation and delivers the powerful science and health benefits behind a vegan diet. 

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America--heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and more--and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches to help prevent and reverse these diseases, freeing us to live healthier lives.

How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss 

Discover the cutting-edge science behind long-term weight loss success, in this powerful new book from the New York Times bestselling author of How Not to Die. Every month seems to bring a trendy new diet or weight loss fad―and yet obesity rates continue to rise, and with it a growing number of diseases and health problems. It’s time for a different approach. Enter Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of the Nutrition Facts website. Author of the mega bestselling How Not to Die, Dr. Greger now turns his attention to the latest research on the leading causes―and remedies―of obesity.
 

By Any Greens Necessary by Tracey McQuirter

African American women are facing a health crisis: Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes occur more frequently among them than among women of other races. Black women comprise the heftiest group in the nation—80 percent are overweight, and 50 percent obese. Decades of studies show that these chronic diseases can be prevented and even reversed with a plant-based diet. But how can you control your weight and health without sacrificing great food and gorgeous curves? With attitude, inspiration, and expertise, in By Any Greens Necessary McQuirter shows women how to stay healthy, hippy, and happy by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes as part of an active lifestyle. The book is a call to action that all women should heed.
 

Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs. Neal Barnard, MD
Before Dr. Barnard’s scientific breakthrough, most health professionals believed that once you developed diabetes, you were stuck with it—and could anticipate one health issue after another, from worsening eyesight and nerve symptoms to heart and kidney problems. But this simply is not true—Dr. Barnard has shown that it is often possible to improve insulin sensitivity and tackle type 2 diabetes by following his step-by-step plan, which includes a healthful vegan diet with plenty of recipes to get started, an exercise guide, advice about taking supplements and tracking progress, and troubleshooting tips.

 

The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy, Neal Barnard MD
New York Times bestselling author Dr. Neal Barnard reveals the shocking truth about cheese-the dangerous addiction that is harming your health-and presents a radical program to lose weight and feel great. We've been told that dairy does a body good, 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. 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. 

 

Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes, Cyrus Khambatta PhD, Robby Barbato MPH 
Current medical wisdom advises that anyone suffering from diabetes or prediabetes should eat a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. But in this revolutionary book, Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, and Robby Barbaro, MPH, rely on a century of research to show that advice is misguided. While it may improve short-term blood glucose control, such a diet also increases the long-term risk for chronic diseases like cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic kidney disease, and fatty liver disease. Armed with more than 800 scientific references and drawing on more than 36 years of personal experience living with type 1 diabetes themselves, the authors show how to eat large quantities of carbohydrate-rich whole foods like bananas, potatoes, and quinoa while decreasing blood glucose, oral medication, and insulin requirements.

 

Respecting the Feminine 
Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice by Lisa Kemmerer

Personal narratives from 14 female activists who explore links between oppression of humans and animals. Females are at the bottom of every gendered hierarchy and this book exposes, among other things, how the dairy industry is based on a desecration of everything that is sacred about the feminine. The astonishing honesty of these contributors demonstrates with painful clarity why every woman should be an animal activist, why every animal activist should be a feminist, and why all social justice advocates should be vegan. All forms of oppression are linked. 
 

Environment and Planetary Health 
 

Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work by Dr. Richard Oppenlander

What we choose to eat is killing our planet and us, yet use of the word 'sustainable' is ubiquitous.

Explanation of this incongruity lies in the fact that sustainability efforts are rarely positioned to include food choice in an accurate manner. This is due to a number of influencing cultural, social, and political factors that disable our food production systems and limit our base of knowledge--falsely guiding us on a path of pseudo sustainability, while we devastate the ecosystems that support us, cause mass extinctions, and generate narrowing time lines that will ultimately jeopardize our very survival as a civilization. This groundbreaking book should be read by anyone who cares about our future. Categories of global depletion are detailed, widely held myths are debunked, critical disconnects are exposed, and profound solutions are offered.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran For

Part memoir and part investigative report, 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" -and a must-read for anyone who cares about building a more humane and healthy world.

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer

The task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves, with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future. We have, Foer reveals, turned our planet into a farm for growing animal products, and the consequences are catastrophic. Only collective action will save our home and way of life. And it all starts with what we eat―and don’t eat. A combination of scientific facts, personal stories of his journey as a father looking for the best way to feed his family, and metaphor, the result is  poignant and painful, bleak and hopeful: a must read. 

Spirituality and Peace 

The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health & Social Harmony by Will Tuttle, PhD

The World Peace Diet presents the outlines of a more empowering understanding of our world, based on comprehending the far-reaching implications of our food choices. Incorporating systems theory, teachings from mythology and religions, and the human sciences, Will Tuttle offers a set of universal principles for all people of conscience, from any religious tradition, that show how we as a species can move our consciousness forward―allowing us to become more free, more intelligent, more loving, and happier in the choices we make.

Yoga and Veganism by Sharon Gannon

In Yoga and Veganism, Sharon Gannon—co-creator of the renowned Jivamukti Yoga method—weaves together a compelling exploration of the intersection between the spiritual practice of yoga, physical health, care for the planet, and a peaceful coexistence with other animals and nature. Through clear and accessible language, Gannon unpacks the wisdom of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the oldest and most revered texts focused on the philosophy of yoga, and draws a fascinating course to greater enlightenment for the contemporary practitioner.

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy PhD 

This groundbreaking work offers an absorbing look at why and how humans can so wholeheartedly devote ourselves to certain animals and then allow others to suffer needlessly, especially those slaughtered for our consumption. Social psychologist Melanie Joy explores the many ways we numb ourselves and disconnect from our natural empathy for farmed animals. She coins the term "carnism" to describe the belief system that has conditioned us to eat certain animals and not others. This eyeopening book makes us question what we really mean when we say we love animals.

The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

In this revelatory work, Masson shows how food affects our moral selves, our health, and our planet. Masson investigates how denial keeps us from recognizing the animal at the end of our fork and urges readers to consciously make decisions about food. This book has been described as a good introduction to veganism as its tone is warm and compassionate. There is an important chapter on fish. 

Research on Animals 
 

Sacred Cows and Golden Geese: Human Cost of Experiments on Animals by C. Ray Greek MD and Jean Swingle Greek, DVM

Cancer has long been cured in mice but not in people. Why? Successful laboratory treatments and cures for one species don't necessarily result in cures for humans. But, because practice has become economically entrenched within medical industry, animal experimentation -against all medical evidence- continues.The human benefits of animal experimentation- a bedrock of the scientific age- is a myth perpetuated by an amorphous but insidious network of multibillion-dollar special interests: research facilities, drug companies, universities, scientisits, and even cage manufacturers.
 

Classics 

Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement by Peter Singer 

Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of people to the existence of "speciesism"—our systematic disregard of nonhuman animals—inspiring a worldwide movement to transform our attitudes to animals and eliminate the cruelty we inflict on them. Singer exposes the chilling realities of today's "factory farms" and product-testing procedures—destroying the spurious justifications behind them, and offering alternatives to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue. An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency, and justice, it is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike.

Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and Life on Earth by John Robbins 

This is a new edition of the classic that awakened the conscience of a nation. Since the 1987 publication of Diet for a New America, beef consumption in the United States has fallen a remarkable 19%. While many forces are contributing to this dramatic shift in our habits, Diet for a New America is considered to be one of the most important. This book offers a startling examination of the food we currently buy and eat in the US, and the astounding moral, economic, and emotional price we pay for it. It becomes clear that the price we pay for our eating habits is measured in the suffering of animals, a suffering so extreme and needless that it disrupts our very place in the web of life. 
Diet for a New America has been called the single most eloquent argument for a vegan lifestyle ever published. Eloquently, evocatively, and entertainingly written, it is a can't put down book guaranteed to educate and empower the reader. A pivotal book nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in 1987.