Many excellent books have been published on veganism and animal rights. Anyone interested in the subjects will not be at a loss for abundant and insightful reading material and we have listed several of our favorite selections below this image of a very wise and equally condescending owl.
But first, a quick disclaimer: We receive no commission or any other form of remuneration from any of the authors or publishers whose books we endorse. We recommend the following titles for no other reason than that we have found them insightful and informative ourselves.
Animal Liberation is a seminal work within the corpus of modern animal rights literature and provides the philosophical basis for much of the animal rights movement today. Though Singer didn't coin the term "speciesism", it was in Animal Liberation that he introduced and popularized it, bringing the notion of discrimination on the basis of species into public consciousness.
Animals and Society: The Humanity of Animal Rights (1991) written by Keith Tester and published by Routledge
Animals and Society is an excellent and thought-provoking treatise on the history of animal rights. It chronicles the changes in attitude and disposition that society as a whole has undergone with regard to non-human animals, tracing the influence of philosophers such as Rousseau, Kant, Bentham, Henry Salt, Joseph Ritson, Levi-Strauss, Peter Singer, and others.
The Case For Animal Rights (1983) written by Tom Regan and published by University of California Press
Widely and justifiably regarded as a canonical work within the animal rights movement, The Case For Animal Rights is impressively thorough and impeccably researched. More important and more impressive than the book's scholarship, however, is the persuasiveness and cogency with which Mr. Regan advances his argument. It is with good reason that Animal Law Review wrote that, "The Case For Animal Rights is beyond question, the most important philosophical contribution to animal rights and is a major work of moral philosophy."
The best-selling Diet For A New America remains a tremendously influential book and was the first book of its kind to articulate the connections between and among diet, personal health, animal rights, and environmental sustainability. Diet For A New America helped popularize the term "vegan" and makes the case for veganism on the basis of not only the rights of animals, but also on the basis of the enormously deleterious effects of a meat-centered diet on the environment.
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism (2010) written by Melanie Joy and published by Conari Press
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows is a book of tremendous importance and should be read by anyone with even a cursory interest in the rights of animals. Written with both moral and linguistic authority by animal rights activist, author, and public speaker Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M., it articulates the previously unarticulated ethos of "carnism", which she defines as, "[T]he invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. Carnism is essentially the opposite of veganism; 'carn' means 'flesh' or 'of the flesh' and 'ism' denotes a belief system."
The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony (2005) written by Will Tuttle, Ph.D and published by Lantern Books
A best-seller on Amazon, The World Peace Diet examines the many connections that exist between our food choices and the environment, the climate, and the animals and people with whom we share the planet. It's a thoughtful, generous prescription for restoring balance to our relationship with nature and achieving wellness and vitality in our own lives.
Thanking The Monkey: Rethinking The Way We Treat Animals (2008) written by Karen Dawn and published by HarperCollins
As one may readily glean from the provocative title, Thanking The Monkey is an irreverent and accessible treatment of the subject of animal rights, in which animal rights activist Karen Dawn (who is a very nice person, by the way) combines wit and intelligence to expose the myriad cruelties of factory farming, vivisection, fur farms, horse-racing, and a host of other exploitative industries and to champion a more compassionate, just, and merciful approach to our relationship with non-human animals.
Green Is The New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege (2011) written by Will Potter and published by City Lights Publishers
Green Is The New Red is an infuriating book. Expertly written by journalist and TED Fellow, Will Potter (a man who really puts the "sapient" in Homo sapien(t)), it examines the criminalization of dissent and the Orwellian efforts of the FBI and other government agencies to target animal rights activists and other non-violent environmental protesters as domestic terrorists.
The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health (2005) written by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II and published by BenBella Books
China Study author T. Colin Campbell was one of the directors of the China-Cornell-Oxford Project, a twenty-year epidemiological study --described by The New York Times as "the Grand Prix of epidemiology"-- conducted by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Cornell University, and the University of Oxford. The researchers concluded that there was, in a significant percentage of subjects they observed, a noticeable correlation between the consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy and the so-called, "diseases of affluence", such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis, whereas those with a plant-based/vegan diet were much less likely to develop such conditions.
That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things (2009) written and illustrated by Ruby Roth and published by North Atlantic Books
That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is a delightful and insightful children's book that forgoes the trite, platitudinous nonsense found in most books for children. With beautiful illustrations and adorable characters, it teaches children that loving and respecting animals means not killing and eating them. It's a must-read for children and adults alike.
The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals (2012) written by Jenny Brown with Gretchen Primack and published by Avery Books/Penguin Group
Combining elements of the autobiographical form with literary exposé, The Lucky Ones is the moving and inspirational story of Jenny Brown, co-founder and director of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, and chronicles her journey from successful television producer to full-time animal rights activist.
Eat like you care: an examination of the morality of eating animals (2013) written by Gary l. francione and anna charlton, published by exempla press
Eat Like You Care pulls no punches in its examination of the (im)morality of eating and exploiting non-human animals. Because most of us profess our love for animals and few of us deny that cruelty toward them is morally abhorrent, how is it that the majority of people support the killing and abuse of animals every time they sit down to eat? Francione and Charlton expose this nearly universal double-standard and urge readers to bring their actions in line with their beliefs by refusing to support animal exploitation and going vegan.
MEATONOMIC$: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter (2013) written by David Robinson Simon and published by Conari Press
If you've ever wondered why meat, eggs, and dairy are so cheap, then you should read MEATONOMIC$. Scrupulously researched and skillfully written, MEATONOMIC$ breaks down the many externalized costs in the forms of environmental damage, healthcare, subsidies, and animal welfare that allow the producers of meat, eggs, and dairy to keep their products artificially inexpensive.
The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals (2015) Written by James mcWilliams and published by St. Martin's press
If you've ever been skeptical of the claims touted by the producers and sellers of "Happy Meat", or wondered what distinguishes "Humanely Raised" or "Free Range" farm animals from their factory-farmed counterparts, then you should read Modern Savage. An exhaustively researched rebuttal to Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, Modern Savage exposes the myths of "sustainable" and "humane" animal agriculture while revealing the inherent and insoluble paradox of humanely commodifying and objectifying sentient creatures.