31 Best Vegan Books You Need to Read

by Alena
Vegan Books Pin 3

Whether you’re new to a plant-based diet or a seasoned vegan, browse this must-get list of the best vegan books and snuggle up on the sofa! Find everything from essays on animal ethics to lifestyle guides in this article.

There are so many vegan books available at the store these days that it’s hard to keep track.

Our hand-selected list is here to help you out! Find your new favorite book in this article and get ready to read persuasive arguments, striking facts, gripping stories, and more.

Check out our favorite vegan cookbooks, vegan children’s books, and vegan documentaries next.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Vegan Beginners & Transitioning

Starting out on a plant-based or vegan diet can be tricky. Get your toes into the water with this selection of beginner-friendly guides covering the basics of nutrition, family life, social situations, and more.

The Plant-Based Journey

This book is every newbie vegan’s game plan!

“The Plant-Based Journey” provides everything you need to make your new lifestyle successful, with meal plans, recipes, pantry organization tips, and even guidance on taking your plant-based lifestyle out of the kitchen and to social situations. 

Lani Muelrath The Plant Based Journey Cover

Becoming Vegan

Written by vegan RDs Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, this book answers many common questions surrounding nutrients, motives, athleticism, and even vegan pregnancy — all backed by studies in a clear and concise way. 

Use this book to get a handle on everything your body needs, and as a handy reference at any time throughout your journey.

Brenda Davis Vesanto Melina Becoming Vegan Cover

Main Street Vegan 

If you’re looking for a helpful guide on all things veganism by someone with lots of experience, Victoria Moran is your woman!

She co-authored “Main Street Vegan” with her daughter Adair Moran who has been vegan since birth. Together, they created a guide that covers all aspects of the lifestyle choice to go vegan with an emphasis on practical steps.

Victoria Moran Main Street Vegan Cover

72 Reasons to Be Vegan

Reducing unnecessary suffering is just one of the many benefits when you go vegan! Find over 70 convincing reasons for ditching animal products in this book written by Gene Stone and Kathy Freston.

From lowering your risk for certain diseases to saving money and joining a great community, these arguments will get you stoked to go vegan sooner rather than later!

Gene Stone 72 Reasons to be Vegan Cover
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Animal Rights & Activism

Learn more about the ethical background of a vegan lifestyle and move beyond a plant-based diet to encompass all areas of life!

This Is Vegan Propaganda

Popular animal rights activist Ed Winters helps anyone change their perception about how they see animals. Through exploring the major ways that our current system of animal farming affects different areas of the world around us, this book presses the question, “is there a better way?”

Get ready to see the other side of the story that has been hidden for too long. “This Is Vegan Propaganda” is an empowering and groundbreaking book on veganism that everyone, vegan and skeptic alike, needs to read.

Ed Winters This is Vegan Propaganda Cover

Eating Animals

In his riveting and detailed memoir “Eating Animals,” Jonathan Foer weighs up the arguments for and against eating animals – from the intelligence levels of our most popular “meat providers,” to accounts of his loving grandmother’s meat-and-potatoes comfort meals, and the socio-cultural meanings we attach with food. 

Foer empathizes with every omnivore’s conundrum through his own dilemma: if and how to raise his unborn son vegetarian.

Jonathan Safran Foer Eating Animals Cover

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows

Why is it that we love some animals and allow others to suffer needlessly? Melanie Joy, Ph.D.,  takes the exploration of this question one step further with this bold societal commentary.

She doesn’t just write about the ethical and environmental effects of eating meat, but also turns much-needed attention to the meatpacking workers themselves – the hazards they face – and the vast negative health implications for millions of Americans every year.

Especially her dive into the psychological aspects behind how we view and treat other animals, a phenomenon she coined with the term “carnism”, is really eye-opening!

Melanie Joy Whe We Love Dogs Eat Pigs and Wear Cows Cover

Animal Liberation

Peter Singer delves deep into the animal rights movement on both a psychological and philosophical level with this book, sparking a wave of animal activism and even inspiring PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk to found the life-saving organization. 

“Animal Liberation” depicts the graphic scenes of animal cruelty and suffering that are rife today in the world’s farms and laboratories. For some, it may be a difficult read…but it is nevertheless a life-changing one.

Peter Singer Animal Liberation Cover

Change of Heart

What encourages people to take action? How can charities and non-profits improve their response rates? How much is okay to ask, and how much is enough? 

Nick Cooney explores what it really means to initiate social change and what makes people alter their behaviors so that large-scale change can happen. This book has something to teach everyone!

Nick Cooney Change of Heart Cover

The End of Animal Farming

In this book, social scientist Jacy Reese pushes the conversation about the disturbing realities of factory farming forward by outlining a strategic roadmap to a humane, ethical, and efficient food system in which slaughterhouses are obsolete.

If you are interested in the social forces leading us toward the downfall of animal agriculture, the technology making this change possible for the meat-hungry public, and the activism driving consumer demand for plant-based and cultured foods, this is a must-read!

Jacy Reese The End of Animal Farming Cover

How to Create a Vegan World 

Wanting to turn the whole world vegan this second isn’t the most realistic or pragmatic approach to creating a kinder world.

In this thought-provoking book, Tobias Leenaert leaves well-trodden animal advocacy paths and takes a fresh look at the strategies, objectives, and communication of the vegan and animal rights movement.

Everyone will be able to find helpful ideas and insights, from seasoned activists to organizational leaders and even entrepreneurs!

Tobias Leenaert How to Create a Vegan World Cover

Vegan Lifestyle

Taking on a vegan lifestyle goes beyond what we eat. Almost everything we choose to buy, use and promote can have an impact on improving the lives of animals and the environment. 

Vegan for Her

Women have their very own needs and functionalities, all of which need to be paid special attention to, whether you’re plant-based or not.

Read how to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, lower your risk of breast cancer and heart disease, build healthy bones and protect against osteoporosis, deal with conditions like migraines and arthritis, handle PMS and cramps and even improve your fertility — all on a vegan diet.

Virginia Messina Vegan for Her Cover

The Mindful Vegan

Lani Muelrath takes you right to the roots of your challenges around food and uses mindfulness as the key to stepping back from your auto-pilot, giving you the chance to reevaluate and create new patterns. 

The Mindful Vegan shows you how to find better health, balance, and peace, and comes with lots of unique humor, personal stories, positivity, and a handful of delicious recipes. Stop stressing and start living!

Lani Muelrath The Mindful Vegan Cover

Never Too Late to Go Vegan

Whether you’re over 50 and are thinking of turning vegan, or have been vegan your whole life, this book will be your go-to handbook for ensuring you get the best care you deserve. 

It targets the most common issues that those over 50 may face on a vegan diet, explains how our nutrient needs change with age and what you need to be doing to keep up. No matter when you decide to make the change, a vegan diet can work for all!

Never Too Late to Go Vegan Cover

Even Vegans Die

This book raises the very real truth that even on a healthy diet, life can bring times of disease and sickness. It encourages us to take the best care of ourselves and stop idealizing specific body types so that we may not harm our legacy of compassion. 

“Even Vegans Die” is a must-read for anybody curious about how they can look after themselves – and others – in times of both wellness and sickness.

Even Vegans Die Cover

The Joyful Vegan

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, known as “The Joyful Vegan,” explains how it’s not a lack of willpower but rather the pressure to be perfect and the struggle to sustain healthy relationships with non-vegans. 

By implementing the tools provided in this book, readers will find they can live ethically, eat healthfully, engage socially — and remain a joyful vegan!

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau The Joyful Vegan Cover

Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? 

Using humor and reason, this book takes common questions vegans hear at face value and also delves deeply into the motivations behind them, coming up with answers that are not only intelligent but insightful about human nature. 

From “Don’t animals eat other animals” to “What about plant sentience”, you’ll find great and articulate answers to every argument which leaves you empowered and educated.

Sherry Colb Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger Cover

Vegan Travel Handbook

Put together by the popular Lonely Planet company, you’ll find cooking classes in India, local farmer’s markets in New Zealand, DIY donut tours of the USA’s west coast, and much more in this book!

Get essential advice and expert tips on everything from where to go when and the best vegan restaurants, accommodations, and cities, to how to stay healthy on the road and order food with confidence around the globe.

The Vegan Travel Handbook Cover

Health & Nutrition

Read about some of the biggest health discoveries and how you can stay vegan for the rest of your life without worrying about any deficiencies.

Vegan for Life

Registered Dietitians Jack Norris and Virginia Messina will put all your dietary concerns to rest in their book ‘“Vegan for Life”.

From meeting your needs for protein, calcium, and iron, to breaking down the “real deal” on soy and what supplements you should be taking, this book will have your back no matter what stage of life you’re at.

Jack Norris Virginia Messina Vegan for Life Cover

How Not to Die

From the nutrition expert and physician behind the world-renowned Nutrition Facts website, “How Not to Die” is an ultimate blueprint on how to live a healthier and longer life. 

Dr. Michael Greger gives you everything you need to avoid losing your life to chronic illness and explains how we make in our lifestyle can fight these diseases — even if our genes hold a specific history of illness.

Michael Greger How Not to Die Cover

Proteinaholic

Garth Davis, MD, turns the popular conception on its head to ask, “Is all this animal protein making us healthier?” 

Using his own hands-on experiences with overweight patients combined with science-backed studies of longest-living populations, Davis shows how too much protein may actually be making us sick and how we can really lose weight, gain energy and stay healthy for life.

Garth Davis Proteinaholic Cover

Fiber Fueled

Gut health is related to boosting our metabolism, balancing our hormones, and taming the inflammation that causes a host of diseases — all of which can be fueled by eating an abundant variety of colorful plants.

This book, written by a former junk-food junkie, comes with a 28-day jumpstart program with menus and more than 65 recipes, along with essential advice on food sensitivities and much more.

Will Bulsiewicz Fiber Fueled Cover

Your Body in Balance 

Dr. Neal Barnard’s book explains how hormones can wreak havoc on the body, including health issues like infertility, weight gain, hair loss, breast cancer, hot flashes, and many more.

Find out the delicious solution that improves health, reduces pain, and even helps to shed weight while following simple recipes like cauliflower buffalo chowder, apple pie nachos, brownie batter hummus, and kung pao wraps!

Neal Barnard Your Body in Balance Cover

The Proof is in the Plants 

Are you confused about all the different health and nutrition messages out there? What if there was a way of eating that can help us live healthier and longer?

Simon Hill has done the hard work of translating science into actionable advice for everyday life.

Read about the positive impact of plant-based living, how to build a healthy meal, practical transition tips, and much more in this book.

Simon Hill The Proof is in the Plants Cover

Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide for Families 

Are you worried about transitioning your whole family over to a plant-based diet?

This thorough guide explores the many benefits of a plant-based diet and provides parents with the tools they need to feed their families with evidence-based, practical tips.

Reshma Shah Nourish Cover

The Plant-Based Baby and Toddler

Written by RDs and moms Alexandra Caspero and Whitney English, this book has everything you need to know about feeding little ones from birth up to 3 years and beyond.

Find breastfeeding tips, meal planning advice, how a healthy plant-based plate for kids should look like, tips on baby-led weaning, portion sizes, vegan alternatives as well as nutritional needs for all ages in this primer!

There are also strategies for dealing with challenges, such as having picky eaters, as well as 50+ plant-based recipes created specifically for stages from first bites to age 3.

The Plant Based Baby and Toddler Cover
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Vegan Fitness Books

Is it possible to be fit and athletic on a plant-based diet? You bet it is! 

These books show how eating only plants is perfectly possible if you’re into fitness and can elevate your efforts in the gym.

The Plant-Based Athlete 

Two well-known names in the vegan fitness industry teamed up to write this game-changing approach to peak performance: marathoner Matt Frazier and bodybuilder Robert Cheeke. 

Learn all about transitioning to a plant-based diet as an athlete, understanding micronutrients and macronutrients, the importance of proper training and recovery, and find lots of easy and nutritious recipes in this book!

Matt Frazier The Plant Based Athlete Cover

Finding Ultra

Rich Roll shares his incredible story of how he turned from an overweight midlifer to an endurance machine in a matter of mere months.

Starting with a wake-up call on the eve of his 40th birthday, Rich vowed he would overhaul his diet to a fully unprocessed, plant-based one, as well as implement daily training to become his best self. 

Rich Roll Finding Ultra Cover

Eat & Run

Penned by ex-American 24-hour distance running record holder and one of the most dominant names in ultrarunning, Scott Jurek’s “Eat & Run” is a testament to his time as a plant-based athlete. 

From growing up in a conventional meat-and-potatoes family to transitioning to a plant-based diet, Jurek shares his tips and experiences of becoming a champion athlete. 

Scott Jurek Eat Run Cover

Thrive

Brendan Brazier’s “Thrive” has rapidly become a go-to guidebook for both professional and non-professional athletes alike. 

Starting with an explanation of why whole foods are nutritionally superior to processed foods for athletic performance, Brazier introduces his comprehensive 12-week plan that will help any athlete enhance their performance and recovery time and create healthier habits. 

Brendan Brazier Thrive Cover

No Meat Athlete

Whether you’re a runner looking to transition to a plant-based diet, or a long-time vegan looking to get into running, athlete Matt Frazier is your man. 

Starting out with the benefits of running on a plant-based diet (more energy, faster recovery, weight loss), he goes on to provide tips on how to make new habits stick and get all the nutrients you need.

Frazier also provides meal plans, over 60 recipes, and training plans for runners of all abilities, as well as guidance on improving performance and avoiding injuries.

Matt Frazier No Meat Athlete Cover

More Vegan Resources

Which of these vegan books have you read and have inspired you? Are any of these on your wishlist? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to Pin this article here.

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Alena sitting in a cafe with a bowl of fresh plant-based food and a glass of coffee in front of her

About Alena Handwritten FontAlena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

24 thoughts on “31 Best Vegan Books You Need to Read”

  1. Why isn’t “Comfortably Unaware” or “Food Choices” on your list? These two books were the basis for Cowspiracy and Dr. O speaks all over the world with his captivating and life changing lectures…many of the books on your list actually reference HIS books…so just wondering why they wouldn’t be on your list?

    Reply
    • Hey Lauren,
      thanks so much for your feedback! We had to limit the number of books we featured so not everything could make the list. But it’s so true that Oppenlander is a huge and important influencer so we might add one (or both?) of his books once we go over the article again. We already have some other ideas about what else to add. Thanks again for the input, we value it very much :)
      Warmly,
      Alena

      Reply
  2. Totally agree with Lauren Tureta above – I went to write a comment and she had already EXACTLY what I had planned to say! I recently bought and am enjoying “The Homemade Vegan Pantry” by Miyoko Schinner, “Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen” – only started this journey in late June 2017 and I am LOVING every minute!

    Reply
    • Liz,
      the Homemade Vegan Pantry has just made it into my home as well and I’m looking forward to checking it out! We will definitely add a few gems to this article as time goes by but we had to limit the number of books somewhere plus we haven’t read all of these other books on the market. Thanks for your input, we will keep your suggestions in mind :)
      Let me know if you need any support on your plant-based journey! You can always join our free course or our FB group.
      Best wishes,
      Alena

      Reply
  3. Hi Everyone!

    Huge humble thanks to Nutriciously for such enthusiastic support of The Plant-Based Journey and The Mindful Vegan. I know what a tough field it is to pick from – there is such quality in the listings for vegan and plant-based books! I notice that several of my favorites are on your list as well.

    And it does beg the mention of so many other titles. When one undertakes the project of a “Top 40” list, it can be almost excruciating to have to decide what to be sure to include. Lauren mentions Richard Oppenlander’s books and these are definitely must reads. And Miyoko’s Homemade Vegan Pantry, as Liz mentions, is one of the most used books in my kitchen! I’m particularly fond of the melty cashew cheese that has no oil in it, and have devised my own varieties of herb flavors and smokey flavors of same. I have a batch brewing in the kitchen as we speak.

    Thank you again Alena, nice work and all best of luck on the ‘next 40’ article!

    Cheers, plants, and peace to all,
    Lani Muelrath

    Reply
    • Dear Lani,
      always a pleasure to hear from you! Your message is beautiful and resonates very much with us :) So, of course your work had to be included here. We apparently have to overhaul the article soon and include some of the books people, including you, have mentioned here.
      Best of luck with everything you do!
      Thanks for making the world a brighter place.
      Love,
      Alena

      Reply
  4. Hi Alenawhy
    This is a fantastic list! Many of these books were a tremendous help to me when I made the transition to a vegan lifestyle, such as “Vegan for Her” by Ginny Messina and JL Fields, and “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows” by Melanie Joy. I’m also thrilled to see books by some dear friends of mine, including Lani Muelrath and Caitlin Galer-Unti (Hi ladies!). If you enjoyed Caitlin’s “Essential Vegan Travel Guide”, I think you would also like my new book, “Veggie Planet: Uncover the Vegan Treasures Hiding in Your Favorite World Cuisines”. In Veggie Planet, I highlight many of the naturally vegan dishes in 11 of the world’s most popular cuisines and show just how vegan-friendly these cuisines really are. It’s the perfect companion when you’re looking for a delicious vegan meal while traveling, or even just when eating out in your own home town.

    Reply
    • I’m not sure how that “why” got tacked on to the end of your name in my comment, Alena. Must have been the Internet goblins!

      Reply
    • Hey Wendy,
      thanks so much for your comment and checking out the article! You’re right, Veggie Planet deserves its place here as well. We will try to overhaul the article soon so you can be featured, as well :)
      Thanks again for reaching out to us!
      Warmly,
      Alena

      Reply
  5. Thanks Alena, very useful guide. My personal favourites are Neal Barnard’s – he wrote the forward to my vegan book, ‘The Alkaline 5 Diet’ too :-)
    Great that there are some kids resources too! Good job on another great post :-)
    Laura

    Reply
    • Hey Laura,
      we love Neal Barnard! No idea he wrote the foreword to your book, how amazing… will go take a look asap.
      Thanks for checking in!
      Best,
      Alena

      Reply
  6. I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout
    of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could
    connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having
    1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    Reply
  7. Hello. Like the list! Some I have, others on wish list.
    Vegan For Life and How to Be Vegan
    Over 50. After over 20 years as a vegetarian, living through a mysterious health crisis and back to vegetarianism I have been transitioning to veganism. I never felt better! That is my two cents.
    Best I health, mind and heart,
    Marjorie

    Reply
  8. Hi, I literally just found your site about 15 minutes ago and already love it! So much like minded information and information I dreamed of having in one place myself some day and here it is! Curious though if you have already or are intending on updating this article for 2019? If not, let me just leave that little suggestion here ;)
    Thank you very much for this wonderful site!!

    Reply
  9. Great list! I have (and love!) How Not to Die and The China Study! I would like to read The Cheese Trap, Proteinaholic, Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease, Finding Ultra, Eat and Run, Animal Liberation. Trying to pick a few to ask my boyfriend to get me for Christmas. So many amazing sources of information to choose from! Thanks! :)

    Reply
  10. A great website! Although I have been eating whole food plant based now for about eight months, I always love to check in to new sites I haven’t seen and get some new info and “tighten up” on the other. You guys have done that. I love your resource list of books and documentaries, especially and where to find them. I am very happy to see that there are more documentaries to view and books to read. Thanks very much and keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • thank you so much for the lovely feedback!! This just made my evening :) Happy that you like our work, feel free to share ♡

      Reply

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