Understanding Veganism – A Bookworms Guide

There are some people who think that books are a dying field – like who reads these days? But that is quite far from the truth. Many people’s lives are transformed and shaped through books and can for you too.

There is a lot of conflicting ideas and sub-separation within veganism. Some people are strictly out for one of three camps: animals, health or the environement. Some are out for all 3. Its very difficult to make your own mind up when faced with so much information, ideas and passionate people. So what better way to make more sense of it all than to read some books on the subjects that interest you the most. From health, to animals and to the environment – there is a book offering a perspective on it all. Take your time and choose books that you resonate with. Its not about forcing an opinion but opening up an inner dialogue on the subject.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

This has been a top seller for a long time. And for good reason. Foer’s drive for this book is not to convince people to go vegan or vegetarian. Rather he aims to uncover the intellectual and moral clash of eating certain animals and not others. He dives into the history of eating animals and how it has developed over the years. It’s an interesting read that offers a lot of different insights into meat culture.

Recently, Natalie Portman and Christopher Quinn made a documentary on factory farming based on the book – Eating Animals. It has already been released and comes highly recommended. Natalie Portman is a long time vegan and devoted animal actvist/ She uses her stardom to bring to light the horrific acts that occure behind closed doors of the farming industry.

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals by Hal Herzog

A quick and easy read about the ethics involved in our relationships towards animals. It is not confined to eating them but in all ways that animals are used in our lives. Animals use as commodities is a lot more far reaching than you might expect. It therefore also looks at the role of animals in our lives socially and emotionally. It even looks the role of animals in dating and gender roles. Herzog does a fantastic job at creating a book that explores the complicated and often contradictory relationship between us and the animal kingdom.

Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat by Marta Zaraska

Vegans see animals as animals. In contrast, hard core meat eaters, really struggle to see food as once animals. As a result, both sides must consider all the intricacies and history surrounding meat as food. In the case of speaking to a meat-eater who cant understand why you would want to quit meat, understading their side is an extremely useful way to engage in a conversation that may trigger them to think about it in their own lives. When a meat-eater engages a vegan, they can similarly understand why vegans are pro-animals rather than sticking to meat diets.

Why do people love meat depsite the science showing us its unhealthy? What about heme iron? The obsession with the taste and smell of meat and how giving up meat is harder for some people.

These are just a few ideas posed in the book. I think this is a great read for vegans and non-vegans as it brings to light a deeper understanding of what is going on.

This book makes a good case to understand the deep underlying reasons of why people commit to meat so much and what’s holding some back fom giving it up like others.

Through mutual understanding we can engage in better debates and problem solving rather than forcing down our opinions on others on both sides. Intellectual, rational and informed debate is where solutions are found.

Here is a great Ted Talk with Zaraska on the topic of meat.

The China Study

This and the next book on offering are both related to health. The China study is the largest and longest epidemiological study ever conducted on health. It focuses on the impact of high meat diets vs plant-based diets.

The study shows the impact of animal-based protein on weight loss and long term health. Plant-centric diets are discovered to be the best for health.

The book is not intended to support vegans but has come to offer scientific support to back plant-based diets. It’s a longer read that may seem a bit dry but if you are looking to understand the biological impact of meat vs plants – its a great read.

While doing research I did read some criticisms on the study, but, if cross referenced against other studies, such as How Not to Die and even the Longevity Diet, then there is substantial reason to take it seriously.

How Not To Die – Michael Greger

How Not To Die is probably one of my personal favourites. Dr Greger shows clear passion for health and wellness and approaches a vegan or plant-based diet from pure scientific inquiry.

There are detailed sections about how plants outperform meat and dairy in regards to heart disease, cancers, diabetes and one that I feel is particularly relavant for the youth of today, depression.

He offers interesting studies from across the globe on the impact of plants on human physiology and disease.

Part 2 then delves into applying a plant-based diet into life and speaks about his daily dozen that should be included into ones diet – well, daily.

Fantastic read for anyone looking to get healthy and age well.

Gregor is also the founder of the very popular, Nutritionfacts,org.

Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat, by Howard Lyman and Glen Merzen

Interesting book from a meat rancher turned veggie. This was the guy that went on The Oprah Winfrey show all those years ago and spoke about the dangers of meat farming and sparked a huge law suit from the meat industry against Oprah Winfrey.

He developed a spinal tumour and as a result, started to investigate into the chemicals used in factory farming and the effects of meat on your body. What he found shocked him and prompted him to stop his farm and advocate plant-based diets.

I think this is a great read for those that think veganism or anti-meat trends mean the end for meat farmers. At the end of the day, we live in an economic system that requires businesses to evolve with demands rather than people following the demands of markets. He shows that one can, if the desire is there, to turn it around to reflect more ethical and moral principles.

Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice about the Meat We Eat) – Moby, Editor, Miyun Park

Moby is an accomplished musician and has been for a long time, a dedicated vegan and social activist.

This book is where it is at. He presents essays and studies that are geared towards not just the impact of animal agriculture on the animals themselves but also the environmental and social impacts – all of which are to be taken seriously to secure a future for us and moreover, our children.

This book is well rounded. It presents many arguments and strategies why you should avoid meat and dairy. The findings are from the people who are fighting those fights on the frontlines. A good read for vegans as well as those that do not feel convinced about why ditching meat and dairy is neccessary.

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

At the heart of it all, veganism is against treating animals any different to humans. Of course, us and animals have differences. But that does not mean we can treat animals as less deserving of freedom or even worse, that they should endure pain and suffering on our behalf, usually for convenience and luxury.

Singer is the one who developed the term speciesism to identify the way that humans have come to think of animals as less than them and for our use in whatever regard we see fit.

He looks into the history of speciesism and how it has come to develop and shape our current society. Interesting read for all and highly recommended.

There are a lot more books geared towards veganism and animal activism. These are just a few best sellers and personal favs. I think that all vegans should read them to really understand what is going on as part of the activism. Non-vegans should read it to gain better understanding of why people take such strong views on animal activism.

The natural progression of gaining more understanding

As society progresses, the things we value and pursue change and evolve. Meat is no less one of the aspects of society that can be questioned and evolve in importance and necessity. Curretly, many people are in positions that don’t require them to kill an animal but is rather a product of social norms. Social norms are not stable and should definitely be reviewed as pat of an ever progressing world society. Anti-gay, sexism and racism were once a firm beliefs in society.

Many people could not fathom a time where same-sex marriages would be allowed. Where women would have independance and people of all races could be free and respected. But our world is steadily embracing it all and becoming more tolerant and understanding. The next step is to liberate all the animals from years of suffering for humans comfort, convenience and luxury. For some, no meat and dairy is inconceivable. But it may be that it is one we have to move push it for for the survival of our planet.

While we dont expect everyone to become vegan right now at this moment, we do hope that people will start to consider meat as a treat. To eat meat every now and then rather than daily and focus on a plant centric diet. We also hope that people will consider the history of production of their goods. To choose products that have a sound production line that respects animals, people and the planet.

Dolma Vegan Fragarnces are a 100% vegan and cruelty free brand. We dont believe in taking from those that can not defend themselves. All our scents are plant derived . We commit to continuously redeveloping our brand to become better in the name of nature, people and most of all, the animals.