If you want to learn more about the vegan lifestyle, or even how to be vegan yourself, here are some great resources that will get you started. This is just a very small sampling of all the many resources out there. And they are growing in number every day! I hope to be able to add to this list soon, but in the meantime, here are some of the bloggers, authors and activists who have inspired me in my discovery of this joyful, compassionate life.
- Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. An honest and well-documented exposé of the horrors of factory farming and what it means for the animals, the environment, and our own moral integrity. I had this on my bookshelf for some time but was afraid to read it, because I knew if I did I would have to stop eating meat (veganism wasn’t even on my radar then). Like so many people I was hiding from the truth. Finally facing that truth has been incredibly liberating.
- The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. This is the book that planted the first seed, eventually leading me to a vegan lifestyle. Alicia is so smart in the pressure-free way she approaches non-vegans. She sets out three plans: Flirting, Vegan, or full-blown Superhero. When I picked up the book I wasn’t yet ready to go vegan, but she coaxed me in by allowing me to flirt with the idea while still feeling like I was in control and could pull back at anytime.
- The World Peace Diet by Dr. Will Tuttle. I included this book here even before I’d read it; somehow I just knew it was going to be good. I was not prepared, though, for the intense effect it would have on me. I believe this is the most important book I’ve ever read in my life, and it is my most fervent hope that everyone on the planet will read it too. It illustrates with unmistakable clarity the profound effects that our food choices have on our mental, physical and spiritual well-being as individuals and on the whole web of interconnected life, of which we are a part. See my review of the book here for more info.
- Vegan for Her by Ginny Messina and JL Fields. This book is a great source of information on vegan nutrition and is tailored specifically for women. Ginny Messina goes into great detail about topics such as hormones, fertility, preventing breast cancer and growing strong bones, while JL Fields provides some quick and easy recipes, including many veganized comfort foods like Chik’n Lentil Noodle Soup and Vegan Pepperoni Pizza.
- Earthlings. Sometimes referred to as “the veganmaker”, it doesn’t get any more horrifying than the images of animal cruelty in this documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. It covers not just animal agriculture but also all the other ways that humans use and abuse animals, including puppy mills, leather, dolphin hunting, zoos, circuses, etc. It really opened my eyes to so many practices I was unaware of. A very important film to see, but prepare yourself emotionally; it’s hard to watch.
- Meet your Meat. If you’re not ready to watch a full-length film like Earthlings, then perhaps start with this 13-minute montage produced by PETA and narrated by Alec Baldwin.
- A Life Connected. If you really can’t stomach any images of animal suffering, you can still watch this short film that succinctly outlines all the most pressing reasons for going vegan, from ending hunger to saving the planet to abolishing animal slavery and suffering.
- Vegetarian Food for Thought. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is my hero! She is one of the most passionate and effective public speakers I have ever listened to, and she always has the perfect answer, not only to my own questions but to all the questions I know people will ask me when I tell them I’m vegan. Thanks to this podcast I feel empowered and ready to defend my values and speak my truth at every opporunity.
- Main Street Vegan. Victoria Moran interviews a wide range of guests on topics ranging from vegan fashion to nutrition to wildlife rehabilitation. I have been introduced to many vegan physicians, dietitians, authors, etc. through her podcast.
- Happy Cow. Long-standing user-generated directory of vegan, vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, as well as health food stores, in cities and towns all over the world. I have used it on several occasions when travelling and found it very helpful. They also have an app for Apple and Android, so if you have an Internet connection you can search for veggie food from your phone when you’re on the go.
- Veggie Hotels. A directory of vegetarian and vegan hotels around the world. It includes listings on six continents but Europe is particularly well covered. It’s possible to limit your search to only those hotels where vegan meals are available (which is most of them).
- Little Green Kettle. If it weren’t for Kim Sujo at Little Green Kettle this blog would not exist. It was her posts about her own trip to Greece that made me realize vegan travel wasn’t so difficult after all and that inspired me to share my own travel experiences.
- The Oatmeal Artist. Lauren (aka the Oatmeal Artist) got me off crappy cold cereal and totally addicted to oatmeal. I’m amazed at all the creative things she can do with this deceptively simple grain.
- Chocolate-Covered Katie. I discovered Katie’s blog before I went vegan, and back then I was amazed at how she was able to make such scrumptious yet healthy desserts with very little sugar. The fact that all her desserts are also vegan is just fantastic. This is my go-to blog when I want to treat myself or impress other people with something sweet.
- Oh She Glows. This blog introduced me to the Green Monster, which has completely changed my mornings. Not long ago I was grossed out by the thought of vegetables in a smoothie, and now I hate starting my day without it. Of course Angela has lots of other great-looking recipes too, which I’m sure I’ll get around to making someday.
- Post Punk Kitchen. Isa introduced me to the wonderful concept of baketivism – the idea that something as simple as baking vegan cookies for people really can help change the world. I highly recommend her article on vegan culinary activism in 10 yummy steps. Oh, and her recipes look delicious too. I just bought my first vegan cookbook (actually it’s my first cookbook, period. Did I mention I’d always hated cooking until a few months ago?), which is Isa’s Veganomicon. Can’t wait to try it out!