Vegan Authors & Book Reviews

The Australian moral philosopher Peter Singer’s seminal work Animal Liberation, published in 1975, is often cited as the book that sparked a global movement. However, the idea of animal rights has been with us for a long, long time, discussed – for example – by the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, who was said to have been vegetarian for the last two decades of his life. Tolstoy famously wrote, “A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”

Today, we have a plethora of vegan books. Many, if not most, are cookbooks. That makes sense, as the greatest numbers of animals killed are either to eat meat and dairy or to destroy forests to create grazing land for cattle or to grow crops to feed farmed animals.

Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer, is a powerful book that got the attention of the chattering class. Canadian photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur’s books, We Animals and Hidden: Animals in the Anthropocene use exquisite photography to expose horrific cruelty. We could go on. There are so many extraordinary works, all with one aim: to show humans it is their moral responsibility to be kind to animals. It’s also in our self-interest.

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