Just talking about a controversial topic triggers my symptoms for acute anxiety. Politics, abortion, the NBA, Lady Gaga, drugs, zoo animals – just thinking about talking about these things and I start to get weird. I’m talking perfusive sweats causing a jungle-like environment in all the pits of my body, awkward social behavior where I either break out in dance or change the subject to something I know much better (like tacos or Harry Potter), and, in the more unfortunate moments, the telling of a dick joke.
Heres the thing – it’s not that I don’t have an opinion or am a total weenie, I just have this thing where I suck at debate. That is probably because I would rather do things that are fun for me like watching Game of Thrones or learning to do aerial spin kicks then read up on the hard issues. Plus I know that I’m totally gullible and can easily be talked into shit I don’t even agree with (which is how I ended up almost finishing Atlas Shrugged and thinking it was good).
So, I may not be the most reliable source for recommending life changing books, but this is what I do know: each of these books have the quality of not preaching an agenda, but encouraging you to make up your own mind. They are easy to read, use science and personal stories to paint a picture, and are perfect for those of you that love choosing based on what FEELS good, not just the side that is popular or easy to debate. Ahhh, how I love the open and moderately passive.
TOP 5 PRO-PLANT BOOKS EVERYONE SHOULD READ
On the brink of fatherhood Jonathan, the author of the well known Everything is Illuminated, shares his personal journey with coming to terms with his choices about food on a quest to make an educated choice on how and what to eat. From reflections on his past relationships with food to visits to factory farms, this journey is familiar for many as it delves into bridging the gaps between who we were to who we are while seeking out the best ‘truth’ through experience. Fun to read, at times familiar and at others foreign, I LOVE this book and the perspective it brings to a plant-based dialogue.
For all those that dig facts, figures, and clarity in scientific research in decision-making, this book is a must read. Beginning with an understanding of how America came to this point of an obesity and subsequent lack of wellness epidemic, Dr. Campbell moves through a history and data for a number of current health issues and their relationship to our food choices. Clear in it’s message, you can read from start to finish or use as a table reference for how to prevent and overcome disease and dis-ease.
3. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
It wasn’t until I read this book for the third time in 2004 that it’s harsh realities of early 1900’s meat-packing world hit home personally. Told from the perspective of a young, optimistic immigrant moving to America, we are taken into the history of the factory farm in such a vivid way that it’s difficult to read at times and even more difficult to realize that, in many ways, the meatpacking industry has’t evolved much. Powerful, profound, and motivating – I read this book every year as a reminder and affirmation of my decision.
Few books tackle such a wide spectrum of impacts on the All-American diet as Fast Food Nation. Read the table of contents to see the breadth: Chapter 1. The Founding Fathers…Chapter 3. Behind the Counter…Chapter 5. Why the Fries Taste Good….Chapter 9. What’s in the meat. Easy to read, well researched, and effectively using American stories to paint the picture – this book will make you think twice before hitting the next drive thru. (And, yes, there is a movie – but, as usual, the book is so much better).
This one isn’t just for the ladies and is one of the best ‘practical advice’ vegan books on the market (along with runner up, Becoming Vegan). Elliot has managed to give solid information on not just the food but the entire vegan lifestyle while helping it to feel both utilitarian and cool. Blending the perfect amount of clearly titled advice with interviews of vegan business owners and legit recipes, Girl’s Guide comes already wrapped up in a pretty, perfect, gift-for-an-aspiring-veggie package.
*Check out our post about the top 5 pro-plant documentaries…get yo movie on!