Many aspire to go the vegetarian route, but not everyone succeeds. The reason behind it is the lack of knowledge and motivation, which can only come from good sources.

Luckily, you can access quality literature on vegetarianism today that can help make your journey much easier and more fulfilling. Therefore, today we will discuss some of the best books that can help kickstart your vegetarian journey and transform your diet.

Vegetable Kingdom - The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by Bryant Terry

The first book on our list is from a South African food justice activist, Bryan Terry. The book is a beautiful account of 100 vegan recipes that you can try today and improve your health. Bryan has based his meals on legumes, vegetables, and grains, meaning everybody can cook them easily.

With creative names and cooking methods, the book the Vegetable Kingdom can leave your mouth watering for more. The book is divided into different ingredients so that readers understand the details of what's going into their meals.


Terry doesn't just talk about the in-season ingredients but also about the ingredients that you can easily find in your nearby stores and supermarkets, as the book's goal is to bring more people under the vegetarian umbrella.


One of the book's best aspects is that it moves seamlessly from basic dishes to complex ones. Once you have mastered the basics, you feel confident to move on to complex dishes, and the book guides you throughout.


There are no meat substitutes in these dishes, which is good news because those can be costly. Instead, Terry has creatively mixed up different spices and flavors to prepare unique dishes that can impress anyone. However, you need to be patient with this book as it takes time to master it. If you work on it patiently, your meals will be tastier than ever.

How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger

Dr. Michael Greger is a renowned physician who has been advocating for plant-based diets for a long time. How Not to Die tells you everything he has learned and researched about nutrition over the years and is a unique resource for aspiring vegetarians. He has advocated the use of whole foods in this book.

He has concluded that deadly diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart ailments can be prevented and sometimes reversed by consuming a plant-based diet. The book isn't based on shady assumptions, as Dr. Greg constantly backs his claims with facts and figures.


Everything has been detailed in plain language so that everyone can understand it easily.

Greger says the usual diseases that run in families result from the similar diet being consumed by everyone. Also, research has shown that premature death is usually caused by poor diet.


He has also touched on the fact that the medical industry constantly ignores the factor of poor diet behind bad health. Longer life doesn't necessarily mean a healthier life. Similarly, Dr. Greg has also emphasized the importance of exercise to gain the full benefits of a plant-based diet.


A sedentary lifestyle has resulted in several health issues for millions, and an unhealthy diet makes it worse.


The book is divided into two parts:

  • The first part talks about the scientific evidence behind the effect of diet on health and the chances of developing diseases.
  • The second part discusses the foods you should eat to stay healthy.

Dr. Greger also talks about antibiotic resistance developing in humans due to animal consumption. We pump excessive amounts of antibiotics into animals to make them grow, resulting in pathogens developing more resistance to drugs than ever.


If you are looking for life-saving ideas by a reputed vegetarian enthusiast, you shouldn't ignore this book. There is a lot of entertainment and delicious recipes packed into it.

The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangnini

If you want to be a good vegetarian cook, this book should be on your list. It contains an impressive list of vegetables and their equally stunning photos. The book doesn't contain long, boring paragraphs and comes in small chunks that anyone can digest easily.

To help budding vegetarians with prepping meals, the writer has even written in detail about the knives you can use to cut your vegetables smoothly. It tells you about storing knives and caring for them. Similarly, it also talks a bit about cutting boards and how you should use them. After guiding you about the basics, this book talks about different vegetables in detail.


It talks about the seasonality of vegetables and their varieties. In addition to that, it also mentions the different combinations of vegetables you can cook to enjoy delicious meals. Next, you get an enthralling photo collection that guides you about preparing vegetables and talks about the writer's favorite recipes.


You will learn many interesting facts, such as the difference between the taste of younger and larger eggplants. The book is targeted at a general vegetarian audience and not vegans specifically. So, you will find lots of cheese and butter in it, which isn't a bad thing.

Once Upon a Time, We Ate Animals

If you want to have a peek into the future of our vegetarian diet, this book will help you get a grip on it. It can be described as a blend of nonfiction and fiction, talking about a future where everyone goes vegetarian and animals are free.


You may not learn anything groundbreakingly new from this book, but it will motivate you to become a vegetarian.

It talks about our dietary habits and their impact on the environment. It talks about the suffering animals go through daily on farms. It details how ditching meat is crucial to addressing the problem of climate change.


The writer repeatedly talks about the health hazards of eating meat. You not only gain weight from it, but it also causes several diseases. The theoretical vegan future expressed by Voorst also packs an interesting story.


The future schools of the world teach children about the harms of consuming animals and how factory farming treats animals cruelly. Moreover, it also mentions how children will learn about animal agriculture and its link with climate change.


The book is well-researched, and the writer and there is a lot of useful information presented in it. Interestingly, she gives a simple reason for us to switch to a vegetarian diet, saving our families from the ill effects of meat-based foods. She makes a compelling case for saving our world by changing our diets and leaving a liveable world for our children and grandchildren.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

Eating Animals is another excellent book that is equally excellent for both aspiring vegetarians and those who face the problem of falling back on a non-vegetarian diet. It is a holistic book that discusses meat-eating in its economic, political, environmental, cultural, and philosophical context.


Since the writer is a reporter, the book details the complexities of the meat industry and explains how it works. 

The book explains the science behind animal sentience and details their lives inside farms.


Moreover, it also talks about how the meat industry impacts our planet through deforestation, greenhouse gasses, and pollution. To give readers a complete perspective on the meat industry, the writer has detailed his interactions with the meat industry executives and describes how they profit from this industry.


Similarly, we also get the perspective of a slaughterhouse worker and the impact of his job on his mental and physical health. In addition to these people, we also hear from people working continuously to reform this system.


The best thing about this book is that it presents facts without judging you so that you can reach a conclusion in the end on your own. Even if you don't change your mind, you will walk away equipped with useful information about our world.

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell

The China Study is a seminal book when it comes to vegetarianism. It explains that many of our health issues and diseases such as cancer and heart problems result from bad diets, including animal foods and fats.


The writers explain that instead of having a meat-based diet, a plant-based diet is much healthier and significantly reduces the risk of major diseases.

 It is not an unfounded assumption as they support it with ample evidence. 

The authors also give solid nutritional advice and suggest adding certain foods to our diet to ensure a healthy lifestyle. The first advice is to eat plants as much as possible and plants of all colors, also known as the rainbow.


Similarly, the book advises us to avoid animal protein altogether or limit it significantly. Fish, meat, eggs, and milk are the usual animal protein sources. Another piece of advice the authors add is to reduce the consumption of processed foods and try to avoid them altogether if possible.


It's healthy to cut down on sugar consumption and vitamin supplements and fulfill these requirements from a natural plant-based diet.

Plant-Based on a Budget by Toni Okamoto

If you want to become a budget-conscious vegetarian, this book by Toni Okamoto is for you. Most people are unhealthy because they don't consume a good diet, resulting in many of them being overweight too.

So, if you eat processed foods instead of vegetarian ones, you are bound to stay unhealthy and have a much higher risk of having chronic diseases. Toni Okamoto shows us that you don't have to spend much money to be healthy.


It is much cheaper to cook healthy meals than to go to a doctor. The diet story is more complicated than people eating unhealthy meals and gaining weight. Modern lifestyles don't allow people a lot of time to cook food.


So, they look for easier alternatives that take much less time, even if they are unhealthy. The author understands it and presents only those dishes that can be cooked within 30 minutes. Although the book contains only vegan recipes, everyone can benefit from it whenever they want to prepare a healthy and nutritious meal in a short time.


The writer acknowledges the financial constraints faced by her readers, so she makes sure that every meal stays within the $30 budget. The book allows you a lot of freedom to experiment with the dishes, as you can add ingredients of your choice and enjoy different combinations.

Eat for Life by Joel Fuhrman

This 2020 book has been on the New York Times best-seller list for 90 weeks and for the right reasons. It expands on his previous book called Eat to Live and presents his idea of a Nutritarian diet.


By the Nutritarian diet, the author means a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and beneficial chemical compounds found in plants that can positively impact our immunity and increase our lifespan. 

The nutritarian diet comes from years of experience treating patients with quality diets. Some inspiring testimonies of his patients transformed their health after coming across Fuhrman.


One of his patients got rid of all the animal products and processed foods and started consuming vegetables. By switching her diet, she could tackle her inflamed lungs and run marathons.


Another incident tells us about a 70-year-old who was severely overweight, taking medications and had heart issues. Someone recommended Fuhrman's book, The End of Dieting. As a result, his body weight came down by 120 pounds, and he became a wellness coach.


Dr. Furhman tackles obesity aggressively in his book and states that anyone with a body mass index (BMI) over 23 is obese. Anyone who wants to live a hundred years can forget about it if they are obese because obesity results in several health problems that shorten one's lifespan.


The book also talks about the health crisis America faces today, saying that only 2.7% eat a healthy diet, exercise, and don't smoke. However, you can be healthy by switching to Fuhrman's nutritarian diets and living much longer.

The Mindful Kitchen: Vegetarian Cooking to Relate to Nature by Heather Thomas

Vegetarianism isn't just about diet; it is also about connecting to the nature around you and feeling a sense of belonging to the world. The Mindful Kitchen comes with a similar approach from Heather Thomas, who has been involved in climate communication for years and the food industry. The books connect people to nature through food.

It contains 100 seasonal vegetarian recipes, but they're not just plain recipes you also find in other cookbooks. These are detailed descriptions of food with its origins. It also describes how we can be more thoughtful about our food, making our meals part nutrition and meditation.


The book invites us to think of ourselves as part of nature and not something outside it or separate from it. When we cook, we should remember all the elements that come together and work in perfect symbiosis to give us our food, water, air, microorganisms, etc.


You will find both old and new recipes inside the book, from risotto to lentil curry. It isn't limited to full meals, as you find soups, salads, and snacks inside it too. Interestingly, you will also find useful tips for making your butter.


Since it also promotes well-being, the book has been divided into different categories based on foods that enhance vitality, comfort, creativity, and celebration. You get small pauses inside the recipes where you are informed about the history and significance of a particular ingredient.

The Healthiest Diet on the Planet by Dr. John McDougall

Vegetarianism isn't just about diet; it is also about connecting to the nature around you and feeling a sense of belonging to the world. The Mindful Kitchen comes with a similar approach from Heather Thomas, who has been involved in climate communication for years and the food industry. The books connect people to nature through food.

The book also talks extensively about the climate crisis and the role livestock farming plays in exacerbating it. Still, many are unaware of it and keep consuming meat.


The nutritional philosophy of Dr. McDougall is quite different from what others suggest. He encourages you to eat until you're fully satiated and even asks you to add snacks to your diet. However, the caveat here is that you should eat the right foods only.


The book has only 5 chapters, and all are interesting in their way. The author makes us unlearn a lot of bad diet information and does that using authentic science. He also tells his personal story about suffering a stroke during his teenage years and deciding to become a doctor. The second half of the book is fully dedicated to healthy recipes. Some are buckwheat pancakes, rainbow risotto, green enchiladas, etc. This book is recommended to anyone interested in vegetarianism and a healthy lifestyle.

Conclusion

Whether you are a beginner vegetarian or someone who wants to learn more vegetarian recipes, these books present an excellent resource of knowledge and understanding. There are many dietary misconceptions thrown around by people consistently, and only science-backed literature can counter that.


We hope these books will convince you that becoming vegetarian is a highly fulfilling and worthwhile journey!

*All images used in this post are from goodreads.com

About the Author Lillian

Follow me

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}