Whether you’re a key worker, working from home or on furlough, lockdown has given us more leisure time – as long as its spent within the confines of our homes. So what should we do apart from bake vegan banana bread and binge-watch Netflix? Here’s a list of 9 books which you can immerse yourself in while snuggled up on your sofa or sprawled on a sun-lounger in your garden.
For the curious vegans:
1. The Vegan Travel Handbook by Lonely Planet
With no end in sight of lockdown, everyone is currently dreaming of their next holiday – whether vegan or not. Finding vegan food in unfamiliar territory can be difficult, I found this out the hard way in Vietnam last year. This unique handbook begins with an introduction to veganism around the world, before taking you on an exploration of different countries and cultures. It even includes a handy feature entitled ‘Where to go when’ which takes you through the seasons and the best destinations for each one. This guide may be particularly helpful for vegans travelling on a budget as it features 5 tips for saving money and a breakdown of expenses you may encounter.
£7.12 on Kindle https://amzn.to/2YfBEZ4
2. Sistah Vegan, by A. Breeze Harper
Edited by A. Breeze Harper, Sistah Vegan is an anthology of narratives, critical essays and poems from a community of female black-identified vegans. The 30+ contributors demonstrate how transitioning to wholefoods veganism has helped them live stronger and healthier lives.
The range of voices in the collection is perhaps what makes it really meaningful, and demonstrates the diversity of the vegan movement. This inspirational series of stories goes against the whitewashed grain of society and calls for the dismantling of environmental racism and social injustice.
£7.54 on Kindle https://amzn.to/2W8Zzq2
For the new vegans:
3. 30 Non-Vegan Excuses and How to Respond to them by Earthling Ed
With weeks of unfilled hours spent with your family during lockdown, questions and debates surrounding your vegan lifestyle are inevitable. Popular vegan activist Earthling Ed has created a free e-book which could help you answer such questions as ‘what if you were stranded on a desert island?’ and dispute common myths.
Earthling Ed is famously calm during debates and interviews with farmers and non-vegans, and he shares his secrets to this tranquil demeanor with an introduction on effective communication tips. The book concludes by dispelling the common misconception that ‘one person can’t make a difference’ and ends on an empowering note.
Free to download https://earthlinged.org/ebook
4. Millennial Vegan, by Casey Taft
“I want to start this by stating the obvious: you are awesome.” Casey Taft opens his guide to navigating life as a young animal advocate with a positive rally which will produce a sigh of relief across the age group populated by 42% of all UK vegans. ‘Millenials’, a term used for the age group falling between 15 and 34, is frequently used in a derogatory manner. Blamed for being overly sensitive and too politically correct, millennials are at the forefront of vegan activism and the fight against climate change.
This clever guide targets this age group with a calming and thought provoking insight into the everyday life struggles a young vegan faces. Taft uses anecdotes in his introduction to ease the reader into his contents which ranges from eating disorders and bullying to dating.
£9.99 Paperback https://amzn.to/2xXP4hC
For the self-improvers:
5. Minimal by Madeleine Olivia
With an aptly minimalistic cover, Madeleine Olivia’s guide to simplifying your life and living sustainably is definitely one to read during lockdown. The vegan blogger and Youtuber has increasingly focused on minimalism over the past years, and has now written a book to share her experiences and methods.
The climate crisis is becoming increasingly urgent, and the overwhelming pressure to act can be difficult to cope with. Therefore, Minimal makes sustainable living attainable for everyone and includes a section on self-care and mindfulness to prevent eco-anxiety.
£7.99 on Kindle https://amzn.to/3aRwPb2
6. The Mindful Vegan by Lani Muelrath
If you love a 30-day challenge, this book is for you! Adopting a vegan diet can bring an abundance of health benefits, but stress can derail your efforts. Muelrath is an award winning health educator and has been practicing mindfulness meditation for over 25 years.
In this book she teaches her reader how to bring a new joy to eating and develop a more peaceful life. Peace begins on your plate, but Muelrath shows you how to apply this further. Her abundant positivity and vast variety of recipes comes as a bonus. It’s time to start living your best life.
£2.99, Kindle Edition https://amzn.to/35dAXkm
For the animal lovers:
7. The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony
This memoir concerning the late Lawrence Anthony’s life among a herd of wild elephants is one for the animal lovers. Anthony devoted his life to protecting the world’s endangered species, and this incredible story describes how he intervened to save a particular herd of elephants from being shot for dangerous behaviour. Elephants are notoriously exploited across the globe for various reasons including medicine, trophy hunting and tourism.
The Elephant Whisperer will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions from sorrow to excitement. His moving recollection and insights will instil a respect for animal conservation work around the globe, not just in Africa.
£5.99 on Kindle https://amzn.to/2KLvhV8
8. Animal Farm by George Orwell
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Orwell’s famous words are still relevant today where a metaphorical line is drawn between animals deemed worthy of life and those imprisoned in slaughterhouses. His riveting farmyard fable is primarily a socio-political commentary, however there is also a vegan message to be deciphered. The personification of animals deemed merely as livestock is striking, and raises an important issue.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking moment is when old working horse Boxer collapses from exhaustion and is destined for the glue-boiler. This remarkable classic has stood the test of time and has the ability to transport its reader directly into a farmyard stable.
£1.05 on Kindle https://amzn.to/2VNsn8X
9. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
Adam Kay’s bestselling collection of diary entries from his years as a junior doctor in the NHS is one for everyone- vegan or not. He discusses the political issues in the health care system, which is even more relevant now with the catastrophic effect the Coronavirus pandemic is having on the NHS. Kay’s diaries will guide you through a full spectrum of emotions and above all, inspire compassion for those at the heart of our country’s fight against Covid-19.
In a similar vein to the personification of animals, This is Going to Hurt most importantly humanises doctors, and reveals Kay’s heart-breaking true intentions of a career in medicine. His humour will leave you wondering whether to laugh or cry as he remarks outrageously that the hospital parking meter earns more money than he does.
£4.50, Paperback https://amzn.to/2SjNc9J