According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, the average consumer will eat 222 pounds of red meat and poultry this year, surpassing a record set in 2004. Consumption of dairy items like cheese and butter have also been growing in popularity. A diet high in meat consumption impacts more than just the consumer, it also affects the environment (and the animal of course.) Additional efforts are needed to shift to a more sustainable diet, with a greater share of plant-based foods. But it can be tricky if you don’t know where to start.
Pick up one of these titles if you’re curious about what a diet without meat or dairy looks like. Even if you don’t make the switch from carnivore to vegetarian or vegan, you’ll walk away with a more holistic view on implanting more plants into your diet, and how they’ll benefit both your health and the environment
Forks Over Knives - The Plant Based Way to Health - Gene Stone
In 2011, the influential documentary Forks Over Knives launched a food-as-medicine revolution. The film showed how a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can prevent, halt and possibly even reverse chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Inspired by the positive feedback and impact they were making in people’s lives, they came out with the book, Forks Over Knives - The Plant Based Way to Health. This book provides insights from the doctor’s behind the film, the benefits of eating a whole-foods plant based diet, over 100 recipes to try and success stories from plant-based eating converts.
Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World - Victoria Moran
Victoria Moran is a vegan lifestyle coach, certified holistic health counselor and the founder of Main Street Vegan Academy where she trains vegan lifestyle coaches. She’s the author of 13 books (thus far) on veganism, spirituality and well-being. Main Street Vegan is written for new vegans, or those curious about a vegan lifestyle, but are nervous on how to go about it (life without cheese and ice cream? really?!) This book covers everything from the American Factory Farming system, environmental impact, ethics and compassion, and which food, clothes and body products to shop for. Plus, a lot of delicious plant recipes to start testing out.
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease - Dr. Michael Greger
Dr. Michael Greger is an internationally-recognized lecturer, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org. In 2017, he added “best-selling author” to his resume with his book “How Not to Die.” In 500+ pages, Greger looks at the top causes of death in America (which, if you’re curious include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure) and explains how nutritional changes can often work better than invasive procedures and prescription medication. How Not to Die also includes Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen - a checklist of the foods we should try to consume every day. The book is full of actionable advice backed by innovative nutritional science.
Eating Animals - Jonathan Safran Foer
For years, Foer was content with his dietary choices that consisted of both meat and plants. But once he started a family, he started struggling with the moral dimensions of food. This conflict led to three years of intense research on factory farming, and resulted in this book. It doesn’t condemn eating meat, or meat eaters, but does raise a lot of ethical questions about our diets. Through his discoveries, interviews, and experiences with experts, Foer provides an honest and harrowing account of what happens with our food before it’s served up on our kitchen table.
The Mindful Vegan: A 30-Day Plan for Finding Health, Balance, Peace, and Happiness - Lani Muelrath
Lani Muelrath is a health educator, speaker and bestselling author. In this inspiring book, Muelrath walks you through a 30-day plan with the goal of building a strong daily habit of mindful living and eating. For example, how often do you rush through a meal while working on your laptop? Or eat lunch on the go as you’re driving to a meeting? Muelrath encourages us to savor each bite and develop a healthy relationship with the food we’re fueling our bodies with.
About the Author, Leslie Schipper Carvitto:
Leslie is a free-spirited, wanderlusting adventurer who has made proximity to nature a top priority. With an insatiable desire for travel, new experiences, and epic views, her time is spent hiking mountain ranges, photographing excursions, and documenting it on her blog Forever Stoked. Her creative work is a vibrant representation of her zest for life and gratitude for the miraculous human experience.