Many people, after learning about the horrific ways animals are used and exploited in our world, decide to speak up for their fellow earthlings. However, it’s not always easy to know where to start, especially because there are many forces at play that attempt to silence, tarnish, and diminish the animal rights message. Being passionate and getting active is a huge part of the battle, but being equipped with the right techniques and information while sharing the message is probably just as important. Here are 10 books that will give you the confidence and expertise to speak up for our nonhuman animal brethren.
1. Striking at the Roots
Source: Striking at the Roots/Amazon
This is Mark Hawthorne’s classic guide on animal activism revised. The book shines a light on some of the most successful animal rights activism tactics, the reasons they are effective, and practical tips for taking action. It includes over 100 extra pages on things like self-care, how to use social media as an activist, tips on living with non-vegans, and more. Striking at the Roots costs $27.95 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
Sarah Brown says, “As a longtime fan of Mark Hawthorne’s work, I was so pleased to see he published a new edition of his classic tome Striking at the Roots. This new, updated edition is incredibly timely and is filled with practical, down-to-earth advice on everything related to activism. It discusses things like how to table, how to use technology for animal liberation (one of my favorite sections in this new edition), and dealing with difficult issues in the activism world like body shaming and dealing with bad actors. Striking at the Roots offers strategies for self-care, protecting yourself at protests, best practices for potlucks, and SO much more. I could not recommend this book enough.”
2. Strategic Action for Animals
Social psychologist Melanie Joy has written a book on how to implement an effective animal activism strategy against the large and powerful animal user industries. Joy looks at principles that have been effective in other social movements and the things that hinder the animal rights movement from being more effective. Strategic Action for Animals costs $18.46 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
Vladimir says, “Excellent book based on research on the psychology of eating meat. Surely gives you many insights into how to be more effective and how not to take the resistance of meat-eaters personally, and actually see them as victims of the system, thus not getting into us vs. them toxic struggle. Our common enemy is outdated traditions, addictions, the greed of corporations, and fear of change.”
3. The Animal Lover’s Guide to Changing the World
Stephanie Feldstein has written a book that is accessible to a multitude of perspectives within the animal rights and animal welfare movement. Even if readers aren’t able to give up meat just yet, Feldstein gives them actionable steps to begin reducing their use of animals. She also empowers her audience with straightforward advice on things like online activism and taking shorter showers. The Animal Lover’s Guide to Changing the World costs $16.74 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
One Amazon reviewer says, “The author’s approach to helping animals through compassion for our fellow humans is refreshing and inspiring. As is her encouragement to do what you can instead of being bogged down by an all or nothing mentality to making a difference for animals and wildlife. The summary boxes at the ends of each chapter detailing what you can do and which animals will benefit from that small change make this book perfect for beginning world-changers and lifelong animal lovers alike.”
4. The Vegan “Beef” Guide
Source: The Vegan “Beef” Guide/Amazon
Lyanna K. Peterson has written a guide about how to communicate effectively and respond to arguments about veganism with fact-based evidence. Peterson lays out some of the most common excuses and systematically debunks them. The book also takes a look at the history of veganism. The Vegan “Beef” Guide costs $9.99 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
Susan H says, “A great summary of all the reasons to be vegan showcased by addressing common arguments as to why one cannot or should not be vegan. The author provides rational arguments and different perspectives to help dispel the many excuses non-vegans use to support the exploitation of animals. I will keep it for reference!”
5. The Ten Trusts
Source: The Ten Trusts/Amazon
Famed animal behavioral scientists Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff have created a blueprint for how to care for the animals we share this planet with. Goodall shares stories from her vast experience living with and studying animals, and Mark contributes research to help back up her points. They both share their vision of how to create a society that lives in harmony with all life. The Ten Trusts costs $12.19 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
Kristine says, “This book is very thought-provoking, it was not a book that I think should be idly skimmed through, but a book to read and think on how to not only incorporate the ten trusts in our daily lives, but how as one could turn to many and make a huge impact for positive change, making the world a better, healthier place to be; including, not just the physical but mental and emotional, and spiritual aspects as well.”
6. The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights
Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of PETA, has written a practical guide on how to help animals. Newkirk examines several ways animals are used in society, then shares tips and resources she’s learned over her many years as an activist. She also explores eating choices, why it’s important to adopt animals, how to change people’s minds, cruelty-free cosmetics, and amusement that doesn’t exploit animals. The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights costs $22.85 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
One Amazon reviewer says, “This is a broad review of how all manner of types of animals are treated in our society, whether as pets, food, fur, entertainment, in laboratories, and other modes. Ms. Newkirk explains how the animals are affected and alternative modes of action so that humans may conduct themselves ethically with respect to animals. Very informative. Detailed recommendations for how to treat different types of animals and situations with compassion.”
7. How to Create a Vegan World
Tobias Leenaert has written a thought-provoking book on some of the more unique strategies, goals, and communication tactics of animal rights activists. Leenaert makes it clear that, given the large number of people who are still participating in this system of exploitation, we need a systematic and practical approach to create change. He offers valuable information for beginner and veteran activists. How to Create a Vegan World costs $13.39 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
One Amazon reviewer says, “Please stop what you’re doing and read this book now. If all of us who cared about animals read this, we could transform the world SO MUCH FASTER. This book will help you figure out how to bring your very best self to the movement and how to be more effective for animals in your everyday interactions.”
8. Ethics into Action
Source: Ethics into Action/Amazon
Peter Singer, a renowned philosopher and animal rights thought-leader, has released an updated edition of his classic book with a new preface from Singer himself. The book shines a spotlight on his friend Henry Spira, an animal rights activist who led several successful campaigns against animal testing, among others. Singer shares Spira’s model with readers in hopes that it can inspire other activists. Ethics into Action costs $19.95 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
Ziggy Jones says, “Being persuaded about animal rights for some time now, I have been looking for ideas on how to get active. This book provides lots of ideas and is an inspiring portrait of an attractive and committed person. It is also very readable – I read it early into the morning until I finished it. Spira’s activism was highly intelligent, practical, strategic, and committed to the long term – he is a hero of the animal rights movement.”
9. Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
Gary L. Francione and his co-author Anna Charlton have written a book that is vehemently against all exploitation of animals and rejects the approach taken by the majority of animal protection organizations who are often “flexible” with their veganism to be more accessible to the general public. The authors argue that this approach is both morally and practically the wrong approach and that abstaining from the exploitation of nonhuman animals is a moral imperative. Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach costs $11.99 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
One Amazon reviewer says, “Just finished reading this book. It is just fantastic. A coherent, consistent and clear abolitionist vegan message. I highly recommend it. The book is easy to read, even for people that are not used to reading animal rights theory. Gary Francione and Anna Charlton have written a book that is going to change the paradigm from animals as property to animals as persons. It is powerful!”
10. Motivational Methods for Vegan Advocacy
Casey T. Taft shares methods that have been proven to create behavioral change in the world of clinical psychology. Taft explores these principles and strategies, which are connected to his work in domestic violence prevention, and shows readers how to apply them to their animal advocacy work. Motivational Methods for Vegan Advocacy costs $12.80 for a paperback copy on Amazon.
Linda Nelson says, “Anyone who is a vegan advocate or anyone who hopes to be should read this book. What I appreciate most about it is that it doesn’t ask us to equivocate in our vegan stance while giving clear direction based on years of research and clinical work on violent behavior.”
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