What is animal agriculture, and its effect on the environment?
Why should we adopt animals?
What’s the problem with organic meat?
What are the economics of plant-based foods?
What about honey?
How might veganism protect us from the spread of novel viruses in the future?
What is the relationship between veganism and feminism?
What is vegansexualism?
From basic fairness to politics, economics, love and other aspects of being human, Think Like a Vegan invites the reader to set aside their preconceived notions about veganism, and to enter into an invigorating conversation about your daily ethical decisions.
This book is not just for vegans. Society’s systemic injustices are intimately interconnected, including the fight for racial justice, feminism, and ethical production, as are the threats we face together, from environmental collapse to global pandemics. Seeking a fair world for animals means we must also seek to reject and redress the injustices perpetrated against each other. These are not mutually exclusive goals, or mutually exclusive ideas.
Seeking to challenge, educate and illuminate, Think Like a Vegan draws threads between essential points of philosophical thought to help answer the fundamental ethical question: How should we act, and why?
About the Authors
Emilia A. Leese
author, re-wilder, podcast host, public speaker and magazine editor. She also developed life skills and ethics workshops for underserved youth. Emi has been a corporate finance lawyer for over twenty years. She and her husband Roger, who is also vegan, live in London and the Highlands. Follow her work on Substack, Emisgoodeating.com and BirchfieldHighlands.org
Eva J. Charalambides
discovered her voice while studying Radio and Television, writing for on-air and screen, and food blogging. Through her transition to veganism, thought pieces on animal advocacy were added to her CV and the opportunity to help produce multi-city vegan events followed. She has lent her voice to non-profits, t-shirts and everything in-between, seldom passing opportunities to promote veganism. When she’s not writing, she says thousands of words through her photography business. Today, Eva can be found in rural Ontario building her first home with her husband, Matt.
A selection of reviews from Goodreads, Amazon and advance readers on Pigeonhole
A brilliant book, which both challenges and inspires thoughts on ethics and the environment, and offers fresh, new thinking on why veganism is not just a diet but a potent social act.SETH TIBBOTT, CHAIR AND FOUNDER OF TOFURKY AND AUTHOR OF IN SEARCH OF THE WILD TOFURKY: HOW A BUSINESS MISFIT PIONEERED PLANT-BASED FOODS BEFORE THEY WERE COOL
Though a vegan for eighteen years this book helped me learn so many new concepts, and unlearn a few … above all, I started looking at veganism through a much broader lens. A must-have book for any vegan at any stage in their journey, and above all a terrific read for anyone looking to learn more about veganism.KUNTAL A. JOISHER, VEGAN MOUNTAINEER
this is a fantastic, informative, educational and ‘real’ thought provoking book that I, personally, feel everyone should read.CURLED UP WITH A GOOD BOOK
I devoured it and I am sure that I will be reading it again because it contains a lot of food for thought that I feel I might not have fully absorbed during my first read. It is not a thriller, but I couldn’t put it down.BOOK AFTER BOOK
This has definitely been an eye-opening and thought-provoking read. It has explored the topic of veganism in a way I hadn’t really expected.CERI’S LIL BLOG
The book is exceptionally well researched with many essays challenging the reader to think about animal rights in the same way we think about human rights and other social issues.HANAN HARCHOL, WRITER, DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER OF ABOUT A TEACHER, ANIMATOR OF JEWISH FOOD FOR THOUGHT, ARTIST, CLASSICAL GUITARIST AND FLAG AWARD WINNING TEACHER
“I’m about a third of the way through the book and am utterly awe of Emilia and Eva. Their commitment to the vegan cause at the cellular level, their ability to articulate its principles precisely and simply, the fortitude and generosity of spirit that led them to create this resource for animals and people in the first place: it’s immense. The humility and humor make it seem easy and chatty, but it’s a great skill to write with such a light touch. It’s as if they climbed up a steep, rocky mountain and then built a funicular to make it easier for the rest of us.KATHERINE LIDDY, AUTHOR TEACHER, WE GIRLS!
The reading experience itself is not entirely comfortable, which is the point I suppose. It is definitely affecting my daily life—I’m seeing things I didn’t see before. I find myself reassessing not just consumer habits but my way of interacting with the world, whether my behavior reflects my values and what my values are in the first place. It’s a little discouraging, to be honest, because I’m not used to thinking that way and I feel something like a moral cripple.
The book has been calling up emotions and memories that are sometimes painful, but in a salutary way. I realize how much energy we nonvegans put into deliberately not thinking about the dark side of we’re doing and how a lot of us try to change at some point but then give up, falling back in step with a monstrous system because it’s superficially more convenient and comfortable. Emilia and Eva, by their cheerful example more than anything, challenge this learned hopelessness.
As the authors suggest, animal rights are not diametrically opposed to human rights, socialist principles or environmental justice. All of those things are compatible and interconnected and they’re all worth striving for fiercely and without compromise.
So, those are my thoughts so far. I’m expecting more revelations along the way. Meanwhile, I’m deeply grateful to both authors for their brilliant book.
I was initially attracted to the title of this book and the general premise of helping everyone, including non-vegans, see things from a ethical vegan viewpoint. I thought it was a good idea to try and offer some understanding of why vegans hold the views they do and why we make a case for veganism. The book achieves this very well and covers a very wide range of areas. Reading the book you realise what a huge subject it is and all the various aspects of life that veganism touches upon. I was particularly impressed by the constant focus on ideas of justice and fairness and that veganism is a position against the commodity status of other animals and their use. This is not a guide to winning vegan debates but rather a sincere attempt to get people to think through the issues themselves and offer insight into the vegan position. There are however lots of useful thought experiments and analogies that will help people reach their own conclusions. I share the author’s hopes that these will be to see veganism as the logical and ethical conclusion for ending animal exploitation and achieving fairness and balance in our relationship to other beings. Highly recommend.BENNY MALONE, AUTHOR, HOW TO ARGUE WITH VEGANS
This book is beautifully written. The authors managed to strike the balance perfectly, so it’s informative but not preachy. It’s smart, it’s funny and it’s very well researched. They cover LOADS of topics, many of which I’ve not seen discussed much in the public domain and it’s great to see every vegan stone turned over and mused upon. I absolutely love the structure of the book – ultimately, most people already do think like a vegan, in that (I think!) most people are already compassionate, good people who want to make compassionate, good choices… they just need to rethink the way they do things. This book would help any non-vegan make the leap and give any vegan who often finds themselves knee deep in debates with non-vegans some excellent points for their pocket.KIM, GOODREADS
Thanks Emilia & Eva for writing this. Focused, consistent and uncompromising. For all the ones wanting to better understand; or for the ones who have taken steps for health or environment reasons towards flexitarian -> vegetarian, this book effectively but empathically challenges this approach with the logic of equality between humans and animals. Stimulating and likely to drive action or at minimum pause and reflection, and helpful conversation to progress in the right direction.ROBERTO, GOODREADS
In reading “Think Like a Vegan,” you quickly notice that the book has an internal rhythm to it. The authors present all the moral issues relating to consuming animal products, they identify the common objections (or straw man arguments) against these, and methodically refute them one by one, and offer also a practical means of supporting and spreading veganism. They then helpfully break down their key points at the end of this chapter, and they take this paradigm and apply it throughout the book.Chris Palmero, author, Born in the Second century
The result is that where some with preconceived ideas might expect a polemic, the book is gradually revealed as an earnest, factual, and heavily-researched framework of vegan ethics. As such, it should really be indispensable to any vegan, but should really be one of the key books read by anyone who is interested in this subject at all or interested in becoming vegan. The authors excel especially when they point out the moral contradictions of what they call “half-measures.” Speaking of those who merely experiment with vegan diets, they say “Would any of us say: Oh, I’ve signed up for an experiment in not being sexist for three months.” On the new trend in more “humane” methods of farming, they say, “If the end was to defend those who can’t defend themselves, then why support larger cages?” Ultimately they always return to the basic premise that the demand for animal products is arbitrary and that it should be addressed directly.
The practical applications and the thought experiments provided in this book are wise and pragmatic but never waver from the essential (and correct) starting point: that refusing to consume animal products is the fundamentally moral position. And so, anyone looking for a comprehensive ethics of veganism really need look no further. And the authors’ clear style and wry humor makes it an entertaining read throughout: “you. The way they always forget to include you in the office treat day will sting more than the stuck tongue at the end of a carmine-coloured popsicle.”
This is a deeply reflective read, it makes you think very intensely about your own morals and choices and one which really made me question my own judgement of food choices.KATE RUTHERFORD, RUTHERFORD READS
Exceptionally well researched and written book that explores the ethical foundations of veganism. Really eye-opening and informative – a great read for any human (vegan or not) that wants to learn how to live a more ethical life.Sareta puri, goodreads
I really enjoyed this wide ranging take on veganism, which went well beyond food content. The politics and economics of veganism were set out too, a valuable take on the subject which changed the way I think.INNOVATIONRESEARCHER, AMAZON
There aren’t words to express the pride I feel of my friends, not just for writing a book, but for writing THIS book. The authors aren’t the first to argue the inefficiency (with regards to both what actually helps animals and what changes people’s minds) of the dominant welfarist discussion tactics used within vegan movements, but I reckon they are first to do so in a way that is both clear and accessible to the widest audience. This is a big deal and it’s what veganism needs… Vegans and nonvegans alike have much to gain from a volume like this. The arguments are presented kindly, not defensively, and are backed up by solid statistics… this book will remain front and centre on my bookshelf, to be revisited again and again. Please do give it a read.”KIP, GOODREADS
First, disclaimer: Not a vegan. I think that’s important to say because as a non-vegan I thought this book was very thought-provoking and wonderfully written, and genuinely both entertaining and educational. If it hasn’t made me commit to veganism, it’s certainly making me think about my role in making it the world a more compassionate place. I think the best review I can give is this. My 23 year old son is a high-functioning Autistic. He’s always struggled a bit with reading, thus it’s not his favourite thing to do. Not only is he reading this book, we’ve been having long discussions about what he’s read so far. Currently he insists he doesn’t think he wants to be vegan, but based on our talks so far I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that is where he ends up. Think Like a Vegan is speaking to my in ways I wouldn’t have imagined, and I think that is due in large part to the wit and wisdom of the writers. I truly think everyone will find something in this book that will speak to them.CAROL, GOODREADS
This is a marvelous book. Certain passages made me cry, but not because they were gory or had horrifying imagery like many vegan tracts I have read in the past. Most of all, many passages made me reflect. There is a lot to digest so I think I would like to re-read it. It’s certainly practical and will be of use in the many conversations that come up with people that ask me “Why?” (up until now my answers have never really felt adequate. Hopefully this will change that!) Yet it will be of most use in the conversations with myself.alexandra, goodreads
Perhaps the most powerful – and shame-faced – endorsement I can give to ‘Think Like a Vegan’ is that while it didn’t convert me, it wasn’t for lack of effective argument.MIKE STAFFORD, FAITHFUL PUNDIT
A great manifesto that made me think alot, especially about speciesism.THE PIGEONHOLE