When you are vegan for compassionate reasons like I am and enjoy reading it’s often a question when buying a book whether it is going to be animal friendly, or not.
I more than often start a book, only to be disappointed how non-human animals are being portrayed and treated.
A book description doesn’t always prepare or warn us and I have come across too many, especially fantasy books, whereby violence against other creatures is accepted and tolerated. Even riding on horses, or how they are used for war, can bug me. And don’t get me started on the subject of dragons! When is someone ever going to save a dragon instead of treating them like monsters and slaying the poor mythical creatures in the fantasy genre? I think I might devote an entire article on that, or better yet, write my own dragon story!
Also, the story line may be good enough in many a book, but what if our characters gorge on the flesh of other animals or have hunting and fishing as their hobbies? Can, or should we, see past this? After all, we pick up a book to be entertained, to escape, or to even fight the good cause with the main character, not to be exposed like we already are in real life to the cruelties of human kind.
How then and where can we find vegan friendly fiction books?
When doing a search on Amazon for ‘Vegan Fiction’ you’ll get over a 10.000 results. That’s great you think, right? Wrong. Most of these are vegan cook books. . . That’s not fiction. Don’t get me wrong, it’s positive there are so many vegan cook books at the moment, but those books should really fall under non-fiction to make it easier for the reader to find. Sadly it’s all been thrown in one pile. You can, of course, also find vegan fiction books there. I know, as I have gone through most of the list.
I have also typed in Vegan Fiction in Google and found a vegan publisher: Ashland Creek Press. Their Website has tons of eco-friendly and vegan fiction books (VegLit).
And if you’re patient enough I’ll give you even more books! The list is at the bottom of the article.
First, let’s try to break vegan fiction down into two types: the entertainment side and the educational side. Vegan fiction can cover both types of fiction, but that is easily enough to determine from the book blurb.
- Entertainment and escapism. To not be confronted with the habits of the meat-eating and animal abusing world. To simply relax and enjoy a good story. To be entertained, and to forget. These books in any genre have a normal plotline with main characters that just happen to be vegan.
- Education and activism. The author has a clear vegan or eco-message wrapped up in the story with vegan or non-human characters. The author’s intention is to speak up for the animals, for the planet, and ultimately, for us all. For the reader to find a connection with the characters whom we as a vegan can easier relate to. To be faced with the current problems, future ones, or possible struggles. To help us think about our own situation, and what we could, or would do, to solve them. These novels can be dark, but they can also give us hope. They are often speculative and written to challenge us, vegan or not, to make us think hard about our values and questions our unquestioned morals. These books can even be life-changers for those who are not vegan yet.
So, I have created a list of vegan fiction books that are currently available for all ages and covers most genres (although I do favour fantasy and lesfic for obvious reasons). It is not a complete list of course and I haven’t read all of them, but it gives a good idea of what is out there. I have also created a Top10 list of my favourite vegan books with short reviews which will be published on The Vegan Society’s website soon. I’ll post the link once it’s life.
On Amazon you can also read the blurbs of every book and samples by clicking on the “Look Inside” feature.
Also, if you have read a vegan fiction book that is not yet included in the list below, let me know: CONTACT ME as my aim is to compile a complete list to share with the vegan and literary communities world-wide!
Vegan Fiction (A-Z) with vegan characters or an animal rights’ plot:
A Report to the Academy – Franz Kafka (literary)
Amanda the Teen Activist – Feathers & Freedom (children’s fiction)
Among Animals 1 & 2 (a collection of stories) – several authors
Among Animals (Tiergeschichten) – Manfred Kyber
Animals: A Novel – Don LePan (sci-fi)
Animal Lex talionis – Sunny Augustine
Balance of Fragile Things – Olivia Chadha
Beasts – Ana Levley (dystopian, lesfic)
Beef – Mat Blackwell (dystopian, humor)
Best Vegan Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2016
Best Vegan Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2017
Bestiary: Three Weird Tales – Nicholas P. Oakley
Chained Freedom – Natasja Hellenthal (fantasy, lesfic)
Diary of a Dieting Madhouse – Paige Singleton
Don’t Bang the Barista! – Leigh Matthews
Escape (Diamond Song Book 1) – E.D.E Bell (fantasy)
Elizabeth Costello – J.M. Coetzee
Falling into Green: An Eco-Mystery – Cher Fisher
Fire Bringer – David Clement Davies (fantasy)
Float – JoeAnn Hart eco/romance
Forgetting English – Midge Raymond
Hackenfeller’s Ape – Brigid Brophy
Holy Cow – Ruth Hawe
Kings of the Jungle – Daniel S. Fletcher
Love & Ordinary Creatures – Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Lithia Trilogy: Out of Breath (1), The Ghost Runner (2), The Last Mile (3) – Blair Richmond (YA)
Memoirs of a Fighting Dog – Kaida Ashia
Mort (e) (War with No Name #1) – Robert Repino
Mother Nature’s Secret – Marian Hailey-Moss (children’s fiction)
My Year of Meats – Ruth Ozeki
My Last Continent – Midge Raymond
Minny’s Dream – Clare Druce
Outside Inside – Anne Grange
Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood (sci-fi)
Off the Reservation – Glen Merzer
Persimmon Takes on Humanity (The Enlightment Adventures: Book 1) – Christopher Locke (YA)
Popco – Scarlett Thomas (contemporary, adventure, science)
Quarterling – Natasja Hellenthal (YA lesfic fantasy)
Salazar – Seth Lynch (noir mystery)
Something in the Water – Ben Starling
Spireseeker – E.D.E Bell (fantasy)
Survival Skills – Jean Ryan
Strays – Jennifer Caloyeras (contemporary, YA)
Skinny Bitch in Love – Kim Barnouin
SkyWhisperers – Natasja Hellenthal (YA lesfic fantasy)
The Soul Thief – Beth Lyons (lesfic fantasy)
The Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero – Marla Rose (children’s fiction)
The Awareness – Gene Stone
The Banished Craft – E.D.E Bell (fantasy)
The Bees – Laline Paull
The BFG – Roald Dahl (children’s fiction)
The Boy from Tomorrow – Camille DeAngelis historical/timetravel/paranormal/children’s fiction
The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way – Frances Metzman
The Trap and the Chain (The Kinship Series) – Robin Lamont
The Comyenti Series (Call Off The Search (1), Children of The Sun (2) – Natasja Hellenthal (Supernatural Fantasy)
The Crows of Beara – Julie Christine Johnson
The Dragon Keeper – Mindy Mejia (thriller)
The Earthling Rebellions – Andi Hayes
The Echo of Others – S.D. Rowell
The Exile of Elindel – Carol Browne (fantasy)
The Fettered Flame – E.D.E Bell (fantasy)
The Green and the Red – Armand Chauvel (romance, eco)
The Gift that Time forgot – T.M. Dewfall (children’s fiction)
The Humans – Matt Haig (sci-fi, eco)
The Plague Dogs – Richard Adams (YA)
The Promised Land – Manfred Kyber
The Stone Gods – Jeanette Winterson – (sci-fi lesfic)
The Three Candles of Little Veronika – Manfred Kyber
The Tourist Trail – John Yunker
The Names of Things – John Colman Wood
The Lives of Animals – J.M. Coetzee
The Longing – Bridget Essex (lesfic)
The Ugly Princess: The Legend of the Winnowwood – Henderson Smith
The World of Wickham Mossrite – J.L. Morse
The Year of the Flood, (MaddAddam #2), MaddAddam (#3) – Margaret Atwood
Thornfruit – Felicia Davin (lesfic fantasy)
Vincent and the Dissidents (The Enlightment Adventures Book 2) – Christopher Locke (YA)
Watership Down – Richard Adams (YA)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves -Karen Joy Fowler (contemporary)