Thursday, 25 October, 2018
You may be familiar with vegan non-fiction books such as ‘Eating Animals’ and you probably own a vegan cookbook at least. But for those who enjoy reading literature, how frequently do you come across vegan books?
A book that has vegan characters and a storyline where no animals are being harmed or eaten? Or perhaps even a story which speaks up for non-human animals? We are so used to be reading about non-vegans in books, that we often take this for granted.
Stephen King once said there are three functions of storytelling: entertainment, escapism and education. However, for us, the fiction books we read don’t always live up to our standards, especially when choosing to live a compassionate life. In so many stories you’ll see animals being used as mere props or set pieces. Most of us already spend a lot of time in environments that don’t live up to our ideal values, so why should we do the same in our valuable spare time? We pick up a book because we either want to forget, to find a connection, or get a good feeling and gain hope that, at least in fiction, animals fare a better fate.
But, there is hope! In recent years, the rise of people making the transition to a more conscious, compassionate lifestyle has meant that new novels have started to reflect this. There is even a word for it: VegLit (Vegan/Vegetarian Literature). However, VegLit isn’t always the easiest to find!
To give you a brief idea of what is out there I have made a top 10 list of life-changing vegan fiction books that I personally really enjoyed and that stood out for me. You might like them too, why not give them a try?
1. ‘The Boy from Tomorrow’ by Camille DeAngelis
This is a heart-warming story for young adults and over about a boy and a girl who are a hundred years apart but have found a way to communicate through time. It’s a historical, paranormal and time travel story about, most of all, the power of friendship.
2. ‘The Awareness’ by Gene Stone & John Doyle
A transformational, amazing, adventurous book about mammals suddenly gaining human-level consciousness. It focuses on a pig, a bear, an elephant and a dog and their struggle with the humans and their own minds. Will they avenge themselves? Gripping and thought-provoking. If you enjoy Planet of the Apes, you’ll enjoy this one.
3. ‘Falling Into Green’ by Cher Fisher
This is a uniquely written psychological murder, eco-mystery with a bit of romance. It has a likeable environmental friendly, Irish-Latino main character and the mystery plot leaves you guessing until the end.
4. ‘The Bees’ by Laline Paull
A remarkable suspenseful and touching insight story into the life of honey bees. The main character is born as a low ranking bee, but her curiosity, her empathy and intelligence is a threat to the other bees who all. She is truly courageous and the story is an absolute page-turner. Get ready for an emotional rollercoaster.
5. ‘Quarterling’ by Natasja Hellenthal
This is a dramatic, thought-provoking superhero lesfic fantasy story about a seventeen-year-old half human, half alien race girl with super abilities, trying to save farmed and caged animals with her powers. But is she really helping them, or just adding to the problem? When she meets a demon who is her opposite, with her own unique powers, the dilemma really starts to unfold.
6. ‘Float’ by JoeAnn Hart
This is an engaging, satirical tale of desperation, of family relations, and the sea. Set is a small coastal town in Main, New England it’s filled with insight, humour, and is greatly informative on the problems of a plastic filled ocean.
7. ‘The Dragon Keeper’ by Mindy Meija
This is a modern ecological fable about a zookeeper who relates more to non-human animals than to people, trying to save a rare egg-laying komodo dragon from Indonesia. There is romance, suspense, zoo politics and mass media, and twists and turns that you won’t see coming.
8. ‘Love and Ordinary Species’ by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
A powerful story of loyalty, love, life and sacrifice told from the perspective of a captive poem loving Australian Cockatoo who loves his human caretaker, but then she meets a young man who ruins everything for the bird.
9. ‘The Banished Craft’ (Shkode Book 1) by E.D.E.Bell
A delightful epic fantasy read about a world split in two where dragons and humans live side by side without knowing about the other’s existence. It features a strong, intelligent, independent woman in a male-dominated society. Magical.
10. ‘My Last Continent’ by Midge Raymond
A literary gem set in Antarctica this novel is about two people who have found their refuge from their pain in the world of ice and the creatures that live there. Ominous and romantic. Beautifully written and realistic.
by Natasja Hellenthal
About the Author:
Natasja Hellenthal is a novelist, eco-warrior, animal lover (and thus vegan). Her interests include reading the best books, poetry, learning about space and science, nature and art, and outdoor activities such as hiking, organic gardening, swimming in the sea, paddle-boarding and cycling. She lives in the Pyrenees, South of France where she co-parents two children and a yorkie, saves wildlife where she can, and has a long distance relationship with a kiwi in the UK.
She writes witty, speculative fiction that entertain people but at the same time makes them think. Her work has been described as ‘thought-provoking’. Her writing is about change, freedom, advocating for LGBT equality and animal welfare.