Emilia A. Leese and Eva J. Charalambides’s Think Like a Vegan is a thought-provoking introduction to the ethics of veganism whose message is straightforward: veganism should be the norm.
Charalambides and Leese tackle the philosophical and practical aspects of veganism, arguing that veganism is a matter of ethics and fairness, and therefore that it ought to be adopted by all. They posit that the use of animal products is unethical and immoral, and that such usage stems from speciesism—that is, the belief that humans are inherently superior to animals. They assert that speciesism is a form of oppression not unlike other -isms, including sexism and racism.
The early chapters are devoted to breaking down myths and misconceptions about veganism, such as that vegan people are always unhealthy due to a lack of appropriate nutrients. But also at the center of this work is the clarification that veganism is not merely a diet, but rather a lifestyle based on rejecting the use and exploitation of animals as long as it is practicable. Therefore, veganism extends to rejecting using animals for entertainment or clothing: a vegan will not wear leather, wool, or silk or visit the zoo.
Throughout, the hypothetical application of animal use scenarios to human contexts are used to pose questions of whether certain behaviors, normalized in animal contexts, would be ethical in human contexts. For example, somebody who eats meat only occasionally might be compared to somebody who is sexist or racist only sometimes.
Charalambides and Leese know that we live in a non-vegan world, and therefore the use of animal products is sometimes unavoidable. However, they show that it can, and should, be restricted to very specific situations—for example, taking necessary medications made in part from animal products.
Think Like a Vegan is a captivating look into what veganism stands for and entails.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.