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Vegan activist Melanie Joy recommends 3 books on why we eat animals

On this week’s episode of The Ezra Klein Show, vegan activist Melanie Joy joins fellow vegan Ezra Klein to explain why it’s so hard for vegans and vegetarians to talk about their belief system.

Joy’s latest book, Beyond Beliefs, gets to the heart of the discomfort that Klein and many other vegans and vegetarians feel discussing veganism with meat-eating friends. There’s an implicit judgment that can feel preachy or hypocritical. People often tune you out — or worse, get defensive.

Buy Beyond Beliefs: Amazon | Barnes Noble

Joy and Klein also dig into the fascinating, twisted logic of “carnism” — the reason we don’t find it contradictory to keep certain animals as pets while other animals are being tortured in factory farms. Joy covers this inconsistency in her book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism.

Buy Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: Amazon | Barnes Noble

Whether or not you eat meat, there’s a lot to get out of this conversation, which treats vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters, and animals with equal amounts of empathy.

Near the end of the conversation, Ezra asks where people should start if they want to “become a little kinder, dip [their] toe in and begin to open to this.” Joy recommends — in addition to checking out the resources on her website, — three books about eating animals from nutritionist, activist, and philosophical perspectives:

1) How Not to Die by Michael Greger

Written by the founder of, How Not to Die discusses the science behind lifestyle changes that have

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