© 2015 Simona Mulazzani, Rock-a-Bye Romp

In children’s books, farm animals seem to have it pretty good, with chickens, pigs and cows freely exploring the peaceful pastoral setting. In truth, most farm animals lead lives of misery, subjected to unnatural, often painful, living conditions and severely limited in their ability to move. While many organizations (some listed here) are working to improve life for farm and other animals, these changes won’t happen soon. In the meantime we can all help by eating less (or no) meat. Not only is a plant-based diet better for animals, it’s better for our health and the health of the planet.

As a long-time vegetarian, I can tell you that eating a tasty plant-based diet has never been easier.  Here are a few resources I like. Got some favorites of your own? I’d love to hear!

a few favorite cookbooks and recipes

click for more information

My favorite cookbook—full of delicious and (mostly) easy recipes. Isa Chandra Moskowitz is my hero.

I have the original edition of this Deborah Madison classic. The recipes tend to be more challenging, but it’s incredibly comprehensive.

This is a beautiful cookbook. Diane Kochilas’s Greek and lentil salads are staples in our house.

Swiss Chard with Currants & Pine Nuts in the New York Times

My neighbor made Southern Black-Eyed Peas and the Swiss Chard for a New Year’s Day party. So good. (NYT)

This Portabello Mushroom Sandwich (NYT) is a standard in our rotation.

Recipe for Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Red Lentil Thai Chili. Delicious.

Need a potluck dish? This Orzo Salad with Feta and Pine Nuts always gets gobbled up.

I’m not a fan of tofu—except for this recipe for Isa’s Curried Peanut Bowl, available over at Nava Atlas’s Veg Kitchen.

why eat more plants and less meat?

click on the covers to find lots of reasons

This should be mandatory viewing. Disturbing, persuasive, and entertaining.

Clearly written by a food expert and omnivore. Includes recipes too.

Disturbing and comprehensive. Enlightened me about “free range” eggs, among other things.

The original edition convinced me to stop eating meat more than 20 years ago.

Great for young people, and adults (like me) who couldn’t get past the minutiae of corn reproduction in Michael Pollan’s original edition.

An informative collection of essays about CAFOs—Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. The industry’s term says it all.

a few organizations working to improve the treatment of animals