Ed Winters’ Vegan Propaganda is being hailed as “the vegan bible” by some vegans while receiving some harsh criticism by non-vegans at the same time. Others (both vegan and non-vegan) are somewhat on the fence about how to feel about the book.
So, being the curious girl that I am, I decided to check it out and give it a read!
It’s not an overly large book, so it didn’t take me more than a few weeks to finish from start to finish. I’m sure the real bookworms out there could easily finish it in a week. Overall, I thought it was very well done, and sheds new light on some of the most influential arguments for a vegan lifestyle.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you my Vegan Propaganda book review. I’ll start by giving you a brief summary before moving into a more in-depth review. I’ll also mention a few similar titles that I’ve read over the years that are definitely worth checking out!
Let’s dive in…
Vegan Propaganda Review Summary
Topic: Arguments for a vegan diet and lifestyle
Most of you may know author Ed Winters better from social media (YouTube in particular). Online, Ed’s persona is “Earthling Ed,” and he’s been running his YouTube channel for quite some time and has over 419,000 subscribers.
He’s known for his strongly vegan and often controversial videos calling out non-vegans.
Vegan Propaganda makes a point to call out some of the most common “propaganda” that’s been spread about veganism throughout the non-vegan community. He addresses statements in a clear, matter-of-fact manner that leaves little room to doubt.
So, if you’ve just gone vegan and you’re looking for more knowledge to help defend your new lifestyle, this is the book for you!
I remember when I first went vegan, one of the most difficult (and annoying) things was having to defend my lifestyle to people who knew me as an avid carnivore before. If I would have had this book seven years ago, it would have made my life a LOT easier.
Vegan Propaganda addresses more than just anti-vegan propaganda, though.
Throughout his book, he provides simple, practical, and scientifically backed evidence for why a plant-based lifestyle is better for your health, more ethical, and may even help the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The one thing that may turn some people off from reading Vegan Propaganda is that Ed Winters tends to be rather harsh on non-vegans. His style of writing (and even the way he speaks in his videos) can be condescending at times.
Personally, I believe that the best way to win people over to veganism is through love and empathy, not criticism.
That being said, the overall book itself is well-written, and the information is solid, accurate, and conveyed in an easy-to-understand manner.
What I Like About Vegan Propaganda:
- Contains scientifically backed arguments for a vegan lifestyle.
- Outlines and responds to some of the most common anti-vegan rhetoric.
- Ed has an engaging writing style that’s fun and easy to read.
- The content is not overly technical and can be understood by anybody.
- If you follow Earthling Ed online, this will give you a greater appreciation for his intellect.
What I Don’t Like About Vegan Propaganda:
- At times, Ed’s style of writing can seem overly harsh towards non-vegans and vegetarians.
Vegan Propaganda: In-Depth Review
I’ve been following Earthling Ed on YouTube for a couple of years now, and his videos have really helped me defend my vegan lifestyle to non-vegans. I really appreciate how he combines both morality and science to argue his points, instead of just relying on one or the other.
So, now that you’ve had a chance to read my brief summary, I thought it’d be a good idea to further elaborate on some of the main points Ed Winters makes in Vegan Propaganda.
If you’d like to learn more about Ed, here’s a great speech that he gave during his recent UK tour:
The Main Points
Vegan Propaganda has three main sections:
- Part One: “It’s A Question Of Morality”
- Part Two: “Playing With Fire”
- Part Three: “Breaking Down The Barriers”
The first section outlines some of the moral arguments for veganism and the second section outlines some of the scientific evidence showing why veganism is more eco-friendly.
The final section is incredibly helpful to new vegans and explains some of the best ways to break down the social and psychological barriers preventing some people from changing their lifestyles.
Below, I’ll give you the cliff notes of each section, so you can get a good idea of what Vegan Propaganda is all about.
1) The Morality of Veganism
If you’ve ever watched Ed’s videos, then you’ll remember that he’s a strong advocate of the “moral argument” for veganism. Like European influencer Mythical Mia, Ed uses personification as a way of getting his readers to respect animals on the same level as humans.
He describes some of the cruel ways that farm animals and livestock are treated. He offers graphic details on how slaughterhouses kill animals for meat and explains the awful living conditions that animals are subjected to at these farms.
One of the things I really like is Ed’s honesty. In this section, he recounts that he himself was once a “self-proclaimed KFC addict.” He then explains how learning more about animal farming and cruelty drove him into guilt, which then led to his decision to become a vegan activist.
He also addresses the question of legality vs. morality. Even though animal farming is “legal,” he argues that it shouldn’t be. Ed’s argument is that if humans were treated the way that most farm animals are, it would most certainly be illegal.
Ed goes on to say that non-vegans who are aware of this and yet still consciously participate in the meat industry are just as bad as the farmers themselves.
Although some may see this as a rather harsh judgment, his point is that many humans willingly participate in an industry that makes no effort to hide its torture and murder of animals.
If you’re already a vegan, then this section will make you feel a lot better about your lifestyle.
However, if you’re a vegetarian (who still consumes animal-derived products) or a non-vegan, then this section may seem like a direct attack on you, so I urge you to take it with a grain of salt.
2) Veganism Is Better For The Environment
I would say that the majority of vegans choose their lifestyle for ethical reasons. To be completely honest, a behind-the-scenes look at a slaughterhouse farm was all it took for me to start changing my own way of thinking.
However, many vegans also argue that veganism is better for the environment.
I’ve always suspected this, but until reading Vegan Propaganda I didn’t know the arguments all that well. In the second section, “Playing With Fire,” Ed talks about how bad the commercial meat industry is for the environment.
One of the most interesting arguments that he provided was about soy farming…
One of the most common anti-vegan arguments is that the soy farming industry (which most vegans rely on as one of their main sources of protein) isn’t environmentally friendly. While this fact is true, Ed points out that farm animals are fed more soy than humans consume.
This flips the entire argument on its head, proving that the meat industry is often what’s responsible for humanity’s poor farming practices.
This section is about more than just the environment, though. Ed also talks about how the consumption of animal products has been linked to chronic disease and illness in humans. I recently addressed these points in a post about some of my favorite vegan doctors, which you can read here.
3) Going Vegan Is A Process
Ed’s last section is primarily directed at new vegans or those who are still trying to take the first step towards changing their lifestyle.
At first, he explains how psychological barriers often control our paradigm and prevent us from changing our habits and creating a new lifestyle.
Ed provides a lot of practical advice in this regard, offering some helpful tips on how to start forming new habits and changing the way that you think about meat, in order to make going vegan easier.
Next, Ed addresses all of the lies and misinformation that’s spread in the media.
The media usually has very little to say about human’s inhumane and irresponsible consumption of animal products, while encouraging us to keep on consuming more and more. His advice is to ignore the media hype and stick to the science and facts that actually matter.
As a female, I particularly enjoyed Ed’s section on toxic masculinity and animal consumption.
He shows several examples of fast food companies that use slogans such as “Eat Like A Man!” to encourage males to consume more meat. He argues that this is why men statistically consume more red meat than women.
Overall, though, this section is about two things: acceptance and change.
Ed explains that acceptance is the first step to changing your lifestyle. You have to accept your contribution to the meat industry, but you can’t let the guilt drive you to continue your lifestyle.
Instead, you have to make a solid commitment to change your diet and be more responsible about everything else that you purchase (i.e., buying vegan leather boots or vegan wool peacoats instead of animal leather and wool).
Other Good Vegan Books To Check Out!
Vegan Propaganda is a great place for anybody to start. It offers simple, no-nonsense arguments for why veganism is better for your health and our planet. If you’re really trying to do a deep dive and learn more, though, here are some other vegan books that deserve a spot on your shelf!
1) Going Vegan for Beginners: The Essential Nutrition Guide to Transitioning to a Vegan Diet (link)
One of the most common pitfalls of switching to a vegan diet is malnourishment. In this book, Dr. Pamella Fergusson breaks down everything that vegans need to know about nutritious eating and living.
From managing your macronutrients to making sure you get all of your essential vitamins and minerals, Dr. Fergusson offers plenty of science-backed data and healthy recipes to build on. Definitely, a worthwhile read if you plan on going vegan for the long haul.
2) We All Love: A Book for Compassionate Little Vegans and Vegetarians (link)
Building on Ed Winter’s moral argument, Julie Hausen’s We All Love is a great read for young children. If there’s a special kid in your life, this book is a great read for toddlers between ages 4 and 8.
It helps introduce some of the benefits of plant-based living while encouraging responsible, ethical treatment of animals. As the saying goes, it’s always best to start young!
Vegan Propaganda: What Other Readers Are Saying
You’ve got my opinion on the book, but I’ll be the first to tell you that my opinion isn’t the only one that matters1 So, to give you a more accurate depiction, here’s what other readers are saying about Ed Winters’ Vegan Propaganda
If you check out the reviews section on Amazon, you’ll see that Vegan Propaganda has stellar reviews from the vegan community.
Most of the reviews mention Ed’s use of high-quality sources, his easy-to-understand writing, and his to-the-point method of delivery combined with factual, science-backed data.
Currently, the book has a 4.9/5 star rating on Amazon.
While the book received great reviews from the vegan community, there are a plethora of anti-vegan vloggers who have plenty of hateful things to say about Ed and his book. But that’s nothing new… to put it nicely, anti-vegan haters have always been rather “contrary.”
Should You Read Earthling Ed’s Vegan Propaganda?
Personally, I think that everybody should give Vegan Propaganda a read. It’s a relatively short, easy, and fun book to read that’s packed with resourceful data and solid arguments.
Almost every other Vegan Propaganda review that I’ve come across has had nothing but good things to say about Ed’s delivery, science-backed facts, and personality.
I think that the book can be especially helpful to new vegans who are searching for scientific arguments to defend their new vegan lifestyle. Ed offers easy-to-digest facts without all of the technical jargon.
I’d recommend Vegan Propaganda to a 12-year-old just as quickly as I’d recommend it to a 60-year-old.
One of Ed’s main points is about how cruel the modern animal farming industry is. This doesn’t just apply to meat and leather, though. The way wool is harvested from sheep is both inhumane and cruel. To learn more about wool and why it’s not vegan, check out this post next!