100 books like Sacred Cow

By Diana Rodgers, Robb Wolf,

Here are 100 books that Sacred Cow fans have personally recommended if you like Sacred Cow. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Hugh Warwick Author Of Cull of the Wild: Killing in the Name of Conservation

From my list on animals and nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved animals—my adopted parents were not particularly interested, but when I met my biological mother in my mid-30s, I found out where it came from! That innate passion has driven my life. Writers like Jane Goodall were the gatekeepers—showing me the way forward and giving me permission to study and care. We need to learn more about nonhuman animals and the ecosystems that we share to better understand how to redress the damage we have caused. And while facts are important, stories are even more so. Each of these authors manages to weave both together with such great skill.

Hugh's book list on animals and nature

Hugh Warwick Why did Hugh love this book?

I have guru-phobia, so I had avoided this book because so many people I knew were declaring it one of the best books ever and that Robin Wall Kimmerer was wonderful. Stupid, right?! But then I read it and could understand.

More than reading and listening to it, I met the author at a literary festival and was even more impressed by her gentle wisdom. She writes about the importance of reciprocity—about the rest of life being just as important as we are. Her work merges wonderfully with Jane Goodall’s, and I would recommend reading them in tandem. 

By Robin Wall Kimmerer,

Why should I read it?

48 authors picked Braiding Sweetgrass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take "us on a journey that is…


Book cover of The Omnivore's Dilemma

A. Whitney Sanford Author Of Living Sustainably: What Intentional Communities Can Teach Us about Democracy, Simplicity, and Nonviolence

From my list on the industrialization of and fight for the future of food.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became fascinated by the intersection of food, sustainable agriculture, and culture when I moved to Iowa. I had long been an environmentalist, but moving to the land of big corn forced me to rethink food production. I wrote a book that explored agricultural narratives in India (Growing Stores from India) and developed a class on Religion and Food. I then became curious about how people and communities translate their values of sustainability into practice. For example, how do you decide what to eat, and who gets to decide? These books helped me think about links between food, sustainability, and culture and the power to decide what to eat.

A. Whitney's book list on the industrialization of and fight for the future of food

A. Whitney Sanford Why did A. Whitney love this book?

What should we eat, and how do we choose? Where does our food come from?

In Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan traces the origins of four meals to help answer this question. Each of these meals represents a food production system, big organic, industrial agriculture, for example. He takes us from a McDonald’s meal (hint: it’s corn) to a hunt.

In reading this book, I especially loved his investigative journalism, how he explored the environmental, social, and economic ramifications of each food and its system of production. 

By Michael Pollan,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Omnivore's Dilemma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller that's changing America's diet is now perfect for younger readers

"What's for dinner?" seemed like a simple question-until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers' adaptation of Pollan's famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices.

In a smart, compelling format with updated facts, plenty of photos, graphs, and visuals, as well as a new afterword and backmatter, The Omnivore's Dilemma serves up a bold message…


Book cover of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements

Hannah Crum Author Of The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea

From my list on food sovereignty.

Why am I passionate about this?

My life's work has been to educate and encourage others to take food into their own hands with the intention of reclaiming real nutrition and declaring independence from the conventional food system. I'm humbled by the fact that my DIY Kombucha business has been successful, and it means that enough people are realizing the importance of intentionality when considering the food and drink we put in our bodies. I'd say that our motto of "Changing the world, one gut at a time" accurately represents what we're doing every day.

Hannah's book list on food sovereignty

Hannah Crum Why did Hannah love this book?

Sandor Katz is one of the most important faces in the modern fermentation movement, and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved proves that his influence extends beyond the microbial sphere. This incredible book shows how ordinary people can resist the dominant food system, revive their community, and take direct action to benefit their own health and nutrition.

By Sandor Ellix Katz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An instant classic for a new generation of monkey-wrenching food activists. Food in America is cheap and abundant, yet the vast majority of it is diminished in terms of flavor and nutrition, anonymous and mysterious after being shipped thousands of miles and passing through inscrutable supply chains, and controlled by multinational corporations. In our system of globalized food commodities, convenience replaces quality and a connection to the source of our food. Most of us know almost nothing about how our food is grown or produced, where it comes from, and what health value it really has. It is food as…


Book cover of Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land

Courtney White Author Of Grass, Soil, Hope: A Journey Through Carbon Country

From my list on and for learning about regenerative agriculture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author and former environmental activist who dropped out of the ‘conflict industry’ in 1997 to start the Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a radical center among ranchers, environmentalists, scientists, and others around practices that improve resilience in working landscapes. For two decades, I worked on the front lines of collaborative conservation and regenerative agriculture, sharing innovative, land-based solutions to food, water, and climate challenges. I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Courtney's book list on and for learning about regenerative agriculture

Courtney White Why did Courtney love this book?

Farming While Black explores an often neglected perspective on regenerative agriculture. It is a “how to” guide for aspiring African-heritage growers to reclaim their dignity as agriculturists, but Penniman also wants everyone to understand the contributions of African-heritage people to farming. She explores soil fertility, seed selection, using whole foods in culturally appropriate recipes, and sharing stories of ancestors including the trauma associated with slavery and economic exploitation. The book tells the story of Soul Fire Farm, located in upstate New York, a national leader in the food justice movement.

By Leah Penniman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Farming While Black as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leah Penniman - recipient of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award 2019'An extraordinary book...part agricultural guide, part revolutionary manifesto.' VOGUE

'Farming While Black offers a guide to reclaiming food systems from white supremacy.' Bon Appetit

In 1920, 14 percent of all land-owning US farmers were black. Today less than 2 percent of farms are controlled by black people, a loss of over 14 million acres and the result of discrimination and dispossession. While farm management is among the whitest of professions, farm labour is predominantly brown and exploited and people of color disproportionately live in 'food apartheid' neighborhoods and suffer…


Book cover of Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food

Richard Munson Author Of Tech to Table: 25 Innovators Reimagining Food

From my list on the future of food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Innovators long have fascinated me. I helped launch a clean-energy startup and advance legislation promoting environmental entrepreneurs. I’ve written biographies of Nikola Tesla (who gave us electric motors, radio, and remote controls) Jacques Cousteau (inventor of the Aqua Lung and master of undersea filming) and George Fabyan (pioneer of modern cryptography and acoustics), as well as a history of electricity (From Edison to Enron). I love reading (and writing) about ingenious and industrious individuals striving to achieve their dreams. 

Richard's book list on the future of food

Richard Munson Why did Richard love this book?

Here’s another engaging tale of the entrepreneurs and renegades fighting to bring lab-grown, cell-cultured meat to the world. I appreciated Purdy’s description of this competition as an “edible space race,” and unlike my other highlighted book, Billion Dollar Burger highlights the “difficult regulatory landscape” concocted by Big Meat lobbyists trying to keep protein alternatives off the shelves. He outlines ways to overcome that opposition and create healthier, more sustainable, and more humane food options.

By Chase Purdy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Billion Dollar Burger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fast-paced, gripping insider account of the entrepreneurs and renegades racing to bring lab-grown meat to the world.

The trillion-dollar meat industry is one of our greatest environmental hazards; it pollutes more than all the world's fossil-fuel-powered cars. Global animal agriculture is responsible for deforestation, soil erosion and more emissions than air travel, paper mills and coal mining combined. It also depends on the slaughter of more than 60 billion animals per year, a number that is only increasing as the global appetite for meat swells. The whole world seems to be sleepwalking into a food crisis.

But a band…


Book cover of Teeth and Tongue Landscape

Elias Witherow Author Of The Third Parent

From my list on that make you feel uncomfortable.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books that make me feel uncomfortable are usually the ones that have stuck with me most over the years. There’s just something so alluring to me about an author who can effectively bring out that feeling in readers. When I started writing stories, I wanted to make my readers squirm – I wanted to layer the guts and gore with underlying psychological themes that made the violence and trauma that much more impactful. These books that I mentioned acted almost as study guides on how to blend shocking violence with themes of loneliness, depression, and rage. If you layer these correctly, you’re going to effectively be able to make your reader uncomfortable and your stories memorable.  

Elias' book list on that make you feel uncomfortable

Elias Witherow Why did Elias love this book?

This is a truly bizarre novel that can be read in one sitting, but it’s worth every page. Dripping with creativity, this book is a tour of a truly imaginative world unlike anything else I’ve read. The characters and locations will stick with you long after you finish it and the loss the main character feels resonates in a way you’ll never expect. 

By Carlton Mellick III,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Teeth and Tongue Landscape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a world made out of meat, a socially-obsessive monophobic man finds himself to be the last human being on the face of the planet. Desperate for social interaction, he explores the landscape of flesh and blood, teeth and tongue, trying to befriend any strange creature or community that he comes across.


Book cover of Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World

Richard Munson Author Of Tech to Table: 25 Innovators Reimagining Food

From my list on the future of food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Innovators long have fascinated me. I helped launch a clean-energy startup and advance legislation promoting environmental entrepreneurs. I’ve written biographies of Nikola Tesla (who gave us electric motors, radio, and remote controls) Jacques Cousteau (inventor of the Aqua Lung and master of undersea filming) and George Fabyan (pioneer of modern cryptography and acoustics), as well as a history of electricity (From Edison to Enron). I love reading (and writing) about ingenious and industrious individuals striving to achieve their dreams. 

Richard's book list on the future of food

Richard Munson Why did Richard love this book?

I first “met” Shapiro during one of his fascinating TEDx presentations. His book only adds to my fascination with the race among entrepreneurs to create and commercialize cleaner, safer, sustainable meat—without slaughtering animals. Shapiro offers a front-row seat to that race to create enough food for the world’s ever-growing, ever-hungry population. Meet the innovators offering clean meat—real, actual meat grown (or brewed) from animal cells. 

By Paul Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clean Meat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Shapiro gives you a front-row seat for the wild story of the race to create and commercialize cleaner, safer, sustainable meat—real meat—without the animals. From the entrepreneurial visionaries to the scientists’ workshops to the big business board­rooms—Shapiro details that quest for clean meat and other animal products and examines the debate raging around it.

Since the dawn of Homo sapiens some quarter million years ago, animals have satiated our species’ desire for meat. But with a growing global popula­tion and demand for meat, eggs, dairy, leather, and more, raising such massive numbers of farm animals is woefully inefficient and…


Book cover of Tender Is the Flesh

HP Newquist Author Of Behemoth

From my list on horror masterpieces from a horror writer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by scary movies, creature features, and books that tell tales of the strange and supernatural. Years later, my own books explored those things that scare us, from monsters of the deep and the ways we die to the mythology of blood. Research for those books led me into realms that explained why we fear the things we do. Many of those fears are found in horror novels, which provide an endless source of fright, release, and entertainment within their haunting pages. I can’t think of any other genre of writing that takes its readers on such a joyously terrifying ride.

HP's book list on horror masterpieces from a horror writer

HP Newquist Why did HP love this book?

There isn’t another horror novel written in the past ten years that scratched at my brain as much as this one. Baztericca’s brilliance lies in her writing a story that no one else has thought of before. The subject matter–humans have run out of animals to eat–seems like an obvious one.

What is striking about the book is that it is told in an almost clinical fashion, observing horror with a detachment that is precise and unemotional. The plot follows one man through the routines of his life, but it’s the world in which he exists that haunts you. By the time I finished, it was easy to imagine the world of “Tender Is The Flesh” becoming all too real.

By Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses (translator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Tender Is the Flesh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It all happened so quickly. First, animals became infected with the virus and their meat became poisonous. Then governments initiated the Transition. Now, 'special meat' - human meat - is legal.

Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans - only no one calls them that. He works with numbers, consignments, processing. One day, he's given a gift to seal a deal: a specimen of the finest quality. He leaves her in his barn, tied up, a problem to be disposed of later.

But she haunts Marcos. Her trembling body, and watchful gaze, seem to understand. And soon, he becomes…


Book cover of Caring for an Elderly Cat

Celia Haddon Author Of Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

From my list on cat lovers and cat rescuers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore cats and am anxious to improve their welfare. Late in life, I took a second degree and a masters in animal behaviour to learn more about feline welfare. People are now researching cats’ needs and discovering more about their welfare. I passionately want to get the message out there to ordinary cat lovers. Purrlease, the more you learn about cats, the more your cats will benefit. 

Celia's book list on cat lovers and cat rescuers

Celia Haddon Why did Celia love this book?

I chose this book because I recently adopted elderly Mr. Spangles.

He has helped me understand that I have never taken feline old age seriously: so this book was one that I personally needed to read. For all of us, our cats will end up being old (we hope) so this book will help us know how we can give them the best life possible.

It’s not a read-through book, but one that is best read in sections.

By Sarah Caney, Vicky Halls,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Caring for an Elderly Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Louis the Fish

Kelly Bennett Author Of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

From my list on “finny” picture books about fish.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love fish—to look at and read about—not to eat! Fish are unlike other pets. You can’t hold them, or pet them, and you certainly can’t “play” with them the way you can other pets. But for some reason, just looking at them makes me laugh. And because fish don’t say much besides “glug” (although some kinds sing and grunt) we need to imagine what they are thinking and feeling which makes for funny and surprising stories. And, yes, I have pet goldfish: an orange one, Norman, and a black fantail named Knot. 

Kelly's book list on “finny” picture books about fish

Kelly Bennett Why did Kelly love this book?

Looking for vegetarian options? This Reading Rainbow selection, published in 1980, is a masterpiece in story and art! Louis, who was born into a family of butchers, hates meat. But he loves watching fish! After his parents die, Louis inherits the butcher business. One night, Louis, who is miserable being a butcher, dreams he is a fish. When he wakes, he discovers he is a fish. A salmon. A very happy salmon who swims gleefully ever after. The story is a springboard for discussions on the importance of being true to yourself.

By Arthur Yorinks, Richard Egielski (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Louis the Fish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

An unhappy butcher from Flatbush finally achieves happiness.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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