Compassionate Living Resources

The decision to go plant-based is one of the best decisions one can make, and no matter what your reason for doing so. Whether it be for the health of you and your family, a reduction in the harming of animals, or to reduce your carbon footprint, going plant-based is easier than it has ever been before. Provided below is a short list of resources – movies, books, websites, and podcasts – that can help guide you on your way. Feel free to send suggestions for any additional resources to​ and we will update the list.


For a deeper dive, books offer a greater depth of information and often include conclusions based on peer-reviewed research, as well as strategies and recipes to help one go plant-based.

  1. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell – More than thirty years ago, nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell and his team at Cornell, in partnership with teams in China and England, embarked upon the China Study, the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease. What they found when combined with findings in Colin’s laboratory, opened their eyes to the dangers of a diet high in animal protein and the unparalleled health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.
  2. How Not To Die by Michael Greger, M.D. – From the physician behind the wildly popular Nutrition Facts website, How Not to Die reveals the groundbreaking scientific evidence behind the only diet that can help prevent and reverse many of the causes of disease-related death.
  3. The Plant-Based Journey by Lani Muelrath – If you’ve ever wanted to make the plant-based switch but felt overwhelmed about where to start, we have good news: you don’t have to do it alone. The Plant-Based Journey provides the support you need every step of the way to make your transition into eating plant-based a fun and (ful)filling experience!
  4. Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. – This is a book that will let you live longer, reduce your need for medications, and improve your health dramatically. It is a book that will change the way you want to eat.
  5. Plant Strong – In this #1 New York Times bestseller (originally published as My Beef with Meat), Rip Esselstyn arms readers with the 36 most powerful facts that prove, once and for all, that a plant-based diet can save your life. Do you want to: Prevent cancer, heart attacks, stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes? Eat plants! Have stronger bones than milk could ever give you? Eat plants! Avoid dangerous carcinogens and contaminants? Eat plants! Lose weight and look great? Eat plants! On top of these arguments are 150 other reasons why plants rule–as in 150 delicious, mouth-watering Engine 2 recipes, including 10 that are exclusive to this new edition. Prepare to eat well, be healthy, and live plant-strong!
woman hugs her dog while watching a documentary


For many new to the idea of going plant-based, movies can provide an excellent resource to get an overview of the benefits and reasons for adopting a plant-based diet. Most of these movies are currently available to stream on Netflix, rent on Amazon Prime, or purchase via DVD at any retail location.

  1. Forks Over Knives – the movie that may have started it all. FOK examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.
  2. The Gamechangers – Executive produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan, a UFC fighter’s world is turned upside down when he discovers a group of world-renowned athletes and scientists who prove that everything he’d been taught about protein was a lie. Special shout out to the fact that portions of this film were filmed in Pittsburgh!
  3. PlantPure Nation – From the Producer and Writer of Forks Over Knives, the documentary film PlantPure Nation tells the story of three people on a quest to spread the message of one of the most important health breakthroughs of all time.
  4. Vegucated – A guerrilla-style documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks and learn what it’s all about.
  5. Cowspiracy – Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability.


Websites offer a wealth of information, from testimonials to recipes, to strategies to kick start your plant-based journey. Below are some of the more well-known sources.

  1. Forks Over Knives
  2. Plant Strong by Engine 2
  3. Nutrition Facts
  4. Center for Nutrition Studies
  5. Plant Pure Nation

This is only a small sampling of web sources available. There are numerous blogs that offer information on going and staying plant-based, providing recipes, tips on navigating social situations, and connection to others new to the plant-based diet or those who have been following the diet for a long time.


Podcasts offer a great way to absorb information while doing other things, much like audiobooks. Like websites, there are a great deal of podcasts available for all audiences. Provided below is a sample of some of the most well-known ones

  1. The Rich Roll Podcast – Plant-powered wellness advocate, bestselling author, ultra-athlete & podcast host – Rich Roll. Each week Rich delves deep into all things wellness, interviewing some of the brightest and most forward-thinking minds in health and fitness including world-class athletes, doctors, nutritionists, artists, and entrepreneurs. The goal? To provoke, educate, inspire and empower you to discover, uncover, unlock and unleash your best, most authentic self.
  2. No Meat Athlete Radio – Matt Frazier is a vegan ultramarathoner and founder of the No Meat Athlete podcast and movement. His life as an endurance athlete changed when he found that he could run longer and faster on a vegetarian diet. The No Meat Athlete Radio‘s goal is to offer friendly, no-preach information and inspiration for vegetarian and vegan athletes. Here you will discover just what limiting meat in your diet can do for your running and health.
  3. Plant Yourself – Howard Jacobson – host of the Plant Yourself Podcast empowers people to take control over their own health destinies. His podcast features interviews with guests who are healing the world in various ways. From plant-based nutrition to joyful movement. Evidence-based healthcare to gardening, to environmental action, and from social justice to spiritual common-sense. Engaging and thought-provoking!
  4. The Plant Strong Podcast – only in its second season, the Plant Strong Podcast continues with the mission Rip Esselstyn has undertaken to bring the Plant Strong message to others.
  5. Food for Thought Podcast – Award-winning vegan author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau hosts a bi-weekly nutrition podcast all about the plant-based lifestyle. Each episode addresses common questions and myths with regards to being plant-based, including those centred around nutrition, environmentalism and more.
  6. Humane Action Pittsburgh Podcast – the official podcast of Humane Action Pittsburgh!

Compassionate Events Resource Guide

Thank you for your commitment to running events that leave animal products off the menu! We know it can be difficult to source meals if you aren’t sure where to start, and have put together a Compassionate Events Resource Guide to help you plan your next events with ease.

Fortunately, Pittsburgh has many plant-based, vegan options and more restaurants are offering these options than ever before. Even many of the places that are meat-heavy are likely to have some items that are vegan or can be veganized. If you have a favorite vendor or restaurant for your events now, there is a very good chance they could offer you a plant-based menu!

Download the guide for a partial list of restaurants, caterers, and food trucks that offer plant-based items. For an even more complete list, please visit If you would like further assistance with menu-planning, don’t hesitate to contact your HAP Compassionate Events Liaison (CEL) .

More in Compassionate Living:

Compassionate Events

Partner of the Month

Compassionate Farming

Lean & Green Pledge


Humane Education