I had been vegan for a few years, done some volunteering for Animal Liberation Queensland, and read some of Peter Singer's other works before I finally read his classic Animal Liberation.
I didn't really see why I needed to read it, after all, I was vegan and very much believed in Animal Liberation. As fate would have it I was given two copies of the book in the same week, and although a sceptic I believe in fate just enough not to tempt very obvious expressions of its desires so I had little choice but to start reading.
What an awe-inspiring book this is, it contains the central philosophical ground for the ethical treatment of our fellow beings, and for this alone it is one of the great books of our species. If Einstein, Da Vinci and so many other of our greatest minds were right that at some point in the future our treatment of animals will move from exploitation to compassion, history will judge this book as a marking point in that progression.
Before I read this I had already come across much of what it says, even to reading passages of it in the previous book, but I imagine if I had read this ten years ago it would have changed my life. I truly believe you are missing something of what it is to be a human involved in the world around them if you have not read this book. Humanity holds billions of animals, chained, locked, caged against their will, many of them in lives of torment, billions more are experimented on, slaughtered and tortured for our trivial whims. Purchasing the products of these industries and your silence is consent to that suffering. This is not consistent with the actions of someone who wishes to live an ethical life, read this book if that means anything to you.
Read this book, start going vegan, make the world a more compassionate place, done.