Food for Thought: The Joys and Benefits of Living Vegan Podcast

Food for Thought: The Joys and Benefits of Living Vegan Podcast Podcast

Emphasizing the fact that being vegan is a means rather than an end in itself, the Food for Thought podcast addresses all aspects of eating and living compassionately and healthfully. Each episode addresses commonly asked questions about being vegan, including those regarding animal protection, food, cooking, eating, and nutrition — and debunks the myths surrounding these issues. Hosted by bestselling author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Food for Thought has been changing lives for over a dozen years. Learn more at ColleenPatrickGoudreau.com.

Confessions of a Level-5 Zero Waste Vegan
Remember when Lisa Simpson proudly declared to her eco-warrior idol that she was vegetarian? He poo-pooed her. When she said she was thinking of becoming vegan, he haughtily responded that he "doesn't eat anything that casts a shadow" and declared that he was a "Level 5 Vegan." When she said she started an organic compost pile at home, he said, "Just at home? You mean you don't pocket-mulch??" While at one time I was able to identify with poor Lisa, I now fear I've crossed the line. Hear my confession, and ...

Peace for Pigs (REBROADCAST)
"When creatures don't have an extraordinary beauty, it's because the person in contact with them is not seeing it," said pulitzer-prize winning poet Galway Kinnell, whose poem about pigs ends this episode. It's not an easy episode, but nothing worth talking about ever is.  From Original Broadcast:  Today’s episode is dedicated to pigs – how wonderful they are, how we misrepresent them, and what affect our perception of them has on our treatment of them. Pigs are exploited and used by humans in a variety of ...

Summer is Coming: A Food for Thought Update
Just coming up for air as I finish re-writes and edits on The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs. Here are some updates with light at the end of the tunnel.  RECEIVE SPECIAL RECOGNITION IN THE BOOK! Become a patron at $20/month or more, and your name will be printed in The Joyful Vegan as my thanks to you!...


Lethal Gifts of Livestock (REBROADCAST)
Being animals ourselves, it makes sense that we share many of the same diseases as our non-human cousins. We aren’t – after all – plants. We aren’t at risk for catching aphids or sooty mold or downy mildew. In fact, many of the major killer pandemics we’ve been plagued with were acquired from non-human animals. Here are just a few: we got tuberculosis from cattle, influenza from pigs and birds, whooping cough from pigs and dogs, smallpox from cattle, and of course cowpox from cows. Even HIV, the virus that ...

I’m Not Evil, and Neither Are You: Tribalism, Ideology, and a Call for Compassion
There’s a presumption among some vegans that if you’re vegan, you’re also liberal, socialist, atheist, feminist, intersectionalist, progressive, and leftist, that you’re pro-choice, anti-vaccine, anti-GMO’s — and that if you’re not any or all of these things and everything that they entail, you’re unwelcome — or at least you don’t belong. Or that you’re an imposter. Or that you welcome oppression.  We are living in a time when group loyalty and identity politics are valued more than reason, critical thinkin...

The Taming of the Cattle (REBROADCAST)
Though we tend to forget, cattle (cows, bulls, and steers) did exist first as wild animals before humans began domesticating them for our own purposes. Before we got our hands on them and turned them into a commodity for human gain, what was their history? What was their background? What is their ancestry? Today I explore the answers to these questions, trace their fateful encounter with humans (leading to the extinction of their ancestors), document our use of them as instruments of cruel entertainment, an...


Are Avocados, Almonds, and Figs Vegan?
The world lit up on fire with stories (from vegans and non-vegans, including on the BBC TV show QI) that these plants — and more — are "not vegan" because of the way they're pollinated. Listen to this episode for my thoughts. (JoyfulVegan.com)...

Vegan in France (+ Switzerland, too!)
Starting in Paris, then moving onto Alsace (which included day trips to Germany and Switzerland), then back to France to the Normandy region and a stop-over in the Swiss Alps, our recent travels is the focus of this travel edition, giving you ideas of enjoying your own European vegan vacation, whether you go on your own or as part of a CPG Vegan Trip....

Vegan Travel Around the World
CPG Vegan Trips creates one-of-a-kind travel experiences with a focus on the interest and needs of adventurous and compassionate vegans and their vegan-friendly friends and family members. It's all about the food, the animals, the wildlife, the sanctuaries, and the small details and experiences that shape life-long memories. Here's what's coming up in 2019, 2020, and 2021, so start packing!  www.CPGVeganTrips.com...


The Vegan Police: How to Speak Up for Animals Without Talking Down to People (REBROADCAST)
A small subset of opinionated, passionate, well-intentioned people perpetuate the stereotype of the angry, self-righteous, perfection-focused animal rights vegan when they spew invective at anyone who is not "vegan enough" in their eyes. They are otherwise known as The Vegan Police. Listen to today's episode for my perspective on how we can speak up for animals — online and in person — without alienating people who are trying to make compassionate choices. SUPPORTERS make this podcast possible. Thank you!...

Is Palm Oil Vegan? Should Vegans Eat Palm Oil? (REBROADCAST)
Raising cattle for beef is the number one cause of the destruction of rainforests and global warming, but today we're going to talk about palm oil. Grown in tropical regions, palm plantations are displacing rainforests, destroying orangutan habitats and wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. With good intentions, some vegans have called for a boycott of Earth Balance, a vegan butter that uses palm oil as its primary fat, even though it doesn't source its palm from native orangutan habitats. Is it possible to sour...

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Vegan at Work: When Your Job Conflicts with Your Ethics (REBROADCAST)
It’s one thing to opt out of eating animal products at home and in our personal lives, but what about adhering to our values in the trickier, grayer areas of our lives, such as in the workplace? What if you work for a software company and you’re put on a project to build a website for a fishing company? What if you work in a restaurant and have to serve meat? What if you work in a job that requires you to cook meat? These are real scenarios for many people, and the answer isn’t to “stop being vegan” because...


Are Oysters Vegan? (REBROADCAST)
I’ve heard every justification for the consumption of animals, but I was a bit stunned when I heard someone claim that vegans should eat oysters because bivalves are “basically plants.” No doubt there are grey areas in this whole attempt to live as compassionately as possible. But even the fuzzy lines are still lines. If I let you eat oysters, would you stop eating cows? Support this listener-sponsored podcast....

Masculinity and Meat: Re-Defining What Makes a “Real Man” (REBROADCAST)
There is a prevailing myth in our culture, played out in our language and in marketing, that meat is masculine and plant foods are for wimps. Meat is a metaphor for strength, virility, and manliness, while vegetarianism/veganism is feminine, effeminate, and even emasculating. “Real Men Eat Meat” and “Tofu is Gay Meat” are just two examples of advertisements that perpetuate this myth and secure it in our consciousness. Studies show it’s working. Join me for a meaty episode that will shake you out of your veg...

What's Wrong with Eggs if Chickens Don't Have to Be Killed? (REBROADCAST)
However much we want to believe it, hens don’t produce eggs because they figured out they were good binding ingredients for baked goods. Products of a chicken's reproductive cycle, eggs are simply the waste produced when they go unfertilized. Not as appetizing as what the egg industry tells us. What else are we not being told? Your support makes this podcast run. Thank you for being a listener supporter. Please do so at Patreon.com/ColleenPatrickGoudreau...

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Vegan Travel: Vietnam
Rich in history, sophisticated cuisine, stunning scenery, pulsating cities, fascinating culture, Vietnam is consistently rated one of the top best countries to visit, and today I take you on a journey to this beautiful place. Today's focus is food (plant-based, of course), animal protection, nature, and culture. I let you know what animal and conservation organizations to visit and support, what to avoid in terms of animal cruelty and exploitation, and how to make the most of your trip — whether you go on y...

Zero Waste, Vegan, and Living with Cats
In today's episode I share with you the ways I try to reduce the ecological footprint of living with cats from a zero-waste perspective. I cover toys/enrichment, food, and litter!...

Food Waste (Part 3) — Make Soil Not Trash: The Ins and Outs of Composting
Wherever you live — whether in a house or an apartment, whether you have outdoor access or not, whether you garden or not — you will get SOMETHING out of this episode. (WARNING: I get pretty excited about composting!) This episode covers EVERYTHING you need to know: what type of bin to use, where to place it, what to fill it with, what not to fill it with — basically how to reduce the outrageous 40% of food we waste in our homes.  Podcast supporters receive transcripts of the podcast as well as bonus materi...


Food Waste (Part 2) — Food is Not Garbage
Zero waste is not about waste DIVERSION; it's about waste PREVENTION! We (vegans and non-vegans) throw away 40% of the food we bring into our homes — leading to greenhouse gas emissions in landfills, waste money, human / animal conflicts, and squandered resources. 🌺 On this Earth Day, I give you Part 2 of the series on food waste, offering a number of solutions for preventing food waste in our own lives. Supporters receive transcripts and bonus materials!...

Food Waste (Part 1): How Animal Products Hinder Zero Waste Goals
We can't talk about Zero Waste living without talking about the big picture: the amount of food that gets wasted at the front end of the food chain: during production, harvest, and processing. And we can't talk about Zero Waste living unless we face the fact that the highest food losses are associated with livestock production. Listen to Part One to find out how there is nothing Zero Waste about garbage. (The original meaning of the word garbage had to do with "the bowels and body parts of a butchered anima...

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Zero Waste: It Ain't About Recycling
In this first episode about my zero waste journey, I share the principles that have absolutely changed my thinking and way of living. Zero Waste is not simply about my making YouTube videos about how to make zero-waste almond milk (though I will do that!), it's a way of thinking that profoundly changes our approach to resources and production, going beyond "waste diversion" and striving to ensure that products are designed to be repaired, refurbished, and reused, creating a circular economy rather than a li...


The Vegan Experience: Special Annoucement
The intention in my work on behalf of animals and veganism has always been to guide people to live compassionately and healthfully with joy and confidence — and without deprivation. And that's why I offer so many opportunities for you to join me in living joyfully, fully, abundantly, compassionately, intentionally, creatively, and consciously — in other words, to enjoy The Vegan Experience.  Thank you to everyone who supports this work: Patreon.com/ColleenPatrickGoudreau...

Don't Get Fleeced: Check out This Episode!
Have you ever been "fleeced"? Have you ever "gone in search of the golden fleece" or "pulled the wool over someone's eyes"? Are your political opinion "dyed in the wool"? While I work on new episodes of Food for Thought, I wanted to let you know about a new episode of Animalogy in which I discuss the animal origins of these and more words and expressions from animals; i.e. Animalogies....

Clean Meat: Slaughter-Free and Sustainable
Animal agriculture is wreaking havoc in every way imaginable; unfortunately, the consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs is on the rise. Of course, people can stop eating animal flesh and fluids and choose instead vegetables and plant-based meats and milks, but meat consumption is outpacing the rate at which people are becoming vegan and vegetarian. What if they could have their meat and eat it, too, and not cause harm? Join me today for a discussion about clean meat, the subject and title of Paul Shapiro's ne...


12-Year Podcast Anniversary: A Love-Filled Love Fest
If you ever once thought that “people don’t change,” then you’re in for quite a surprise. The stories you’re about to hear in this TWELVE-YEAR-ANNIVERSARY episode are as diverse as the people who wrote them, but they all share common threads of hope, transformation, and compassion. So relax, sit back, and take in the letters written by podcast listeners this past year whose lives have been transformed by Food for Thought. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. PAIRING RECOMMENDATION...

Buying In or Selling Out? When Meat and Dairy Corporations Buy Vegan Companies
The plant-based foods market recently topped $3.1 billion in sales and is slated to reach over $5 billion in just a couple years. As a result, the animal-based meat, dairy, egg, and other large corporations see vegan companies and the plant-based products they make as competitors they should fear, emulate, learn from, collaborate with, invest in, or even purchase. They recognize they need to "buy into" the success, growth, and future of the plant-based market. Some, however, see it as vegan companies "selli...

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10 Habits of Highly Effective Advocates (REBROADCAST)
As an advocate for animals and compassionate living for over 25 years, you can imagine I’ve made mistakes, I’ve learned a bit, and I’ve thought a lot about what is effective — and what is not. And so I give you 10 Habits of Highly Effective Advocates....


Co-Existing with Carnivores: A Conversation with Project Coyote's Camilla Fox
The TRUE carnivores of the world provide SO much benefit to our ecosystems, but they're misunderstood, maligned, and systematically killed, mostly because of the HUMANS who pose as carnivores. Animal agriculture doesn't only affect the billions of its direct victims, it also destroys the lives and habitats of millions of individual wild animals.  Today’s guest on Food for Thought has devoted her life to changing attitudes and policies about the most maligned members of our communities. Camilla Fox is the fo...

How to Talk to a Hunter (Or Anyone Else with Whom You Disagree) — REBROADCAST
WARNING: Radical ideas fill this episode, centering around the suggestion that we try to have compassion for people with whom we disagree or who participate in behavior we find abhorrent. That’s the thing about compassion: it’s gotta be equal opportunity or it’s just inauthentic. It’s easy to be compassionate towards like-minded people; the challenge is choosing to have compassion towards those with whom we disagree. Check out this episode for tips and suggestions on communicating with compassion – but only...

Thanksgiving for the Birds (REBROADCAST)
Most people don’t know that our contemporary customs at Thanksgiving, namely the serving of turkeys, were shaped and popularized by a magazine editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, in the mid-1800s. Whatever meaning we attribute to this Thanksgiving holiday is most certainly not lost (in fact, it is enhanced) by creating food-based rituals that affirm rather than take life, that demonstrate compassion and empathy rather than selfishness and gluttony, that celebrate the fact that no one need be sacrificed in order tha...


Talking Turkey (REBROADCAST)
If you’ve never met them, turkeys are magnificent animals, full of spunk and spark and affection. I’ve introduced many people to the critters at farmed animal sanctuaries, and the animals with whom people have the most transformative experience are the turkeys. Every time. Never fails. Join me as I tell some stories of special turkeys I’ve had the privilege of meeting and as I explain why I’m still making amends to the animals, whose breasts, legs, and wings used to darken my dinner plate. THANK YOU FOR VOT...

Ethical Tourism: Avoiding Animal Cruelty When Traveling (Thailand Edition)
Lack of awareness and cognitive dissonance compels us to support industries that exploit and hurt animals for our own entertainment both when we’re at home (like going to the zoo or circus) and when we travel (like swimming with dolphins, getting photographed with tigers, or riding elephants). Our desire to be close to other animals and interact with them is exactly what causes them the most harm. Most of us are drawn to animals, and that’s a good thing, because it also means we want to help them and protec...

Novels (and Advocates) Inspired by Animals
I discovered an ancient story about justice brought to an abused horse, then found out it was turned into a poem by a well-known American poet in the 19th century. Then I discovered that poem was made into a film by a humane education organization, founded by an ordinary citizen who (after learning about animal abuse) devoted his life to abolishing cruelty to animals. At the same time, he was inspired by a bestselling novel written also by an ordinary citizen concerned about animal abuse; said organization ...


Special Episode: Berserk for Bears (+Vegan Vietnam Trip with CPG)!
We have many words built from the English word for “bear,” the Latin word for “bear,” and the Greek word for “bear,” and we have many expressions and phrases built from the same furry animal. Of course there are also expressions using the verb “to bear,” as in “to carry,” such as in “bearing fruit, bearing a child, or bearing a burden or a grudge. Let’s explore the origins of all of these....

My Client is Innocent: The History and Significance of Protecting Animals Under the Law
The first animal anti-cruelty law in the United States was passed in 1867, and though there is much work to be done, much work has been done to protect animals under the law since then. Join me today for my conversation with Stephen Wells, executive director for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, as we talk about the legal definition of animals as "property," legal victories secured for animals, and how this field has grown significantly over the decades, reflecting a shift in public opinion.  Visit ALDF.org.  ...

100-Mile Trek in the Scottish Highlands
They said we'd starve being vegan in southern Germany. They said we'd starve being vegan in Rwanda. They said we'd starve in the Highlands. They were wrong, and we lived to tell about it. Join me on our latest excursion — this time on a 100-mile trek from Glasgow to Fort William (and a train ride to Edinburgh). I take you with us from how to pack for such a trip, what my favorite vegan hiking shoes are, what company to use to book with, how to prepare for eating while you're walking 15 miles a day, and how ...


Compassion for All Creatures Great and Small: In Conversation with Nancy Lawson, author of The Humane Gardener
Just because you don't consider yourself a "gardener" doesn't mean this episode isn't for you. Humane gardening is about looking through the lens of the millions of species on this planet and creating a space that enables them to thrive. It's about coexisting with rather than managing or controlling wildlife. With the help of Nancy Lawson, author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife, you can apply this concept in your own garden patch, on your apartment balcony, or as part of p...

If the World Went Vegan, We Would be Overrun with Animals and Other Hypotheticals
“What would happen to all the animals if we stopped eating them? Wouldn’t we be overrun with cows and pigs and chickens if we stopped?” “If everyone stopped eating these animals, they would go extinct. Is that what you want, Ms. Vegan and Mr. Vegan? You don’t care if these animals go extinct??” Join me today as I address these questions.    Thanks to supporters for making Food for Thought possible and who receive written transcripts of every episode....

Laws for Animals: Effective Political Activism
I believe that shifting the way we talk about, think about, and behave towards other animals will impact them positively in the long term. But I also believe that as people who care about animals, we need to be politically engaged, because it’s not enough to change hearts and minds; we also have to change laws in order to protect animals from violence and exploitation. If you're looking to become empowered and emboldened to be a voice for animals, this is the episode for you. Thank you for your support. Sup...


SPECIAL EPISODE: Old English Pigs and Old French Pork
Research has found that the way we name animals is intimately tied to our ability to eat them. Listen to this excerpt, then head over to Animalogy for the full episode. This topic is relevant for Food for Thought listeners, so I thought I'd put it on your radar.  Subscribe to Animalogy Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you!...

SPECIAL EPISODE: How Animals Disappear in Our Language (with Carol Adams)
Because this episode from Animalogy Podcast is so relevant to what we discuss on Food for Thought Podcast, I'm sharing an excerpt with you. Listen to the full episode over at Animalogy Podcast in which I talk to my friend, colleague, and fellow activist Carol J. Adams about: where the animals go when we eat meat how the word meat has changed over the centuries the effect of “zero plurals” (listen for what the heck that means) the power of words to objectify, diminish, and dismember an individual Thank you...

Vegan in Africa: Animals, Food, and Nature in Four Countries
Having been to Rwanda, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, I can now share with you the details of our adventure. For information on what you need to do before visiting these countries, check out the Food for Thought episode called Planning and Preparing a Trip to Africa. But for what do to once you get there and how to make the most of it, sit back, and enjoy the journey.  Supporters of Food for Thought receive the itinerary and specific details of the trip....


SPECIAL EPISODE -- The Semantics of Meat (with Paul Shapiro)
Easing you into the new ANIMALOGY podcast, enjoy this SPECIAL episode, and be sure to subscribe to ANIMALOGY today on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Semantics play a significant role in shaping public perception about animals and animal welfare. The meat, dairy, and egg industries go to great lengths to remove harsh terminology and replace it with euphemisms that conceal the truth and sanitize violence. In today’s episode, I talk to someone who knows this all too well: Paul Shapiro, Vice Presi...

11-Year Anniversary: Another Amazing Love Fest!
Help celebrate the ELEVEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Food for Thought podcast by sitting back and taking in the love letters I’ve received from listeners and supporters this past year. The stories are as diverse as the listeners and reflect varied ages and backgrounds, but they all share common threads of hope, transformation, and compassion. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. If you ever once thought that “people don’t change,” then you’re in for quite a treat. And grab some tea o...

SPECIAL EPISODE — Eating Crow? Trying Eating Humble Pie Instead.
Easing you into the new podcast, enjoy this episode of ANIMALOGY, and be sure to subscribe to ANIMALOGY today on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.  If you’ve made a serious faux pas and need to acknowledge it with humility, you might be said to be “eating crow” or “eating humble pie,” both phrases of which involve animals — or do they? In this episode, I uncover the dirty little secret underneath the pastry dough in “to eat humble pie” but demonstrate why you still want to eat humble pie (or dirt) ...


SPECIAL EPISODE — Zodiac: A Circle of Animals (Literally)
Easing you into our new podcast, enjoy this episode of ANIMALOGY, and be sure to subscribe to ANIMALOGY today on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Of the 88 constellations officially recognized by Western astronomy, 40 of them are named after animals — 43 if you count the mythical animals. We’re going to talk about 12 of them today — the 12 that make up the zodiac from Western astrology — ALL of which contain animals. After all, the word zodiac is Greek for “circle of little animals.” FIVE THINGS ...

SPECIAL EPISODE — Coccyx: Please Don't Sit on the Cuckoo
Easing you into the new podcast, enjoy this episode from ANIMALOGY, and be sure to subscribe to ANIMALOGY today! Coccyx is a small triangle-shaped bone at the base of the spinal column in humans and other apes, such as gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees. Representing a vestigial tail and most commonly called the tailbone, coccyx was the name given to this part of our anatomy by ancient Greek physician Galen because of its resemblance to an animal, making the word an "animalogy." Can you guess th...

SPECIAL EPISODE - Inauguration: On a Wing and a Prayer
Easing you into the new Animalogy Podcast, please enjoy this SPECIAL episode; in exchange, please listen and subscribe to Animalogy Podcast! As Inauguration Day approaches, not everyone is talking about the inauguration of the next U.S. president; some are talking about the animals hidden within the word itself. This inaugural episode of Animalogy, a podcast about the animal-related words and expressions we use every day, takes us back to the politics of ancient Rome to reveal the birds behind the words ina...


Announcement: Animalogy is Live!
Just a quick announcement to let Food for Thought listeners and subscribers know that the Animalogy Podcast is now live! Please follow our 5-point plan!: 1. subscribe 2. download 3. rate & review 4. share 5. support...

Animalogy: Our Animal-Related Words and Phrases
Today's episode is all about Animalogy, whose timing could not be more perfect not only because of the urgency of the need to transform our negative perception and ill treatment of nonhuman animals but also because we are living in a time when we are all called upon to be linguistically sensitive to vulnerable and disenfranchised groups. And perhaps no group is left out of our consideration more than the nonhuman animals of the world. We are all encouraged to be aware of and mindful about our language when ...

Vegan in Los Angeles + Important Announcements
Vegan options in L.A. continue to grow, as does my Northern Californian envy for the delicious restaurants and pop-ups in this city that has grown close to my heart over the years. Take a listen to the details of our recent trip to the city of angels; perhaps it will inspire a visit of your own....

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Animal Words with No Animal Origins
Did you know that some seemingly animal-related words and phrases have origins that have nothing to do with animals? In today's episode, I offer up the backstory to words such as piggyback, monkey wrench, round robin, and spelling bee.  Thanks for supporting Food for Thought.  Music by Gosta Berling....

Animals in the Alphabet
Get ready to geek out on language and animals! We've talked a lot about animals hiding in familiar words and phrases, but did you know animals are lurking in the very letters that make up these words? If I haven't blown your mind yet, check out this episode to learn more about this fascinating history....

A Gaggle of Geese, A Pride of Lions, A School of Fish, and More Collective Animal Nouns
A collective noun is “the name of a number (or collection) of people, animals, or things taken together and spoken of as one whole.” There are hundreds of these nouns of multitude, including those for animals, many of which are deeply embedded in our language despite being several hundred years old. You may refer to a gaggle of geese, a litter of puppies, a flock of ducks, a pride of lions, a A pack of wolves, or a murder of crows, but do you know whence they came? Join me today as we dive deep into these l...

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10 Habits of Highly Effective Advocates
As an advocate for animals and compassionate living for over 25 years, you can imagine I've made mistakes, I've learned a bit, and I've thought a lot about what is effective -- and what is not. And so I give you 10 Habits of Highly Effective Advocates. Take a listen, and enjoy some lil' shareables, if you're so inclined to share:  *The goal is to live according to compassion. The goal is not to “live according to veganism.”   *When you think being vegan is the end goal -- the badge, the destination, you get...

In Defense of Butchers: A Semantic Justification
The weight of a word doesn’t simply lie in its dictionary definition. Words don’t simply have denotations — they also have connotations: a number of associations and attributes that stretch beyond the literal meaning. The word “butcher” has always been associated with the killing and preparing of animals for human consumption, but a new contingency of vegetarian and vegan butchers — who cleave plant fibers rather than animal bones — have claimed this name for themselves.  Listen to today's episode brought t...

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Traveling to Africa: Planning and Preparing for a Dream Trip
Whether you're interested in a visit to Africa or not, check out this episode that not only provides details about traveling to Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas and Botswana to go on a safari but also offers thoughts on how we need to think about wild places. I also offer tips for using airline miles (rather than dollars) to fly and how to avoid long security and customs lines.  This podcast is sponsored by listeners like you. Help it continue....

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Of Vegan Wine and Hunters
Journey with me through the Sonoma Wine Country as I share my experience eating vegan food, drinking wine, and talking to a wine-making hunter, who invited me to join him on one of his hunts. In this episode, I offer my thoughts about "vegan wines." This podcast is sponsored by listeners like you. Help it continue. Visit JoyfulVegan.com for everything you need to live compassionately and healthfully....

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The 10 Principles of Compassion
The problems we have in this world are not because we have so much compassion we don’t know what to do with it. The problems we have are because people aren’t living according to their own values of kindness and compassion. What does it mean to live according to compassion? Today I share with you The 10 Principles of Compassion as I see them.  Thank you for subscribing to and supporting this podcast! Visit JoyfulVegan.com for more!...

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30 Things You Can Do To STOP Changing the World
The well-intentioned rallying cry to “change the world” becomes louder and more hashtag-worthy, especially as Earth Day approaches. A search on Google garners millions of results for articles to help people make a difference: *10 Things That Even YOU Can Do to Change the World*30 Things You Can Do to Change the World in 30 Seconds*50 Ways YOU Can Change the World without Leaving Your Favorite Chair. The problem is that we're asking the wrong thing of people. It’s not that we CAN change the world. It’s tha...

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Vegan in Seattle
On my last visit to Seattle, WA 12 years ago, there were just a handful of vegan restaurants. Vegan donuts? Yes. (Yay!) A 100% vegan store? Yes. (Yay!) But vegan restaurants. Just a few. Of course as vegans, we're never at risk of starving, but darnit, it's just so much better when we can enjoy delicious, beautiful, creative food in a restaurant and not have to pick the only vegan-izable thing on the menu. Thank you to all of the restauranteurs who made this trip an edible adventure. Take a listen for my fa...

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Are Oysters Vegan?
I’ve heard every justification for the consumption of animals, but I was a bit stunned when I heard someone claim that vegans should eat oysters because bivalves are "basically plants." No doubt there are grey areas in this whole attempt to live as compassionately as possible. But even the fuzzy lines are still lines. If I let you eat oysters, would you stop eating cows? Listen by clicking the play button below or by subscribing to the RSS feed or listening through  iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud....

animals vegetarian vegan plants oysters

Cat Cafes: Helpful or Harmful
Cat cafes have become a popular trend all around the world, but who do they ultimately serve? Are they just about the schtick, or can they play a role in helping people adopt homeless cats? Today's podcast episode explores this topic, offers some questions we should be asking, and provides a model that other cat cafes might follow. Thank you for supporting this podcast: Patreon.com/ColleenPatrickGoudreau...

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Animals in Film - Part 3: How to Help
Today's episode concludes a 3-part series on Animals in Film. In Part One, I talk about the history behind the American Humane Association and its “no animals were harmed in the making of this film" disclaimer. In Part Two, we discuss where things have gone wrong on TV and movie sets that lead to the death or injury of animals and why these productions still received the “No Animals Were Harmed” disclaimer from the monitors meant to protect the animals. Today, in Part Three, we address what can be done so t...

Vegan in Germany: Beyond Pretzels, Beer, and Bratwurst
Today's episode is framed around a conversation I had with a non-vegan German (who lives in the U.S.), who was not only doubtful we'd be able to eat while visiting southern Germany (as vegans) but who also lamented that we would be "missing out" on the traditions of this country. I assured him that when you look through the meat-eating lens, you see only meat and when you look through the vegan lens you see options you wouldn't have been looking for otherwise. I assured him we'd be fine. I assured him there...

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Ten-Year Podcast Anniversary: A Crazy Love Fest!
Help celebrate the TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Food for Thought podcast by sitting back and taking in the love letters I've received from listeners and supporters this past year. The stories are as diverse as the listeners and reflect varied ages and backgrounds, but they all share common threads of hope, transformation, and compassion. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. If you ever once thought that “people don’t change,” then you’re in for quite a treat. And grab some tea or a...


Advocacy & Adaptation: Fitting In and Living Joyfully in a Non-Vegan World
Having experienced all these benefits of getting meat, dairy, and eggs out of our lives and having found our own voice, it's natural to next ask “Where do I fit into this whole thing?” “How can I help?” “What skills do I have that I can use to be part of the solution?” What's my contribution?” Finally, we can relax into this compassionate and healthy way of living and adapt fully and joyfully into a non-vegan world. This episode wraps up our 10 Stages of What Happens When you Stop Eating Animals....

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Humane Critter Control: Managing Uninvited Guests
Every one of us has had to manage what to do when uninvited guests take up residence in our attics, walls, or basements. Sadly, we're too quick to consider them "pests" and take lethal measures to get rid of them. But even when we want to take compassionate action, we may be deceived or making it worse for the animal. Listen to this important episode about how to change our perception and behavior and still humanely deal with rats, squirrels, raccoons, and even cockroaches.  Thank you for supporting this p...

5 Ways We Can Help Animals in our Every Day Lives
We already impact animals so much in our every day lives: we eat them, we destroy their homes, we make them perform for us, we shoot them for sport, we use and hurt them in so many ways. So how can we HELP them in our every day lives?? Listen to my TOP 5 SUGGESTIONS that don't even require much effort but that make a huge difference in the lives of individual animals and that make us better people. Listen by subscribing to the RSS feed or listening through iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud....

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Animals in Film Part Two: Animals Were Harmed
In Animals in Film: Part 1, we talked about the history behind the American Humane Association and its “No Animals Were Harmed” disclaimer. Today, in Animals in Film: Part 2, we discuss where things have gone wrong on TV and movie sets that lead to the death or injury of animals and why these productions still received the “No Animals Were Harmed” disclaimer from the monitors meant to protect the animals. Thank you to the listeners for supporting this podcast....

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Animals in Film Part One: The History of the "Animals Were Not Harmed" Disclaimer
Every regular filmgoer is familiar with the disclaimer at the end of film credits that states “no animals were harmed in the making of this film.” This message is given with the approval of the American Humane Association, which has oversight over the treatment of animals in films, but what took place to give an outside group oversight over a private industry? Today we talk about that history, which includes a horse being pushed off of a 75-foot high cliff. Help make these podcast episodes possible. Become...

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Raw vs. Cooked Foods: Which is Better?
There are a lot of opinions and theories about whether it’s better to eat more cooked veggies or more raw veggies -- or about whether it's more beneficial to eat 100% raw fruits and veggies and avoid cooked foods altogether. In today's episode I hope to settle this once and for all. Help make these podcast episodes possible. Become a supporter today....

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White God: A Film for the Animals
In today's episode, I review a Hungarian film called White God by director Kornél Mundruczó. The film won the Un Certain Regard award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and the main canine actor received their presigious Palm Dog Award. This film is at once a revenge film, a science fiction film, a horror film, a political film, a coming of age film, and a film steeped in stark realism. But most importantly, for me, for you, and for the animals, it is an animal rights film. Take a listen, and be sure to watc...

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A Compilation of Compassion
Please enjoy this compilation of editorials I've written and recorded over the years for my local national public radio station. With over 10 2-minute episodes heard back to back, you'll enjoy topics such as urban livestock, caring for hurt or injured dogs and cats, having a turkey-free Thanksgiving, the violence inherent in slaugherhouses and how it affects the workers, shark fin and foie gras bans, animal abuse in Ancient Rome and today, and lots more! For the animals...enjoy!...

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Vegan at Work: When Your Job Conflicts with Your Ethics
Living according to your ethics in a complicated world certainly comes with challenges, but it's not impossible. For vegans trying to do the right thing, it's one thing to opt out of eating the obvious animal products -- meat, dairy, and eggs - but what about the trickier, grayer areas, including work. What if you work for a software company and you're put on a project to build a website for a hunting company? What if you work in a restaurant and have to serve meat? What if you work in a job that requires y...

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Expansion of Awareness and Skills: Stage 8 of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals
It’s in this stage that we might buy our first food processor or high-powered blender or we garden for the first time or we cook for the first time or we try new foods or cuisines or restaurants we never tried before. This is when we learn how expansive it is to live unconditionally compassionately. This is when we may feel more deeply connected to other animals and to other people in our lives. This is where we may be expanding skills that we will wind up turning into a new career that we implement in Stag...

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Vegan with Cats and Dogs: What to Feed Our Companion Animals
The question I get more than any other is “What do you feed your cats?” Many years ago, I produced a podcast episode that addressed this issue but included additional unrelated information. And so, it was time to dedicate an updated episode to this topic, which also includes how dogs do on a vegan diet. Thank you to listener supporters and to our sponsor The American Antivivisection Society. Listen by subscribing to the RSS feed or listening through iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud....

Vegan in the South (of Italy and France)
Travel with me to southern Italy and France, as I share details of our most recent trip as part of the "Vegan Travel with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau." My intention is to demonstrate how enjoyable it is to eat an abundance of local food, take in the incredible sites, immerse yourself in local culture, customs, and people -- all while adhering to your vegan values. We explore many towns in Provence, horses in the Camargue, ancient Roman ruins, medieval towns of Cilento, vegan restaurants of Paris, and so much m...

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Nine-Year Podcast Anniversary: A Super Duper Love Fest
In celebration of our nine-year anniversary of the podcast, I feature the letters of listeners who have been transformed by "Food for Thought." The stories are as diverse as the listeners and reflect varied ages and backgrounds, but they all share common threads of hope and compassion. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. If you ever once thought that "people don't change," then you're in for quite a treat. This episode is dedicated to amazing animal activist Lisa Shapiro, 1964-2...

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Nine-Year Podcast Anniversary: A Super Duper Love Fest
In celebration of our nine-year anniversary of the podcast, I feature the letters of listeners who have been transformed by "Food for Thought." The stories are as diverse as the listeners and reflect varied ages and backgrounds, but they all share common threads of hope and compassion. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. If you ever once thought that "people don't change," then you're in for quite a treat. This episode is dedicated to amazing animal activist Lisa Shapiro, 1964-2...

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Processed Foods Are Evil! (Or Are They?)
Some people say: “Just because you’re vegan, doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Vegans eat a lot of processed foods. Processed foods are killing people. Processed foods are evil.” In today's episode, I offer my response to this idea that "processed foods" are bad for us or that they reflect poorly on veganism. The truth is we ALL eat "processed foods," and "vegan" is not a diet. Thank you to listener supporters and to our sponsor The American Antivivisection Society. Listen by subscribing to the RSS feed or lis...


Masculinity and Meat: Re-Defining What Makes a “Real Man”
There is a prevailing myth in our culture, played out in our language and in marketing, that meat is masculine and plant foods are for wimps. Meat is a metaphor for strength, virility, and manliness, while vegetarianism/veganism is feminine, effeminate, and even emasculating. "Real Men Eat Meat" and "Tofu is Gay Meat" are just two examples of advertisements that perpetuate this myth and secure it in our consciousness. Studies show it's working. Join me for a meaty episode that will shake you out of your veg...

The Best Animal Mothers: Human and Non-Human
When it comes to human and non-human animals, we are more alike than different, especially when it comes to mothering. In today's special episode, I share my thoughts about what it means to be a great mom and why elephants and alligators both meet the criteria. Thank you to listener supporters and our sponsors The American Antivivisection Society and Nature's Food. (Shop for Nature's Food at GNC.com and receive $5 when you use the promo code 26381.) Listen by subscribing to the RSS feed or listening throu...

10 Strategies for Effective Communication (Part Two)
Returning to the 10 Stages of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals, today we wrap up Stage 7: Effective Communication. In Part One, I covered our first five strategies: *Creating Intention*Practicing Active Listening*Asking Questions*Having a Sense of Humor*Knowing Where You End and Another Person Begins In Part Two, I offer five more strategies to help us communicate unapologetically, respectfully, productively, compassionately, and effectively.  Thank you to listener supporters and our sponsors Th...


10 Strategies for Effective Communication (Part One)
Returning to our 10 Stages of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals, today we tackle Stage 7: Effective Communication. This is the stage at which you begin to feel more comfortable in your own vegan skin, including how to speak to people who push back when you tell them you’re vegan or who are hostile or passive aggressive or disrespectful. You learn the importance of finding your voice and of being unapologetic about living compassionately and healthfully. Today is only PART ONE of 10 strategies for ef...

Vegan for Health vs. Vegan for Ethics: Is There a Difference and Does it Matter?
Often when you tell someone you’re vegan, the response is: “Why are you vegan? Is it for health or ethics?” Somehow, the answer matters, and depending on your answer, people respond differently. Join me as I discuss if our motivation to become vegan affects our dedication to remain vegan. I also share my opinion about people who identify as "plant-based" rather than "vegan." Thank you to listeners and to the American Anti-Vivisection Society (aavs.org) for their support of the podcast....

A Note to Excuse Me: Natural Foods Expo + Holistic Holiday at Sea Vegan Cruise
The idea of not meeting a deadline or being late for an appointment or letting someone down is the stuff of nightmares for me. Traveling with The 30-Day Vegan Challenge and speaking all around the country made it impossible for me to release this week's podcast episode. That's all you need to know, but if you want to listen to my adventures at the Natural Food Expo and my misadventures in FL and Mexico, take a listen. Regular podcast schedule resumes on March 29th!...


The Symbols of Easter and Passover: Honoring Tradition as well as Our Values
One misconception about veganism I’ve encountered more than once is the assumption that in honoring our values, we must forego tradition - as if these two things are mutually exclusive. Food-related rituals, particularly those involving animals, are likely to be so revered that they supersede consideration for anything or anyone else. Join me today for a discussion of how to honor the traditions of Easter and Passover while staying true to our values.   Thank you to listener sponsors as well as The Ameri...

The Vegan Police: Speaking Up for Animals without Talking Down to People
A small subset of opinionated, passionate, well-intentioned people perpetuate the stereotype of the angry, self-righteous, perfection-focused animal rights vegan when they spew invective at anyone who is not "vegan enough" in their eyes. They are otherwise known as The Vegan Police. Listen to today's episode for my perspective on how we can speak up for animals -- online and in person -- without alienating people who are trying to make compassionate choices.  *You can listen via by subscribing to the RSS f...

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Animals and The Age of Enlightenment: How thinkers in the 17th century paved the way for animal protection today
When you look at the arc of history in terms of human violence against animals, there is no doubt that things are significantly better than they were in the past. We've still got a lot of work to to, but when we step back and look at it from a broader perspective, we can see the paradigm shifts that took place in terms of how we regard and treat animals. One of those shifts can be traced back to what is called The Age of Enlightenment, and that's what we explore today.   *Today's Sponsor: American Anti-V...

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Raccoon Rescue
Many of us happen upon wildlife in distress in our daily lives, but we don't often do anything about it. We may be afraid, we may not know what to do, we may be too busy. Today I share my brief story about a little raccoon with distemper whose suffering took precedence over my fear. Today's Tweetable: "One life matters - especially to the one whose life it is." Please share and tag @JoyfulVegan For more information, visit JoyfulVegan.com....

Rites and Wrongs: When Slaughter Rituals Mask Discomfort
For millennia, humans have engaged in rituals with the intention of achieving a wide variety of desired outcomes: reducing anxiety, alleviating grief, deepening faith, or even making it rain. Though rites and rituals can be used for positive or innocuous effects, they can also disguise discomfort and make unjustifiable actions seem legitimate. They can be meaningless, arbitrary, and archaic. They can also mask cruelty to animals by being shrouded in religious sanctity. And that’s what we’re going to talk ab...

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How to Make a Vegan - Mainstreaming The 30-Day Vegan Challenge
The 30-Day Vegan Challenge is the ULTIMATE guide for transitioning to a healthy, compassionate lifestyle, and it's the ULTIMATE resource for vegans. Packed with tools, tips, recipes, and menu ideas, it answers every question related to eating, cooking, nutrition, and the social aspects of living vegan, including eating out, holidays, living with non-vegans, etc. We already know the material inspires vegans. Now, we need to get this book in as many hands as possible -- for the animals, both human and non-hum...


Seeking a Sense of Community & Belonging (Stage 6 of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals / Become Vegan)
According to a recent study, the majority of people who become vegetarian / vegan go back to eating meat and animal products after a short time. One reason seems to be the lack of support or community. In today's episode, we return to our 10 Stages of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals / Become Vegan and focus on what I think is the make-or-break stage for people: Stage 6: Finding a Sense of Community and Belonging.  Thank you to all of the listener supporters as well as Leaping Bunny - leapingbunn...

Victory for Elephants in Circuses
Join me today as I discuss the bullhook ban victory in my own city of Oakland, CA and how it is a small step indeed. I believe there will come a day in my lifetime when we see the end of animals in circuses, but until then, we're forced to make frustratingly small, incremental steps toward that aim. I also share a couple phone calls and announce the arrival of The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.    Thank you to listener support and that of American Anti-Vivisection Society and FakeMeats.com.    Music by Gosta B...

Vegan Traveling in Ireland: Plant-Based Eating in my Ancestor's Land
Excited to share my trip to Ireland in today's podcast episode, including my meals at vegan (and non-vegan) restaurants, my visits to an animal sanctuary, and everything in between. So, sit back and enjoy! Many thanks to listeners and to American Anti-Vivisection Society and FakeMeats.com for sponsoring this episode....


American Vegan in London
Excited to share my trip to London with all of you, including my meals at vegan (and non-vegan) restaurants, my visits to animal memorials, and everything in between. In the next episode, I'll take you to Ireland with me, but for now, sit back and enjoy! I'm also including some questions from callers about the sustatainability of salmon, how to buy a car without leather seats, and if it's okay to not pay for non-vegan food when dining with non-vegans. This and more in this week's episode of Food for Thought...

Animal Word Origins
I’m fascinated by the origins of words in general and how they relate to our perception of and thus treatment of non-human animals in particular. And so today, we take a look at five common English-language words and how they relate to non-human animals. After listening, you'll never again be able to order a burrito without thinking about my favorite animal. I also include some listener calls, which range from a question about honey to what speciesism really means.   Thanks to listeners for their support ...

What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals: Stage 5 - Sorrow and Anger
Continuing our 10 Stages of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals, today I focus on Stage 5. This is when we are so acutely aware of how large the problem is, of how many animals are suffering, how many animals humans hurt, how many atrocities we commit against animals, how systematic it is, and how systemic it is. And as a result, we may feel overwhelmed, angry, and sad. In this episode, I talk about how we can harness these emotions to be joyful, effective advocates for veganism and animals. Thank yo...


Animals Are Not Plants
The urban agriculture trend is sexy, hot, and extremely popular. It also has the potential to negatively affect thousands of individuals when farming and killing animals is part of the plan. In today's episode, I share my experience working to stop backyard animal farming and slaughter in Oakland and why I think acting locally and politically for animals is imperative in changing the world for animals.  Thanks to listeners and The American Anti-Vivisection Socety for your support.  Please support the podc...

The Power of Compassion
Join me for today's episode filled with wonderful questions from callers, such as what to do when a butcher shop moves in across the street; how to deal with "compassion fatigue": coping with the sadness of our society's rampant institutionalized animal abuse; and one from a doctor who looked for some guidance on how to talk to her patients about plant-based options. The main takeaway from today's episode is how much power compassion has to change the world.   Thanks to today's listener sponsors and Compas...

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Indoor Cats with Outdoor Access
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What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals – Stage Four: Evangelizing
Today’s episode focuses on the fourth stage of what happens when you stop eating animals: Evangelizing (Vegangelizing?). Join me as I talk about the difference between evangelizing and proselytizing and why we can - and should - fully embrace the true meaning of what it means to be an evanglizer, or a "messenger of good news." Sharing our enthusiasm for something we are excited about is a very natural, human reaction. How other people respond to it is an entirely different story....

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Being the Vegan in the Room - Representing Veganism in a Joyful Way
In today's episode, I share with you a number of recent scenarios I found myself in where I had the opportunity to represent veganism and chose (choose) to do so in a positive way, whether it's ordering food in a non-vegan restaurant, dropping the "v" word into a non-vegan conversation, or meeting a friend of a friend who is on the Paleo (Pasturbation) diet. I also include a number of "What Would Colleen Do?" phone calls, including one that asks what I (as a vegan) feed my cats, one that asks about how to "...

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Palm Oil, Earth Balance, and Rainforest Destruction: Straw-Man Argument or Legitimate Connection?
Public awareness is growing about the relationship between the production of palm oil and the loss of rainforests. And that's a good thing (though much work needs to be done between the relationship between the production of animal-based MEAT and the destruction of rainforests). Grown in tropical regions, palm plantations are displacing rainforests, destroying orangutan habitats and wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. With good intentions, some activists have called for a boycott of Earth Balance, a vegan butt...

Vegan in Italy
Italy is one of my favorite places in the world - the people, the beauty, the language, the art, the history, the music, the food. Listen to this episode in which I share the details of our first international "Vegan Travel with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau" trip, which we premiered in Italy. We ate, we drank, we hiked, we cooked, we toured, we laughed, we cavorted, we met animals, and we reveled in the wonder of this country. By the end of the episode, you'll be wondering why anyone every thought it is "hard t...

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Feeding Wildlife: Is it Ever Okay?
In this episode, I answer a number of questions from callers who ask: *what do I say to people who bring up abortion when I talk about animal rights? *how do I not make everyone uncomfortable when I talk about being vegan? *is it ever okay to feed birds, squirrels, deer, and other animals outside my home? *how do I handle the fact that family members want to purchase hens in order to eat their eggs. This and more on today's Food for Thought. If you like what you hear, PLEASE: Support this podcast http...

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2,500 Years of Veganism: A Brief History
Many people think of “veganism” as a new reactionary trend against what we call factory farming, but for centuries, men and women have been thinking about, writing about, and expressing distress over the violence inherent in killing animals for human use and consumption. My personal veganism is part of a long continuum of men and women – from ancient times until today – who stopped eating animals (and their eggs and milk) not because they witnessed a modern, mechanized, industrialized factory system but bec...

Beauty without Animal Cruelty
In today's episode, I talk about my favorite personal care and cosmetics products and how to determine if a company doesn't test their final products or their ingredients on animals. I also discuss the importance of supporting organizations and companies striving to vet this information for us so we, the consumer, can trust that what we buy has not contributed to violence against animals. I also talk about the line we have to walk as compassionate people knowing that - even when trying to make purchasing de...

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Advocating for Animals in Social Media
The centerpiece of today's episode is how to be the best advocate for animals and veganism in the age of social media. One of the most common questions I receive is about how to respond to people who make hostile or passive aggressive comments about veganism and animal protection on their Facebook (et. al) page. I share my philosophy about interacting on social media and offer some guidance for planting seeds online. I also share my experience sleeping in our 20th California county and discovering a new "pl...


Vegan in New York City
Join me in this episode in which I share with you my recent journey to the Big Apple, lauding the vegan restaurants I frequented and the animal activist/friends I cavorted with. And, amazingly, this California snob admits that NYC does some things better than we do in the Golden State. I also answer a couple questions from some lovely women who are learning to remain joyful vegans in a non-vegan world. Thanks to today's listener sponsors, as well as our Compassionate Partners: Animalearn - animalearn.org...

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Knowing Where You End and Another Person Begins
Join me for a great episode in which I answer some really common but important questions about how to deal with people who poke fun at or ignore your concern about animals. I also answer a great question about the myth that it costs more to eat healthfully. All of this follows my joyful riff about living among wildlife. Thank you to today's podcast sponsors: Animalearn - animalearn.org/compassion (free resources for opting out of animal dissection in schools) FakeMeats.com - fakemeats.com (your one-stop ...

The 30-Day Vegan Challenge is coming back! All I need is you.
The first edition of The 30-Day Vegan Challenge book sold almost 20,000 copies before going out of print. Help me bring back a new (improved) edition so it can resume changing and saving lives. Listen to this episode to find out why I need YOU to make this possible. We have only 30 days to make this possible!...


Vegan Weddings: How Dare You Reflect Who You Are on Your Special Day
So many vegans have been conditioned to be apologetic, self-effacing, or even ashamed for manifesting their values. Lest they be called selfish, rigid, or unreasonable, many compromise what they care about most to please someone else. This plays out in many scenarios but especially during wedding-planning. Whether or not you're getting married, this episode will pertain to you, as it focuses on why you can and should speak up for who you are and what you want. Thanks to today’s podcast sponsors:   Animal...

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Compassionate Fashion
I get a lot of questions from both men and women about finding compassionate clothing and shoes made without animal skins, fur, hair, or other body parts(!) - that are both fashionable as well as affordable. Today, I share my thoughts about why it costs a little more to make ethical wares, and I assure you that you don't have to trade fashion for compassion. You can have both. I also explain how Colleen Patrick-Goudreau almost became Alexandra Goudrick. Tune in to find out what the heck I'm talking about! ...

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Benji: My Gateway Film into Animal Advocacy
My love of film began when I was very young and my parents took me to the movies every Friday night. Granted, some of the films I saw were incredibly inappropriate for my age, but I'll always be grateful for seeing Benji in the theatre when I was 6 years old. I almost didn't make it through for all the tears I cried, but it is truly one of my earliest memories of realizing how empathic I am. If someone else is suffering, I can't help but suffer, too - and so we have the beginning of my animal advocacy. Also...


I Am (Not) An Animal
In today's episode, I discuss the origins of the word "animal," whose root word means "soul" - something humans are in danger of losing if we keep denying non-human animals theirs. Thanks to today's sponsors: 22DaysNutrition.com, AnimaLearn.org, & FieldRoast.com. I also share the origins of other animal-related words (beast, creature, brute, brute and savage) and answer your questions and calls: one being from a student whose science teacher challenges her about animal issues in the middle of class and anot...

Vegan in Napa, Cruelty-Free Antibacterial Soap (Why It's Unnecessary), and Holy Roaches
In this episode, I share my experience sleeping in my 20th county in California (Napa), booking an Air B&B for the first time, eating vegan in Napa Country (particularly in the towns of Napa and Helena), and I answer such questions as "How do you respond to folks who say 'it must be hard to be vegan' as you stand there with a plate of carrots at a fancy wedding dinner?" and "How can I find vegan antibacterial soap" and "How do I humanely discourage roaches from taking up residence in my home?" Check out all...

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Lessons from a Kitchen Remodel + The Links Between Animal Advocacy and All Social Justice Issues
In today's episode, I share my recommendations for some kitchen design elements that might be helpful to you whether you're remodeling or not, and I answer several of your questions, including how to respond to people who say "it must be hard to be vegan," "I had a great weekend hunting," and "why don't animal advocates spend their time taking care of human issues instead of animal issues?" The last one hits a particularly raw nerve for me, and I spend a chunk of the episode demonstrating how animal issues ...

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Valuing One Life, Changing the Barometer, and Knowing You Can't Please Everyone!
Join me for today's episode as I tell the story of intervening when I found a sick raccoon while traveling and as I answer questions related to my favorite teas, to changing the barometer by which we measure all things vegan, and to coming to terms with the fact that we can't please everyone when trying to do good. An emailer in the "What Would Colleen Do?" segment asked how to handle the "vegan police" who criticize her for organizing dinner meet-ups at non-vegan restaurants. Today's Tweetables: "One life...

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Eight-Year Anniversary: An Uber Love Fest!
Eight years. Eight years of food for thought! In celebration of the eight-year anniversary of the podcast, I feature the letters of listeners who have been transformed by “Food for Thought.” The stories are as diverse as the listeners and reflect varied ages and backgrounds, but they all share common threads of hope, transformation, and compassion. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. If you ever once thought that “people don’t change,” then you’re in for quite a treat. I warn you...

The Shame of Overweight Vegans
In today's episode, I relate my interaction with a non-vegan neighbor about whether it's ever possible to keep and kill animals "humanely," and I talk to a couple listeners about how best to represent veganism with non-vegan, animal-loving co-workers and colleagues. The center of this episode, however, is my response to a woman who wrote to me to ask how I can help her reconcile her embarrassment about being vegan and overweight. Not surprisingly, I have an opinion. If you'd like to hear it, take a listen. ...

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Setting Boundaries, Reading Chaucer, and Talking Bees
Join me today as I talk about the importance of knowing where we end and another person begins, which is also today's tweetable! This theme runs through my week's re-cap, as well as in this episode's emails and phone calls. In our segment, Verbal Vivisection, I dissect some positive animal idioms, such as "bee's knees" and "busy as a bee" and relatedly recite the first 14 lines of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English!...

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Creating a Foundation of Compassion
Join me today as I talk about my goal of sleeping in every county in California, about writing my next cookbook, and about my experience demystifying “vegan food” with a bed-and-breakfast proprietor. This episode is also the first in which I incorporate your phone calls, which include a question about living with a non-vegan husband, a question about communicating with family about vegan pregnancy, and one about talking about veganism in the most effective, compassionate way. I wrap up the episode with The ...

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Being Vegan is a Means to An End. It is Not An End in Itself.
In today's episode, I share my experience - and a fun audio clip - from my recent visit to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, the Albany (NY) VegFest, and Red Robin Song Animal Sanctuary (and vegan guest house). I also answer your questions about whether or not it's "vegan" to visit natural history museums (that feature stuffed dead animals), about what I feed my cats, and about what my favorite teas are. I wrap up today's episode with The Compassionate Life segment in which I share my story about going from ...

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A New Era for Food for Thought!
Food for Thought has been running for almost 8 years, which is fantastic and incredible – and possible because of the support of my amazing listeners. However, it's time for a change, and change is here! Check out today's brief episode in which I announce the new format for the podcast, including Through a Compassionate Lens (my weekly observations and experiences), Animalia (reviews of animals in arts and culture), Verbal Vivisection (how our language contributes to violence against animals), The Compassio...

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What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals – Stage Three: Coming Out
Today’s episode focuses on the third stage of "what happens when you stop eating animals"): Coming Out. Join me as I talk about what it means to “come out.” What does it mean to be in the closet? When is the best time to come out? How do you come out? To whom do you come out? And how do you respond to the reactions to your coming out? My intention in this episode is to empower you to come out in such a way that reflects your enthusiasm, demonstrates compassion for family and friends who may not understand (...

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What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals – Stage Two: Guilt & Remorse
After providing an overview of The 10 Stages We Go Through When We Stop Eating Animals (check out the previous episode called From Consumption to Compassion, as well as Stage One: Validation), today’s episode focuses on the second stage: Guilt & Remorse. This is the stage where we reflect upon the animals we once ate and feel bad for having done so. Stage 2 is the stage when we say: "How could I have been part of the suffering of animals?" "How do I not get weighed down by the guilt I feel for having contri...


Humane Montaigne (mon*tayne)
In this episode, I'm thrilled to share with you a very special person named Michele de Montaigne, who lived from 1533 to 1592. He was a writer, philosopher, and inventor of the essay as a proper literary genre. In his aptly titled "Essays," he shares his thoughts - while referencing historical figures, philosophical thinkers, and poets - in order to work out his thoughts about the way to world worked and our place in it. Significantly for our purposes, he was one of the early post-Classical thinkers who cha...

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What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals - Stage One: Validation and the Voracious Consumption of Information
After providing an overview of The 10 Stages You Go Through When You Stop Eating Animals (check out the previous episode called From Consumption to Compassion), today's episode focuses on the first stage: Validation and the Voracious Consumption of Information. This is the stage when you seek to get your hands on every book, every video, every bit of information you can to confirm with evidence what you already know in your heart. Join me today for the first episode of this series, and find out how I almost...

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The End of the Food for Thought Podcast?
Without a doubt, this podcast has saved and changed thousands of lives, and it's imperative it stay on the air. Listen to this short episode about how to make this possible, how to get a free copy of On Being Vegan, and how we can reach thousands more people - all with your help....

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¡Adiós, Cordera!: An 1892 Spanish Short Story (Read in English!)
Today, I read a very special story called "¡Adiós, Cordera!", written in 1892 by Leopoldo Alas (also known as Clarín). “¡Adiós, Cordera!" is a touching story of two children, named Rosa and Pinín, who love their family's cow, Cordera, like a mother. The family is very poor, and the father realizes that he must sell the beloved cow in order to pay rent. The children are heartbroken, and so is he. I'll let the story speak for itself....

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Verbal Vivisection: How Euphemisms, Oxymorons, and Doublespeak Disguise Our Violence Against Animals
I love language, and I advocate being thoughtful about the words we use – not in a way that is derisively called “politically correct” but in a way that reflects the truth and doesn’t hide it. I advocate using language that celebrates animals rather than denigrates them. I urge people to use language that says what we mean. Join me today as I talk about doublespeak, euphemisms, jargon, antonyms, oxymoron, semantics, lexical blindfolds, and other elements of language that conceal the truth in order to make u...

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From Consumption to Compassion: The Stages We Go Through When We Stop Eating Animals and What We Need to Know to Stay Hopeful and Joyful
I believe that the process of becoming vegan is the process of reclaiming our true compassion and becoming reawakened to it, and I think understanding the journey of going from innately compassionate child to desensitized adult to one whose compassion is re-awakened is key to inspiring it in others and to remaining awake ourselves. Once we become awake, however, another journey begins, and in today's episode, I introduce listeners to the 10 Stages we all go through once we become vegan. I believe that knowi...

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Vegan Dating
Finding a compatible romantic partner is an age-old desire and one that comes with challenges, hopes, fears, and heartbreak - regardless of who you are, where you live, or how you eat. For vegans who want to date only vegans (i.e. like-minded folks who share similar values - something we all went!), the dilemma is the fact that because vegans represent a small segment of the general population (for now!), it narrows our choices somewhat. By the time you weed out potential partners based on age, location, ge...

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Keeping a Vegan Home
Afraid of being considered controlling, extreme, insulting, rude, or ungracious, some people are afraid to ask friends and family to not bring animal products into their home. Things get more complicated when you live with non-vegans who don't share your desire to draw that line. Join me today as I share some stories about how we can set reasonable boundaries unapologetically and with grace....

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Seven-Year Anniversary: An Uber Lovefest
In celebration of the seven-year anniversary of the podcast, I feature the letters of listeners who have been transformed by "Food for Thought." The stories are as diverse as the listeners and reflect varied ages and backgrounds, but they all share common threads of hope and compassion. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. If you ever once thought that "people don't change," then you're in for quite a treat....

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A Tribute to Schuster and Michael: Loved and Lost
In honor of Schuster, my beloved cat of 17 years, and Michael Scribner, my dear friend, I tell the stories of the lives and deaths of these two incredible beings who left this world days apart from one another. They both filled this world with love and joy, and they live on through the telling of their stories....

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Re-Reading the Classics Through the Lens of Compassion: Bambi and Frankenstein
When you look through the lens of compassion, you see our desire for it everywhere you look; you see the human expression of it everywhere you look; and you see our connection to animals everywhere you look – including in art. I’m most excited by the presence of works of art that span mediums, cultures, genres, and decades, which covertly and overtly illustrate the reverence we have for animals but also the cultural and personal consequences of our violence towards them. Join me today as I explore this topi...

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A Journey Through England and Scotland Through the Eyes of an Animal-Centric, Anglophilic, Literary Geek
Experience a trip to the United Kingdom through the lens of an animal advocate / literary nerd / vegan. Where else will you learn the origin of the word Shambles, walk on the Yorkshire moors, eat at wonderful vegetarian restaurants, meet British icons Alan Davies and David Mitchell, and hear poetry by William Wordsworth? It's all here in today's episode!...

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I Don't Eat Fake Meat: An Etymological Appeal for Living (and Speaking) Compassionately
I believe that change will occur for animals only as we change their status, and one thing we need to change is the way we talk about them. Every word we choose can contribute to upholding the existing paradigm that sees animals as ours to hurt, ours to eat, ours to kill, ours to use, as ours to do with whatever we please. OR we can choose words that reflect a new compassionate paragigm: one that sees animals as ours to share this planet with – not as subjects of ours but as co-habitants, as fellow Earthlin...

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The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: Your Personal Guide for Living Compassionately and Healthfully
Six years in the making, and it's finally here: The 30-Day Vegan Challenge ONLINE (www.30dayveganchallenge.com). Join me today as I announce and describe this unique, first-of-its-kind, life-changing program that enables you to join anytime and immediately log in to your very own password-protected account to access the daily messages, videos, audio podcasts, resources, and recipes! Addressing your every question and challenge, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge holds your hand the entire time, helping you to break...

"Vegans are like Hitler" and other Logical Fallacies
Join me today as I talk about fallacious arguments: cheap and easy tactics for attempting to discredit veganism and undermine animal activism. Though there are many, some of the more inflammatory ones are discussed today, including the ad hominem attack/logical fallacy that tries to create a connection between Hitler and animal/vegan activists and one that blatantly misuses a word (discrimination) to scare people away from veganism....

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Disagreement is not Disrespect
If you've heard any variation of "Eating meat is a personal preference. I respect your preference not to eat animals just like you should respect my desire to eat them," then today's podcast episode is for you. Is it "respect" someone is looking for when they say that, or is it "approval?" Is it okay for vegans to disagree, and can they still do so with respect? (Pssst...the answer is yes!) Find out that and more (including how there is no such thing as an "animal-eating vegan," though some people declare t...

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John Oswald – a Scottish Voice for Compassion
John Oswald, born in Edinburgh in the 1700s (the exact date unknown), was a philosopher, a writer, a poet, a social critic, a revolutionary, and an eloquent voice for animals and compassion.  Join me as I celebrate The Scottish Voice of Compassion and read excerpts from his essay,"The Cry of Nature: An Appeal to Mercy and Justice on Behalf of the Persecuted Animals.”...

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Responses to 'I'm Vegan' and How to Reply
Even though I address a number of typical responses and excuses in previous podcast episodes, I felt it was important to return to this topic, because there really is such an interesting dynamic that takes place when someone says "I'm vegan." Some responses can throw the vegan for a loop, including: "I'm vegan, too, but I eat chicken, fish, and eggs" or "I tried being vegan, but I felt tired and lethargic" or "I used to be vegan, but now I buy 'humane' meat, dairy, and eggs and feel good being connected to ...

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Six-Year Anniversary: An Uber Lovefest
In celebration of the six-year anniversary of our podcast, I feature the letters of listeners who have been transformed by "Food for Thought." The stories are as diverse as the listeners and reflect varied ages and backgrounds, but they all share common threads of hope and compassion. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. If you ever once thought that "people don't change," then you're in for quite a treat....

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Vegan with Child: A Healthy Combination
You don't really know how opinionated the world is until you become pregnant. And when yiou're VEGAN and pregnant, look out! Tune into today's episode for nutrition recommendations (protein, iron, folate/folic acid, calcium, Omega 3 fatty acids/DHA) and resources and books for being a healthy, happy, pregnant vegan....

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The Newest Diet Fad: Paleo
The newest fad diet on the block combines all the trends of the day: "low-carb," "gluten-free," and "low glycemic index," instilling fears about healthful foods and waxing poetic about animal flesh and fluids. You might call this a "retro" diet in that in doesn't look forward; it looks backwards. Way backwards! Not backwards 10 years or 100 years but 20,000 years! Join me as I discuss the The Paleo Diet: why it's not sustainable, why it's a just fad, why its claims cannot be substantiated, and why it appeal...

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It's a Girl! (and Other Announcements)
As we say goodbye to 2011, I wanted to share with you a number of wonderful ways we'll enter 2012 together. Consider this my Happy New Year message to you filled with special announcements and gratitude for all your support....

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Big Vegan Finds in Little Places
Traveling to towns large and small, host Colleen Patrick-Goudreau focuses on the vegan abundance in places whose population is between 2,000 and 3,000, including Murphys, CA and New Hope, PA. She shares her experiences from a recent trip to Animal Place, a sanctuary for farmed animals in Grass Valley, CA, whose population is only 200, when you factor in the human and non-human residents. :) In advance, she thanks Earth Balance and Vegan Essentials for their support and asks listeners to forgive her incessan...

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The Pleasures and Politics of Yellowstone National Park
Navigating through Yellowstone National Park is at once awe-inspiring and thought-provoking. While it is a privilege to experience the natural wonders, the wildlife, and the breathtaking landscape, it's also difficult to see the bison and wolves and not think of the challenges they once faced (both brought to near-extinction) and continue to face now. Join me on a journey through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks for some politics and pleasure (including favorite hikes and favorite vegan eats)!...

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Vegan Outreach to Restaurants
Manifesting your values of compassion and wellness in your everyday behavior (i.e. becoming vegan) is a profound and powerful way to live. It's quite literally life-changing, and for some people, just making this change is enough to be part of contributing to a compassionate and nonviolent world But you may want to do even more. So today, I talk about an easy and effective form of advocacy that has countless ripple effects: reaching out to restaurants to encourage them to offer more vegan options or to at l...

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The Moral Crusade Against Foodies
I first introduced B.R. Myers to listeners in an early podcast episode called The Fall of the Excuse-itarians in which I praised him for being one of the few writers for a prominent publication to openly take Michael Pollan and his fellow Excuse-itarians to task for romanticizing, ritualizing, rationalizing, fetishizing, and sexualizing the consumption of animals and their secretions. They're dominating the discourse, and it's not the vegans who are losing. It's the animals who are losing. Join me as I read...

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How to Talk to Hunters (or anyone with whom you disagree)
WARNING: Radical ideas fill this episode, centering around the suggestion that we try to have compassion for people with whom we disagree or who participate in behavior we find abhorrent. That’s the thing about compassion: it’s gotta be equal opportunity or it’s just inauthentic. It’s easy to be compassionate towards like-minded people; the challenge is choosing to have compassion towards those with whom we disagree. Check out this episode for tips and suggestions on communicating with compassion - but only...

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Finding Abundance while Traveling in General (and in Ireland)
Whether you're traveling for work or pleasure, finding abundance and sustenance while on the road is easy once you know where to look and if you plan ahead (which I argue should be done even when you're NOT traveling). With loads of general tips for finding vegan food in airports, preparing for airplanes, choosing veg-friendly hotels, and traveling internationally, I end this episode with details of my recent travels to Ireland, interpersing food tales with some of our favorite things to do - related to lit...

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The Shearing of Sheep
Though sheep play a huge role in the consciousness of our culture (through nursery rhymes, children's stories, fables, and religion), our primary relationship to them is through our exploitation of them. Whether it's their wool we're shearing, their skin we're wearing, their flesh we're eating, or their milk we're taking, we value sheep as we do other domesticated animals: simply for what we can take from them until they're all used up and shipped to slaughter - literally....

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Critters on the Streets - When to Intervene (Part Two)
All of us have been in a situation where a dog or cat (or other animal) crosses our path and potentially needs our intervention, and we have to decide what to do at that moment - animals who are homeless, lost, in distress, being abused, being neglected, or animals who are dead. Although it would be easier and more convenient to turn away, I can't just write it off as being someone else's problem. Because if it's not my problem, whose is it? By virtue of being part of a larger community, I can’t help but fe...

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Losing Weight - Part Two: Calorie Reduction
Though some people do lose weight upon becoming vegan (which makes sense because you're eating fewer calorie-dense foods) and though vegans do have a lower body mass index than non-vegetarians, weight loss is not automatic for everyone. Rather than promise that "if you go vegan, you will lose weight," it's much more accurate to say "people who switch from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet tend to lose weight effortlessly because plants are much less calorie-dense than animal flesh and secretions." ...

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Critters on the Streets - When to Intervene (Part One)
All of us have been in a situation where a dog or cat (or other animal) crosses our path and potentially needs our intervention, and we have to decide what to do at that moment - animals who are homeless, lost, in distress, being abused, being neglected, or animals who are dead. Although it would be easier and more convenient to turn away, I can't just write it off as being someone else's problem. Because if it's not my problem, whose is it? By virtue of being part of a larger community, I can’t help but fe...

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Losing Weight - Part One: Calorie Expenditure
Though some people do lose weight upon becoming vegan (which makes sense because you're eating fewer calorie-dense foods) and though vegans do have a lower body mass index than non-vegetarians, weight loss is not automatic for everyone. Rather than promise that "if you go vegan, you will lose weight," it's much more accurate to say "people who switch from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet tend to lose weight effortlessly because plants are much less calorie-dense than animal flesh and secretions." ...

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Five Favorite (Japanese) Foods: Miso, Sushi, Agar, Sea Vegetables, Shiitake/Maitake Mushrooms
Today I share some essential components of what happens to be my favorite cuisine. Learn the different varieties of miso and different ways to use what I think should be a staple in every refrigerator. Get tips on how to prepare the most delicious mushrooms on the planet (whether you get them dried or fresh). Discover the true meaning of the word "sushi," which has nothing to do with one fish, two fish, three fish, or bluefish. Learn how you can use agar, the compassionate gelatin of the sea, and find out a...

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Finding Sanctuary
Walt Whitman wrote, “I think I could turn and live with the animals," and I do -- every chance I get: not just the animals with whom I live but the animals who have been given refuge at sanctuaries. Sanctuaries are sacred places - after all, the word comes from the Latin word sanctus, which means "holy." They provide solace, safety, and lifelong care for animals who have been neglected, abused, and abandoned. They are places where animals heal and people transform. They are where individuals are given names...

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Favorite Food: For the Love of Lentils
Our conversation today revolves around lentils, an appropriate food to celebrate in the beginning of this new year, as they are traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve in many cultures around the world to symbolize wealth, prosperity, and abundance in the coming year. In this episode, we discuss different types of lentils, how to cook them, some favorite simple recipes, and nutrition information, interspersed with information about our compassionate business partners: Earth Balance and Field Roast. Enjoy!...

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Art and Consciousness
What moves me most profoundly about art as narrative (whether it’s literature or film or dance or theatre or music) is its ability to communicate our human experience, its ability to reflect our shared human experience, and its ability to raise our consciousness. What that means is every book I read, every film I watch, every piece of art I see has the potential to deepen my consciousness, to reflect a larger truth about who I am, to - in short - make me a better person. In this episode, I focus on the narr...

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The Compassionate Gift Guide - 2009
Today’s episode is part of our "Compassionate Series," which features favorite companies/organizations/products/experts in the context of the topic.) If you’re seeing this episode after the “holidays” have already passed, please don’t tune it out. The information is relevant ANYTIME and ALL the time, and you’ll be happy you listened to hear about these fabulous companies and their equally fabulous products for healthful, happy, humane living....

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The Color of Animals
Whether it's the deep yellow color of egg yolks or the pink-orange color of salmon; whether it's the red shell of the cooked lobsters or the pink feathers of the flamingo, the color is attributable to plants. Learn why farmed salmon (90% of salmon eaten in the United States) are not really pink, why the yolk of chicken's eggs are so yellow, and why captive pink flamingos (i.e. those in zoos) are not really pink. Related to color, we also talk about the animals who suffer for the white of their skin....

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Man’s Place in the Animal World by Mark Twain
An outspoken advocate for animals, Mark Twain publicly came out against such abuses as bullfighting and vivisection, and animals were a part of his writing from the first story that earned him renown ("The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County") to the published and unpublished pieces he wrote up until his death in 1910. In addition to his short story, "A Dog's Tale," read back in July 2009, I've taken great delight in Twain's essays, letters, and other short stories also dedicated to animals and his ...

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My Evolution Through Cats: A Tribute and a Memorial to Simon
A tribute and memorial to Simon Pieman, the bravest cat who ever lived, this episode is also the story of my transition from a "dog person" to a "cat person (and “goat person,” “chicken person,” “cow person,” “turkey person,” “pig person,” but that's another story). The most profound transformations I’ve experienced have all revolved around animals – whether it was through the animals I stopped eating or the animals with whom I’ve shared my home and life. This is a universal story about loving and letting g...

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Five Favorite Kitchen Tools
The tools we use in the kitchen are key to making it fun, making it easy, making it successful, and making it safe. I think this has everything to do with using the right tools. If you don’t like what you’re using to cook, if you don’t feel comfortable or if you find it difficult or if you find it dangerous, then you’re going to be less inclined to do it! No matter what the hobby or activity, there are appropriate tools or accoutrements and inappropriate or inadequate ones. Listen to this episode to discove...

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The "Lethal Gifts of Livestock"
Being animals ourselves, it makes sense that we share many of the same diseases as our non-human cousins. We aren’t – after all – plants. We aren’t at risk for catching aphids or sooty mold or downy mildew. In fact, many of the major killer pandemics we’ve been plagued with were acquired from non-human animals. Here are just a few: we got tuberculosis from cattle, influenza from pigs and birds, whooping cough from pigs and dogs, smallpox from cattle, and of course cowpox from cows. Even HIV, the virus that ...

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How to Read the "Nutrition Facts" Label
If you’ve ever stared at the “Nutrition Facts” label on the back of food products wondering what to make of it, then this episode is for you. Learn about how to read the label, what to look for to ensure you're avoiding such unnecessaries as trans fats, how to identify animal products in the ingredients list, and how to understand the health claims made by manufacturers. Even though this episode is U.S.-specific, we're certain you'll get a lot out of it wherever you live....

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A Dog's Tale: A Short Story by Mark Twain
In 1903, Mark Twain published the short story “A Dog’s Tale” in Harper’s Monthly Magazine, and the following year, it was released it as a book. Though it tends to be overshadowed by his more famous works, the story received public and critical acclaim, and as Diane Beers writes in her book, For the Prevention of Cruelty,it “is to this day a persuasive literary weapon for animal advocacy.” And I agree with her when she writes, “Twain’s deceptively simple little tale gave a powerful voice to the voiceless an...

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Down with Feathers
The campaign against "plumaged headwear" was one of the most successful in the early animal advocacy movement in the United States, ultimately creating legislative protection for birds and a cultural shift in terms of how the public viewed feathered hats. A once-coveted fashion item became the symbol of cruelty and selfishness as the result of a boycott against it. Today, feathers and down - cruelly-begotten products of an incredibly lucrative industry - show up stuffed in our comforters and puffed up in ou...

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Three-Year Anniversary Show: An Unabashed Lovefest
In celebration of the three-year anniversary of our podcast, I feature the letters of listeners who have been transformed by "Food for Thought." The stories are as diverse as the listeners and reflect varied ages and backgrounds, but they all share common threads of hope and transformation. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. If you ever once thought that "people don't change," then you're in for quite a treat....

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The Compassionate Kitchen: Eating Healthfully Affordably
When I talk about eating healthfully “in a recession” or on a budget, I'm referring to “eating healthfully affordably.” I’m not talking about eating cheap food. I’m talking about eating whole food. I’m talking about considering all the costs of our food consumption – costs to our health, costs to the Earth, costs to the people who produce it, costs to the animals, costs to our spirits. Join me as I offer five suggestions for eating healthfully while being budget-conscious. (This episode is part of our "Comp...

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Rabbit Tales
Though rabbits inform our consciousness and culture in so many ways, they are one of the most exploited domesticated animals: raised and killed for human consumption, hunted for "sport," used for experiments in vivisection labs, farmed and killed for their fur, sold in pet stores, and so much more. Given all this, it’s a wonder how a dismembered rabbit foot could possibly represent “good luck.” Join me as I frame our exploitation of and relationship to rabbits within pop culture and literature....

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Memorials to Animals
Because memorials aren’t really a lamentation of death as much as they are a celebration of life, I want to emphasize that this episode is not at all sad. In it, I read several poems by celebrated writers (Robinson Jeffers, John Galsworthy, Eugene O'Neill, William Cowper), who memorialize their lost animal companions with whom they lived and loved. May you find joy and solace in their words....

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The Compassionate Bathroom
Many companies boast that their personal care and household products are "cruelty-free" and "not tested on animals," a label more and more consumers are seeking. Today's episode addresses the fact that neither the FDA nor the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulate cosmetics/personal care and household products, respectively, require animal testing to ensure the safety of their products. In other words, there is no law that mandates animal testing for cosmetics and household products. Learn ...

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Diseases of Civilization (aka "Lifestyle Diseases")
According to the World Health Organization, people who live in high-income countries and middle-income countries predominantly die of chronic "lifestyle" diseases or "diseases of civilization"(Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, asthma, cancer, chronic liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, stroke, depression, diverticulitis, gallstones, and obesity). In low-income countries, people predominantly die of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and i...

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The Compassionate Gift Guide - 2008
Today’s episode is part of our "Compassionate Series," which features favorite companies/organizations/products/experts in the context of the topic.) If you’re seeing this episode after the “holidays” have already passed, please don’t tune it out. The information is relevant ANYTIME and ALL the time, and you’ll be happy you listened to hear about these fabulous companies and their equally fabulous products for healthful, happy, humane living. There's lots of information here about tea - the difference betwe...

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Food for the Road: Packed Lunches and PIcnics
Whether you’re packing lunches for your children for school or your partner for work or for yourself to take to the office; whether you're a teenager packing your own lunch or a college student looking for quick and easy meals; whether you're someone who works outside - as a gardener or landscaper, carpenter or construction worker; whether you're going on a picnic, going camping, or taking a road trip or a plane ride, you may want to listen to this episode. Packed with ideas and suggestions for a number of ...

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Little Boy Pig: A Genetically Modified Tale
At Animal Pharm, an anomaly is born. Whether a piglet with the hands and feet of a human baby or a human baby with the head and tail of a piglet, Ziggy only wants to find what we all seek. It is my pleasure to read this moving tale by the talented Shad Clark....

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Where do I get my calcium if I don't drink cow's milk?
Cow's milk contains calcium because cows eat grass. Calcium is a mineral that comes from the ground, which means, like grass, all green leafy vegetables are teeming with this nutrient. Let's explore the rationale behind human adults drinking another animal's milk when we don't even drink our own species' milk into adulthood. Perhaps all the calves are laughing at us, for even they stop drinking their own mothers' milk when they become adults. In other words, I think we have a lot to learn from the cows....

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Celebrating Halloween and Thanksgiving Without Compromising Your Values
When we closely examine the traditions of such holidays as Thanksgiving and Halloween, we see that we can honor their deeper meanings while still honoring our ethics and our values. Much of what informs our consciousness about these holidays is myth, which is fine. It’s fine to use myth to create rituals and traditions, but the point I make in this episode is that we pick and choose our cultural and personal traditions all the time, and these choices don't necessarily reflect some historical fact. I also sp...

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Drawing the Line: How Vegan is Vegan?
What if I had my own hens and ate her eggs? What if I had my own cow or goat and drank her milk? What about honey? Is it considered "vegan"? These are some of the questions people ask as they begin to consider the ethical issues of consuming animal products. Though I don't pretend to have the one definitive answer, I am happy to share my thoughts....

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Honoring the Animals We Eat - Just Like the Native Americans
With a penchant for romanticizing their consumption of animals, many people declare that they "pray over meat" or "weep over the animals who sacrifice themselves for us - just like the Native Americans." Not only does this attempt to assuage our discomfort make no difference to the animals we kill (for naught), I wonder: who's praying for the animals who are still alive? Who's weeping for those who need our help? And if it's so compassionate to pray over an animal while we slit her throat, isn't it even MOR...

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Conversations with Strangers (on Land and in the Air)
Though I love talking about all things vegetarian with like-minded friends, my favorite people to engage with are strangers, whether on land or in the air (on planes). The more time we invest in conversations about vegetarianism and animal rights, the better advocates we will be and the more seeds we will plant. Despite the common assertion that "people don't want to talk about these issues," I actually experience quite the opposite. Join me today as I talk about some recent encounters with strangers on pla...

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The Favors We Do Animals
With his keen understanding of human behavior, Benjamin Franklin once remarked: "So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do." We tend to be quite adept at finding ways to justify our behavior, especially when it is either unnecessary or ethically questionable. When it comes to eating animals, we don't only justify it on the grounds that it benefits US; we actually have the nerve to justify it on the grounds that...

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Greening Your Life
Calorie for calorie, dark green leafy vegetables are perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. There are over one thousand species of plants with edible leaves, including Arugula, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts, Collard greens, Cabbage, Chard, Chicory, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Escarole, Iceberg Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard Greens, Purslane, Romaine, Sorrel, Spinach, Tatsoi, Turnip Greens, Watercress – and so many others. Join me as I talk about seven of these green leafies...

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How Does Your Garden Grow? (Without Animal Products!)
Just as humans need the nutrients from plants to thrive and grow, so do the plants need the nutrients from the soil - such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, calcium, iron, and magnanese. In this much-requested episode, learn how organic matter from plants (i.e. compost) enriches the soil, how animal slaughterhouse waste is unnecessary to create a healthy and abundant garden, and how to create harmony with all the creatures in your garden - even the snails!...

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Eating for World Peace
In today's episode, I read an excerpt from a very special book called The World Peace Diet, written by Will Tuttle. Will is one of these amazing people who uses his compassion and wisdom in order to create the world we all envision - a world of peace and kindness and nonviolence and high consciousness. The excerpt I read provides an appropriate segue to talk briefly about the USDA's "Animal Damage Control" program (now euphemistically called (Wildlife Services) which kills millions of wild animals every yea...

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Living Among Meat-Eaters - Part II
In Part I of this topic, I talked about the importance of perceiving non-vegetarians as "blocked vegetarians" to help us cope in "mixed relationships." And of course the relationships to which I’m referring are not just romantic. Mixed relationships include those between friends, co-workers, family members, and most certainly between parents and children. In this episode, Part II, I want to offer some very specific suggestions for effectively coping with a non-vegetarian partner, family member, or friend. I...

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The Safety of Supplements
Though I lament the fact that so many people look for easy solutions to their health problems and think that the answer lies in a pharmaceuticals, I also worry that people look to vitamin and mineral supplements as a shortcut to health. Though supplements may be essential when there is a true deficiency or need, they can be unnecessary at best or detrimental at worst when we use them as a substitute for a healthful diet. Join me as I talk about the safety - or lack thereof - of antioxidant supplements, (nam...

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The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde
Best known for his novels, such as The Picture of Dorian Gray; his plays, such as "The Importance of Being Earnest," "An Ideal Husband," and "Salome"; his poetry, such as "The Ballad of Reading Gaol"; and his 50,000-word letter, called "De Profundis," Oscar Wilde is not widely acclaimed for his children's stories. Sweet, didactic, and full of imagery, his children's stories were compiled in The Happy Prince and Other Talesand published in 1888. He created them as bedtime stories for his two sons, and though...

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Two-Year Anniversary Show: A Veritable Lovefest
In celebration of the two-year anniversary of our podcast, I feature the letters of listeners who have been informed and inspired by "Food for Thought." The stories are as diverse as the listeners and reflect varied ages and backgrounds, but they all share common threads of hope and transformation. I hope you are as moved by the letters as I am humbled by them. If you ever once thought that "people don't change," then you're in for a surprise and a treat....

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Five Favorite Foods: Carrots, Dates, Walnuts, Oats, Brussels Sprouts
My main criteria for my "favorite foods" are things that I consume practically every day and love to prepare, and though my list may seem pedestrian, one thing I've discovered in the many years I’ve been doing this work is that even the most basic foods are still foreign to people. So, today I talk - at length! - about these five favorites....

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The Taming of the Cattle
Though we tend to forget, cattle (cows, bulls, and steers) did exist first as wild animals before humans began domesticating them for our own purposes. Before we got our hands on them and turned them into a commodity for human gain, what was their history? What was their background? What is their ancestry? Today I explore the answers to these questions, trace their fateful encounter with humans (leading to the extinction of their ancestors), document our use of them as instruments of cruel entertainment, an...

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Definition: Vegan
"Can you eat this?" "Are you allowed to eat that?" Can you eat bread?" These are some of the common questions non-vegetarians ask vegans, and here's the short answer: We can eat whatever we want. We're "allowed" to have whatever we want. Nobody’s stopping us. It’s not illegal. We don’t follow a set of dietary laws, and we are technically quite capable. It’s not a matter of not being "able to," it’s not a matter of "can" and "cannot." It’s a matter of not WANTING to. Being vegan is not about restriction. Or ...

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The Anarchist - His Dog
Today's story demonstrates the lengths to which people will go to protect the ones they love. In her stories and plays, Susan Glaspell (1876-1948), bestselling novelist and Pulitzer-prize winning playwright, created many sympathetic characters who make principled stands. And that is why I chose this story for today's narrative; it is about a little boy named Stubby who takes a very principled stand to protect his dog, Hero....

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Are You Serious? Strategies for Good Communication
Vegetarians learn pretty quickly that when they "come out" - when they declare their vegetarianism publicly - they become the recipient of some statements or questions that are, let’s say, not very well thought out, such as "If everyone went vegetarian, the world would be overrun with farm animals!" or "Don't you care about plants? They have feelings, too!" or "So you're vegetarian? Do you eat fish?" In the spirit of effective advocacy and good communication, I offer some strategies for responding and some ...

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I Eat Only "White Meat" - In Defense of Chickens
Though in many ways we admire so much about chickens (the maternal instinct of mother hens, the irresistible "cuteness" of baby chicks, the iridescent plumage of rooters), unfortunately our admiration doesn't translate into kindness towards them. Chickens born, kept, and killed for their flesh and for their eggs may very well be the most abused animals on the planet. Of the over 10 billion animals killed for human consumption in the U.S. every year, over 9.4 billion of these animals are chickens, including ...

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Acts of Forgiveness - What Humans Can Learn from Non-Human Animals
Joanna Lucas is a gifted and beautiful writer who devotes much of her time and talent to the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary in Colorado (www.peacefulprairie.org). Joanna knows all the animals at the sanctuary intimately and writes about them on the Peaceful Prairie blog. In today's episode, I read Joanna's essay called Portrait of Marcie... A Beautiful Soul. Marcie, and so many animals who have no reason to ever trust a human again, has much to teach us about forgiveness....

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To Florida: An Apology
Lest I offend the good people of Florida and Montana, I humbly offer my sincerest apology. Except for that one mean lady at the bed and breakfast (whose name shall remain anonymous), we enjoyed many wonderful meals in the fair state of Florida....

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The Vegetarian Philosophy of Pythagoras, as told by Ovid in "The Metamorphoses"
Everything we know about the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (ca. 580 B.C.- ca. 490 B.C. - he died when he was 90 years old!) comes from those who lived many years after him, and fortunately, his philosophy of vegetarianism is beautifully memorialized in Ovid's great epic poem, The Metamorphoses. Early vegetarians were called "Pythagoreans," and 2,500 years after his death, his admonitions against slaughtering animals for human consumption still ring true....

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Favorite Foods: Beans!
You wouldn't believe how much there is to say about beans. Take a listen to see what all the fuss is about! Learn how easy it is to make beans "from scratch," get permission to eat canned beans, learn a number of fast dishes you can make with black beans, white beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, and chick-peas, and find out once and for all how to deal with the discomfort that some people experience when they eat the big, bad bean. By the end of this episode, you'll realize that the bean has...

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Marks of Domination: The Branding of Human and Animal Slaves
The practice of branding animals and humans has a long history, dating back 4,000 years to the Egyptians. The Greeks, Romans, and Anglo-Saxons carried on the tradition, it was a regular form of punishment and identification during the European/American slave trade, and it continues to this day on ranches all over the American West. Brands cruelly and successfully denote ownership and domination, and we examine their presence in animal and human slavery in today's episode, ending with a poem by African-Ameri...

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A Passionate Life
In her broken, mutilated body, shooting for normalcy as though it were within her reach, seeking to be involved in absolutely everything, every meal, every exchange of affection, every single conversation, Louise sang. Responding to every single sound in her environment, tuned into the world's pitch, rhythm, timbre, tone, color, phrasing, cadence, tempo, inflection, leaving no call unnoticed, unheeded, unanswered, Louise let her voice be heard. Until one day when her voice changed from song- filled to quiet...

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Thanksgiving FOR the Birds
Most people don't know that our contemporary customs at Thanksgiving, namely the serving of turkeys, were shaped and popularized by a magazine editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, in the mid-1800s. Whatever meaning we attribute to this Thanksgiving holiday is most certainly not lost (in fact, it is enhanced) by creating food-based rituals that affirm rather than take life, that demonstrate compassion and empathy rather than selfishness and gluttony, that celebrate the fact that no one need be sacrificed in order tha...

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Compassionate Clichés
A culture’s language reflects the values of that society, and our shared use of that language reflects our agreement with those values. Today I want to examine how our use of common idioms and proverbs denigrates animals and contributes to our violence against them; I'd like to take a look at the origins of some of these expressions and offer some compassionate versions that will replace the more violent, offensive ones. My hope is that we can find ways to express ourselves that reflect not exploitation and...

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On the Road: Traveling as a Vegan (with a Focus on Italy, London, and - Florida)
Join me today as I share some of my adventures on the road, in the sky, and in a far-off place called Florida. We learn why eating a whole foods plant-based diet works not only at home but also "abroad," we explore the abundant resources out there for planning a vegan voyage, and I offer some tips on getting Pizza Hut to treat you like royalty. I also share my thoughts about why we should treat ourselves like children when we travel, and why I'm moving to Italy as soon as possible....

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Raising Vegan Children - Social Situations
I believe we come into this world fully compassionate, and the best gift we can give to children is to honor the empathy they have for animals by letting their natural compassion guide their behavior, guide us as parents, guide us as a society. We do everything we can to prevent them from seeing images of animal cruelty and suffering, so why would we go behind their backs and support the very thing they would find anathema - that WE find anathema? Why would we pay other people to do to animals what we - wha...

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Poetry's Plea for Animals
Several years ago, I happened upon an amazing book called Poetry’s Plea for Animals: An Anthology of Justice and Mercy for our Kindred in Fur and Feathers. It’s a collection of poems about animals and about the plight of animals who are at the mercy of humans. It published in 1927 and contains such chapters as "Burden-Bearers," "In War Service," "The Last and Least of Things," "Braves of the Hunt," "In Captivity," and "Performing Animals." As subjects of these poems, animals are exalted in ways they have ye...

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The Fall of the Excuse-itarians (or The Emperor is Naked!)
I'm thrilled to report that another voice has just pierced the "sustainable/humane meat" illusion - and what a voice! B.R. Myers, a book critic for the Atlantic Monthly magazine, has written a fiercely honest criticism of Michael Pollan’s book in the September 2007 issue of the magazine, and I read it here. It’s called "Hard to Swallow: The gourmet’s ongoing failure to think in moral terms." Myers adeptly scrutinizes Pollan’s bogus arguments, chews them up, and spits them out. Though the doublespeak of such...

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Living Among Meat-Eaters - Part I
Many a vegetarian has been on the receiving end of jokes, jibes, digs, insensitive quips, and cruel comments, and though it can be hard not to take it personally, the truth is all of these insensitive reactions have nothing to do with you. They reflect a resistance on the part of the non-vegetarian to take an honest and thoughtful look in the mirror held up for them. Though meat-eaters may feel as though they're being judged or made to feel guilty, it's often just a matter of the vegetarian reflecting back ...

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The High Costs of Cheap Meat
This episode debunks the claim that a "vegan diet is more expensive than a non-vegetarian diet" by looking at a cost comparison of the equivalent amount of animal versus plant protein, by looking at the government subsidies that make food artificially cheap, and by looking at costs that go beyond mere dollars: those of the environment, the lives of the animals, our health, and our peace of mind. I also offer some thoughts about why it's no harder for a person of 75 to change her habits than it is for a pers...

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The Practical Aspects of Being Vegan
Now that I'm vegan, what do I do with my leather couch, my leather shoes, and my wool sweaters? What should I do with the meat and other animal-based products in my kitchen? How do I know about animal-derived ingredients on food labels? Can I still call myself "vegan" if I eat something like honey? These are some of the questions that arise for people who find themselves newly conscious of animal suffering and who don't want to participate in it. And these are also some of the issues that deter people who m...

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Motherhood & Maternal Instincts
Despite our desperate attempt to remove ourselves from our non-human brethren, we are animals, and we have a lot more animal instincts than we like to admit. Every woman will tell you that her drive to protect her young - what we call maternal instinct - is pure and fierce and real. We even call it an instinct - the maternal instinct. Any right-minded person would agree that this instinct exists in ALL animals. If we know this to be true, then how can we so arrogantly deny animals their desire to fulfill th...

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Leather: Not an Innocent By-Product
When confronted by the ethical considerations of leather, many people exclaim that it is a mere by-product of the meat industry and is thus absolved of culpability. The truth is quite different. Far from the altruistic industry this perception implies, the leather industry is inherently linked with the meat industry, providing the latter with much-needed profits and incentive to survive. In addition to the abuse that takes place in the slaughter industry, the leather industry is also responsible for the suf...

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All About Tofu
In today's episode we talk all about this delicious, nutritious food: its history, its versatility, and how it's made. Undergoing a process that resembles the production of dairy-based cheese, tofu has many advantages over its animal-based cousin, namely that no calf is harmed in the making of it. Tune in for more on that, for tips on cooking with it, and for information about the different textures (silken, soft, medium, firm, extra firm). This is an information-packed episode that will inspire and empower...

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Animal Advocacy and Emotional Stress
Learning about the atrocities committed against non-human animals is very painful and can leave us full of sorrow and hopelessness. In today’s episode, I’d like to address how to cope with the pain of the awareness of animal suffering and also how to be an effective advocate for animals. These two things go hand in hand; if we don't take care of ourselves, we will be very ineffective as advocates, and if we aren't doing something to be part of the solution, we're missing an opportunity to feel better - to f...

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BBQs, Burgers, and Backyard Bites
In this episode, I talk about what it's like to be a vegetarian at a non-vegetarian BBQ, tell you a little story about when I was on the Food Network, and share some specific ideas about what to serve at a BBQ: ideas for the grill (including vegetable skewers, marinated eggplant, polenta with pesto, portabello mushrooms, corn on the cob, BBQ tempeh, and fruit), recipes for salads (such as Thai slaw, spinach salad, pasta salad), and, of course, dessert. I also talk briefly about why the safest way to avoid t...

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The Burden of Burros
Today I want to talk to you about an animal who has, over the centuries, gone from exalted to vilified. An animal that many people have never met but one who has been much maligned and humiliated on film, in literature, and in our language. An animal that is affected by the daily choices we make but who is invisible in many ways. An animal you may never think of, an animal you wouldn’t think would be part of the animal agriculture business, an animal I hope you have the privilege of meeting someday. Today I...

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Grateful for Goats
Today I want to talk about this amazing animal that endures a number of abuses by humans and yet isn’t really talked about a lot - even by animal advocates. Today I want to talk about and honor goats. Full of spunk and spark and life, we betray them by killing them for their flesh, by exploiting them for their milk, by exposing them to painful military experiments, and by humiliating them in a variety of other ways. This episode is dedicated to Neptune, a most remarkable being....

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Fish Consumption and By-Catch
Our consumption of fish has many consequences - not only for the fish we eat but also for other fish/crustaceans, for cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), for marine mammals, for birds, and for ecosystems. In addition to the 17 billion aquatic animals we kill in the U.S. for human consumption, countless animals are killed as "by-catch" or "incidental catch." These are the unintended but inevitable victims of the commercial fishing industry. Though we may see one fish on our plate or five shrimp in o...

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Like Animals
Perhaps the most offensive thing you can say about people - if you really want it to sting - is that they're "like animals." We use, abuse, exploit, denigrate animals and relegate them to the lowliest place in society and then blame them for being "animals." We compare them to humans and consider them lowly and forget that we're the ones writing that story. If we're the barometer against which we measure everyone else in the natural world, well surely they'll always fall short. But what if our criteria were...

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Teen (and College-Age) Vegetarians
A much-anticipated episode, today's topic is dedicated to all the teen vegetarians out there, though its subject matter is relevant for parents as well. Many teenagers don't have the support of their parents when they make the decision to become vegetarian/vegan, and we talk about why this is and how we can remedy it. Making this lifestyle change is an adjustment for everyone, and it's important to recognize this, no matter what age we are. We offer some specific suggestions for family dinners and provide s...

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Peace for Pigs
Today's episode is dedicated to pigs - how wonderful they are, how we misrepresent them in our society, and what affect that has on our treatment of them. Pigs are exploited and used by humans in a variety of ways: as research tools, as "food animals," in high school science classes, as entertainment in a blood sport called "hog-baiting" or "hog dogging," as victims of hunting. We also talk about how our language shapes our perception of them and, thus, our treatment of them, and we examine the cycle of vio...

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Eat Your Vegetables!
Study after study concludes that people just aren't eating their vegetables. They're eating plenty of meat, dairy, and eggs, but they're not eating their vegetables. In today's episode, I offer a number of suggestions and tips for incorporating more plant foods into our diet - from chopping veggies and planning meals in advance to identifying what it is we think we're craving and joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Because there is so much to say, today's podcast is a little longer than usual, ...

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Turning the Tables
Vegetarians and vegans often find themselves having to defend not only their own eating habits but vegetarianism and veganism as a whole - both philosophically and nutritionally. When it comes to health, those aiming for a plant-based diet are definitely on the right track, especially considering how few vegetables people are eating these days. When it comes to ethics, they are merely trying to live a life that reflects compassion. I think it's time we turn the tables and start holding each other accountabl...

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What do Vegetarians Feed their Dogs and Cats?
Feeding our dogs and cats the diet that is healthiest for them is something many people are concerned with. An ethical consideration arises when we become vegan or vegetarian and start to question the ethics of supporting the slaughter industry by feeding our dogs and cats meat. In this episode, I offer my opinion about feeding dogs and cats a plant-based diet, provide resources for the "highest grade" (sans by-products) companion animal food, and share my experience about a preventable cancer (Vaccine Asso...

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Response to: Why don't you spend your time on people instead of animals? or Why don't you care about humans?
Anyone who has ever acted or spoken on behalf of animals has learned that criticism will often follow. Sometimes, it's in the form of a provocation such as: "Why aren’t you helping people instead of wasting your time on animals?" Though it's formed as a question, the inquisitors are not really interested in the answer. I suppose they think they’re catching animal activists in some sort of trap that's supposed to prove that animal activists care more about nonhuman animals than their "fellow humans." The dis...

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Life After Cheese
If you have ever said or thought that you could "never give up cheese," this episode is for you. In it, I explore our irrational attachment to this stuff and suggest that it is a combination of factors that foster our addiction to cheese. I suggest that our desire for it is really a desire for something familiar. I suggest that it acts as a trigger for a nostalgic memory. I suggest that we use it to bring us comfort. I also suggest that it may be as simple as craving fat or salt. And I suggest that all of t...

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Soy is Not Evil
A handful of individuals have been incredibly successful at demonizing a bean - a bean! Our obsession with single nutrients, our reliance on media sound bites for our health advice, our misunderstanding of the power of the anti-vegetarian agenda, our reliance on processed foods are the problems - not soy. Though soy foods are not miracle foods, neither are they poison. This episode seeks to put it all in perspective and demonstrate that whole soy foods can be part of a varied, whole-foods, plant-based diet ...

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Becoming Re-Sensitized
The process of becoming de-sensitized to animal suffering happens at a very early age. Though our innate compassion is unfettered and unconditional when we're young, we receive messages that indicate that not only should this compassion be left on the threshold of adulthood but that certain animals are here to love and certain ones are here to use. As a result, many of us go through our entire lives detached from the animals who once permeated every aspect of our childhood and detached from our own emotions...

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Mutilation: An Ugly Word, An Ugly Act
The word "mutilate" is a disturbing one, but I’m not using it merely to disturb. I’m using it because it aptly describes what I’m talking about. The root of the word means "to cut up, to cut off," and that’s what we do systematically to billions of animals - because we can. To my mind, to mutilate someone physically, to harm them physically is the ultimate violation of their rights as an individual. Please join me as we explore yet another truth - disturbing though it is - about our treatment of non-human a...

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An Essential Mineral: Iron
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the U.S. and worldwide. The groups that are most susceptible are women who menstruate (that is, women of childbearing age), pregnant and lactating women, teenagers, and children aged 6 months to 4 years. This is true for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. I repeat: This is true for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Once again, this is not a case where vegans have to be concerned and non-vegetarians don't. This essential mineral is abundant in plant-base...

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Minding the Gatekeepers - or Meat is Not Neutral
I'm always struck by the notion that vegetarianism is a political position but eating meat is neutral. You know what I mean? The media are usually afraid to touch the subject (vegetarianism) lest they be promoting a particular position, as if they're NOT promoting a particular position when they represent meat, dairy, and eggs in a favorable light. These are the gatekeepers that decide how issues are presented to the public. As a result, the public accepts the information as gospel and thinks they're making...

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Taking It All In
A number of you have written and asked me to talk about what else you can do beyond just stopping eating animals and animal secretions. You want to do more, and I commend you. We need you. The animals need you, and there much work to do. In another show we’ll talk about specific things you can do, but first I want to talk about processing all of this information about the cruelty inflicted upon animals. Between "the learning" and "the doing," there is "the being," "the processing" of all this new informatio...

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Five Favorite Foods: Quinoa, Kale, Blueberries, Tempeh, and Tea
I can tell you honestly that these nutritional powerhouses were not always on my list of favorite foods. Luckily, our palates change, and when we begin to eat healthier foods, we stop craving fatty, salty, processed, packaged junk. In this episode, I talk about my favorite foods, why they're so beneficial, and how you can prepare them easily and deliciously....

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Don't Give a Cow
I've always been perplexed by the claim that animal advocates are anti-human. It seems really odd to me because though we're reminded every day that humans steal, lie, cheat, kill, rape, and hurt each other, I’ve never heard any of these people called "anti-human." It seems to me that the accusation would better suit someone who actually acts against humans. It also doesn't say much about our capacity to care about more than one thing at a time. Why would my compassion for one group diminish my capacity for...

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An Essential Vitamin: B12
Granted, this may not be the sexiest topic in the world, but understanding our basic requirements for optimum health is important. Despite what many people believe, vitamin B12 is not animal-derived. Take a listen to find out everything you've always wanted to know about this water-soluble vitamin....

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Speaking your Truth
I’ve heard some people say that they’re not vegetarian because they don't want to make their non-vegetarian friends and family uncomfortable, they don’t want to appear difficult, they don't want to appear different. Noble though it sounds, I think we underestimate our friends and family in the guise of "protecting them" from any discomfort, and in doing so, we’re not only denying our own ethics and perpetuating the socially sanctioned abuse of animals, we’re also - potentially - denying other people their o...

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Common Responses to Vegetarianism
I highly encourage vegetarians and non-vegetarians to engage in respectful dialogue about the issues that are not often in the public discourse. As vegetarians, we need to create a safe space for the comments and questions we hear - even if we've heard them a million times - and as non-vegetarians, we can expand our perspective by asking genuine questions. In this episode, I go through some common remarks about vegetarianism and invite you to find yourself in the examples I give. As always, bring your sense...

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Talking Turkey
If you've never met them, turkeys are magnificent animals, full of spunk and spark and affection. I've introduced many people to the critters at farmed animal sanctuaries, and the animals with whom people have the most transformative experience are the turkeys. Every time. Never fails. Join me as I tell some stories of special turkeys I've had the privilege of meeting and as I explain why I'm still making amends to the animals, whose breasts, legs, and wings used to darken my dinner plate....

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Replacing Eggs in Cooking and Baking
After hearing our earlier podcast episodes on chicken's eggs, many of you have written to tell me you have eliminated them from your diet. On behalf of the 290 million hens being kept (and eventually killed) for their eggs, I thank you. This new path, however, has left you with questions about how to cook and bake without them. Join me as I give away all my secrets for eggless baking and offer my thoughts about why I can live without boiled eggs....

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Transitioning to a Vegan Diet - or - Tips for Eating Healthfully
Even if you're not planning on transitioning to a vegan diet, I think you'll find this episode very helpful. Packed with helpful tips and shortcuts, this episode addresses the pragmatics of eating and cooking healthfully, offers suggestions for eating locally, speaks to those who say they are hungry when they eat vegan, and provides insight into why people react with anger and/or hostility when you tell them you're vegan. (You'll even hear from my cat, Schuster, who decided to chime in unexpectedly! His bro...

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The Rise of the Excuse-itarians (or The Emperor's New Clothes)
I've heard every excuse in the book for eating animals, but I've yet to hear a convincing reason. The consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs is so ritualized, rationalized, disguised, and romanticized that an entirely new group of people has emerged: the "excuse-itarians." These are the people who spend enormous amounts of time and energy romanticizing the consumption of animal products and who have become pseudo-celebrities because of it. The rise in popularity of such people reminds me of the Hans Christian...

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How humane are "humane" meat, dairy, and eggs?
I have yet to meet a non-vegetarian who didn't care about the treatment of animals raised and killed for human consumption, and I have yet to meet a non-vegetarian who didn't declare that they're eating "humanely raised" meat, dairy, and eggs. When you factor in the breeding, transporting, and slaughter, is it possible to have "humane" animal products?...

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10 Tips for Eating Vegetarian in Social Situations
Some people are afraid that their social lives will suffer when they eliminate meat and dairy from their diet, since social occasions and food tend to go hand in hand. For anyone who has ever thought it's difficult as a vegetarian to dine out or to eat at the home of non-vegetarian friends, I hope this can be a guide and a resource. It also includes suggestions for having productive dialogue in social situations....

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The Language of Meat
The words we use to refer to the animals we eat reveals a lot about how we feel about eating once-living creatures. If we can't comfortably call it what it is, then maybe we have a problem eating it in the first place....

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Favorite Foods: Non-Dairy Milks
Despite the crazy notion that non-dairy milks are alternatives to cow's milk, it's really the other way around when you consider the fact that the milk from nuts and soybeans has been used for thousands of years. Join me as I explore the many commercial (and homemade) milks available to those of us who've weaned ourselves from the milk of cows....

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Eating Animals
The practice of eating animals is a culturally ingrained habit. If you're in the U.S., you might dine on pigs, cattle, and chickens; if you're in Mexico, you might feast on goats; if you're in parts of Asia, you might devour dogs and cats. We humans have a funny way of judging other cultures for what we think is cruel, despite our own commitment to cruelty. To the animals, it's all the same....

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The Myth of the "Perfect Vegan."
Some people mistakenly think being vegan is about trying to attain perfection, so they resist any considerations of this lifestyle lest they have to "give something up." Being vegan is about living compassionately, consciously, and expansively; it's not about deprivation or being certified 100% pure....

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Being a "Joyful Vegan."
Despite the stereotype that characterizes vegans as "angry," I call myself a "joyful vegan" and find that most everyone I know who lives this way also radiates with a joy and peace that comes with being fully awake and open....

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What about the insects killed for plant production - don't you care about them (and other tenuous arguments)?
Join me as I address some of the tenuous arguments against vegetarianism. The arguments that try to catch vegans in some kind of state of hypocrisy are particular favorites of mine, such as accusing them of torturing plants or not caring about insects. "Don't do nothing because you can't do everything. Do something. Anything."...

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Response to: "If you were on a desert island and were starving, I bet you'd eat meat then; I eat only meat from humanely raised animals"; and other statements based on hypothetical scenarios and myths.
It seems that most of our excuses for eating animals have more to do with how we want to perceive ourselves and less to do with what is actually true. Explore this idea with me as we look at a couple popular justifications for eating animals....

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Milk is a natural food, and cows naturally give milk, so what's wrong with drinking it?
Cow's milk is indeed a natural food - for calves! - just as human milk is made for humans, rat's milk is made for rats, and dog's milk is made for dogs. Our consumption of cow's milk is even more absurd when you consider that calves stop drinking cow's milk when they're weaned, and humans stop drinking human milk when they're weaned, but somehow we've all been convinced that humans should continue drinking cow's milk - and never wean....

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PART II Humans are meant to eat meat. Just look at these incisors in my mouth.
Let's examine the physiological differences between carnivores and herbivores and see who humans resemble most. Check out Part I if you haven't already....

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Skipping the Middle Animal: coming to terms with the fact that plants are the source of all our nutrients.
We're told we need to eat animals and their secretions to obtain certain nutrients, such as calcium, iron, B12, Omega 3 fatty acids, but what we're not told is why the animals' flesh and secretions contain these nutrients in the first place. Here are a few clues. Calcium = mineral found in the ground. (Cows [are supposed to] eat grass, which contains calcium.) Iron = mineral found in the ground. B12 = grows on bacteria. (Bacteria is attracted to, well, corpses.) Omega 3 fatty acid = a type of polyunsaturate...

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A Visit to Two "Free-Range" Egg Facilities
Join me as we journey to two different egg-laying facilities who label their eggs "organic, free-range, and cage-free" and discover that, though the hens may not be in "battery cages," everything else remains the same....

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What's wrong with eating eggs since the chickens aren't killed to get her eggs?
However much we want to believe it, hens don’t produce eggs because they figured out they were good binding ingredients for baked goods. Products of a chicken's reproductive cycle, eggs are simply the waste produced when they go unfertilized. Not as appetizing as what the egg industry tells us. What else are we not being told?...

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The Protein Myth and Vegetarianism
Because this prevailing myth continues to cause even the most independently minded person to ask where vegetarians get their protein, our first episode is dedicated to debunking this myth....

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