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December 2006
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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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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 another? Nonetheless, animal advocates are often reluctant to publicly object to such groups as Heifer Project International, a "hunger relief" organization, lest they be accused of caring more about animals than humans. I, however, see it differently. Perpetuating a speciesist paradigm - that views animals as mere commodities with no inherent value of their own - Heifer and other organizations like it participates in what is essential a slave trade - an animal slave trade. Exporting our own preventable diseases, fostering an environmentally destructive animal ag system, imposing harmful substances on lactose-intolerant populations, desensitizing people to animal suffering, and manipulating our own compassionate sensibilities are just a few of the problems I see with this model.

Direct download: heifer.mp3
Category:Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 1:37am PST
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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.

Direct download: B12.mp3
Category:Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 1:38am PST
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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 own transformation. When we deny our own truth, we may very well be denying others theirs.

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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 of humor with you.

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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.

Direct download: turkeys.mp3
Category:Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 1:40am PST
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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.

Direct download: replacing_eggs.mp3
Category:Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 1:40am PST
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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 brother, Simon, had nothing to say.)

Direct download: transitioning.mp3
Category:Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 1:41am PST
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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 Andersen fable, "The Emperor Has No Clothes," because nobody is saying what's true. (The main part of this podcast is really only 13 minutes, but it's extended to 20 because of my reading of the fairy tale.)

Direct download: excuseitarians.mp3
Category:Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 1:41am PST
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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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