Food for Thought: The Joys and Benefits of Living Vegan

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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 literature (Yeats and more), history (particularly in Dublin and Kilkenny), nature (hikes in Connemara), and animal protection (Donkey Sanctuary and Ballynahinch Castle).

Direct download: ireland.mp3
Category:Food, Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 5:49am PDT
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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.

Direct download: sheep.mp3
Category:Nutrition, Food, Health, Society & Culture, News & Politics -- posted at: 1:46am PDT
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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 feel a responsibility to care for all its members, particularly those who are the most vulnerable.

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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." For those for whom weight loss is a goal, it's simply a numbers game: decreasing energy intake and increasing calorie output – and remember – calories are just units of energy. Today we talk about reducing calories.

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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 feel a responsibility to care for all its members, particularly those who are the most vulnerable.

Comments[0]

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." For those for whom weight loss is a goal, it's simply a numbers game: decreasing energy intake and increasing calorie output – and remember – calories are just units of energy. Today we talk about expending calories.

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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 about the healthful properties of various sea vegetables and how to include them in your diet.

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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 - not numbers -- and who serve as ambassadors for their species. They are places of freedom, hope, and healing - whether they serve farmed animals, wild animals, "exotic" animals, or domestic animals. Join me on a visit to some of my favorite sanctuaries in the United States and across the globe.

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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!

Direct download: lentils.mp3
Category:Food, Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 3:20am PDT
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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 narrative of film and how it enables us to learn lessons, remember the lessons of the past, find heroes, see ourselves in the characters, and perhaps know ourselves better. As part of our individual and collective consciousness, stories tell us about our culture, our history. They reveal our strengths and weaknesses; they make the tragedies more palatable and the victories more epic. Join me for a discussion of this, for a summary of my favorite films that reflect a consciousness about animals, and for a description of what I think is the most beautiful and important movie ever made.

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