Food for Thought: The Joys and Benefits of Living Vegan

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October 2012
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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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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 topic through two popular novels: Bambi: A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten and Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.

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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 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 Earthlings. We can shift that paradigm everytime we open our mouths to speakJoin me on an etymological journey that demonstrates that how we talk about animals can liberate THEM and US from our violence against them. 

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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 free from old habits and to experience lasting benefits – both tangible and intangible. Stick around for the entirety of the podcast, as I read an incredibly beautiful email at the end that testifies to the power of compassion!

Direct download: 30-Day-Vegan-Challenge.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:19pm PDT
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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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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 themselves to be) in today's episode.

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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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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 my food" or "I used to be vegan, but my acupuncturist told me I had to start eating (animal) meat again, and so I have." Take a listen, and hopefully some of my suggestions will help when replying to such statements. 

Direct download: responses_to_i_am_vegan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:18pm PDT
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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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