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December 2013
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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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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 Compassionate Life segment in which I establish that the foundation of veganism is compassion - from Pythagoras all the way to today. Today’s Tweetable: “When you speak to the highest in people, they respond with the highest that’s in them.”

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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 a compassionate child to a desensitized adult and back again. Today's Tweetable: "Being vegan is not about trying to be perfect. It’s about doing the best we can do avoid causing harm to someone else."

Direct download: 112513_Food_For_Thought_New_Format_Program_final_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:17am PST
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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 Compassionist (my weekly essay), a call-in segment called WWCPGD?, and MORE! The possibilities for the new format are incredibly exciting, and I appeal to you for your support, feedback, and enthusiasm!

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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 (or who may not share your enthusiasm), and to reflect your autonomy.

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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 contributed to violence against them?" And "I feel bad for eating an animal product by mistake." In this episode, I talk about the difference between guilt and remorse, how to move through remorse through forgiveness, how there is no such thing as a perfect vegan, and I share some symbolic ways we can "make amends" to the animals.

Direct download: Stage_2_Remorse_final_100413.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am PST
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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 challenged some fundamental aspects of Western thought, particularly the idea that we’re superior to other animals. Take a listen and join the Montaigne fan club.

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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 became a nun!

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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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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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