Rank #1: 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 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.
Rank #2: 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.
Rank #3: 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.
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Rank #4: 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 often to stop for whisky. Complete with recommendations, resources, and restaurants.
Thanks to listener supporters, who also receive written transcripts of each episode.
Rank #5: 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 take from it what you will.
Rank #6: 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 appeals to people who Pasturbate.
Rank #7: 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." 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.
Rank #8: 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 became a nun!
Rank #9: 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.
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Rank #10: 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."
Rank #11: 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.
Rank #12: 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.
Rank #13: 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." 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.
Rank #14: 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 hung up on trying to be perfect or achieving a state of purity, and you forget what being vegan is all about.
*Being vegan is the means to the goal and that goal is unconditional compassion and optimal wellness.
*Highly Effective Advocates understand that perfection is the enemy of the good.
*The problems we face in our world are not because we have so much compassion we don’t know what to do with it. The problems are because people aren’t living according to their own values of compassion and kindness.
*We know we’re no better than anyone else for being vegan; we’re just better than who we used to be.
*Highly Effective Advocates make connections rather than create separations.
*Highly Effective Advocates ask themselves, "Do I want to be right or do I want to be effective?"
*I didn’t stop eating meat because I stopped liking the taste; I stopped eating it because I realized it was made of animals who were suffering."
*This issue isn't me against you; vegan against non-vegan; my moral superiority over your moral superiority. It’s about all of us being against violence and cruelty.
*If I profess to be a compassionate person, it doesn’t mean I get to be compassionate only to those I like or who agree with me.
*Compassion isn’t compassion unless it is felt for everyone -- the guilty and the non-guilty, the kind and the unkind, the good and the evil.
*Authentic compassion means having compassion even for those who do are not compassionate.
*The more compassion I give, the more that gets created in the world. The more compassion I withhold, the less there is.
*Having a clear intention about your goal and making that goal about truth rather than outcome will make you a successful, effective advocate 100% of the time.
*May our daily choices be a reflection of our deepest values and may we use our voices to speak for those who need us most, those who have no voice.
Rank #15: 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 these things can be satisfied without cheese. I also recommend some good non-dairy cheeses as well as ways to make some of your favorite dishes without any cheese at all - dairy or non-dairy. The bottom line is: NEVER SAY NEVER. Just be willing to be open. You'll find that there is indeed life without cheese. First, we have to stop giving it so much power.
Rank #16: 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.
Rank #17: 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 brother, Simon, had nothing to say.)
Rank #18: 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 knowing that these stages are very real is crucial to feeling normal, crucial to understanding why people react the way they do when you tell them you’re vegan, and crucial to living in this world as a proud, joyful vegan who can effectively advocate for the animals and on behalf of a compassionate ethic.
Rank #19: 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 you and demystify the "big white blob."
Rank #20: 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.
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