Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s compassionate living philosophy is propelling plant-based eating into the mainstream and forever changing how we regard animals. Welcome to her website.

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In celebration of our nine-year anniversary of the 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.

This episode is dedicated to amazing animal activist Lisa Shapiro, 1964-2015. Her fire is put out but not her light. We will carry on for the animals and hold her in our hearts forever.


The Shame of Overweight Vegans

I hear people say things like, “Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Many vegans eat junk food and are overweight or they offer unsolicited advice to someone they see -- in person or a photo of and say, “Too bad they’re overweight. If they became vegan, they’d lose weight.” Or a vegan will say “I want to lose weight and look fit so I can inspire others to be vegan.” That’s one point of view. Here’s my point of view.

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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.

Thank you to listener supporters and to our sponsor The American Antivivisection Society.

Listen by subscribing to the RSS feed or listening through iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.

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I returned to the CBS studios in Sacramento to wrap up the 30-Day Vegan Challenge with Sean and Melissa from Good Day Sacramento. I'm so sad it's over, but I'm so proud of both of them. Melissa is staying vegan, and Sean said he'd probably be 85% vegan, though he did say he wasn't rushing to go back to eating meat. He even said he wants to keep going. Melissa's co-anchor Cody said he will take the Vegan Challenge when he gets back from a trip in July. I'll be sure to follow up with him.

It's been a dream working with an awesome group of folks who are open, compassionate, and eager to learn. Now it's time to manifest my own show 30-Day Vegan Challenge show. Wanna help me make that happen? :)

Congratulate Melissa (Twitter: @gooddaymelissa) and Sean (Twitter:@tvseanb) for being so awesome. Contact the producers at Good Day Sacramento, thank them for doing this series,...


There is a prevailing myth in our culture, played out in our language and in marketing, that meat is masculine and plant foods are for wimps. Meat is a metaphor for strength, virility, and manliness, while vegetarianism/veganism is feminine, effeminate, and even emasculating. "Real Men Eat Meat" and "Tofu is Gay Meat" are just two examples of advertisements that perpetuate this myth and secure it in our consciousness. Studies show it's working. Join me for a meaty episode that will shake you out of your vegetative state. If you don't want to be a fruit, learn how you can be a beefcake.

Thank you to listener supporters and our sponsors The American Antivivisection Society and Nature's Food. (Shop for Nature's Food at and receive $5 when you use the promo code 26381.)


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In Week 1, we covered the abundance of food options in the grocery store; in Week 2, we talked about eating healthfully affordably and reading labels, in Week 3 we cover taking the time to prep veggies, packing lunches, and choosing delicious, healthful, filling foods for breakfast and dinner! Now in Week 4 we are talking about how to eat vegan at various restaurants including Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Italian and more.

Watch it here! (Check out the first blog post about Melissa and Sean taking The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. Read about part two, and three.)

Follow Melissa...


It was well worth waking up at 4:30 a.m. today to get ready to welcome Melissa Cabral of Good Day Sacramento into my kitchen. (Check out the first blog post about Melissa and Sean taking The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.)

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As I shared with you last week, Melissa Cabral and Sean Bennett of CBS Good Day Sacramento are taking The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. We kicked things off on Friday May 1st, and I joined them again on May 8th to talk about eating healthfully affordably, soaking beans, cooking lentils, and reading labels. Watch our segment here!

They're both so incredibly open and are really enjoying the process. Stay tuned next week when they come to my house for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

In the meantime, join Melissa (Twitter: @gooddaymelissa and Sean's (Twitter:@tvseanb) journey by following them and taking the #VeganChallenge with them!Get your copy today,...


When it comes to human and non-human animals, we are more alike than different, especially when it comes to mothering. In today's special episode, I share my thoughts about what it means to be a great mom and how elephants and alligators both meet the criteria. This episode is dedicated to my own mother.

Thank you to listener supporters and our sponsors The American Antivivisection Society and Nature's Food. (Shop for Nature's Food at and receive $5 when you use the promo code 26381.)

Listen by subscribing to the RSS feed or listening through iTunes,...


My newest KQED opinion piece is in honor of my mom on Mother's Day. KQED's description: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau had a rocky relationship with her mom. Until she figured out that mom wasn't the problem.


Melissa Cabral and Sean Bennett of CBS Good Day Sacramento are taking The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. We kicked things off on Friday May 1st, and I'll be joining them each week to cover the various questions and challenges people experience during the transition period.

On the first day, we shopped at Whole Foods to cover all the non-dairy products from milks and yogurts to cheeses and butter, then we talked about all the fabulous vegan meats: sausages, frankfurters, deli slices, chicken sliders, even fishless fish filets.

Of course, we always decide whether we want to spend our TIME or our MONEY. When it comes to convenience foods like those above, we're choosing to spend money rather than time -- because convenience foods (vegan or not) cost more than whole foods. However, it's all a matter of what you're comparing things to. Plant-based convenience foods are CERTAINLY lower cost than animal products -- not only in terms of dollars, but in terms of the price paid by the animals, the environment,...


The hazelnut chocolate spread from Endangered Species Chocolate is AMAZING and is the best, most compassionate, most delicious vegan version of Nutella on the market. Purchase it from and use "joyfulvegan" as the coupon code for 10% off! You can also find it at

As for the crepes, when my husband and I moved to California several years ago, my sister-in-law graced us with a notebook full of our favorite recipes. This crepe recipe was one of them. “Veganizing” it was incredibly easy, and the results are the same. Though crepes are really only thin pancakes, there is something inherently elegant about them. From...


I'm an unabashed film junkie. I watch films from all around the world, from every time period, and in every genre. Those familiar with my work related to animals and the arts, know I'm also fascinated by how filmmakers characterize the human relationship with non-human animals. You may find this as well.

Have you ever been in the middle of watching a film when the plot turns toward compassion for animals or a minor character says something about being vegetarian or the a main character is shunned because he's cruel to animals? Watching films through the lens of compassion for animals, I find this all the time, and over the years, I've compiled a list of my favorite films. I add to this list all the time, and of course I'd love to hear yours! Share them below!


Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson)

Asphalt Jungle (John Huston)

Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis)

Ghost Dog (Jim Jarmusch)

Forbidden Games (René Clément)

Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica)

Lonely Are the Brave (David Miller)

The Misfits...


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