When I created my YouTube channel on February 28, 2006 -- exactly 9 years ago to the day -- I had no real vision for it, other than as a place to host videos of my cats: my beloved now-deceased cats named Simon & Schuster. Most of you know that Simon & Schuster is also the name of one of the leading book publishing houses.
As an English major working in a bookstore at the time I adopted my first cats, it seemed fitting that their names should somehow be associated with my first love: books. (You can listen to a detailed version of this story.)
Being mildly obsessed with these adorable tuxedo kitties, the URL I chose for my YouTube channel was /simonschuster. In the last couple years, it became clear that the publishing giant may want this name for themselves, but YouTube makes it impossible to...more
“I really don't know of a more powerful experience than to change the course of another's life. The humility comes from not knowing who we actually touch. The power comes from knowing that we unmistakably do." ~Colleen Patrick-Goudreaumore
“Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Just because we’ve been conditioned to do something doesn’t mean it’s the best thing or the right thing to do -- or that we have to keep doing it. Once we know better, we can make better choices, more compassionate choices." ~Colleen Patrick-Goudreaumore
“The notion that we have to choose between human and non-human causes - that we have to ration our compassion - is exactly what hinders justice for either. To call for the elimination of oppression, exploitation, and violence for some but not for all undermines the very foundation of justice.”
~Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, The 30-Day Vegan Challengemore
Before I was vegan (and legally allowed to drink), I remember sneaking the Kahlua from my parents' liquor cabinet and making what are called White Russians -- essentially a mixed drink consisting of Kahlua (a rum/coffee liqueur), vodka, and milk or cream. Over the past 20+ years, I've forgotten about that concoction, but it's made an appearance in our home as of late, thanks to my hubby developing an interest in the fine art of mixology.
There are several variations (Black Russian: no cream; Dirty Russian: chocolate milk instead of cream; White Cuban (rum instead of vodka), but we're stuck on the classic (for now). And we both agree that it wouldn't be half as good without the addition of Califia Farms almond milk creamer. It's crazy good (and very sweet) and also works beautifully with their hazelnut creamer.
So, we tested it out on some friends during a game night of Cards Against Humanity, and it was a hit -- as was the...more
FEBRUARY 22, 2015 PODCAST EPISODE
A small subset of opinionated, passionate, well-intentioned people perpetuate the stereotype of the angry, self-righteous, perfection-focused animal rights vegan when they spew invective at anyone who is not "vegan enough" in their eyes. They are otherwise known as The Vegan Police. Listen to today's episode for my perspective on how we can speak up for animals -- online and in person -- without alienating people who are trying to make compassionate choices.
*Support the Food for Thought podcast
I'm well aware that I live in a lil' vegan world in my lil' vegan head, and it's a very happy place to be. I see the compassionate ethic all around me, and I know it's getting stronger as more people work to mainstream this beautiful way of living. The word "vegan" is more familiar than ever before, and though we have work to do to help define and represent what "vegan" means (that it's a means to an end and not an end in itself), it's showing up in the most unexpected places. Like the dictionary!
Check out what I saw when I looked up the etymology for the word "advocate." Let's all use that in a sentence today and then go forth as joyful vegans advocating for this compassionate, non-violent way of life. For the animals.more