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.more
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.more
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.
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.more
Returning to the 10 Stages of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals, today we wrap up Stage 7: Effective Communication. In Part One, I covered our first five strategies:
*Practicing Active Listening
*Having a Sense of Humor
*Knowing Where You End and Another Person Begins
In Part Two, I offer five more strategies to help us communicate unapologetically, respectfully, productively, compassionately, and effectively. Listen to Part One below.
Listen by subscribing to the RSS feed or listening through...more
Returning to our 10 Stages of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals, today we tackle Stage 7: Effective Communication. This is the stage at which you begin to feel more comfortable in your own vegan skin, including how to speak to people who push back when you tell them you’re vegan or who are hostile or passive aggressive or disrespectful. You learn the importance of finding your voice and of being unapologetic about living compassionately and healthfully. Today is only PART ONE of 10 strategies for effective communication skills to be the best ambassador of compassion and wellness.more
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."more
The idea of not meeting a deadline or being late for an appointment or letting someone down is the stuff of nightmares for me. Touring with The 30-Day Vegan Challenge and speaking all around the country made it impossible for me to release this week's podcast episode. That's all you need to know, but if you want to listen to my adventures at the Natural Food Expo and my misadventures in FL and Mexico via the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise, take a listen. Regular podcast schedule resumes on March 29th!more
One misconception about veganism I’ve encountered more than once is the assumption that in honoring our values, we must forego tradition - as if these two things are mutually exclusive. Food-related rituals, particularly those involving animals, are likely to be so revered that they supersede consideration for anything or anyone else. Join me today for a discussion of how to honor the traditions of Easter and Passover while staying true to our values.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
FEBRUARY 8, 2015 PODCAST EPISODE
When you look at the arc of history in terms of human violence against animals, there is no doubt that things are significantly better than they were in the past. We've still got a lot of work to to, but when we step back and look at it from a broader perspective, we can see the paradigm shifts that took place in terms of how we regard and treat animals. One of those shifts can be traced back to what is called The Age of Enlightenment, and that's what we explore today.
After listening, do you think these thinkers, philosophers, and theologians contributed to the improved treatment of animals in practice -- not just in theory? I’ve got my opinion, but I’d like to hear yours. Comment below.more
JANUARY 24, 2015 PODCAST EPISODE
For millennia, humans have engaged in rituals with the intention of achieving a wide variety of desired outcomes: reducing anxiety, alleviating grief, deepening faith, or even making it rain. Though rites and rituals can be used for positive or innocuous effects, they can also disguise discomfort and make unjustifiable actions seem legitimate. They can be meaningless, arbitrary, and archaic. They can also mask cruelty to animals by being shrouded in religious sanctity. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Comment below! I want...more
JANUARY 10, 2015 PODCAST EPISODE
The 30-Day Vegan Challenge is the ULTIMATE guide for transitioning to a healthy, compassionate lifestyle, and it's the ULTIMATE resource for vegans. Packed with tools, tips, recipes, and menu ideas, it answers every question related to eating, cooking, nutrition, and the social aspects of living vegan, including eating out, holidays, living with non-vegans, etc. We already know the material inspires vegans. Now, we need to get this book in as many hands as possible -- for the animals, both human and non-human. Here's how!more
DECEMBER 28, 2014 PODCAST
According to a recent study, the majority of people who become vegetarian / vegan go back to eating meat and animal products after a short time. One reason seems to be the lack of support or community. In today's episode, we return to our 10 Stages of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals / Become Vegan and focus on what I think is the make-or-break stage for people: Stage 6: Finding a Sense of Community and Belonging.Thank you to listener support and that of American Anti-Vivisection Society and FieldRoast.com.more