Food for Thought: The Joys and Benefits of Living Vegan
Emphasizing the fact that being vegan is a means rather than an end in itself, the Food for Thought podcast addresses all aspects of eating and living compassionately and healthfully, including living zero waste! Each episode addresses commonly asked questions about being vegan, including those regarding animal protection, food, cooking, eating, and nutrition and debunks the myths surrounding..
"When creatures don't have an extraordinary beauty, it's because the person in contact with them is not seeing it," said pulitzer-prize winning poet Galway Kinnell, whose poem about pigs ends this episode. It's not an easy episode, but nothing worth talking about ever is.
From Original Broadcast:
Today’s episode is dedicated to pigs – how wonderful they are, how we misrepresent them, and what affect our perception of them has on our treatment of them. Pigs are exploited and used by humans in a variety of ways: as research tools, as “food animals,” in high school science classes, as entertainment in a blood sport called “hog-baiting” or “hog dogging,” as victims of hunting and the cycle of violence inherent in slaughterhouses. Even our language about them contributes to our abuse of them. Take a listen, share, and let me know what you think.
Being animals ourselves, it makes sense that we share many of the same diseases as our non-human cousins. We aren’t – after all – plants. We aren’t at risk for catching aphids or sooty mold or downy mildew.
In fact, many of the major killer pandemics we’ve been plagued with were acquired from non-human animals.
Here are just a few: we got tuberculosis from cattle, influenza from pigs and birds, whooping cough from pigs and dogs, smallpox from cattle, and of course cowpox from cows.
Even HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is believed to have been first transmitted to humans through the butchering and consumption of infected chimpanzees.
It is our very consumption of animals and their products that has bestowed upon us what Guns, Germs, and Steel author Jared Diamond calls the “lethal gifts of livestock.” Our abuse of nature comes full-circle and at a heavy price for both the consumer and the consumed.
There’s a presumption among some vegans that if you’re vegan, you’re also liberal, socialist, atheist, feminist, intersectionalist, progressive, and leftist, that you’re pro-choice, anti-vaccine, anti-GMO’s — and that if you’re not any or all of these things and everything that they entail, you’re unwelcome — or at least you don’t belong. Or that you’re an imposter. Or that you welcome oppression.
We are living in a time when group loyalty and identity politics are valued more than reason, critical thinking, tolerance (just basic tolerance) for another point of view, and compassion. And it scares the bejesus out of me.
Though we tend to forget, cattle (cows, bulls, and steers) did exist first as wild animals before humans began domesticating them for our own purposes. Before we got our hands on them and turned them into a commodity for human gain, what was their history? What was their background? What is their ancestry? Today I explore the answers to these questions, trace their fateful encounter with humans (leading to the extinction of their ancestors), document our use of them as instruments of cruel entertainment, and draw the connections between our contact with cattle and the many deadly diseases that continue to plague humans today.
The world lit up on fire with stories (from vegans and non-vegans, including on the BBC TV show QI) that these plants — and more — are "not vegan" because of the way they're pollinated. Listen to this episode for my thoughts. (JoyfulVegan.com)
Starting in Paris, then moving onto Alsace (which included day trips to Germany and Switzerland), then back to France to the Normandy region and a stop-over in the Swiss Alps, our recent travels is the focus of this travel edition, giving you ideas of enjoying your own European vegan vacation, whether you go on your own or as part of a CPG Vegan Trip.
CPG Vegan Trips creates one-of-a-kind travel experiences with a focus on the interest and needs of adventurous and compassionate vegans and their vegan-friendly friends and family members. It's all about the food, the animals, the wildlife, the sanctuaries, and the small details and experiences that shape life-long memories. Here's what's coming up in 2019, 2020, and 2021, so start packing!
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.
Raising cattle for beef is the number one cause of the destruction of rainforests and global warming, but today we're going to talk about palm oil. Grown in tropical regions, palm plantations are displacing rainforests, destroying orangutan habitats and wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. With good intentions, some vegans have called for a boycott of Earth Balance, a vegan butter that uses palm oil as its primary fat, even though it doesn't source its palm from native orangutan habitats. Is it possible to source palm oil sustainably? For that matter, is it possible to source any historically unsustainable crop in a sustainable way? In today's episode, I weigh in on this issue and offer some food for thought.