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Tag: colleen patrick-goudreau

Better is Better: The Emotional and Practical Aspects of Fostering Cats and Dogs

How do you love someone and let them go? How do you make sure the good intentions you have lead to good results? How do we help the scores of rescued animals who are looking for forever homes? In today’s (LONG) episode, I recount my experiences — both stressful and successful — fostering cats. While cats have their own particular needs, my hope is that even if you’re looking to foster dogs, rabbits, or hamsters you’ll glean some inspiration and guidance. Take a listen, and let me know what you think.

How Zero Waste Changed the Way I Eat (And Why Baby Carrots Are Evil)

Once you decide to make zero-waste, plastic-free, low- or no-packaging a priority in your life, you learn very quickly you have to make some changes when it comes to what you buy, how you shop, what you eat, and how you cook. Some might find this an inconvenience. I find it an adventure. Journey with me as I share some reflections on favorite foods and how my relationship with them has changed since “becoming zero-waste.”  Oh right, and I’ll also share with you WHY BABY CARROTS ARE EVIL from this joyful vegan’s point of view. 

Thank you to supporters for making this a 100% listener-supported podcast. Become a supporter at patreon.com/colleenpatrickgoudreau!

The Last Thanksgiving Turkey

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, it seems there isn’t a magazine, newspaper, or website that doesn’t feature recipes for every means and method of stuffing, brining, and roasting turkeys. And every year, vegetarians, vegans, and animal advocates urge the public (and their family members) to leave the turkey off the menu in favor of plant-based sides and mains.

The problem is that by the time these well-intentioned campaigns begin, it’s already too late. 

But there is hope. Try this, instead!

Endangered Species Under Attack

Upon learning about the Trump administration’s weakening of our country’s most effective conservation law, I lamented for a moment, then got to work writing this commentary. My editor at KQED Radio accepted it right away, I recorded it yesterday, and it aired today.⁠

May we each use our voice and the power we have to speak up, to vote, and to act on behalf of what’s right. This is my small contribution to that end. ⁠

▶️ “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed,” said the Republican president prior to resigning under the threat of impeachment.⁠

No, that’s not a prediction of the near future; it’s actually a memory of the not-so-distant past when Richard Nixon announced to the nation that he was signing the Endangered Species Act.⁠

Since then, this law has played a significant role in the recovery of hundreds of endangered and threatened animals, plants, and habitats.⁠

Before this landmark legislation, due to poisons and pesticides, only 400 breeding pairs of bald eagles were known to live in the lower 48 states. Today, it’s 30 times that.⁠

At the time, hunters and ranchers had successfully dwindled the grey wolf population to just a few hundred; today, albeit still threatened, they number more than 5,000.⁠

Before their protection under the Endangered Species Act, only 200 American crocodiles remained. Today there are more than 2,000 individuals.⁠

But now their days—and those of hundreds of other species—are numbered.⁠

This week, the Trump administration announced it will take steps to roll back our country’s most effective conservation law that could pave the way for development, drilling, and mining in regions where protected species live.⁠

Itself an endangered species, the Republican Party once laid claim to a strong tradition of environmental stewardship, but that tradition has gone the way of the Dodo. The party of Trump has ceded its commitment to country, compassion, and conservation in favor of power, politics, and populism. Instrumental in the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the creation of national parks and forests, the Grand Old Party’s devotion to compassionate conservatism is all but extinct.

While one administration’s policies can be overturned by the one that follows, some consequences are simply irreversible.

Extinction is permanent.

When deciding who should represent our American values in our various branches of government, may our national bird serve as both a reminder of what we accomplished in the past and a warning of what we could lose in the future.

With a Perspective, I’m Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

We’re veganizing the south of France!

Arranging incredible meals for all our vegan travelers is 10x easier in Rwanda than it is in France.

We have officially sold out of our December 2020 Botswana trip (where it’s ALSO easier to eat plant-based than France — especially rural France). Which is why…our Summer-in-the-South-of-France Vegan Trips in June/July 2020 are going to be off the hook!

Everything non-vegans eat vegans will eat BETTER! We mean EVERYTHING that is seasonal and regional, we arrange vegan versions of!

We also take over our very own 4-star villa. We visit the world-famous Lascaux cave to see the replicas of 17,000 years-old animal paintings!!! We have a special private visit the first European elephant sanctuary! Castles, river boat ride, wineries and vineyards, and so much more!

Our Summer in France trips are now starting to sell out, and I hope you visit the details on our website to see if you can join us. There’s one more month to sign up, and if the trip is not a go, of course you get 100% of your money back. It’s a win-win situation!

For the animals…CPG

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How Rwanda Unites

Rwanda is considered the cleanest and greenest country in East Africa. It’s not because Rwanda employs more street sweepers, gardeners, and road crews than other countries, and it’s not (only) because of the decade-long ban on plastic bags.

It’s also because of a monthly communal ritual called Umuganda, a Kinyarwanda word that translates to “coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome.” Military service isn’t compulsory in Rwanda but Umuganda is — for able-bodied people ages 18 to 65 — and it takes place on the last Saturday of each month.

Because expatriates and visitors are welcome to participate and because — on our Joyful Vegan Trips to Rwanda — we scheduled our to be there on the day of that month’s Umuganda, we arranged to visit a local village to join them build a road.

Umuganda in its current form was reintroduced in 1998 as part of the effort to rebuild the country and to nurture a shared national identity after the 1994 genocide.

As a U.S. citizen in a deeply divided country, it’s not a huge leap to draw parallels between the past divisiveness in Rwanda and the present divisiveness in my own country. If that sounds dramatic, then consider this:

A recent survey (referenced in this op-ed) asked both Republicans and Democrats, “Do you ever think we’d be better off as a country if large numbers of the opposing party in the public today just died’?” Some 20 percent of Democrats (12.6 million voters) and 16 percent of Republicans (7.9 million voters) said yes.

When asked, “What if the opposing party wins the 2020 presidential election. How much do you feel violence would be justified then?” 18.3 percent of Democrats and 13.8 percent of Republicans said violence would be justified on a scale ranging from “a little” to “a lot.”

Over a 3-month period in 1994 in Rwanda, this very sentiment manifested itself into a methodical massacre in which approximately 800,000 citizens were brutally killed by their fellow citizens—neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, and friends.

If Rwandans can heal, unite, and forgive after such a massive atrocity, anyone can. We have much cleaning up to do in our own country—both literally and figuratively, and we must take it seriously.

Garbage clean-up anyone?

Photo Credit: Jennifer Hadley 

How Wildlife Can Recover After Genocide

A Wildlife Conservation Success Story

The 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsis devastated this beautiful country, its people, its wildlife, and its wild spaces. But with vigilance, persistence, vision, courage, and strength, they are recovering.⁠ When Akagera National Park was created in 1934, it was one of the best wildlife reserves in all of Africa. ⁠

⁠Once spanning almost 1,000 square miles, sadly, in 1997, it was reduced in size by almost 50%. A large portion of the land was reallocated to refugees to Rwanda after the genocide. Before 1997, many refugees returning to Rwanda settled in the area, and the conservation area was harmed by poaching and cultivation. ⁠

⁠I so look forward to telling you more about the work they’re doing, the animals they’ve reintroduced, the conservation measures they’re taking, and the rhinos (!) who have just safely arrived from zoos in three different countries who will now live out their natural lives in the wild. ⁠

⁠On our first trip to Rwanda, we didn’t have the chance to visit Akagera, but we were so thrilled to make it part of our of our Joyful Vegan Trips in 2019. (On our current Rwanda trips, our travelers can visit Akagera on their own either before or after our all-inclusive trip.)

We saw zebra, warthogs, impala, cape buffalo, waterbucks, and many more mammals and birds. The highlight of the day was probably seeing a ⁠pod of hippos emerge from the water to the beach. ⁠

⁠People can heal.

Animals can recover.

Land can be restored.

Rwanda teaches this lesson better than any other country I’ve seen. ⁠

(Join me in Rwanda for the trip of a lifetime!)

My Husband Wasn’t Vegan When I Met Him

No, my husband wasn’t vegan when I met him. I was pescatarian on the verge of vegetarian, and he was a meat-eater. If I hadn’t dated David because he wasn’t vegan, I would have missed out dating and then marrying the most giving, generous, compassionate, kind, patient person I know (25 years ago). Because of those qualities, he became vegan a few months after I did. ⠀

Don’t let someone “being vegan” to be your barometer for getting to know them or for dating them. You will narrow down your pool considerably. Let character, integrity, compassion, and openness be your barometers. And, likewise, be as open, compassionate, and full of integrity as you expect others to be.

The first-EVER vegan tours to the south of France!

People often ask me how to find plant-based cuisine while traveling around the world, and I often remind them that fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, beans, lentils, herbs, and spices are kind of universal. They’re not just for vegans. 

I also assure them that cities (more than rural areas) always have international restaurants at which you can find delicious animal-free meals. 

However, one region that can be particularly difficult to enjoy  culinarily without feeling deprived is the south of France. While Paris (as most cities) is more progressive than the rest of the country when it comes to vegan restaurants, shops, and attitudes, the south of France … less so. Although you won’t starve (your best bet is to rent a house with a kitchen so you can prepare your own meals), your food choices will be very limited when eating out. The above said plant foods are tainted by dairy-based cheeses, animal-derived cream, fish sauces and pastes, and animal fat, particularly fat from ducks.

Marseille is the seafood capital of Provence (hence, bouillabaisse), lamb and beef are the most popular meats from land animals,  foie gras is common everywhere, and duck fat is the preferred cooking fat—ruining even the favorite default of every desperate vegan: french fries.

That’s where CPG Vegan Trips / World Vegan Travel comes in. We have JUST RELEASED to the public our Summer 2020 trips: to the enchanting Dordogne region and to the charming Provence region.

Aside from the 4- and 5-star accommodations, incredible excursions, outdoor adventures we will be enjoying, our travelers will also get to partake in the local cuisine—animal-product-free. Of course where are a few local dishes that are already plant-based by default, such as ratatouille and pistou, but we go above and beyond to feature vegan versions of the dishes that make this region famous, such as:

  •  bouillabaisse
  • tapenade
  • salade nicoise
  • tarte au citron
  • ‘faux’ gras
  • various cheeses
  • and so much more!

Partnered with my good friends and travel aficionados World Vegan Travel, I am so thrilled to offer these two exciting trips—the first-EVER vegan tours to these regions. You can sign up for each separately or sign up for both and get a discount. 

All of the details are on the websites below, where you can also see and sign up for our last vegan trip for 2020: to beautiful Botswana and Cape Town (only a few spots left)!

Dordogne, France (June 2020)
Provence, France (July 2020)
Botswana & Cape Town (December 2020)

These trips sell out very quickly, so don’t delay! By securing your spot TODAY, you have ONE YEAR to prepare for these 2020 trips! Visit WorldVeganTravel.com to learn more, ask questions, and secure your spot! 

___________________

PREVIOUS AND ONGOING CPG VEGAN TRIPS:

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Our vegan trips are all about ANIMAL PROTECTION, DELICIOUS REGIONAL PLANT-BASED  CUISINE, LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE, JOY, and SO MUCH LAUGHTER. We’re all about spoiling you! You can get a sense of the awesomeness of our 5-star trips watching this video from our Thailand trip.

5-Star Vegan Travel (Join Me!)

Partnered with my good friends and travel aficionados World Vegan Travel, our vegan trips now span several continents! With the trips we’ve added for 2019 and 2020, you can now join us in Africa, Europe, and Asia! 

Alsace, France (December 2019)
Dordogne, France (June 2020)
Provence, France (July 2020)
Botswana & Cape Town (December 2020)

We sold out of our 2019 trips to Rwanda within a week, so don’t delay! By securing your spot TODAY, you have ONE YEAR to prepare for these 2020 trips! Visit WorldVeganTravel.com to learn more, ask questions, and put your deposit down for one of our trips! 

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Our vegan trips are all about ANIMAL PROTECTION, DELICIOUS REGIONAL PLANT-BASED  CUISINE, LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE, JOY, and SO MUCH LAUGHTER. We’re all about spoiling you! You can get a sense of the awesomeness of our 5-star trips watching this video from our Thailand trip.

DON’T MISS OUT THIS TIME! BOOK TODAY!