Tag: dairy

Know Your Numbers (Cholesterol)

In today’s episode of the 15th year of the Food for Thought Podcast, I provide the optimal numbers experts recommend for your total cholesterol, LDL (“bad cholesterol”), HDL (“good cholesterol”), triglycerides, and a little thing called homocysteine. 

As always, you can find lots of resources for living compassionately and healthfully at joyfulvegan.com, you can find my books wherever books are sold, and you can join me in my online cooking classes or in an upcoming vegan trip.

From Excuse-itarian to Vegan

In this episode, I address a few of the typical excuses people have when it comes to becoming vegan — from “I don’t really eat a lot of meat, dairy, and eggs” to “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” See if any of it resonates with you. 

As always, you can find lots of resources for living compassionately and healthfully at joyfulvegan.com, you can find my books wherever books are sold, and you can join me in my online cooking classes.

Can You Eat Eggs And Still Be Vegan?

Because hens don’t have to be killed to obtain their eggs, many people have been conditioned to perceive eggs as being healthy, humane, and cruelty-free, despite the fact that the majority of them are from factory farms. To demonstrate their compassion for animals in general and battery cage hens in particular, as well their desire to promote animal welfare, they buy eggs labeled free-range, cage free, humane, and organic, believing they are not contributing to animal cruelty and factory farming.  

Many people often declare that they get eggs from local farmers or backyard hens, who are genuinely cage-free. That leads them to ask me one of the most common questions I receive about veganism, ethics, and animals: what’s wrong with eating eggs from backyard hens / chickens since it doesn’t contribute to animal cruelty. What if that person is vegan in every other way but eats the eggs of their own rescued hens? Or sanctuary hens? Or their hens who are “pets”? In other words:

  1. Is it unethical / problematic / perpetuating cruelty to avoid buying factory farmed animal products but eat eggs from rescued hens? AND 
  2. Can that person call themselves vegan?

Listener Sponsors

Food for Thought podcast is 100% listener-supporter, so thank you to everyone who sponsors this podcast through Patreon.com/ColleenPatrickGoudreau. Thank you to new patrons Bekah Anne, Karyn Winsor Levie, Rachel Henry, Joe Keever, Amanda Campeau, Bonnie Brandt, Diana Robles, Sabrina, Grace Jimenez, as well as to long-time GENEROUS Platinum supporters Michal Stone, David Cabrera, Alexander Gray, and Morgan Hall, and Brooke Bussard. You’re all amazing. If you’d like to join them in supporting 14 years of podcast episodes and helping me continue, go to patreon.com/colleenpatrickgoudreau. There are some new perks over there, as well. 

Truth Bombs

  • To call yourself vegan, the presumption is you don’t eat animal flesh and fluids. That’s not an arbitrary characterization. While there are grey areas related to being vegan, it’s safe to say that the most basic definition of that is that you’re not eating anything that comes out of an animal. 
  • There is no such thing as a vegan overlord. In the end, whatever you call yourself is up to you.
  • Eggs are loaded with problematic dietary cholesterol, animal fat, and animal protein — not to mention being carriers of foodborne pathogens such as salmonella.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids reside in plants — not animal products. Skip the middle chicken and get your nutrients directly from the source: plants.
  • If there is no rooster, there is no chance the hens’ eggs will become fertilized. No rooster, no chick.
  • Intention has a lot to do with the decisions we make about the critters in our care.
  • Being vegan is about doing what we can to foster compassion and to avoid contributing to violence. It’s not about being perfect, and it’s not about being pure.
  • Being vegan is a means to an end, not an end in itself. I don’t aspire to be as vegan as I can be. I aspire to be as compassionate as I can be. 
  • In order to help animals, we need to change the paradigm from one of entitlement to one of communality.

No Turkey on Thanksgiving? Everybody CALM DOWN!

SHARE WITH YOUR MOM (or anyone’s mom, for that matter!)

If we think a dead bird characterizes the meaning of this autumn feast, we have lost perspective.

I’m Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author, cultural commentator, podcaster, and now…Thanksgiving elf.

May this perspective help you, your friends, your family members…and the turkeys!

Turkey-free Thanksgiving recipes in my books:
*The Joy of Vegan Baking
*The Vegan Table
*Color Me Vegan, and more…

So…what are you serving on this turkey-free Thanksgiving?

I Can’t Be Vegan. I’m Mexican…I’m French…I’m Irish…

(PLEASE SHARE THESE VIDEOS!)

We often hear that being vegan is incongruent with being…well, name it. I can’t be vegan, because…I’m Mexican, I’m French . . . My family is Puerto Rican. I have Italian blood . . .I come from Irish stock. You get the idea.

MOST cultures have a history of heavy meat- and/or dairy-consumption, particularly as they became wealthier and more industrialized. (Although if you go back far enough, plant foods played a more significant role than they do now).

Food IS a unique expression of culture, but we have to ask:

“Is my cultural heritage reason enough to not make some changes that are in alignment with my current values?”

and

“Are there other ways I can celebrate my cultural heritage while still honoring my desire to be vegan?”

After all, despite meat, dairy, and eggs being prevalent in many cuisines, so are plant foods.

With a vegan’s-eye view of the world, we can just as easily and legitimately celebrate our family history and cultural traditions through the vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, lentils, fungi, herbs, and spices that characterize the cuisine of our heritage—whatever that heritage might be.

(Tired of Excuses? Take The 30-Day Vegan Challenge today!) 

Cows Aren’t Killed for Milk, So What’s Wrong with Drinking It?

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?Cows are absolutely killed for their milk. I can’t say this enough: There is no such thing as a slaughter-free animal agriculture system. ⁣

A cow’s life is only as valuable as the amount of milk she is able to “produce”; when she is no longer “profitable,” she is killed. ⁣

It is simply not economically viable to feed, shelter, treat, and house animals for the rest of their lives and generate no profit in return. ⁣ ⁣

Whether she is used on a small farm, an organic farm, a “humane” farm, a “family-owned” farm, an artisan farm, a whatever-it’s-called-farm, she is killed. ⁣ ⁣

Cattle have a natural life expectancy of 15 or 20 years, but dairy cows are sent to slaughter at about 4 to 5 years young. ⁣ ⁣

We have no physiological need to consume the milk of another animal. But don’t we have a moral obligation to not cause suffering when we can avoid doing so? ⁣ ⁣

We can still enjoy creamy, delicious milks made from plants — that don’t come with inevitable suffering, slaughter, and environmental degradation.

(Tired of Excuses? Take The 30-Day Vegan Challenge today!) 

If People Stopped Eating Animals, We’d Be Overrun with Them

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If we stopped eating animals, we’d be overrun with them, and THAT would be a disaster for the environment! It’s a disaster for the environment now. We don’t have to imagine some future where there is an overpopulation of these animals. We already have an overpopulation crisis — now!

We’re already overrun with chickens and pigs and turkeys and cattle. The only difference is that in this real scenario, all of the animals are hidden in cages, windowless buildings, transport trucks, and slaughterhouses. In the hypothetical scenario, they’re running around on the streets.

And the ONLY reason this hypothetical scenario is as frightening as it is — billions of terrified animals running around — is because there are BILLIONS of terrified animals are confined at this very moment. THAT’s scary enough.

The concern about them “ESCAPING” wouldn’t be a concern if we weren’t imprisoning BILLIONS OF THEM now. Once we stop artificially inseminating these domesticated animals (i.e. stop eating them day in and day out!), there will be fewer of them.

We shouldn’t be afraid of a hypothetical dystopian future! We should be afraid of our very real dystopian present. Sooo…for everyone contributing to that…you know what you need to do!

(Tired of Excuses? Take The 30-Day Vegan Challenge today!) 

How to Save Animals From Humans

On “World Wildlife Day,” I thank you for sharing this post!

The animals who live among us are part of our communities; they’re residents and contributors — not outsiders or intruders. Every animal whose space we share — the deer, squirrels, bees, and birds to the foxes, skunks, rats, and raccoons — face challenges that threaten their very survival every day: noisy leaf-blowers and unleashed dogs, speeding cars and light pollution, habitat loss.

Biological diversity is declining at alarming rates, and since the underlying cause is easy to identify (human behavior) the underlying solutions are equally apparent.

A few changes can make all the difference. We can:

*Change the way we talk about them, emphasizing their rightful role and place in our communities.

*Stop planting non-native landscapes. Animals can’t survive without the plants they co-evolved with.  

*Give plant-eaters a break. Newly planted trees and shrubs WILL be tested by hungry deer, but keeping new plants protected for the first few years means they can withstand a little nibbling once they’re more mature.  

*Stop poisoning rats. If not because there are non-lethal ways to deal with uninvited critters in our homes, then because rat poison hurts everyone in the food web.

*Create wildlife corridors to allow animals to move freely through our yards without risking the dangers of the road.

Everything we do has an impact on something or someone else. It’s not that we CAN make a difference in this world. It’s that we DO make a difference. The question is: do we want that difference to be negative or positive?

Animals Would Go Extinct If We Stopped Eating Them

This is something I hear a lot. Here’s my response. (THANK YOU FOR SHARING!) 

CHICKENS, COWS, AND PIGS WOULD GO EXTINCT IF PEOPLE STOPPED EATING THEM. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT, VEGANS AND VEGETARIANS???

Hang on. Do you mean the factory-made, domesticated breeds exploited by the meat, dairy, and egg industries to maximize profits and feed our voracious appetites for animal flesh and fluids and who as such are not part of any natural ecological system?

Um, yeah as someone who cares about ANIMALS and the tens of thousands of species who ARE threatened, I would have no problem with a few Frankenstein-like breeds going away (the Angus breed of beef cattle, the Beltsville white breed of turkey, the Holstein breed of dairy cow, for instance).

Their wild ancestors were part of the natural world — the wild cattle, boar, chickens, goats, sheep, and wild turkeys — but we took (and take) that away from them, twisted their genes, creating breeds to make these animals grow larger and produce faster than their skeletons and organs can support. We hunted many of them to extinction, and we took away their habitats.

All so we can have an abundance of meat, dairy, and eggs every minute of every day. If you need to find a culprit in the extinction of SPECIES, look no further than animal agriculture. Not vegans.

Weren’t Animals Were Put Here for Humans to Eat?

This is something I hear a lot. Here’s my response. (Feel free to hit the share button!) 

How is that even possible? Other animals were here long before us. As a species, Homo sapiens has been around for only about 300,000 years, and for thousands of years we were happy meals for the predators who were here first. We were not then and are not now some special species that isn’t part of the natural order of things. We simply figured out a way to game the system.

But more than that: nobody was “put” here for anyone else. All forms of life owe their existence to the slow, gradual process of evolution by natural selection and random mutation. And we are NOT where this ends.

Finally, the various breeds of animals we eat today also weren’t “put here.” We created them through genetic selection, domestication, and artificial breeding. We’re the ones who play God, but then we deny responsibility by saying that some other creator made them just for us. We need to own what we do so we can change what we do. It’s in our hands — nobody else’s.

What do you think?

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