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Why People Say Almonds and Avocados Are Not Vegan

Avocados and Almonds are [Vegan] Red Herrings

Ever since this ridiculous clip from (one of my favorite shows), QI, the Internet has been abuzz!

The fact that there’s so much buzz around whether or not avocados and almonds are VEGAN and that vegans are hypocrites for eating them reveals four things to me:

  • 1. that non-vegans love to play the gotcha game.
  • 2. that vegans haven’t done a very good job clarifying what “vegan” means.
  • 3. that almonds and avocados have become red herrings to distract and deflect away from violence in animal factories and slaughterhouses.
  • 4. non-vegans who use this argument are belying the fact that they have no other strong defense for justifying eating animals.
  • 5. Vegans take the bait every single time.

Vegans Are Imperfect Because Humans Are Imperfect.

Here’s what I think.

There is no such thing as a certified vegan, and there is no way to attain perfection or purity — as imperfect humans in an imperfect world.

And that’s not what being vegan is about.

So…should I eat foie gras because my organic kale was grown in soil amended with chicken manure? Should I eat pork and chicken’s wings because the apples I buy were pollinated with domesticated honeybees?

That makes absolutely no sense.

The idea that we should do nothing because we can’t do everything is illogical and self-defeatist. Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything.

This is Not a Vegan Problem. It’s a Human Problem.

What’s more, before European colonists brought the honeybee to the United States, native bees alone pollinated all the wild flowering plants and the crops grown by indigenous peoples. That was before we replaced diverse habitat with monoculture (almonds and avocados).

So, the reason farmers RENT bees is because we’re wiping out native bee populations and because these monocrops are intensively farmed.

THIS ISN’T A VEGAN PROBLEM TO SOLVE. This is A HUMAN problem that CAN be solved with some resourcefulness, ingenuity, foresight, and frankly compassion on the part of farmers, scientists, and policy-makers. 

You wanna help bees? Stop wasting time criticizing vegans for doing something. Look in your own back garden to see what you can do to make a difference, and don’t do nothing!

Imperfection is built into begin vegan, because imperfection is built in to being human.

My First Turkey Hug

Lydia was my first turkey hug — and she was proof that you don’t need arms to do so. 

She pressed her body so close against mine, I couldn’t tell where my heartbeat ended and hers began. I had been vegetarian for several years by then but vegan only a couple. I had had my share of kitty snuggles, cow kisses, and goat nuzzles, but I hadn’t been loved by a turkey.

22 years later, Lydia is no longer with us — she died naturally and peacefully, not from the blade of a cold knife — but to me, she will always be the ambassador for all her turkey brethren. 

It was Joseph Stalin who said that we treat one death as a tragedy but one million as a statistic, and of course he would know. And, that’s what we’re facing here.

Over 30 years an animal advocate, and I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that we bring into this world and kill almost 10 billion land animals every year in the U.S. for human consumption. We can’t fathom that number, but we CAN connect with one. One ambassador.

One individual whose life has been spared, one individual whose body has healed, one individual who represents not only the violence that countless animals endure every moment but also the hope and healing that’s possible when other individuals intervene: the human individuals. 

If you can connect people with the value of one individual animal, you can connect them with the value of an entire species. And so I give you Lydia: curious, affectionate, playful, vocal, brave, social, protective, and sassy. Like all her turkey friends. The only difference is…you can see her. ⠀

I hope. 

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. 

AFFILIATE PARTNERS

Nama Juicer — Use this link and coupon code COLLEEN10 and get 10% off my favorite juicer.

Plaine Products — Use this link and coupon code “compassion” for 15% off my favorite zero waste bath and body products.

Complement — Use this link and coupon code “joyfulvegan” and get 10% off my favorite supplements.

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. 

AFFILIATE PARTNERS

Nama Juicer — Use this link and coupon code COLLEEN10 and get 10% off my favorite juicer.

Plaine Products — Use this link and coupon code “compassion” for 15% off my favorite zero waste bath and body products.

Complement — Use this link and coupon code “joyfulvegan” and get 10% off my favorite supplements.

Halloween Movies with an Animal Theme

Don’t worry! I don’t recommend films in which animals are the victims of gruesome violence. So, grab some popcorn, get a pen and paper, and settle into this episode where I share my suggestions for films that are perfect for Halloween — for kids and adult alike. 

AFFILIATE PARTNERS

Nama Juicer — Use this link and coupon code COLLEEN10 and get 10% off my favorite juicer.

Plaine Products — Use this link and coupon code “compassion” for 15% off my favorite zero waste bath and body products.

Complement — Use this link and coupon code “joyfulvegan” and get 10% off my favorite supplements.

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Staying Healthy — Physically, Emotionally, Mentally — During (and After) a Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lock-down have added stress and strain to our bodies, hearts, and minds. Listen to this episode for ideas for staying healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally during this time and always. 

AFFILIATE PARTNERS

Nama Juicer — Use this link and coupon code COLLEEN10 and get 10% off my favorite juicer.

Plaine Products — Use this link and coupon code “compassion” for 15% off my favorite zero waste bath and body products.

Complement — Use this link and coupon code “joyfulvegan” and get 10% off my favorite supplements.

Homemade Flour Tortillas (Vegan Recipe)

I’m no “survivalist,” but I do know how to whip up a number of staples from scratch, and for that I am grateful.

Tortillas are something I make from scratch fairly regularly since becoming zero waste, but mostly corn tortillas made from masa flour. However, at my recent visit to the Food Mill for my dried bulk pantry items (beans, grains, flour, sunflower seeds — for the squirrels!), I forgot to get masa.

We make a LOT of beans in our house, and after making a beautiful pressure-cooker pot of chipotle pinto beans, I was jonesing to pair them with tortillas.

No masa? No problem.

It was time to perfect my flour tortilla skills, and I think I nailed it.

RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE FLOUR TORTILLAS

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup HOT water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use olive)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Stir in the water and oil. You might start mixing with a wooden, but it’s oodles easier to just use your hands. Get those hands dirty!
  3. If you find the dough is sticky, sprinkle in some more flour; if it’s too dry and not forming a ball, add a smidge more water. You want a nice smooth ball of dough.
  4. Turn the ball onto a floured surface, and knead about 10 or 12 times. Let  it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 portions. Begin shaping each one into a round disc, then on a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 7-inch circle.
  6. Spray a little oil into a nonstick skillet, and cook each tortilla over medium heat until lightly browned, 1 minute on each side. The subsequent tortillas will take less time once the pan is well heated.

Yes, you can freeze these beauties in a sealed package, but I think you’ll find you’ll eat them up before you have a chance!

ENJOY, and let me know what you think! (Also, don’t forget to check out the Quick and Easy Meals recipes for my famous No Queso Quesadillas. Now you can do so with these homemade tortillas!

Coronavirus and the Lethal Gifts of Livestock

With the Coronavirus (or Covid-19) wreaking havoc on our society, we thought it was timely to rebroadcast this episode. Coronavirus is one of many zoonotic diseases — diseases that jump from non-human animals to human animals.  

A “wet market” in Wuhan, China, is most likely where this strain of the coronavirus started. At many “wet markets,” meat, poultry, and seafood are sold alongside live animals for consumption. 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.

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.

20 Years Vegan!

This year, I’m celebrating 20 years being vegan, and to celebrate, I’m publishing my 7th book: The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs. It comes out in November 2019 and is available for preorder!

People who support me at $20/month and above have received special recognition in the book, and I want to thank them here. I’m so grateful to the special individuals below who generously support my work as monthly patrons. On behalf of the animals, thank you for helping me help people manifest their values of compassion and wellness in their everyday lives.

 Alexander Gray and David Cabrera

Anke Keilich

Ann Merrill

Bailey Manlosa

Becky Peters

Belen Melendrez

Boni Lamson

Brece Clark

Brooke Bussard

Brooke Hueper

Caroline Dyar

Cheri Brown

Cini Bretzlaff-Holstein

Cristina Fisher

Debra Knutson

Delfina Lopez

Geneviève Okuma

Gina Carr

Heather Elise Goodwin

Janet Ratliff

Janette Gilmour

Jayson Biggins

Jennifer Guerra

Jennifer Watkins

Jerilynn Hilmar

Johanna Veth

Jonathan Brant

Joseph Sailor

Kari Parker

Katariina Forsberg

Kenda English

Korshi Dosoo and Davide Galli

Kristin Beecraft

Laura Lichterman

Leana Lovejoy

Liv Larsen

Liz Dee

Lydia Ruth Huston

Lyndall Sargent

Marie-Eve Bedard

Matthew and Nina King

Max Goodman

Megan Lindeman

Melissa Amarello

Michael Rooney

Michal Stone

Michelle Mabe

Mike McNeeley

Morgan Hall

Nikki DeSarno

Nina Bircher

  1. J. Schuster

Paul Zhang

Patricia Hagmann

Patrick Reilly

Ranjini Mohan

Rassmus Peterson

Roland Reid

Rosalie Black

Sandy Kraus Smith

Sara Dee

Sheri Mersola

Sue Ellis Dyar

Susan Kiger

Tammy Robertson

Thomas J Baechle

Tim Anderson

Tina Strasheim

Todd Hilson