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Food For Thought

181 episodes in the feed.


A unique perspective that leaves listeners feeling supported, motivated, & inspired. Celebrating a way of life that encompasses compassion for everyone, this podcast addresses all aspects of eating a compassionate plant based diet. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau answers FAQs including those regarding animal rights, living among non vegans, food, cooking, nutrition and debunks the myths surrounding these issues. In some episodes classic short stories involving animal rights and perspectives are read & discussed.

A Note to Excuse Me: Natural Foods Expo + Holistic Holiday at Sea Vegan Cruise
24 Mar 2015 at 3:30pm
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The Symbols of Easter and Passover: Honoring Tradition as well as Our Values
8 Mar 2015 at 1:39pm
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 (... More)
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The Vegan Police: Speaking Up for Animals without Talking Down to People
22 Feb 2015 at 12:52pm
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 (... More)
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Animals and The Age of Enlightenment: How thinkers in the 17th century paved the way for animal protection today
8 Feb 2015 at 8:32am
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. (... More)
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Raccoon Rescue
29 Jan 2015 at 8:21pm
Many of us happen upon wildlife in distress in our daily lives, but we don't often do anything about it. We may be afraid, we may not know what to do, we may be too busy. Today I share my brief story about a little raccoon with distemper whose suffering took precedence over my fear. Today's Tweetable: "One life matters - especially to the one whose (... More)
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Rites and Wrongs: When Slaughter Rituals Mask Discomfort
24 Jan 2015 at 8:41am
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 (... More)
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How to Make a Vegan - Mainstreaming The 30-Day Vegan Challenge
10 Jan 2015 at 1:08pm
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, (... More)
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Seeking a Sense of Community & Belonging (Stage 6 of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals / Become Vegan)
28 Dec 2014 at 9:19am
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 (... More)
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Victory for Elephants in Circuses
14 Dec 2014 at 9:24am
Join me today as I discuss the bullhook ban victory in my own city of Oakland, CA and how it is a small step indeed. I believe there will come a day in my lifetime when we see the end of animals in circuses, but until then, we're forced to make frustratingly small, incremental steps toward that aim. I also share a couple phone calls and announce the (... More)
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Vegan Traveling in Ireland: Plant-Based Eating in my Ancestor's Land
30 Nov 2014 at 9:09am
Excited to share my trip to Ireland in today's podcast episode, including my meals at vegan (and non-vegan) restaurants, my visits to an animal sanctuary, and everything in between. So, sit back and enjoy! Many thanks to listeners and to American Anti-Vivisection Society and for sponsoring this episode. (... More)
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American Vegan in London
16 Nov 2014 at 5:47pm
Excited to share my trip to London with all of you, including my meals at vegan (and non-vegan) restaurants, my visits to animal memorials, and everything in between. In the next episode, I'll take you to Ireland with me, but for now, sit back and enjoy! I'm also including some questions from callers about the sustatainability of salmon, how to buy (... More)
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Animal Word Origins
3 Nov 2014 at 4:20am
  I'm fascinated by the origins of words in general and how they relate to our perception of and thus treatment of non-human animals in particular. And so today, we take a look at five common English-language words and how they relate to non-human animals. After listening, you'll never again be able to order a burrito without thinking about my favorite (... More)
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What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals: Stage 5 - Sorrow and Anger
19 Oct 2014 at 9:59am
Continuing our 10 Stages of What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals, today I focus on Stage 5. This is when we are so acutely aware of how large the problem is, of how many animals are suffering, how many animals humans hurt, how many atrocities we commit against animals, how systematic it is, and how systemic it is. And as a result, we may feel overwhelmed, (... More)
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Practical Answers to Real-World Vegan Concerns
5 Oct 2014 at 9:12am
0 0 1 118 673 Compassionate Cooks 5 1 790 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE (... More)
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Animals Are Not Plants
21 Sep 2014 at 10:59am
The urban agriculture trend is sexy, hot, and extremely popular. It also has the potential to negatively affect thousands of individuals when farming and killing animals is part of the plan. In today's episode, I share my experience working to stop backyard animal farming and slaughter in Oakland and why I think acting locally and politically for animals (... More)
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The Power of Compassion
7 Sep 2014 at 9:05am
Join me for today's episode filled with wonderful questions from callers, such as what to do when a butcher shop moves in across the street; how to deal with "compassion fatigue": coping with the sadness of our society's rampant institutionalized animal abuse; and one from a doctor who looked for some guidance on how to talk to her patients about plant-based (... More)
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Indoor Cats with Outdoor Access
25 Aug 2014 at 9:04am
0 0 1 52 299 Pivotal 2 1 350 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE (... More)
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What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals – Stage Four: Evangelizing
10 Aug 2014 at 8:29pm
Today's episode focuses on the fourth stage of what happens when you stop eating animals: Evangelizing (Vegangelizing?). Join me as I talk about the difference between evangelizing and proselytizing and why we can - and should - fully embrace the true meaning of what it means to be an evanglizer, or a "messenger of good news." Sharing our enthusiasm (... More)
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Being the Vegan in the Room - Representing Veganism in a Joyful Way
27 Jul 2014 at 2:50pm
In today's episode, I share with you a number of recent scenarios I found myself in where I had the opportunity to represent veganism and chose (choose) to do so in a positive way, whether it's ordering food in a non-vegan restaurant, dropping the "v" word into a non-vegan conversation, or meeting a friend of a friend who is on the Paleo (Pasturbation) (... More)
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Palm Oil, Earth Balance, and Rainforest Destruction: Straw-Man Argument or Legitimate Connection?
16 Jul 2014 at 9:29am
Public awareness is growing about the relationship between the production of palm oil and the loss of rainforests. And that's a good thing (though much work needs to be done between the relationship between the production of animal-based MEAT and the destruction of rainforests). Grown in tropical regions, palm plantations are displacing rainforests, (... More)
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Vegan in Italy
7 Jul 2014 at 10:51am
Italy is one of my favorite places in the world - the people, the beauty, the language, the art, the history, the music, the food. Listen to this episode in which I share the details of our first international "Vegan Travel with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau" trip, which we premiered in Italy. We ate, we drank, we hiked, we cooked, we toured, we laughed, (... More)
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Feeding Wildlife: Is it Ever Okay?
29 Jun 2014 at 9:38am
In this episode, I answer a number of questions from callers who ask: *what do I say to people who bring up abortion when I talk about animal rights? *how do I not make everyone uncomfortable when I talk about being vegan? *is it ever okay to feed birds, squirrels, deer, and other animals outside my home? *how do I handle the fact that family members (... More)
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2,500 Years of Veganism: A Brief History
27 Jun 2014 at 11:00am
Many people think of “veganism” as a new reactionary trend against what we call factory farming, but for centuries, men and women have been thinking about, writing about, and expressing distress over the violence inherent in killing animals for human use and consumption. My personal veganism is part of a long continuum of men and women – from ancient (... More)
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Beauty without Animal Cruelty
13 Jun 2014 at 8:09am
In today's episode, I talk about my favorite personal care and cosmetics products and how to determine if a company doesn't test their final products or their ingredients on animals. I also discuss the importance of supporting organizations and companies striving to vet this information for us so we, the consumer, can trust that what we buy has not (... More)
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Advocating for Animals in Social Media
1 Jun 2014 at 11:11pm
The centerpiece of today's episode is how to be the best advocate for animals and veganism in the age of social media. One of the most common questions I receive is about how to respond to people who make hostile or passive aggressive comments about veganism and animal protection on their Facebook (et. al) page. I share my philosophy about interacting (... More)
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Vegan in New York City
18 May 2014 at 4:31pm
Join me in this episode in which I share with you my recent journey to the Big Apple, lauding the vegan restaurants I frequented and the animal activist/friends I cavorted with. And, amazingly, this California snob admits that NYC does some things better than we do in the Golden State. I also answer a couple questions from some lovely women who are (... More)
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Knowing Where You End and Another Person Begins
4 May 2014 at 8:41am
Join me for a great episode in which I answer some really common but important questions about how to deal with people who poke fun at or ignore your concern about animals. I also answer a great question about the myth that it costs more to eat healthfully. All of this follows my joyful riff about living among wildlife. Thank you to today's podcast (... More)
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The 30-Day Vegan Challenge is coming back! All I need is you.
1 May 2014 at 6:43am
The first edition of The 30-Day Vegan Challenge book sold almost 20,000 copies before going out of print. Help me bring back a new (improved) edition so it can resume changing and saving lives. Listen to this episode to find out why I need YOU to make this possible. We have only 30 days to make this possible! (... More)
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Vegan Weddings: How Dare You Reflect Who You Are on Your Special Day
21 Apr 2014 at 8:15am
So many vegans have been conditioned to be apologetic, self-effacing, or even ashamed for manifesting their values. Lest they be called selfish, rigid, or unreasonable, many compromise what they care about most to please someone else. This plays out in many scenarios but especially during wedding-planning. Whether or not you're getting married, this (... More)
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Compassionate Fashion
6 Apr 2014 at 8:09am
I get a lot of questions from both men and women about finding compassionate clothing and shoes made without animal skins, fur, hair, or other body parts(!) - that are both fashionable as well as affordable. Today, I share my thoughts about why it costs a little more to make ethical wares, and I assure you that you don't have to trade fashion for compassion. (... More)
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Benji: My Gateway Film into Animal Advocacy
23 Mar 2014 at 10:02am
My love of film began when I was very young and my parents took me to the movies every Friday night. Granted, some of the films I saw were incredibly inappropriate for my age, but I'll always be grateful for seeing Benji in the theatre when I was 6 years old. I almost didn't make it through for all the tears I cried, but it is truly one of my earliest (... More)
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I Am (Not) An Animal
9 Mar 2014 at 3:46pm
In today's episode, I discuss the origins of the word "animal," whose root word means "soul" - something humans are in danger of losing if we keep denying non-human animals theirs. Thanks to today's sponsors:,, & I also share the origins of other animal-related words (beast, creature, brute, brute and (... More)
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Vegan in Napa, Cruelty-Free Antibacterial Soap (Why It's Unnecessary), and Holy Roaches
23 Feb 2014 at 4:09pm
In this episode, I share my experience sleeping in my 20th county in California (Napa), booking an Air B&B for the first time, eating vegan in Napa Country (particularly in the towns of Napa and Helena), and I answer such questions as "How do you respond to folks who say 'it must be hard to be vegan' as you stand there with a plate of carrots at a fancy (... More)
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Lessons from a Kitchen Remodel + The Links Between Animal Advocacy and All Social Justice Issues
9 Feb 2014 at 11:32am
In today's episode, I share my recommendations for some kitchen design elements that might be helpful to you whether you're remodeling or not, and I answer several of your questions, including how to respond to people who say "it must be hard to be vegan," "I had a great weekend hunting," and "why don't animal advocates spend their time taking care (... More)
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Valuing One Life, Changing the Barometer, and Knowing You Can't Please Everyone!
27 Jan 2014 at 8:36am
Join me for today's episode as I tell the story of intervening when I found a sick raccoon while traveling and as I answer questions related to my favorite teas, to changing the barometer by which we measure all things vegan, and to coming to terms with the fact that we can't please everyone when trying to do good. An emailer in the "What Would Colleen (... More)
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Eight-Year Anniversary: An Uber Love Fest!
14 Jan 2014 at 9:15am
Eight years. Eight years of food for thought! In celebration of the eight-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, transformation, and compassion. (... More)
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The Shame of Overweight Vegans
4 Jan 2014 at 9:19am
In today's episode, I relate my interaction with a non-vegan neighbor about whether it's ever possible to keep and kill animals "humanely," and I talk to a couple listeners about how best to represent veganism with non-vegan, animal-loving co-workers and colleagues. The center of this episode, however, is my response to a woman who wrote to me to ask (... More)
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Setting Boundaries, Reading Chaucer, and Talking Bees
21 Dec 2013 at 2:26pm
Join me today as I talk about the importance of knowing where we end and another person begins, which is also today's tweetable! This theme runs through my week's re-cap, as well as in this episode's emails and phone calls. In our segment, Verbal Vivisection, I dissect some positive animal idioms, such as "bee's knees" and "busy as a bee" and relatedly (... More)
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Creating a Foundation of Compassion
8 Dec 2013 at 8:15am
Join me today as I talk about my goal of sleeping in every county in California, about writing my next cookbook, and about my experience demystifying “vegan food” with a bed-and-breakfast proprietor. This episode is also the first in which I incorporate your phone calls, which include a question about living with a non-vegan husband, a question about (... More)
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Being Vegan is a Means to An End. It is Not An End in Itself.
25 Nov 2013 at 11:17am
In today's episode, I share my experience - and a fun audio clip - from my recent visit to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, the Albany (NY) VegFest, and Red Robin Song Animal Sanctuary (and vegan guest house). I also answer your questions about whether or not it's "vegan" to visit natural history museums (that feature stuffed dead animals), about what (... More)
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A New Era for Food for Thought!
18 Nov 2013 at 10:12am
Food for Thought has been running for almost 8 years, which is fantastic and incredible – and possible because of the support of my amazing listeners. However, it's time for a change, and change is here! Check out today's brief episode in which I announce the new format for the podcast, including Through a Compassionate Lens (my weekly observations (... More)
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What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals – Stage Three: Coming Out
7 Nov 2013 at 9:09am
Today's episode focuses on the third stage of "what happens when you stop eating animals"): Coming Out. Join me as I talk about what it means to “come out.” What does it mean to be in the closet? When is the best time to come out? How do you come out? To whom do you come out? And how do you respond to the reactions to your coming out? My intention in (... More)
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What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals – Stage Two: Guilt & Remorse
6 Oct 2013 at 8:00am
After providing an overview of The 10 Stages We Go Through When We Stop Eating Animals (check out the previous episode called From Consumption to Compassion, as well as Stage One: Validation), today's episode focuses on the second stage: Guilt & Remorse. This is the stage where we reflect upon the animals we once ate and feel bad for having done so. (... More)
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Humane Montaigne (mon*tayne)
4 Sep 2013 at 5:42pm
In this episode, I'm thrilled to share with you a very special person named Michele de Montaigne, who lived from 1533 to 1592. He was a writer, philosopher, and inventor of the essay as a proper literary genre. In his aptly titled "Essays," he shares his thoughts - while referencing historical figures, philosophical thinkers, and poets - in order to work (... More)
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What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals - Stage One: Validation and the Voracious Consumption of Information
1 Aug 2013 at 2:20pm
After providing an overview of The 10 Stages You Go Through When You Stop Eating Animals (check out the previous episode called From Consumption to Compassion), today's episode focuses on the first stage: Validation and the Voracious Consumption of Information. This is the stage when you seek to get your hands on every book, every video, every bit of (... More)
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The End of the Food for Thought Podcast?
18 Jul 2013 at 10:23am
Without a doubt, this podcast has saved and changed thousands of lives, and it's imperative it stay on the air. Listen to this short episode about how to make this possible, how to get a free copy of On Being Vegan, and how we can reach thousands more people - all with your help. (... More)
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ˇAdiós, Cordera!: An 1892 Spanish Short Story (Read in English!)
19 Jun 2013 at 8:40am
Today, I read a very special story called "ˇAdiós, Cordera!", written in 1892 by Leopoldo Alas (also known as Clarín). “ˇAdiós, Cordera!" is a touching story of two children, named Rosa and Pinín, who love their family's cow, Cordera, like a mother. The family is very poor, and the father realizes that he must sell the beloved cow in order to pay rent. (... More)
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Verbal Vivisection: How Euphemisms, Oxymorons, and Doublespeak Disguise Our Violence Against Animals
20 May 2013 at 3:48pm
I love language, and I advocate being thoughtful about the words we use – not in a way that is derisively called “politically correct” but in a way that reflects the truth and doesn't hide it. I advocate using language that celebrates animals rather than denigrates them. I urge people to use language that says what we mean. Join me today as I talk (... More)
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From Consumption to Compassion: The Stages We Go Through When We Stop Eating Animals and What We Need to Know to Stay Hopeful and Joyful
8 Apr 2013 at 10:31am
I believe that the process of becoming vegan is the process of reclaiming our true compassion and becoming reawakened to it, and I think understanding the journey of going from innately compassionate child to desensitized adult to one whose compassion is re-awakened is key to inspiring it in others and to remaining awake ourselves. Once we become awake, (... More)
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Vegan Dating
14 Mar 2013 at 12:03pm
Finding a compatible romantic partner is an age-old desire and one that comes with challenges, hopes, fears, and heartbreak - regardless of who you are, where you live, or how you eat. For vegans who want to date only vegans (i.e. like-minded folks who share similar values - something we all went!), the dilemma is the fact that because vegans represent (... More)
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