2014 Conscious Eating Conference: Session #4: From Excuse-itarian to Vegan
Speaker: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Best-Selling Author
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an award-winning author, public speaker, educator, and has guided people on becoming vegan for over 16 years.
Patrick-Goudreau is hard-hitting right from the start with the fact that we live in a world that embraces animal exploitation and endorses it, and indoctrinates us at a very early age. She says people make excuses so they can keep doing the same thing everyday, and that we have deeply ingrained habits—but habits are meant to be broken. She holds that “we are taught to get our protein from meat, eggs, and dairy, and if we don’t, we’ll be somehow protein deficient or we’ll become anemic.” But she’s quick to point out “that we traded the diseases of deficiency with the diseases of excess.” She supports that the “nutrients and protein we really need are all plant-based,” and questions why we’re going to animals to get our plant-based ingredients (ruminant animals eat grass). She reinforces the irony of going through animals to get to the plants—we should instead go directly to the plants. We’re essentially being resource-inefficient, wasteful and environmentally unsustainable.
She further notes that the dairy industry supplements cow feed with calcium, because cows are no longer getting calcium from eating grass (since cows move to feedlots at 6 months of age and essentially stop eating grass then). Instead, they live on factory farms and eat corn, soy and grain. She implores the industry to stop chronically impregnating cows. “When a cow gives birth to a calf all she wants to do is feed her baby, clean her baby, wash her baby, and nurture her baby—but we take her baby away from her immediately after birth.” When this happens the cow bellows for days for her baby.
She implores people not to drink cow’s milk or to stop drinking cows milk, saying we have absolutely no physiological need for their milk. Instead she suggests we should go directly to the best source of calcium by eating rich leafy greens.
Patrick-Goudreau talked about the irony of fish farming today, and how we eat fish to get our Omega 3 fatty acids, but the farmed fish we’re eating aren’t eating a diet that’s beneficial to us. Wild fish eat phytoplankton (plants), which would be more beneficial to us. But now that we’re factory farming fish–confining them to small overcrowded spaces, they’re not able to eat phytoplankton. Instead farmed fish food is supplemented with corn and grains (like cows), and essentially we’re just eating more corn and grains.
She said what we need and crave is fat in our diet, but not saturated fat from animals that’s actually harmful to our health. “We’re not obligate carnivores or true carnivores that crave the flesh of another animal, but rather she says we need fat, salt, plant nutrients, flavor and texture. Good fats come from plants—avocados, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, tofu and fatty fish.
Patrick-Goudreau invites people to take the 30-Day Vegan Challenge at joyfulvegan.com where you can be fully compassionate. She ends with how “we’ve been indoctrinated into getting our protein from meat for so long, it’s so American. People’s natural compassionate side has been blocked. In order to make a difference, she contends that we might have to do something different!”
Speaker: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Conference: 2014 Conscious Eating Conference
Date: April 2014
Place: David Brower Center, Berkeley, CA