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Irresistible, vegan and healthy

The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, BenBella Books, US $16.95, Pp 300, November 2019 ISBN 978-1948836463

Most of us are aware of the benefits of eating vegan and the harm meat can do to our health. But we look for and find excuses to eat meat. We use different ways to justify our act of cruelty. In The Joyful Vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau argues that the society plays a big part in choosing what we eat. She argues that we do not call the animal flesh we eat by the names of living animals like we eat beef or veal and not cows. But a mango or a radish or an orange will be called by the same name wether it is hanging on the tree or lays in piece in our plate.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says, “The social drivers that compel us to eat animals are manifold, and I’m not suggesting that simply calling the animal flesh we eat by the names of living animals we kill would solve the problem. What I am saying is that these lexical distinctions help lessen our inner conflict. After all, we don’t have separate lexicons for the plant foods we eat.” Colleen Patrick-Goudreau explains that growing in a garden or served on a plate, a potato is still a potato. We can witness a fruit harvest with no compunction and call it what it is. There is no need to distinguish between the blossoming apple and plucked apple. She argues that when we categorize pigs, cows, chicken, and turkeys as ‘food animals,’ we are implicitly declaring that we “don’t want to look” at what happens to these animals. We are making the choice to be self-deluded, to be asleep rather than awake, to be willfully blind.

Colleen Patrick- Goudreau argues that contributing to violence against animals is inconsistent with who most of us are, with how we perceive ourselves, with the values most of us hold, and with the goals most of us have, but faced with the choice between continuing to delude ourselves and changing our behavior, self-delusion comes out looking pretty appealing. Change can be very difficult and terrifying — evoking subconscious fears of varying rationality — fear of the unknown, fear of rocking the boat, fear of conflict, fearing of being rejected, fear of disobeying. Colleen Patrick- Goudreau says that if we can’t or don’t want to stop eating animal flesh and fluids, we have to change our thinking about the behavior. We are equally deluded when it comes to our denial about the detrimental health effects of consuming high amounts of meat, dairy, and eggs and low amounts of whole grains, beans, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. We clearly care about our health.

Despite an array of forces compelling us to remain blissfully ignorant, still millions of people become informed. Through some kind of encounter – a book they read, a pamphlet they’re given, a documentary they watch, an animal they interact with, a vegan they meet – they experience what can only be described as an epiphany: a sudden revelation that compels them to align their behavior with their values, to make the dissonance consonant, to become vegetarian or vegan. In other words, to fully manifest the compassion that has always been inside of them, to choose life and wellness over sickness and death.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to understate the health benefits of eating vegan but Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipes make it joyful to live a vegan life. The Joyful Vegan will help you excuse-proof your diet. If you have a problem, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has the solution! With warmth and great recipes, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau leaves no excuses for people to defend their non-vegan dietary habits. If you think you can’t be satisfied without eating meat, try The Joyful Vegan recipes that are guaranteed to change the hearts and minds. The Joyful Vegan is filled with so many sumptuous and creative recipes that you truly forget it’s all vegan. It is irresistible, vegan, and healthy.

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