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Millions of people are choosing veganism all over the world. They value their health, have compassion for animals, and are concerned about the environment, and yet despite the personal benefits they experience, a lot of people revert back to eating meat dairy and eggs. Why is that? I have been looking forward to this episode since the creation of my podcast. One of my most passionate topics is this conversation surrounding why people stop being vegan, how vegans respond to people who stop being vegan, how non vegans use the stories of ex-vegans as proof of justification for this or that, the complexities of our own stories, lenses and experiences that shape our decisions, and so on.
To break down this topic, I shared a conversation with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau who is not only a decades long OG vegan, but also a thought leader on the social, ethical, and practical aspects of living compassionately and healthfully. She’s a speaker, cultural commentator, podcaster, and author of many books, including “The Joyful Vegan: how to stay vegan in a world that wants you to eat meat, dairy, and eggs” and her perspective on the many common reasons why people stop being vegan are compelling.
In this episode we cover
– What the data shows is the main reason people stop being vegan – is it health reasons or more social and cultural?
– The social and cultural pressures that impact our lifestyle choices
– The external factors that make veganism socially difficult —and emotionally exhausting—to sustain
– feeling the pressure (often self inflicted) to be perfect
– What being realistic about food and health looks like
– The double standard that our society holds plant-based eaters and their health to compared to any other way of eating
– Breaching values and sabotaging goals in the process
– The problems with ex-vegan stories – both how they are presented and how people respond to them
– Anecdotes & social media influencers who quit being vegan
– if I ever consider stopping being vegan
– when plant-based diets don’t work
– our biological design to thrive
– Why you’ll never see videos called “why I quit the ancestral diet” or “why I quit the paleo diet”…is it because no one quits those diets or is it because of something else?
– How health is so much more than just food
– Division & hatred on both sides
– the hidden complexities of our modern day agriculture system
– how to respond compassionately to everyone’s viewpoints
– if vegans’ righteous anger when people fail to meet their expectations is justified or helpful
– finding supportive community and bringing people together
– Loving everyone through their own journeys, stories, and no matter how they choose to eat.
WHERE TO FIND COLLEEN PATRICK-GOUDREAU
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