On Being Vegan
On Being Vegan is a collection of thoughtfully crafted essays that reflect Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s unique blend of passion, humor, and common sense and get to the heart of what it means to be vegan. Born out of her life-changing talks and podcast episodes, On Being Vegan is Patrick-Goudreau’s sixth book. Chapter 1 is the author’s own personal story from compassionate child to desensitized adult. Chapter 2, “Defining Vegan,” comprises the origins of the word “vegan” and its meaning. Chapter 3, “Why Vegan?” provides an overview of some of the most compelling reasons people leave animal products off their plates. Chapter 4 details just what the chapter title promises: “The Joys and Benefits of Living Vegan.” Chapter 5 offers a guide for identifying animal products on food packaging. Chapter 6 asks and answers: “How Vegan is Vegan?” Chapter 7 emphasizes the fact that being vegan is about “Intention Not Perfection.”

On Being Vegan Details

TitleOn Being Vegan
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 15th, 2013
PublisherMontali Press
Rating
GenreFood and Drink, Vegan, Nonfiction, Health, Vegetarian, Food

On Being Vegan Review

  • Michelle Leedy
    January 1, 1970
    Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has a great website, some of the best vegan cookbooks around, the 30-Day Vegan Challenge, and the unrivalled Food for Thought podcast. But for a long time I've been wishing she would write a book like this, something that would include her own story, as well as lots of insights on veganism. She's finally done it. This book is a collection of her personal essays on becoming vegan and what that means for her. She addresses topics such as: -The benefits of a vegan lifestyle Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has a great website, some of the best vegan cookbooks around, the 30-Day Vegan Challenge, and the unrivalled Food for Thought podcast. But for a long time I've been wishing she would write a book like this, something that would include her own story, as well as lots of insights on veganism. She's finally done it. This book is a collection of her personal essays on becoming vegan and what that means for her. She addresses topics such as: -The benefits of a vegan lifestyle;-Nutrition and food labels;-The myth of the "perfect" vegan, and with her usual down-to-earth grace, explains the uselessness and futility of "purity";-The emotional issues many newbies may experience, such as guilt and anger. She doesn't simply pat you on the back, but offers genuine help and guidance, with tips on things you can actively do to help you move forward;-The criticisms that many people have of veganism;-Speaking to non-vegans about veganism; how to be the "vegan in the room";-The myths of "humane" meat, "free-range" eggs, and happy milk-"giving" cows.And although some of these topics are addressed in other books on veganism, Colleen covers them in a completely different way and presents unique information. What I love about her message is that she doesn't try to tell you what to do. There's never any judgement or criticism. Colleen tells her truth, presents the facts, sheds light on common fallacies, and helps you to see things from different perspectives. She then leaves you to make up your own mind. That feeling of "I never thought of it like that" is unavoidable when reading this book.If you're already a regular listener to her podcast, a lot of the material here will not be brand new, but it's great to have it in such an accessible format. It's also a great little book to give to friends and family to help them understand your reasons for choosing this lifestyle. There's also a resource list at the end of the book with recommended reading and websites.If you're a new vegan or curious about veganism, this is the perfect book to start with. It's concise, engaging, answers lots of questions, and will arm you with the information you need to make an informed decision. If you enjoy this book, you'll love her podcasts and Vegan's Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living CompassionatelyHere's one of my favourite quotes from the book:"Whenever we're answering questions about being vegan, it helps to have a clear intention, and I think if our intention is 'to speak the truth' rather than 'to convert someone,' we will be very effective spokespeople for this incredible way of living."
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Very well thought-out essay on being vegan and all that the word entails. I love that it focuses on intention and not perfection, and the author is not at all preachy or self-righteous, but encourages everyone to live their lives in accordance with their own values of compassion. The only reason I rate 4/5 stars is because I wanted to read more! The 2nd half of the title, "Reflections on a Compassionate Life" seemed to be missing. I wanted to know more about Colleen and read about her life and e Very well thought-out essay on being vegan and all that the word entails. I love that it focuses on intention and not perfection, and the author is not at all preachy or self-righteous, but encourages everyone to live their lives in accordance with their own values of compassion. The only reason I rate 4/5 stars is because I wanted to read more! The 2nd half of the title, "Reflections on a Compassionate Life" seemed to be missing. I wanted to know more about Colleen and read about her life and experiences. This book contains no graphic violence, so don't skip it because you might be uncomfortable with slaughterhouse descriptions. It addresses factory farming without vivid details and without the intention to shock or disgust.I would recommend this to anyone who is curious about vegans, veganism, or even those who think they know and have strong opinions about the subject. As a Christian, I would also challenge other Christians to step outside their comfort zone and become informed on the subject so that they can make educated decisions, based not on tradition or habit, but on their own values.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    This is the most eloquently-written and compelling argument I have ever read for being vegan. I gave up eating meat quite a while ago, but it was only because I felt better if I didn't eat it. Then I cut back on dairy and eggs and realized I felt even better. But I continued to eat fish and the occasional sprinkle of cheese on my salads because it didn't seem to bother me too much--neither for digestive reasons nor reasons relating to compassion. But after reading this book, I realized there are This is the most eloquently-written and compelling argument I have ever read for being vegan. I gave up eating meat quite a while ago, but it was only because I felt better if I didn't eat it. Then I cut back on dairy and eggs and realized I felt even better. But I continued to eat fish and the occasional sprinkle of cheese on my salads because it didn't seem to bother me too much--neither for digestive reasons nor reasons relating to compassion. But after reading this book, I realized there are numerous ethical reasons to completely cease eating all meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. The author thoroughly and logically addresses the arguments for and against eating eggs, even pasture-raised eggs, and dairy, and she delves deeply into the issues regarding meat and fish consumption. All of this is packaged into a short and concise read. It didn't take me long to get through the book, but I will continue to re-visit its message and think about it every time I make a choice about what to eat.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    This book offers an informative, engaging, and realistic perspective on being vegan. I love that the author continually drives home the point that veganism is a means to an end--that end being opposing cruelty and violence and choosing to live compassionately--not on getting hung up "being the perfect vegan". The book is easily read in one or two sittings ( for the eager CPG fan like me at least) :) and It offers some real-world considerations for vegans and vegan curious. I love being vegan (ab This book offers an informative, engaging, and realistic perspective on being vegan. I love that the author continually drives home the point that veganism is a means to an end--that end being opposing cruelty and violence and choosing to live compassionately--not on getting hung up "being the perfect vegan". The book is easily read in one or two sittings ( for the eager CPG fan like me at least) :) and It offers some real-world considerations for vegans and vegan curious. I love being vegan (about 7 months now) and reading this material helps me to feel connected to the meaning behind my choices ie compassion and kindness. However, if you've ever been even a little vegan- curious, I would also recommend this book. Delightful!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I think this would be especially great for a new vegan or someone considering making the change. I've had Colleen's Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook for years and periodically listen to her podcast as well so there's not much new here for me, but someone less familiar would get a lot of good from this small book. It's a quick read at just 114 pages, but packed with great information on the impact of our choices to consume/use animal products or not. Unlike many vegans putting themselves out there, C I think this would be especially great for a new vegan or someone considering making the change. I've had Colleen's Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook for years and periodically listen to her podcast as well so there's not much new here for me, but someone less familiar would get a lot of good from this small book. It's a quick read at just 114 pages, but packed with great information on the impact of our choices to consume/use animal products or not. Unlike many vegans putting themselves out there, Colleen is very gentle in her approach. You won't get graphic descriptions or scare tactics here, just facts presented with a lot of heart. While she does touch on products such as leather and fur and even cities using bone to filter water, the main emphasis here is on meat, dairy and eggs and she does a good job of making these arguments. I especially appreciated her discussion on backyard chicken keeping since this has become so popular in recent years.The way I see it, being vegan is not an end; it's a means to an end, and to me, that end is unconditional compassion. If we get wrapped up in the label, we're treating veganism as the end - not the means to compassion. (p86)When people dismiss veganism as attainable or unrealistic, remind them that not doing anything because we can't do everything makes absolutely no sense. Don't do nothing because you can't do everything, do something. Anything. (p105)Colleen has recently been making the changes to reduce her waste (both trash and recycling) and I fully expect there will soon be a book coming on living a zero waste lifestyle as a vegan.
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  • Femmebelle
    January 1, 1970
    Good introduction to veganism. The language is easy to read and understand. Great if you just turned vegan recently, now someone who is vegan and you want to understand their view point or if you are just interested in vegnaism.
  • Jacki Oliphant
    January 1, 1970
    The first of a new series of books "On Being Vegan" is a very easy, comprehensive discussion on what it means to be vegan. I found that even though I have been vegan for a long time, there is still more to learn and this book is relevant for anyone long-time vegan, new vegan or vegan curious. Colleen Patrtick-Goudreau has a way of imparting her insight, passion and knowledge in a way that inspires, informs and just plain old 'makes sense'. One of my favourite quotes is; " When we turn away from The first of a new series of books "On Being Vegan" is a very easy, comprehensive discussion on what it means to be vegan. I found that even though I have been vegan for a long time, there is still more to learn and this book is relevant for anyone long-time vegan, new vegan or vegan curious. Colleen Patrtick-Goudreau has a way of imparting her insight, passion and knowledge in a way that inspires, informs and just plain old 'makes sense'. One of my favourite quotes is; " When we turn away from the reality of what we do to animals for gustatory pleasure, we play a game of pretend, like the child who covers her eyes and thinks you can't see her. And yet there she remains. Closing our eyes doesn't make violence disappear; it only closes our minds and hearts and allows the violence to continue. It was only when I was willing to look at how I contributed to violence against animals that I became awake, and in doing so, I have not so much returned to the innocent compassion of my childhood but instead have found a deeper place- where my eyes and heart are open, not because of what I don't know but because of what I do know."Looking forward to the next instalment.
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  • AllergicToMites
    January 1, 1970
    If I could give it 10 stars I would.If you follow Colleen's work you will notice how much effort she puts into what he does, and in this book you will find it all summarized. A perfect way to start learning about what goes on in the meat, egg and dairy industries, aka animal exploitation industries.If you have liked this book, check out her podcast "Food for thought", watch her videos on Youtube, get her other books. It will be worth it.
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  • Katie Minion
    January 1, 1970
    Since I follow CPG in most of her other mediums, I've read most of this before. To a CPG-newbie, this is a good overview of a lot of different aspects of veganism. However, I'm not sure who this book was written for. It's kind of all over the board - she talks about factory farming, about how to start living vegan, about how to be the "vegan in the room," and about more obscure vegan issues like honey and bone char filtering. I guess I just wish it were more focused.
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  • Zann
    January 1, 1970
    Colleen is such an eloquent speaker and writer; non-confrontational, informative, sincere. I've listened to a couple of her podcasts on her website too. Great website by the way. Anyhow, I recommend this book to new vegans, vegetarians and to anyone simply interested in finding out more of what it's all about.
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    I found this book inspiring, thoughtful and not preachy. It's a concise collection of essays on what it means to be vegan and how intention is more important than perfection. This quote from the author sums it up nicely: "Don't do nothing because you can't do everything. Do Something! Anything!"
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great book to pick up if you need a little extra motivation, reassurance or just a friend to take a long on a trip. If you listen to Colleen's podcast--you will find the same familiar voice. I plan to take this book along on trips and reread when I know I'll need a little extra support.
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  • SANDRA BONITO
    January 1, 1970
    Great little book to help people transition to a normal meat based diet to 100% vegan. You'll have tips on shopping vegan alternatives, nutritional advice, recipes, factory farming information... Be compassionate, be HUMAN KIND :)
  • Ireene
    January 1, 1970
    It is a very sweet book which also contains lots of useful information. It touches your heart from the moment you start reading it. Great gift for vegans and non-vegans alike.
  • Katie Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a great start for understanding why it's important to go vegan, and how to stay healthy while choosing animal free products and foods.
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