With The Joyful Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, you’ll learn how to live ethically, eat healthfully, and engage socially, while remaining a joyful vegan!
The Joyful Vegan
There are plenty of vegan cookbooks out there to help you cook meat-free meals, but there really aren’t any books to help you deal with the social and emotional aspects of being vegan. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is here to help with her new book The Joyful Vegan.
This is truly a unique book, because it deals with so many of the aspects of veganism that we don’t talk about very much. Many people think that going vegan means changing your diet—which of course is a big chunk of veganism. But once you’ve decided to make the switch, you have to deal with so much more than what to make for dinner. There are issues with family, guilt over past actions, dealing with vegan stereotypes, and so much more.
The Joyful Vegan is a guidebook for dealing with these issues as some of the other difficult emotional and social situations that may arise. Colleen shares tips on how avoid burnout, how to find your vegan tribe, and how to find your place in the activism community. This book will help you live a vegan life joyful and stay vegan!
Colleen is graciously sharing “The New Normal”, an excerpt from The Joyful Vegan, with us here today.
The anecdotal and empirical accounts of improved emotional, mental, and physical health among vegetarians and vegans are vast and well documented. Aside from the measurable and observable physical changes that take place—improved cholesterol, increased energy, decreased weight, improved digestion and regularity, improved kidney function, decreased arthritic pain—when veganism is integrated into your life, there are a number of other things you become accustomed to and amused by, things that become the new normal.
The vegan jokes will persist.
Most likely you will be subjected to the same comments twenty years from now as you are today. You can shrug, roll your eyes, politely ask that they stop, and even laugh—and know that the next one is just around the corner.
People will always suffer from whataboutism.
As a matter of self-preservation, people will deflect the harm of their own actions by trying to discredit veganism and by pointing out the supposed hypocrisy of those who identify as vegan:
- You’re vegan? Well, what about plants? They have feelings, too!
- You’re vegan? Well, what about the fake leather you wear? That’s environmentally destructive!
- You’re vegan? Well, what about the insects you kill when you drive your car? That’s not very compassionate!
Some of these questions are asked out of genuine curiosity and some are asked to try and catch you in some logical flaw that will justify meat, dairy, and egg consumption and undermine this compassionate and healthful way of living. I often joke that people expect vegans to have advanced degrees in nutrition, philosophy, history, anthropology, religion, animal husbandry, ecology, and the culinary arts—and it’s only funny because it’s true. Feel free to respond to such questions—applying the strategies discussed in Stage Seven on communication—but just don’t be surprised when you hear them again and again.
Everyone is an expert.
While no one cared about your increased risk for heart disease while when you were shoving meat, cheese, and eggs in your mouth, suddenly everybody is a self-declared dietitian when they hear about your veganism. Get used to it.
Everyone wants to know what you eat.
Everyone, from complete strangers to close family members, is curious about what you eat—because they really don’t know. You may know you don’t eat iceberg lettuce every day, but they may not. You may know how easy it is to bake without eggs, but they may not. I’m not suggesting you have to entertain every question you’re asked, but they are part of the territory, and they’re wonderful opportunities to debunk some myths about what it means to be vegan.
Some friends and family will fuss over your veganism—in a good way.
Some of your loved ones—even just casual friends or coworkers—will be very protective of you, going out of their way to make sure you have something to eat at an event you’re attending together or calling a restaurant ahead of time to find out what’s vegan. You may feel like much ado is being made unnecessarily, but just appreciate the support.
You don’t know everything.
And that’s okay. You know when I said there’s an expectation that vegans have advanced degrees in nutrition, philosophy, history, anthropology, religion, animal husbandry, ecology, and the culinary arts? Well, that expectation doesn’t come only from nonvegans; it may come from you as well. We put so much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect answer to every question we’re asked, but here’s something to get used to: you don’t know everything, and you don’t have to. You can say, “I don’t know,” and the world will still turn. As much as you’ve learned, there is always something you haven’t yet. Just remain humble and open to new thoughts, ideas, and perspectives.
Excerpt reprinted from The Joyful Vegan by Colleen Patrick Goudreau with permission.
I have a copy of The Joyful Vegan for one lucky winner this week. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight on December 29th. U.S. residents only please. Good luck!