Wow! Four full days of inspiring and insightful presentations from a huge variety of leaders in the vegan world — that’s what Veganpalooza was (and is.) Even though the presentations are over, it’s not too late to listen — and listen again — and feel your consciousness expand with each presentation.
The recordings of all the presentations are still available at the promotional price, as of this minute, but I know the price is going up SOON! (Click here to check out Veganpalooza.)
I feel so honored to be part of the movement that is bringing healing and compassion to this world.
One presentation which really stood out for me was Dr. Melanie Joy speaking about Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. (She wrote an excellent book by that same name.) She describes the psychological processes we all go through as young children that encourage us to love and be kind to animals, and also to disconnect ourselves from the animals we eat. This process is so invisible to us that we aren’t aware it is happening. This unconscious process allows us to consistently make life choices that are actually in conflict with our values. We believe animals deserve to be treated well, yet we engage in activities that cause animals to suffer. But some of us begin to wake up and recognize this disconnect, which allows us to make choices that are in alignment with our true values. Melanie Joy’s presentation of this topic is totally non-judgmental, eye-opening, and transformative.
Chef AJ, who was our guest in Alaska last month, very clearly and articulately presented us with a challenge: Are you Ready to Go Unprocessed? She talked about how processed foods — manufactured foods containing sugar, salt, and oil — are addictive to many people and are at the root of our most common health problems. The solution? Go unprocessed! Eat plant foods as made by nature.
I loved hearing Dr. Karen Davis, whose presentation was If you Give a Cluck, Go Vegan! Chickens are so misunderstood and discounted in our culture. We rarely even think of them as birds– with wings to fly and feet designed for perching. We forget that they have strong mothering instincts, yet we’re all familiar with the phrase, “she’s a real mother hen.” We don’t realize they are intelligent and friendly. And we’re usually not aware that chickens probably suffer more than other animals who are raised for their meat or secretions, and that current laws about humane slaughter exclude chickens!
Ellen Jaffe-Jones spoke about how to Eat Well, and Stay Fit on $4 a Day. She debunked the myth that it is more expensive to eat a healthy plant-based diet. She even provided specific tips on how to shop to keep food costs low without compromising nutrition. If you have been misled into believing you can’t afford to eat a healthy plant-based diet, you’ll want to listen to this.
I was invited to present my perspectives in a Google Hangout on Day 2 of Veganpalooza. It was such an honor and privilege to be included with 2 other leaders in the vegan movement. Dr. Janice Stanger, author of a wonderful book entitled The Perfect Formula Diet, spoke first. She debunked some common dietary myths. She helped us understand how plants provide us with plenty of protein, and how animal protein is actually damaging to our bodies. She also addressed how we get our calcium. Her comment sticks in my mind, “Calcium is a mineral, and cows don’t make calcium any more than they make gold or silver.”
I spoke after Janice about how we are designed to be slim and healthy, but are programmed to get sick and fat. To bring this idea to life, I took the listeners on a time-travel journey so we could see through the eyes of someone born in 1850. Our visitor from the past was very puzzled when touring a modern supermarket, seeing all those brightly colored boxes and packages — but where was the food? He was impressed by the size of the people and how disabled many were, and he began to see the connection when seeing how children at the store were being fed these strange, manufactured products that came in wrappers.
Rae Sikora followed me and presented a wonderful conclusion for our hour together. She talked about the importance of making our health a priority, even if our primary concern is for the animals. All of us who eat a vegan diet are on display to the rest of the world. If we appear to be unhealthy, this is a mark against veganism in the eyes of the public. She said the best thing we can do for the animals, as well as for ourselves, is to be a good representation of a healthy vegan. When we are healthy, happy, and energetic, we provide an example that others will want to follow. When we do, everyone wins!
This is just a small sampling of the Veganpalooza presentations. There were many other outstanding speakers, including vegan athletes, nutritionists, chefs, and animal advocates.
It’s not often we have an opportunity to get access to all these wonderful speakers, wherever we live, and for a very affordable price. I encourage you to check out the program here.
I know some of you have already listened to many of the Veganpalooza presentations. Which ones were particularly inspiring, helpful, or interesting to you? Please share your comments below.