HAPPY 2017 fellow vegans (and anyone else who is flirting with the idea!)
When I bought my ticket to go to the ‘meet and greet’ with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau I had no idea what I was in for.
Firstly (as it’s my duty to be honest to you all), I had no cooking clue who she was.
Secondly, I had no idea technically what a ‘meet and greet’ was. I am very awkward in most social situations and this might have ended up being just another one of those events I wish I had skipped staying home to finish the box set of Sex and the City. (I haven’t seen the end so don’t spoil it for me!)
But I ‘manned-up’ and went along. Conquer your fears (not so) Little Vegan Boy – you can do this!
The final verdict: what an absolutely chilled, laid-back, down-to-earth evening filled with great food and interesting conversation.
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (I learned) is a woman of many talents, and it seems a master of them all. She is an author, a speaker, a cultural commentator as well as a podcaster who has immersed herself in a life dedicated to inspiring others by teaching them to live compassionately. She has her own YouTube channel, her own podcast channel, and is even the author of seven plus vegan cookbooks. Based in America, she is essentially a big deal worldwide. I’m the first to admit I still have a lot to learn about being vegan including the ‘who’s who’!
Hosted by the South Africa Vegan Society (or SAVS) and introduced by it’s Cape Town representative, Dylan Barsby, Colleen was simply asked to take an evening off from her holiday on the African continent (after having just seen the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda!) to come say hi to us. She was so happy to grace us with her presence and spoke to us for about 45 minutes after which she took questions from the floor.
She shared with us her thoughts on the “What Happens When You Stop Eating Animals” which was bloody fascinating and SO true. She said the order was totally interchangeable and some people may experience some of them all at once, or come back to a stage or two on more than one occasion:
(Bear in mind I was taking notes on my shitty iPhone – so I am going to try my best to remember them accurately)
- VALIDATION – you read every book you can on veganism or watch every movie possible, trying to satisfy your hunger to consume as much information as possible
- GUILT – you consider yourself an intelligent being but still ask yourself, “How did I not know that I was doing this to these animals?” resulting in guilt.
- COMING OUT – a stage where you are afraid of the repercussions of speaking up to your friends and family when all you should be focusing on is living your truth and values
- EVANGELISM – (or ‘vegangelizing’!) is when you become too passionate to the point of scaring others away in how you communicate advocacy with them
- GRIEF (ANGER & SORROW) – this is a normal stage, just don’t get stuck in it, try to use anger effectively and always check in with yourself as to how you behave
- CONNECTION/FINDING COMMUNITY – what people around us think really does matter to us all, so we seek like-minded people
- COMMUNICATION/FINDING YOUR VOICE – we try to find ways to communicate advocacy but don’t alway succeed in how we bring the message across
- EXPANSION (AWARENESS & SKILLS) – you learn to try new recipes, eat new foods and buy new kitchen gadgets
- ADVOCACY – what we all naturally move towards
- INTEGRATION & ADAPTATION – into society
Some suggestions to help counteract some of the most negative aspects of become vegan:
- if you have reached a stage of forgiving yourself for eating meat in the past, then you need to be forgiving of those that have not yet had the same awakening as you have
- always speak your truth and live through example, and remember that you may be a mirror to someone else’s shortcomings or insecurities – this, however, is not your issue but theirs
- find your ‘tribe’, like-minded people (beyond your family and friends) with whom you can converse about all things vegan
- as compassionate people we need to speak in a way that reflects who we are and that will make a difference in how people get the message we want to convey
- plant the seed of information and then walk away – remain unattached
- check in with how your speak to people – passion is one thing but left unchecked, it can become dangerous
- be the light for others by simply manifesting your values – it is such an attractive quality
- encourage others to live to the max based on their own set of values of compassion and kindness, not yours
REMEMBER, being vegan is not an end goal, a badge, or a prize, but rather a MEANS TO AN END.
Live in a relaxed state of being without judging where you always aim to speak from the heart.
Become vegan to ultimately manifest kindness and compassion to ALL sentient beings and remember that there is no rule book of right and wrong.
Do you as an advocate want to be RIGHT or do you simply want to be EFFECTIVE. I know what my answer is!
WHAT AN AWESOME TALK!
It was great to see Dylan from SAVS there, as well as Norah Hudson from ELL269, the Vegilcious crew, Leo from Green Monday SA and countless other passionate vegan advocates all interested in making a difference.
Plant catered fantastically throughout the evening and their insanely good brownies have to be added to my Top 5 desserts list. A lot of the snacks were also sponsored by Fry’s Family Foods. I MAY have eaten an entire platter of faux chicken nuggets, but I am neither confirming nor denying this. #guilty
What an awesome start to the New Year – some direction and light from a really beautiful human being. Thanks Colleen.
Happy 2017 xx
P.S. Please check out, like, tag, tweet, holla, send smoke signals, etc. for Colleen’s new Podcast, Animology. Totally worth a listen! x