The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs

The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs

by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs

The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs

by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau


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Finding plant-based recipes? Easy. Dealing with the social, cultural, and emotional aspects of being vegan in a non-vegan world? That's the hard part.

The Joyful Vegan is here to help. 

Many people choose veganism as a logical and sensible response to their concerns about animals, the environment, and/or their health. But despite their positive intentions and the personal benefits they experience, they're often met with resistance from friends, family members, and society at large. These external factors can make veganism socially difficult—and emotionally exhausting—to sustain.   

This leads to an unfortunate reality: the majority of vegans (and vegetarians) revert back to consuming meat, dairy, or eggs—breaching their own values and sabotaging their own goals in the process. 

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, known as "The Joyful Vegan," has guided countless individuals through the process of becoming vegan. Now, in her seventh book, The Joyful Vegan, she shares her insights into why some people stay vegan and others stop

It's not because there's nothing to eat. It's not because there isn't enough protein in plants. And it's not because people lack willpower or moral fortitude. 

Rather, people stay vegan or not depending on how well they navigate the social, cultural, and emotional aspects of being vegan: constantly being asked to defend your eating choices, living with the awareness of animal suffering, feeling the pressure (often self-inflicted) to be perfect, and experiencing guilt, remorse, and anger. 

In these pages, Colleen shares her wisdom for managing these challenges and arms readers—both vegan and plant-based—with solutions and strategies for "coming out vegan" to family, friends, and colleagues; cultivating healthy relationships (with vegans and non-vegans); communicating effectively; sharing enthusiasm without proselytizing; finding like-minded community; and experiencing peace of mind as a vegan in a non-vegan world.  

By implementing the tools provided in this book, readers will find they can live ethically, eat healthfully, engage socially—and remain a joyful vegan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948836463
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 11/12/2019
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 523,064
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

A recognized expert and thought leader on the culinary, social, ethical, and practical aspects of living vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an award-winning author of seven books, including the bestselling The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, Vegan's Daily Companion, On Being Vegan, and The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. She is an acclaimed speaker and beloved host of the podcast Food for Thought, which has been voted Favorite Podcast by VegNews magazine readers several years in a row, and Animalogy, which is about the animal-related words and expressions we use every day. She also co-founded the East Bay Animal PAC to work with government officials on animal issues in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Colleen shares her message of compassion and wellness on national and regional TV and radio programs and as a monthly contributor to National Public Radio (KQED). She has appeared on the Food Network, CBS, PBS, and FOX; interviews with her have been featured on NPR, Huffington Post, U.S. News and World Report; and her recipes have been featured on and Colleen lives in Oakland, CA with her husband David and two cats, Charlie and Michiko.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Making of a Joyful Vegan

Section One: Becoming Vegan
Chapter One: “Don’t Tell Me. I Don’t Want to Know”: Blissful Ignorance and Willful Blindness
Chapter Two: The Awakening: The Epiphany That Changes Everything

Section Two: Staying Vegan
Stage One: Bearing Witness: Compassion Fatigue, Self-Care, and the Voracious Consumption of Information
Stage Two: Guilt, Regret, and Remorse: Finding Peace and Choosing Self-Forgiveness
Stage Three: Coming Out Vegan: Explaining the V-Word to Family, Friends, and Yourself
Stage Four: Evangelism and Fundamentalism: Knowing the Difference Between Enthusiasm and Zealotry
Stage Five: The Angry Vegan: Dispelling the Stereotype and Understanding Its Roots
Stage Six: Finding Your Tribe: Embracing Your Identity, Building Community, and Feeling a Sense of Belonging
Stage Seven: Finding Your Voice: How to Talk to a Hunter (Or Anyone Else with Whom You Disagree)
Stage Eight: Stretching Your Comfort Zones: Expansion of Awareness and Skills
Stage Nine: Finding Your Place: Advocacy and Activism
Stage Ten: Integration and Adaptation: Identifying as a Joyful Vegan in a Nonvegan World

Resources and Recommendations
Special Recognition
About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

The Joyful Vegan is a breath of fresh air in a world that, far too often, thumbs its nose at people who prioritize compassion. Every vegan, semi-vegan, or plant-based individual needs a copy of this thoughtful, thorough, game-changing book!”

—Evanna Lynch, vegan activist and actress in the Harry Potter film series

The Joyful Vegan resonates deeply with me. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau identifies exactly what we need more of in our interactions with one another: greater empathy, understanding, and respect for our common humanity.”

—Cory Booker, US senator

“Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has a unique ability to communicate with conviction and moral clarity while also acknowledging the gray areas of ethical living. With The Joyful Vegan, she gives voice to the universal challenges vegans face while empowering us with exactly what we need to overcome them. This book is a game-changer for new and veteran vegans alike.”

—Gene Baur, president and cofounder of Farm Sanctuary and author of Farm Sanctuary

“This book is essential reading for anyone who has ever thought they had to choose between living ethically, eating healthfully, and engaging socially. The Joyful Vegan normalizes a compassionate way of living and empowers readers to embrace their values with confidence and joy.”

—Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of Veganist, The Lean, and Clean Protein

“Enjoying delicious, nutritious, plant-based food is easy! It’s everything else that tests the most committed among us: the social pressure to conform, the emotional interactions with loved ones, and the awareness of all the unnecessary suffering. Luckily, Colleen equips us with everything we need to face these hurdles with strength and grace—and reminds us all that eating vegan is something to celebrate!”

—Michael Greger, MD, founder of and New York Times bestselling author of How Not to Die

“By adeptly putting into words exactly what we all experience—whether we stop eating meat, dairy, and eggs for health or ethical reasons—The Joyful Vegan is a life-saver—literally.” —Miyoko Schinner, founder and CEO of Miyoko's, author, and activist

“The unique contribution of The Joyful Vegan is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s 10 Stages that many vegans experience when they stop eating animals. The insights she provides around this concept are deeply empowering and validating for vegans who struggle living in a dominant, animal-eating culture.”

—Melanie Joy, PhD, author of Beyond Beliefs and Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows

“With keen insights into our cultural norms and social customs, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau cements veganism and plant-based living as legitimate, healthful, and pleasurable.”

—Bruce Friedrich, coauthor of Clean Protein and executive director of the Good Food Institute

“Colleen Patrick-Goudreau draws you into her world of compassion in order to make your world better. Her skill as a writer, her purity as an observer, and her ability to make being vegan both profound and joyful will prompt you to follow her guidance and insight—whether you’ve been vegan for a day or for a lifetime.”

—Victoria Moran, author of Main Street Vegan and director, Main Street Vegan Academy

“Millions of people are going vegan. But how and why are they staying vegan? In The Joyful Vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau examines this and more, sharing insights and tips for anyone jumping into—or considering—a vegan lifestyle. This thought-provoking and encouraging book is a must-have for anyone who aspires to go vegan and wants to stay vegan.”

—Kristie Middleton, author of MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live—One Meal at a Time

The Joyful Vegan is destined to be at the top of the reading list for everyone who aspires to live—and eat—consciously . . . This book delivers the confidence, language, and insights you need to expand compassionate living—in your own life and in the world. Brilliant.”

—Lani Muelrath, author of The Mindful Vegan and The Plant-Based Journey

“Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is a visionary. She translates vegan ideals into accessible prose and practice more effectively than anyone I know. Relentlessly positive, her message intuitively appeals to vegans, almost-vegans, and no-way-I’d-ever-be vegans alike, which is to say: all of us.”

—James McWilliams, author of Just Food and Eating Promiscuously: Adventures in the Future of Food

“Reading The Joyful Vegan will help you find a compassionate and rational voice for your passion. I’m grateful to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau for helping us become better advocates for animals. Indispensable reading!”

—Tobias Leenaert, author of How to Create a Vegan World and cofounder of Proveg International

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