When I heard that Colleen Patrick-Goudreau was coming to Tampa, I thought, Oh, cool. I have one of her books. Even though I followed her on Facebook, I honestly never really thought of her as much more than a vegan cookbook author.
I just had no idea.
A sizable crowd gathered to hear her speak, and again, I just thought, Wow -- a lot of Tampa people like her cookbooks! When she arrived, I thought, Holy cow -- she's even prettier in person! And then she spoke, and I listened, and I thought lots of things.
Let me start out by saying that this woman honestly GLOWS, and I feel quite certain that it's the result of much more than a vegan diet and her California sunshine. It's her unending compassion for veganism and animals and life in general. She spoke with such love and knowledge and passion for all of those subjects, and she was so eloquent and articulate that you couldn't help but feel like you yourself were glowing a little bit, just from listening.
Colleen spoke about vegan cooking a bit, but mostly talked about activism, promoting change, and speaking to non-vegans about being vegan (which tends to be a touchy subject, for whatever reason). She said some beautiful things about veganism also being a human rights issue, which I honestly hadn't given a whole lot of thought in the past, and she made some amazing points about a cycle of violence with animals flowing into a cycle of violence with humans. When she touched on the traumatizing effects that slaughterhouse workers feel, and how that trauma bleeds into other areas of those peoples' lives, I honestly choked up ever so slightly because I just never made that connection. After all of these years of being veg*n (starting in 1995 for me), Colleen gave me more reasons to not only BE vegan, but to be PROUD of being vegan. And for that, I say a heartfelt thank you to Colleen.
Colleen singing my copy of The Joy of Vegan Baking