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Episode 144: “And you can’t walk the walk, in the world of our future, in the world ahead of us, in the world of our children, NOT eating a plant-based diet.”

By Jasmin and Mariann — October 13, 2012

Welcome to the 144th episode of Our Hen House, featuring Del Sroufe, with a special appearance by Ari Solomon

In today’s episode, we talk about everything from the airplane-like motor on our Vitamix, to the gallant gentleman who asked Jasmin to dance at a swing club (approximately 20 years too late), to feelings of gluttony associated with having too much living space. We also talk about how choosing to cook without oil has nothing to do with veganism (and why we do it anyway), we compare NYC and Portland, we tell you about the half-marathon that Jasmin completed last weekend, we ruminate on how we almost went for a swim in our kitchen, and we tell you about the new piece of clothing that is effectively calming down our sometimes-anxious pup. We also ramble a bit about light things like moral imperatives, compassion, and self-prescribed blinders. In the segment “The Professor and Mariann,” Mariann will update us on the goings-on in her farmed animal law class and her animal law fundamentals class.

Joining us today is Del Sroufe, the mastermind and master chef behind Forks Over Knives — the Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year. Del, whose food journey has led him to lose 200 pounds, will talk to us about how he got there. He’ll also talk about the Forks Over Knives phenomenon, and he’ll give us a glimpse into some success stories from people who have transformed their health by going from the Standard American Diet to a whole-foods based vegan one. He’ll talk recipes, too, and answer questions about the healthiest kinds of fat to incorporate into our diets, what his favorite grains are, and why he encourages people to make their own sauces and spreads as opposed to buying them in the store. Don’t miss this incredibly inspiring chef, and the unique wisdom he has to offer.

For our review, Our Hen House’s darling Ari Solomon will give us his take on Forks Over Knives – the Cookbook. Ari took his turn at making several of the recipes, and he’ll talk about his favorites, as well as give us the skinny on some revelations he had while knee deep in vegan macaroni salad. As always, Ari will entertain and enlighten, so don’t miss the incredibly colorful perspective of one of our favorite guys.

All that, vegan banter, and of course, current events from the world of animal rights.

This week’s news items include:

“And you can’t walk the walk, in the world of our future, in the world ahead of us, in the world of our children, NOT eating a plant-based diet.” – James Cameron

The Our Hen House podcast is sponsored by The Seed: A Vegan Experience, bringing you events, conferences, and happenings that raise awareness about the many delicious, cruelty-free alternatives to animal products. Learn more at

You can listen to our podcast directly on our blog (below!) or you can listen and subscribe on iTunes. Also, if you like what you hear, please rate it on iTunes, and don’t forget to leave us a friendly comment! Of course, we would be thrilled if you would also consider making a donation. If you’re a weekly listener, you might consider making a recurring monthly donation. Any amount is hugely appreciated, and Our Hen House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so it’s tax-deductible! Don’t forget — we’re reader and listener supported. Plus, we offer some fantastic thank you gifts for your donations. Thank you for helping us to create quality content, and for helping us bring you a new, hour-long podcast each week!

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(9) Readers Comments

  1. October 13, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but while waiting for it to download I clicked on the link to the alligator story. Disgusting. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that their treatment on farms is inhumane, but it's still horrible to read it. Alligators are very closely related to birds and the barking the hatchling does in the story is how they cry out to their mother for help (alligator protect their nest and their young). Sad.

  2. October 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Just listened to the podcast on my morning jog, friends. It makes me feel as though you're here in DC with me.I wanted to thank you for devoting a chunk of the hour to clarifying that oil or no oil has nothing to do with the animating purpose of veganism, which is to spare non-human animals needless suffering at the hands of humans. My primary critique of the no-oil school is scientific and evidence based (I think it's a fine method for weight loss, if that's the goal, but apart from that find the argument logically and methodologically flawed), but I agree that the main issue is messaging, and I think you clarified very elegantly that messaging can be delicate and tailored to the individual. Thanks for being reasonable and nuanced, and for putting animals front and center. xo

    • October 14, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Gena, thank you! That means a lot coming from you, since I know you have a tremendous readership, and though your focus is largely health, I see you bring animals into the equation constantly! (Also, I love your blog and I adore you, so whenever you comment here I get a little giddy.) I do think it is indeed an important distinction, and that's why we visit it on the podcast time and time again. I think it's fine if people want to eat oil. (As I say in the show, I could care less if people eat cardboard, as long as there's not an animal corpse attached to it.) And I don't think that oil is "unhealthy" in all instances, but because of my weight issues, it is a way of eating that has worked for me (not that I'm dogmatic) -- but, again, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the reason I'm vegan and will always be, which is AR. Obvs. Anyway, thank you for listening!! xo j

  3. October 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Loved the podcast, as usual. Just wanted to say two things.First, I know there were some misprints in one of the versions of the FOK cookbooks that have since been corrected. Is what they are selling on the FOK website the updated version? I can't tell with Amazon.Second, about the dog breeder discussion... I, unfortunately, was one of those people who bought a dog from a breeder. Like your friends, I, too, wanted a certain breed that would be impossible to find in a shelter. I thought I was doing the ethical thing because I DID visit the breeder's home and made certain everything was "humane." The problem though, which I see now, is that it doesn't matter how "humane" the breeder's home is, even if you see it with your very own eyes. Buying a dog still breaks apart families.I remember that the breeder told me that sometimes she'll babysit dogs she's sold if owners ever go out of town. She mentioned that when this happens, the mother dog and baby dog run up to each other and are so happy to see each other. Even if many years have past, they still remember. At the time I just thought that was sweet. But now that I am vegan and my consciousness has shifted, it brings tears to my eyes.I love our dog more than anything in the world. His life is nothing but snuggles and attention and pure joy, but I will never forgive myself for taking him away from his mother and his siblings.

    • October 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing that story, Kate. I think it's a really moving one, and it's important to remember that we are all always on our own journeys, and the way yours is evolving is so beautiful. How many times have we said to ourselves that we wished we knew about animal issues years before, b/c of all of the lives we could have spared? But that's not really a useful way of looking at it, I think, because having had been there actually can give us more insight into how to reach out to others who are still there. So you must forgive yourself, and use that energy instead -- combined with the stellar communication skills you clearly have -- to advocate to others. Which, clearly, you are doing already!! :-) My point is that you are who you are, and being judgmental of the you you WERE is not going to get you anywhere now. So be grateful that you have evolved, and challenge yourself to continue to evolve toward compassion. I think your story is so powerful. It really touched me. Perhaps you should write something for your local paper or somewhere else, sharing a bit of your story, in hopes that others -- like those people we know! -- will read it? You are awesome. Regarding the cookbook, I have no idea, though I'd GUESS that if there are reprints, the publishers would take the old version off the shelves and replace it with the new, corrected one. Thanks again for sharing, and for listening! xo j

  4. October 15, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Thanks for such kind and supportive words, Jasmin :)

  5. The Experiment
    October 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Hello Kate, the first printing of Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook contained some minor errors. All retailers are now shipping only corrected editions, including the Forks Over Knives website and Amazon. If you have any further questions please email Thanks to Our Hen House for the great review!

  6. October 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Great! Thanks so much for the update.

  7. Jon Wheeler
    May 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    You guys are the greatest. It honestly improves my mental well-being just to know that people like you and Ari Solomon are alive and doing your thing. I think this podcast is my favourite because I'm also a big fan of Forks over Knives. The ironic thing is that their message has not only helped my health but has also helped my animal rights activism. Using nut-based sauces instead of oil helped me lose 30 or so pounds and gave me my energy back. My AR activism (along with a lot of other things) had been on hold due to excess weight and lack of energy, but soon after losing the weight I was able to go back to leafletting and doing vegan food demonstrations. I also noticed that a lot more people were attending our events after FOK came out, which made the whole thing a lot more satisfying. One other thing I've noticed about the post-FOK era which I don't think you touched on in the podcast, is that it seems to have become easier to talk to the public about animal testing for medical purposes. And I think it's because people are starting to realise that medications for things like heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are perhaps not as necessary as we’ve been led to believe.

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