Emmy Award Winner Alison Argo (EP 33: The Vegan Life Coach Podcast)

In this powerful ThanksLiving special episode of The Vegan Life Coach Podcast, I interview six-time Emmy Award-winner Allison Argo.


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

Allison Argo is a producer, director, editor, and writer whose films have won six national Emmys, duPont Columbia, and over 80 awards internationally, including Genesis, Jackson Hole, NY, Banff, and dozens of awards from New Zealand to Japan.

Allison is known for her emotionally-charged and deeply personal films – in particular her intimate portraits of abused and endangered animals. 

The nearly two dozen films she’s produced, directed and written have all been broadcast by PBS and/or National Geographic and have reached audiences worldwide. 

The Last Pig continues Allison’s mission to provide a voice for those who are not heard– and to deepen understanding and respect for all beings.  

We had an intriguing discussion, starting with Allison’s path to film-making, which involved the incredible story of Ivan the Gorilla (which has a very happy ending)!

We talk about social conditioning, why we treat some animals as pets and others as food, and about the disconnects society programs into us from an early age (why are dogs accepted as pets, while pigs are considered food and sentenced to death), and so much more.

 I had the privilege of viewing Allison’s latest documentary, The Last Pig, prior to our interview. Allison’s mission for this remarkable film is to provide a voice for those who are not heard– and to deepen understanding and respect for all beings. 

The Last Pig was one of the most extraordinary films I’ve ever seen… Absolutely beautiful, and heart-wrenching at the same time.

Here is the film’s description:

In the rolling hills of Upstate New York, a farmer is in crisis: after years of raising pigs, he can no longer bear the ultimate act of betrayal. 

This award-winning film chronicles his final year on the farm, capturing in intimate detail the farmer’s personal upheaval as he questions his beliefs and the value of life.

The Last Pig is an immersive snapshot, a tale of choice, grit, and the changing landscape of animal agriculture.

The farmer’s inner reflections share his struggle to align life with values, and through the story’s simple intimacy, the farmer’s moral quandary quietly becomes our own.

I am not only blown away with Allison’s talent as a producer, but also by her authenticity, generosity, and unwavering passion for making a positive impact on the lives of all animals and the Planet.

I’m excited to now share an opportunity for you to see the streaming of The Last Pig and get access to a special, live Q&A with Allison and the Directors of the 4 animal sanctuaries who are benefiting from the ticket sales!

Hogs & Kisses Farm Sanctuary (if you haven’t yet, you’ll definitely want to check out episode 30 with founder Anne Molina) has put together a package as part of it’s “soft launch” this week. 

The package includes a ticket to see The Last Pig as well as my latest Ebook, “Plant-Empowered: Reshape Your Body by Reconditioning Your Mind” for a minimum donation of just $10! 

$5 will be going to the other 4 sanctuaries and to help fund The Last Pig on PBS. The other $5+ will go to helping Hogs & Kisses, a 501c3 nonprofit that has been sponsoring farm pigs who are waiting for them to build what will be their forever home!

As always, we’d love to hear your feedback and answer your questions! Please share inside our Empowered Life Group on Facebook.

**And if you’re not a Vegan Life Coach Academy member yet, make sure you’re on the wait list so that you’ll be the first to know when we open our doors to new members again!



The Last Pig: Website   

Hogs & Kisses Launch Package, Including The Last Pig Tickets and Ella’s Latest Plant-Empowered Ebook!

Ticket to The Last Pig Only (No Package)

The Last Pig Streaming Event Flyer

The Last Pig Trailer



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Top 2 Reasons Yogis are Going Vegan in 2017

yogis going vegan

It’s easy to leave our yoga practice behind on the mat, but for a truly integrative approach to health and spirituality, more and more yogis are going vegan.

Because of the belief in ahimsa, non-violence, and karma, the idea that all of our thoughts and actions have a reaction in the universe, many people of the Hindu faith have been choosing a vegetarian lifestyle for thousands of years. Today yogis are taking up this ancient practice to benefit their health and enact compassion.

The health benefits of a plant based diet can’t be denied anymore. A diet low in cholesterol, which a vegan diet naturally is, and high in fiber can do wonders for your heart health, especially when combined with yoga. If you have a family history of heart disease, a vegan diet is something you should seriously consider. Yoga teaches us to honor our bodies and be mindful of how our choices affect us. Once you become deeply in tune with your body, you’ll realize how certain foods affect you. Do you feel sluggish after eating meat for lunch? Do you break out after eating cheese? These are some questions you should ask yourself to get in touch with how meat and dairy are affecting your body.

The other main reason so many yogis choose to become vegan is because of their ethics. Yoga instills in us a sense of stewardship of the world around us. In 2017, we need to make a serious commitment to the health of our planet. Of all of the ways that we damage the environment, livestock production is one of, if not the worst way. When 1 in 10 people don’t have access to clean drinking water, it’s a hard fact to swallow that livestock productions uses 1/3rd of Earth’s fresh water, while contributing to much of its pollution. And if you’re worried about deforestation, livestock production is one of the biggest contributing factors.

Yoga encourages us to recognize our connection to all living creatures. Once we take this message into our hearts, it’s hard to accept that you are inflicting pain on another creature for your own momentary satisfaction. And it isn’t just the animals that suffer in torturous conditions. In the US, workers in the meat industry face some of the most unsafe working conditions in the country.

One of the fundamental beliefs of yoga is that our mental, physical, and spiritual health are all connected. Through yoga, we try to care for all of these aspects at once. Don’t undo the progress you made on your mat once you open your refrigerator; take your practice of mindfulness into the kitchen instead. If being a vegan isn’t for you, that’s okay! You can still spend some time thinking about what you’re eating, whether it was sustainably sourced, and what it will do to your body. Regardless of what you decide, the best way to be a good yogi at the dinner table is to feel gratitude for whatever it is you have the privilege of eating.

How to Decode Cosmetic Labels for a Cruelty-Free Lifestyle


If You Love Cosmetics and Hate Animal Cruelty, This Guide for Decoding Labels and Living Cruelty-Free is For You!

Animals are wonderful creatures, and they should be loved, appreciated and cared for. However, the harsh reality is that despite a strong and intense campaigning against animal testing, numerous cosmetics companies continue with this abominable practice. Companies are now using tricky tactics to lead you to believe their products are cruelty-free when in reality they are not.

One of the ways to put an end to this is to boycott such brands and commit to purchasing only products that come from companies that are truly cruelty-free. However, this is easier said than done. Seeing the words ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘not tested on animals’ followed by a bunny picture on the product label may seem convincing enough, but these labels are often misleading.

While the company in question may not be testing their products on animals, more often than not they rely on other companies to do the ‘dirty work’ for them. That’s why we are here today, to give you the full scoop on how to spot genuine and honest cruelty-free companies and make wise and conscientious purchases.

Be aware of the loophole

As the awareness on the cruelty of animal testing rises, companies do everything in their power to distance themselves from the controversy and negative publicity they would face if their participation in the practice transpired. Instead of choosing not to test on animals, these companies manage to find loopholes by using third party testing. This means that animal testing could be done by an ingredient supplier, a lab formulating the products, an affiliate company or a parent company. That way the company has the freedom to market the product as cruelty-free, because ‘technically’ they are.

Don’t trust the label

When you see the phrase “this finished product was not tested on animals” it’s time to become suspicious and ask, “Is this product truly cruelty-free?” This is again another way companies try to make you believe the product in question is safe. The reality behind this facade of a phrase is that is that while the combination of products that make the finished product wasn’t tested on animals, individual ingredients may have still been tested on animals.reading cosmetic labels for animal products

On top of that, companies will often resort to ingredient names that don’t seem suspicious but animal derivatives are lurking under those names. That is why organizations such as PETA, who are dedicated to abolishing all kinds of animal cruelty, have created an extensive list of such ingredients to help raise awareness and know what to avoid in your quest to buy cruelty-free cosmetics.

The list includes everything from A – Adrenaline, which is code for hormone from adrenal glands of hogs, cattle, and sheep, to W – wax that comes from animals and plants and is used in the manufacturing of lipsticks, depilatories and hair straighteners. Make sure to study the entire list, print it out if you can’t remember it all (it’s surprisingly and scarily long), and make smart and kind choices.

Know where to turn to

choosing cruelty-free cosmetics

For further guidance, always turn to passionate advocates and organizations such as The Leaping Bunny and PETA whenever you are in doubt as to whether your potential future purchase will bring revenue to a company that still upholds to cruel practices. For instance, The Leaping Bunny has created an extensive, all-encompassing list of approved brands, so you always have a safe and verified place to turn to in pursuit of ethical shopping.

Another organization, the one based in Australia, a country that has become one of the leading ones in uncovering animal-testing companies, is the amazing CHOICE that has conducted a thorough investigation and came to a startling discovery that a great number of companies conduct animal testing without telling the consumers.

There is hope though… using the resources now available, we can make conscious choices about the products we buy and the companies we support with our purchases. Case in point – Ultraceuticals, an Australian skincare brand which is truly cruelty-free and neither tests on animals nor uses animal derivatives. All hope is not lost, you just need to know where to look for a safe cosmetics heaven.

Not all bunnies are created equal

Cruelty-Free Labels

As CHOICE warns us, “just because they’ve put a bunny on it, doesn’t make it cruelty-free. Look for an official logo from one of the third party certifiers.” There are different kinds of bunnies, so the next time you go shopping, make sure you have this picture printed out, carry it around with you and trust only the product that have the bunny on the left.




Website for the “Ethically Handsome” Man – The Discerning Brute


The Discerning Brute is a website for the ethically handsome man and definitely worth checking out!

When it comes to veganism, sometimes it feels like we’re talking about secret women’s business; after all, 79% of US vegans are women (vegetarians are a more even split at 59% women, 41% men). But a popular website is shaking up the image of what it means to be manly: TheDiscerningBrute.com, for “the ethically handsome man.” I wanted to write this post to introduce you to the website and the inspirational man behind it. 

While it’s not an out-and-out vegan or vegetarian website, the Discerning Brute was founded in 2008 with a focus on “fashion, food and etiquette for the ethically handsome man,” and regularly highlights visionaries and creates discourses with creative influencers who want to “redesign the world, redefine success, and look good doing it.”

The site was founded by Joshua Katcher, an adjunct professor of fashion at Parsons The New School for Design. He is also the founder of the Brave GentleMan clothing label, which utilizes what Katcher calls “future suede,” “future leather,” and “future wool,” sustainable and ethically made fabrics which are superior to animal fibers. There has been a growing popularity in the fashion industry the last few years for the use of these high quality, cruelty free materials. 

Katcher says, “In order for fashion to be truly good, the handsomeness of an object must be matched by the handsomeness of how it was made. There is poetic grace and heightened pleasure in fashions of conscientious construction.”

We couldn’t agree more. Here’s to the ethically handsome man!

Joshua Katcher_Discerning Brute