#104: How to Survive the Holidays with Bruce Friedrich

Love the holidays but dreading navigating the inevitable questions and possible confrontations about your vegan lifestyle? Bruce Friedrich is here with a wealth of conversational advice to guide plant-based people through potential holiday woes. He provides practical strategies, specific wording and phrases, and even role-plays conversations with Toni and Michelle to help anyone feel more comfortable engaging about veganism (or other issues that matter to you!) with just about anyone you come across, not the least, family at the holiday meal table.


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Hi friends!

Are you bracing yourself for the whirlwind of questions about eating vegan this holiday season? Are you eager to celebrate joyfully—but also feel a bit on edge about food conversations will inevitably arise? Does the anticipation of trying to engage with friends and family at holiday festivities about your vegan lifestyle choices intimidate you?

We’re with you! Join us for this episode that addresses just that.

We have the pleasure of learning from Bruce Friedrich, who is co-founder and president of The Good Food Institute, a fantastic non-profit organization that promotes plant- and cultivated meat alternatives to conventional animal meat. He is also a TED Fellow and popular speaker on food innovation.

With his vast experience and educational background, he breaks down for our audience how to effectively and powerfully engage with others about the causes that we are passionate about.

Bruce provides practical strategies, specific wording and phrases, and even role-plays conversations with us to help us all feel more comfortable engaging issues that matter to you with just about anyone you come across.

Listen in to learn how to apply the time-tested Socratic method to present your message in a gentle but effective and persuasive manner. Bruce shares his own personal methods of applying these strategies, as well as specific questions that can break down barriers and open minds and ears to listen on shared ground.

Bruce also takes the weight off your back to feel like you have to remember all the facts or be prepared to answer every question, by explaining how that approach is often counterproductive. He reveals how people actually make moral decisions and therefore how we can meet them where they are at.

Keep listening to the end for a super helpful (and also hilarious) role-play conversation between Bruce, Toni, and Michelle, in which they ask the top questions every vegan will hear so Bruce can model effective, disarming, and thought provoking answers that could persuade just about anyone to give veganism a chance.

With love and green dreams,  

♡ Toni & Michelle 


  • Toni and Michelle divulge some of their favorite plant-based holiday resources.
  • Bruce shares his journey to vegan living, how he was inspired by the environmental and economic impacts, and the many and varied ways he’s served and given back to his communities and our planet. 
  • He gives valuable book recommendations for social interaction that lead to being maximally effective as a vegan advocate and in sharing meaningful messages. 
  • Bruce compares two different types of communication, and how seeking to grow in both can be a way you show you care about issues. 
  • He demonstrates using the time-tested Socratic method at the dinner table: dialogue versus rant monologue.
  • Bruce challenges us to consider how we changed our beliefs and gives examples of effective questions to ask, that prompt people’s thoughts.
  • Bruce answers how to salvage conversations that go south and minimize defensiveness.
  • Toni gives an example of taking conversations slow with the goal of playing the long game.
  • Toni, Michelle, and Bruce explore how it can be hardest to converse with family.
  • Bruce answers how to calm nerves and control emotions with mindfulness.
  • Bruce reveals the best vegan shirt ever for starting meaningful conversations, and also how literature can play a role in effectively sharing the vegan message.
  • He tells why and how not to worry about remembering all the facts or answering questions you don’t know the answer to, as he explains how people make moral decisions.
  • Bruce lists his favorite resources to teach about the health and nutrition side of veganism.
  • They discuss whether or not it’s effective to wear clothing or products that promote veganism/vegetarianism.
  • Toni, Michelle, and Bruce role play questions vegans are likely to receive, providing answers you can give, why those strategies are effective, and how you can actually validate others through that process.



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EP. 99 - Environmental Reasons to Go Vegan with Nick Cutsumpas

EP. 100 - Season Ending + Life Updates

EP. 103 - Life Update + Our Favorite Things for Fall








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