Code Blue: Challenging Conventional Medical Education and Practice with Saray Stancic, MD: PYP 238

Dr Saray Stancic became an infectious disease specialist in response to the HIV and hepatitis C crisis of the 1980s and 90s. On October 11, 1995, the then-3rd year medical resident found a short nap window at 2am, and collapsed in fatigue in the on-call room of the hospital where she worked. When she was awakened for her next shift, Dr Stancic couldn't feel her legs. She was rushed to the ER, and an MRI revealed multiple sclerosis (MS) with multiple lesions in the brain and spinal cord. In addition to the neuropathy in her legs, it turned out that her kidneys were also failing. She was admitted to the hospital, given an IV steroid drip and a bunch of other medications. And just like that, a young, energetic, ambitious doctor was converted into a frightened, confused, dispirited patient. Read more »

Rip Esselstyn on Growing a Movement and Being Open to Opportunity: PYP 237

Rip Esselstyn is founder of Engine 2, a food and education company dedicated to eliminating chronic disease through a whole food, plant-based diet. As Engine 2 continues to grow in influence and reach, Rip is stewarding the company to new opportunities. As a food brand associated with Whole Foods and an education provider to their employees, Engine 2 is poised to explode with Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods this past year. Read more »

Nathan Runkle on Showing Mercy to the Animals in Our Care: PYP 235

Nathan Runkle is the founder of Mercy For Animals, an organization that focuses on the prevention of cruelty to the billions of farm animals raised for food in the United States. Nathan's just written an amazing memoir, titled Mercy For Animals, with friend-of-the-podcast Gene Stone. The book is part coming of age story, part exposé of the animal agriculture industry, and part gripping tale of adventure and risk and strategy as a few passionate, committed young people go undercover to expose the abuses that are a regular and normal and accepted part of our meat-based food chain. Read more »

Rob Greenfield on Wearing Trash, Opting Out of Capitalism, and Waking Up to the Effects of Our Actions: PYP 234

Rob Greenfield has put the fun and friendly into environmental activism. Known for his eye-catching and media-worthy campaigns and adventures to wake people up to the destruction we're causing to our planet, Rob brings a positivity and sense of humor and humility to what is too often a dreary scold-fest. Rob was originally on track to live an opulent American dream, complete with nice stuff, fast car, big house, and enough money to do whatever he wanted. A life in which he never had to think about the downstream consequences of his actions, choices, and consumption. Read more »

Peter Breggin, MD, on Toxic Psychiatry and the Heart of Healing: PYP 231

Peter Breggin, MD, has been known as the "conscience of psychiatry" since his crusade starting in the 1970s to abolish electro-convulsive therapy.  Since then, he's become an outspoken critic of the entire psychiatric profession, largely based on their reliance on neurotoxic drugs instead of humane and effective treatment options. Read more »

Tackling Our Healthcare Crisis by Growing Food with Thi Squire: PYP 228

Thi Squire is the garden manager for Homestead Hospital, located 30 miles south of Miami on Florida's east coast. Wait, what? Garden manager? At a hospital? Yup. Thi (pronounced "Tee"), a longtime urban gardener and sales rep in the burgeoning farm-to-table industry in South Florida, talked her way into a position growing food for the hospital cafeteria. Read more »

Damien Mander on Becoming an Anti-Poaching Warrior and Rediscovering His Heart: PYP 225

Damien Mander's entire identity centered around war: as a 19-year-old who joined the Australian Royal Navy and trained as a clearance diver; as a spec-ops sniper; as a member of an elite Tactical Assault Group; and as a special operations soldier in Iraq for three years. After leaving Iraq in 2008 after 12 tours of duty, Damien was burned out, dispirited, and ill-equipped to manage in civilian society. Still addicted to adventure and thrill, he found his way to Southern Africa, where he started working with the rangers and organizations dedicated to protecting the big animals of Africa from poachers. Read more »

Radically Self-Reliant Veganic Gardening with Will Bonsall: PYP 224

Will Bonsall is my new hero, and I say that without exaggeration. Check out the short video clip at the top of the Links section below to see half of the reason why. The other half of the reason take a bit longer to explain - hence this full-length podcast episode. Will is the visionary gardener whose half-century of experimentation and iconoclasm can help us save human civilization from collapse. His method, which he refers to as "gardening without borders," takes into account all the inputs and outputs of a garden or farm, in contrast to the usual methods of conventional, organic, and permaculture production. Read more »

Overcoming Disordered Eating Through Self-Love and Education with Tara Kemp: PYP 222

Tara Kemp is one of the happy luminaries of the plant-based movement. Spend an hour in her presence and you'll be charmed and delighted into eating better - no lectures or harangues required. When I first met Tara, I just assumed she was a natural-born positive person, never given to depression or anxiety or even garden-variety snarkiness. But as I discovered in our conversation, she has overcome a great deal to get to where she is now. Read more »