Pearl Brunt speaking into a microphone

“People can’t not eat free vegan food!” – Pearl Monique Cole Brunt – Sentientism Episode 124

Find our Sentientist Conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast.

Pearl describes herself as “poly-vocational”. She is a foreign relations & management consultant with an MA in International Relations & an MBA in International Business. She is a vegan whole foods advocate via her “Le Twisted Spoon” club. Pearl is also a community organiser and public speaker!

In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

Sentientism is “evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” The audio is also on our Podcast here on Apple & here everywhere else.

We discuss:
00:00 Welcome

01:17 Pearl’s Intro

  • Foreign relations consulting & #vegan activism

02:55 What’s Real?

  • Growing up in #kansas USA
  • A traditional African-American household
  • “There’s a connection between people clinging to religion & #poverty”
  • “This disparity between what was taught on Sunday and what people practiced throughout the week”
  • “Unsavoury” behaviour by church leaders
  • Poverty, moving frequently, homeless shelters
  • Church charity (food, paying bills)
  • “As an adult I feel much more #spiritual & less religious”
  • “If it didn’t make sense to me I had a problem with it”… Santa Claus etc.
  • Open-minded mum
  • Church corruption & money “You have to pay to pray”
  • Disparities in the #bible
  • Churches teaching Jesus but not following his example
  • “Everything was taken away from the people who came over [slavery] and it was replaced with this [Christianity]”
  • “I still believe there’s something higher than myself”
  • Christianity’s role in colonialism
  • #religion ‘s allure for those suffering (“your suffering in this life doesn’t matter because heaven!”). “A lot of really bad things have been allowed to happen because of that principle…”
  • Compassion vs. status, in-out groups, hierarchy
  • Three experiences “I have zero explanation for that”
  • “Is there someone bigger than myself that clearly loves me – I know that for sure”
  • The problems of suffering & unanswered prayers “It doesn’t add up rationally”
  • “The kind of god I want to worship & love wouldn’t behave in that way”
  • Jesus’ teachings vs. Jesus as a god
  • Husband became #christian by listening to Christian radio in Paris
  • Church food banks & real help
  • “I don’t think that maybe ‘Christian’ is the right term to describe myself these days”
  • Even #jesus threatened non-believers with hell
  • Child abuse in religious groups. Risks of authority/power/groupishness

46:03 What and Who Matters?

  • Growing up – “family matters”
  • “If you have something you should share it”
  • “Unless you piss me off” 🙂
  • US Marine Corps scholarship & a sense of nationality
  • Justice & equality
  • Food systems, reading about veganism
  • “We’re cutting down trees just so people can have a steak”
  • “You can’t just say facts because their brain is not prepared for the atrocities… so they can have what they have on their plate.”
  • “I’m a huge believer in the dollar vote”
  • “They don’t teach you this in school… how can I be so ignorant?… I thought I was an educted woman.”
  • Kicking a dog will get you in trouble “but you can torture livestock?”
  • Antibiotics & superbugs, worker exploitation
  • “People have literally died because of these farming practices”
  • “If you know better you have to do better”… but you need to know how

56:26 A Better Future?

  • Personal, political, institutional change
  • “Different tools for different jobs”
  • Animal rights arguments “can fall on deaf ears”
  • Shifting government subsidies towards #justtransition
  • From moral righteousness to effectiveness
  • “As vegans we forget our compassion too”
  • Health, #environmental & ethical reasons for #veganism
  • #AgGag laws
  • “You’re a liar if you say that you support the environment & you don’t have conversations about the food industry”
  • “When you are vegan because of your ethics… you will never have another bite of animal products ever again”
  • #sentience
  • Backyard chicken eggs & “free-range” farming… “there just isn’t any ethical way to consume eggs… or dairy”
  • @Our Hen House
  • “Jesus coming down & like ‘you did what?!'”
  • “Living my life in a way where I try to do no harm to anyone – it just feels good – it feels easy.”
  • Cats, mice & insects “How far do you apply human concepts?”
  • Life-long learning
  • “People have to learn how to make healthy vegan meals”
  • Alternatives vs. plants
  • Standing for office “you ran a very unique campaign!”
  • Veganism, #socialjustice & #sustainability
  • Cooking vegan for people… “People can’t not eat free food!”

Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at

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Thanks Graham for the post-production.

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