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Oprah brings veganism mainstream

Hooray for Oprah!  I didn’t get to watch the entire episode today (shoveling snow with the rest of New England), but I did catch the last 15 minutes and what I saw made me so happy!

I will admit it, I wrote Oprah off after she gave Kentucky Fried Chicken coupons to the masses in 2009, in turn causing more of a demand for those poor tortured chickens.   Today, she went back up a notch in my book.  Let’s face it, Oprah is one of the most influential celebrities alive today with approximately 23 million viewers inviting her into their living rooms each week.  If she supports going vegan for a week or 21 days, there is a good chance millions of people will at least try.  Peta and the Farm Sanctuary combined can’t get that kind of attention.  Beyond the results of the immediate reduced demand, I see the long term and feel hopeful that people will actually put some thought into just how many animal products they consume on a daily basis.

The comments I did hear were inspiring.  The TV camera man announced that he is going to take this whole vegan thing into February. The woman who cleaned out her fridge and realized how unaware she’d been that nearly all of the food she feeds her family normally contained animal products.  The man who lost 11 pounds in just one week!  If that isn’t motivation, I don’t know what is!  Of course, you have to love the producer who admitted on national television that she started visiting the–eh–potty on a daily basis as opposed to her last 8 day stretch with no proper potty time.

Will most of these people go vegan for a lifetime?  Probably not.  But the common theme seemed to be that it made them more aware of what they were eating, and awareness is key.  It is about time eating vegan made it into mainstream media, thanks to Oprah and author Kathy Freston (Veganist).  You have to give Ms. Freston props for bringing her choices down to a simple concept that neither Oprah nor Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) could argue: she wants to live a life of kindness and therefore why should her appetite be more important than an animal’s life?

There was one incredibly funny and ironic moment.  Did anyone notice the Hood sour cream commercial pop on?  Did they not get the memo regarding the topic of this episode?  I highly doubt people will run out and go on a sour cream binge after gearing up to go on a 21 day vegan detox.

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