Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Five Thoughts on Oprah
Five thoughts on Oprah's Vegan Challenge. I have about 23 but have elected not to torture you will all of them.
My initial thought is that the world may be changing for the better when Oprah does a full hour on veganism. Oprah accidentally drops a book on the floor and it becomes a NYT Best Seller! This kind of exposure is fan.flippin'tastic!
My second thought is that Michael Pollan said it best when asked why "eating meat" is such a hot button issue. Paraphrasing but... "It's because it challenges us on a moral level and challenges our traditions - it's like a direct attack on your mother."
I find that there are as many reasons and variations on being vegetarian as there are vegetarians. The commonality among meat eaters (and I say this from experience) is that to eat animals, you have to maintain "The Great Disconnect". You have to protect yourself from thinking about the slaughter house, the obesity, the heart disease and the consequences for the animals who cannot protect themselves against us. The mere discussion of vegetarianism is like Chinese water torture on The Great Disconnect. Drip.drip.drip.
My third thought is that Carghill Meats was way smart to allow Lisa Ling into their newest, cleanest and most compassionate processing plant. Their PR people were genius! A pretty, young, female meat processing Plant Manager who "loves vegans" - nice work PR - couldn't have come off better. I've seen several undercover slaughter house videos and they look nothing like this particular Carghill plant. This footage was the meat industry's best case scenario. You can watch the video clip here http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Inside-a-Slaughterhouse-Video
Thought number four is completely selfish. The shopping trip to Whole Foods almost made me break down. What possible reason do you have to buy any animal products when you have a WALL of vegetarian/vegan substitutes? I'm not a believer in constantly replacing real meat with fake meat but it would be nice to have the option every once in awhile. Did you see that wall? I still want at least double points for going vegetarian in Barbados. Who do I see about that?
And number five...(I didn't need Oprah for this one!) The choice to not eat animals is extremely personal and admittedly hard. I have never been more conscious of anything. For someone like me (lettuce hater) every single meal is a choice. There were no "already vegetarian" meals in my repetoire. I was a 90% lean protein, 10% carb kinda girl. I loved Kathy Freston's concept of "leaning into" veganism. It really doesn't have to be all or nothing. Every time you consciously choose a meal sans animal it's a victory for your arteries, your heart, your digestive tract, and for one little (or HUGE) creature out there.
Thanks to Oprah for shining the light!