Oprah Winfrey Goes Vegan!

May 20, 2008 at 8:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Unbelievable. Oprah is going vegan for a 21-day cleanse!  Way to GO Oprah!!

This is definitely the biggest vegan-oriented news of the year, and quite possibly the decade.” –vegan.comThe Cattlemen and dairy folks must be crapping their knickers right about now.” -Erik Marcus

According to Oprah, so far so good! In her blog she wrote: “So this first day wasn’t hard at all. For breakfast, I had steel-cut oatmeal with fresh blueberries, strawberries, chopped walnuts and a splash of soy milk and some agave nectar. For lunch, chunky mushroom soup with wild rice and pecans. As a snack, a handful of roasted almonds. And for dinner, a baked potato drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper with a salad of shredded lettuce, cranberries, pine nuts and tiny orange slices with a vinegar and oil dressing.” Mmmm…doesn’t sound too bad to me! In fact, sounds delicious!

Move over Milk… your century in the spotlight is over. You are gross, hormone-y, and meant for baby cows! I think my point is expressed nicely here: 

Did you know humans are the only species to drink milk past babyhood and moreover to drink the milk of another species?  Yeah. “Weirdo’s” is a definite understatement.

Got Milk?

Got Vegan? 

Veganism. It does the body good.

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27 Comments

  1. Jordan said,

    did you know oprah is my graduation speaker?

  2. Alex said,

    That’s a fantastic caroon!

  3. Alex said,

    edit: “carToon”

  4. John said,

    Does the insulting approach really work for getting people to change their minds? “You do something I don’t agree with so you’re weird. Oh by the way, change your habits to be this way.” Seriously?

  5. Alex said,

    Do you take issue with her views, John? Or are you upset because she made a joke about consuming milk?

  6. John said,

    Neither….it just seems to me that the point of even mentioning oprah would be to lend support to furthering a cause. What good does it do to mock the people whose minds you’re trying to change? It strikes me more as shooting oneself in the foot than strengthening one’s position.

  7. Alex said,

    What do you think about Oprah’s decision, John?

    What are your thoughts on her statement, “How can you say you’re trying to spiritually evolve, without even a thought about what happens to the animals whose lives are sacrificed in the name of gluttony? So this 21-day cleanse gives me a chance to think about it differently and see what my attachments are to certain kinds of foods—and what I’m willing to do to change.”

  8. John said,

    I fail to make the correlation between my thoughts on Oprah’s actions/words and insulting someone for drinking milk. It is possible that I was just observing as a neutral bystander that perhaps the best way to validate your cause isn’t through insulting people not already a part of it, which is exactly what the post does: “Milk is for weirdos” followed by “Weirdo’s is a definite understatement” is nothing but a juvenile attack at people who do drink milk/use animals.

    As for Oprah, I couldn’t possibly care less. I don’t require celebrity justification for my thoughts or actions. If I choose to not use animals, it’ll be because I think it is the right thing to do. Not because Oprah does it and certainly not because I was mocked into doing it.

  9. michiko280 said,

    “Juvenile attack” it may be, John, however in the context of a comic strip, I think that i what is to be expected. It’s called satire, and in fact most satire could be interpreted as a “juvenile attack” as you put it. Anyway, delighted to hear your opinion, yet this is a blog containing my personal views, and I stand by them.

    You’re not alone though, most people do think it is completely normal to drink the milk of another species (even though we are the only species to do that…although you could argue that is normal because we humans are an elite species and have dominion over other creatures. Again, it is your belief.) It is, after all, how our society has trained us to think. In fact billions of dollars goes into advertising and plugging our minds with “facts” that milk and meat and consumption is normal and healthy and should be central in everyone’s everyday life. Of course they would promote that idea… they need us to buy their products. Every time we buy animal products, they get paid. But hey, if you love milk and are comfortable with the idea of milk and where it comes from then by all means, knock yourself out. To each his own.

    As for Oprah, believe it or not, Oprah’s 21 day vegan challenge has inspired a tremendous number of people to embrace a vegan lifestyle. Regardless of their motives or intensions, that is a bigger impact on the vegan movement and on animal welfare than any average individual (such as myself) is likely to make in a lifetime. These people are becoming healthier (nutritious diets rich in vegetables, grains, and leafy greens verses the typical American diet of fatty greasy processed meats and other processed foods) so it benefits them, as well as the environment and the animals…why not support them? Anyway, that is why I support Oprah in this endeavor.

    Finally, If you want to change nothing about your diet or habits or current lifestyle, that is your prerogative and no one is pushing change upon you. But it boggles my mind that those who choose to do nothing themselves would actually try and oppose those who ARE working for positive change.

  10. Alex said,

    John,

    So am I to assume that because you “don’t require celebrity justification for my thoughts or actions” (as if we do) you are incapable of articulating a personal thought on her statement, “How can you say you’re trying to spiritually evolve, without even a thought about what happens to the animals whose lives are sacrificed in the name of gluttony? So this 21-day cleanse gives me a chance to think about it differently and see what my attachments are to certain kinds of foods—and what I’m willing to do to change”?

    You responded to the satire, however, you have avoided responding to the purpose of the thread you are now participating in: Oprah’s decision to go vegan for 21 days for reasons X, Y, and Z.

    The author of the post does not assume the validity of Oprah’s argument, which somehow justifies her own Veganism. The question of validity or invalidity is not being asked, it’s simply a statement of praise. However, your participation implies interest; therefore, do you believe her argument about “spiritual evolution” to be accurate?

  11. mojomonkey77 said,

    I think this all started with my observation that it seems contradictory to write a post about Oprah doing something positive and at the same time insulting people who don’t practice what she is TRYING.

    Nonetheless, if you want my thoughts, here ya go: If Oprah thinks this helps her improve as a person, by all means, go for it. I’m all for personal growth. I doubt it would be newsworthy if an average joe decided to undergo a “spritual evolution.” In any case, it’s her life to do as she will and if she’s thinks the vegan path is the way to go, bully for her.

    That doesn’t change or invalidate my point that trying to change people’s minds about an issue by insulting them probably isn’t the best way to go (I would assume the point of having this blog is to offer information and sway people to consider a vegan lifestyle). My response to the satire wass simply because Oprah is doing this supposedly to try to take a higher path and be a better person. Why would it make sense to degrade her attempt by corralling it with insults? Every response since my comment has failed to address that simple issue. I have nothing against veganism, Oprah or this blog. And nothing I wrote would ever suggest I did. I didn’t call anybody out or challenge any ideas. I simply made an observation to the contradictory nature of including the satire. So, I remain confused as to how my thoughts on Oprah or anyone else are relevant to the comment I made.

  12. Alex said,

    Okay, since you refuse to discuss the substance of the post, let’s discuss the satirical portion.

    It began with, “Move over Milk… your century in the spotlight is over. You are gross, hormone-y, and meant for baby cows.” An argument that has gone un-countered. “Did you know humans are the only species to drink milk past babyhood and moreover to drink the milk of another species?” was offered to support the claim that HUMANS (us included of course) are “weirdo’s” for consuming milk. Again, a contention as yet un-countered.

    I fail to see how these claims “degrade her attempt by corralling it with insults.” The satire addressed our species’ (again, vegans are included in this grouping) consumption of milk.

  13. John said,

    #1) What’s to discuss about Oprah? I’ve said at least once that I support a person bettering herself. I never took issue with her action. So, what would there be to discuss?
    #2) How would it be satire against someone who doesn’t drink milk???? It’s directed specifically at those who do drink milk and saying they are weird for doing so. There would have to be an implied exception for vegans/non-dairy users otherwise it’s not satire, it’s just pointless.
    #3) I would maintain that if one is presenting an idea as a higher ideal, one that is worthy of a spiritual evolution to reach it, it should stand alone as a quality idea and not be tainted by pettiness. I defy you to find any noble cause that was furthered by satire (Buddhism? Christian morality? Interesting that in those cases, the ideals were often opposed violently by the ruling faction yet they were embraced by the people without any attack on the ruling faction – the ideas stood for themselves). Satire, by definition, is an an attack. It’s a nothing more than a trifling tool to belittle an opposing side rather than strengthen your own. That was my point. It has nothing to do with the right or wrong of anything in the post. It’s simply the observation of an apparent logical and altruistic falacy (under the assumption that one would say the ideals represented in this blog are of a higher moral plane). One doesn’t advance a noble effort through degradation or belittlement, which is what satire is. As such, associating someone trying to better herself with a satirical representation of anyone who doesn’t agree as a cro magnon, teet sucking, glutton does nothing but trivialize her efforts.

  14. Alex said,

    Quote:

    “Christian morality? Interesting that in those cases, the ideals were often opposed violently by the ruling faction yet they were embraced by the people without any attack on the ruling faction – the ideas stood for themselves.”

    This isn’t really true is it? Can the threat of hell, or quite literally demonizing the “other” (i.e., differing religions) plausibly constitute an attack, John (or just a teaching)? If it’s simply a teaching, then the same argument can be extended to the opposition to consuming milk proffered in ethical Veganism.

    Quote:

    “I’ve said at least once that I support a person bettering herself.”

    So you agree that going vegan constitutes “bettering” oneself. Does this “bettering” generally, therefore implying that you ought to go vegan because it does in fact represent spiritual progress? If not, it seems unusual that spiritual evolution for one person doesn’t apply to another, given that the other person may not regard the particular form of “evolution” as legitimate. You, of course, acknowledge the legitimacy of going vegan, so why are you going vegan?

    Again, the satire is making a mockery of our species’ consumption of milk, without qualification. As would a satire about our species’ apparent inability to settle conflicts peacefully: such a satire would capture everyone by the generalized nature of the argument; indeed, there may be in-group exceptions, however, they are still included in the group for the purposes of the satire.

    Your argument has been, John. I do see your points though, even if I partially disagree.

  15. Alex said,

    Quote:

    “So you agree that going vegan constitutes “bettering” oneself. Does this “bettering” generally, therefore implying that you ought to go vegan because it does in fact represent spiritual progress? If not, it seems unusual that spiritual evolution for one person doesn’t apply to another, given that the other person may not regard the particular form of “evolution” as legitimate. You, of course, acknowledge the legitimacy of going vegan, so why are you going vegan?”

    Allow me to rephrase.

    So you agree that going vegan constitutes “bettering” oneself. Does this “bettering” apply generally, therefore implying that you ought to go vegan because it does in fact represent spiritual progress? The spiritual evolution for one person doesn’t apply to another, given that the other person may not regard the particular form of “evolution” as legitimate. You, of course, acknowledge the legitimacy of going vegan, so why are you not going vegan? If I said that Christianity represented progress I would be irrational and perhaps juvenile if I still chose to not become a Christian.

  16. John said,

    The foundations of Christian morality revolve around the teachings of Christ, not the tenants of organized religion (Christ never persecuted another for thinking differently, that’s a result of organized modern religion). So my point stands. Not many people today, Christian or otherwise (I’m not christian, for the record) would argue against the moral teachings of the Christ figure in the Bible or the teachings of Buddha. That was my point. They spread their higher ideals without insults or satire or any other petty means. A noble idea is noble of itself and any negative propogation detracts from the ideal. If you don’t accept that then this discussion becomes even more pointless.

    On that note, to answer your question, I’m not vegan because I’m not convinced that use of animals is immoral. I never said I was. I simply said that this site would seem to hold veganism as a higher path, not that I did. I’m not a spiritual person so spiritual growth doesn’t hold much weight for me. As such, me becoming a vegan because oprah or my girlfriend or whoever did it when I don’t acknowledge the moral and philosophical tenants behind it would be me making a mockery of myself as well as the ideals behind being vegan.

  17. michiko280 said,

    Just out of curiosity, if searing chickens beaks, castrating without anesthetics and forced starvation are not immoral in you opinion, then what is an example of something you would consider immoral?

  18. grrrr said,

    michelle! i wish you’d pick a guy who’s supportive for once!

  19. John said,

    I didn’t say that such things were immoral. But vegan philosophy, as I understand it, opposes any use of animals, not just the cruel use. And I’m not unsupportive of Michelle’s being a vegan. I’m simply not one. Nothing I’ve posted here has been anti-vegan or would suggest that I oppose it. This all started because I pointed out the contradictory nature of preaching a philosophy of peace and kindness and trying to propagate it through slander and mocking. I would put forth the suggestion that, if anything, it was an attempt to help michelle embrace more fully the principles she claims to defend.

  20. John said,

    *”I didn’t say that such things were immoral.”

    were should be weren’t…

  21. michiko280 said,

    No, I am not opposed to using animals. I am opposed to cruelty to animals, most specifically unnecessary cruelty.
    _____

    John: “I’m not vegan because I’m not convinced that use of animals is immoral.”

    Me: “…if searing chickens beaks, castrating without anesthetics and forced starvation are not immoral in you opinion, then what is?”

    John: “I didn’t say that such things weren’t immoral.”
    _____

    Unfortunately, unless you raise and kill your own animals for your meat and dairy sources, you are essentially guaranteed to be supporting the routine performance of the actions I described above (searing chickens beaks, castrating without anesthetics and forcing starvation, just as a few examples). Almost all of the meat sold in grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains, be it chicken, burgers, bacon, milk, etc., came from animals who experienced these factory farming practices. How many is “almost all”? Estimates lie in the range of 98-99%.

    “Virtually all the chicken sold in America–more than 99%, according to Bill Roenigk, vice president of the National Chicken Council–comes from factory-farm production”

    “In the United States, 98 percent of eggs are still from caged hens, and, as we shall see, of the remaining 2 percent, very few of these are truly free-range.”
    -Peter Singer, The Ethics of What We Eat.

    Not to mention the fact that “While an estimated seven hundred and fifty million people go to bed hungry every night, a third of the worlds grain is fed to farm animals. The typical Western meat-based diet can only feed two and a half billion people, but a plant-based diet will feed everyone on the planet” -Mark Hawthorne, 2008.

    In today’s world it is unfortunately almost impossible to separate ethical use of animals from unethical use of animals, unless you literally raise the animals yourself. Some farmers markets offer meat from animals that were more humanely treated, although this is many times not the case, and to be sure you agree with the treatment it can be necessary to visit the farm yourself.

    Regardless, the average consumer gets the majority of their meat from stores and restaurants. These people can justify doing so in two ways: one being that they are not informed about the cruelty they are supporting, and the second being that they are aware of the cruelty and support it. If you are aware of the cruelty, support it financially and with your consumer habits, but don’t support it fundamentally (do not support things like searing chickens beaks, castrating without anesthetics and forced starvation, then there is a contradiction between your actions and your beliefs. That, in my opinion, is unjustified.

  22. John said,

    Ok….look…I was simply questioning the means of spreading an idea. I can’t make it any simpler than that. If you can’t look past the simple fact that all I said was a noble idea is tainted if it’s spread through such tactics, then there’s nothing to talk about. I never once took issue with anything else. Nothing. Just the means by which the ideas were spread in this post, NOT the ideas themselves. There is an elementally distinct difference between the two. Every response to my comment has been geared as though it were directed towards the latter when it was directly about the former. One doesn’t have to be vegan to question the PRESENTATION of a vegan philosophy. If indeed mockery is an appropriate means of spreading the philosophy, by all means, keep doing so. I simply questioned if that were the case. NOTHING more. Bringing in other issues (animal treatment, my philosophy, etc) are irrelevant to that point and seem to be an attempt at distracting from it. If mockery is appropriate, then say so. If it isn’t, tirades on other topics are pointless and won’t make the mockery any more acceptable.

  23. Alex said,

    Indeed, by your argument, John, you ought to be vegan to act in accordance with your stated argument: “I didn’t say that such things weren’t immoral,” implicitly agreeing that they are immoral. To do otherwise means that you are participating in immoral practices, which either belies your stated support of our argument that these practices mentioned by Michelle, and many many others, are immoral or it means that you simply don’t care about morality or immorality, which belies your claim about the “noble virtues” of Christianity, etc.

    For those who admit such things and yet refuse to demand an appropriate response (i.e., going vegan or vegetarian), Matthew Scully writes, “When a man’s love of finery clouds his moral judgment, that is vanity. When he lets a demanding palate make his moral choices, that is gluttony. When he ascribes the divine will to his own whims, that is pride. And when he gets angry at being reminded of animal suffering that his own daily choices might help avoid, that is moral cowardice.”

    Quote:

    “But vegan philosophy, as I understand it, opposes any use of animals, not just the cruel use.”

    You do not have to agree with this correct argument to be vegan, John. You simply have to have the courage of your convictions.

    P.S.

    Quote:

    “They spread their higher ideals without insults or satire or any other petty means.”

    I have received Christian literature where women who choose to abort a fetus are admonished and labeled “murderers”; I have also seen images where homosexuals are characterized as “demons,” horns and all, and “sex crazed addicts.” Are those “petty means” or simply teachings. If they are the latter, then the satirical portion of this thread cannot be questioned as what is represented in the cartoon is a representation of the reasoned argument in favor of animal rights.

  24. John said,

    Again, not addressing the original issue in the initial comment. Aand again, literature you’ve received were modern proccessings and twistings based on the works of the original man. Jesus didn’t use any such tactics to spread his beliefs and teachings. Yet they caught on despite heavy opposition from the ruling faction at the time. That was my point (a modern example: would the Dalai Lama condone any aggressive tactics to further his cause, despite the apparent wrongs of the opposing side? Or would he feel that it would be a corruption of the virtues he stands for?). And the fact that others do it for different causes is not a justification for it here. My point was that if this is truly a noble idea, it should be propagated by noble means (hence the use of Jesus/Buddha examples). Twist and dodge all you want – which is exactly what has occurred as no one has yet addressed the topic of the original comment. Feel free to continue spouting convictions, but again, it has nothing to do the issue raised in the original comment. So, still to this point, no one has been capable of addressing that issue.

    *Incidentaly the Sculley quote is nice. Especially in this instance as I would associate aggressive slander to spread peaceful ideas with moral cowardice.

    PS: “You do not have to agree with this correct argument to be vegan, John. You simply have to have the courage of your convictions.”

    So being vegan has nothing to do with animals? If it’s just the philosophy of peace in all situations (if I am reading into what you wrote correctly, that is what you’re saying?) including, but not limited to, animals, then my original comment is all the more correct.

  25. D. said,

    John, you are taking the cartoon much too seriously.

    First of all, it’s light-hearted and certainly not as offensive as you make it out to me; there are much worse words out there than “weirdos”.

    Second of all, a lot of people make fun of vegans for drinking soy/rice milk and consider that “weird”, so that cartoon is simply the vegan perspective of that. It’s not as if it were totally unprovoked.

    Also, even though this is a free country and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, you have to acknowledge that certain opinions, despite being opinions, can be more or less right and wrong. Take racism, for example. If you want to be a card-carrying KKK member, that’s your constitutional right to do so, but it’s impossible to justify racism with morals and logic. Would you be offended if you saw a cartoon poking fun at a KKK member? No; in fact, you would probably chuckle, at least on the inside, because you’d agree with the viewpoint presented. I seriously doubt you would care if a Klan member was offended by the cartoon.

    Likewise, it is impossible to justify eating meat or dairy products. They are totally unnecessary for survival, or even optimal health. They are luxuries. (I understand there are certain tribal societies who may not have access to a variety of vegan food and therefore may need animal products, but if you typed your comment using a computer, I’ll assume you live in an industrialized country and have a well-stocked supermarket right down the street.) Animals are brutally slaughtered and resources are wasted in epic amounts just to satisfy people’s cravings for a steak or buffalo wings. You cannot justify consuming these things morally or logically. What I’m trying to say is that cartoon has every right to exist, and if an omnivore is offended by it, excuse me for not giving a damn.

    (Note: I am absolutely NOT comparing animal abuse to racism; I only chose to use racism as an example because it’s something everyone can agree is wrong. Replace it with another universal wrong if you wish- stealing, cheating, killing, whatever. I was only trying to illustrate a point about people’s perceptions of things; please don’t change this to a discussion about racism because that’s not the point at all.)

    If you just dislike satire in general, then I don’t really know what to tell you and nothing I just typed is going to change your mind. I just hope you don’t watch TV, go to the movies, listen to the radio, or read “The Onion” because satire is all over the place and it certainly isn’t going anywhere. If you hate satire, that’s fine; just don’t act like it’s unique to vegans or that no one has a right to use it.

  26. Dr Billy Health » How many land animals have been killed for the meat, dairy, and egg industries since you opened this webpage… said,

    […] out Michelle Cehns most recent blog post: Oprah Winfrey Goes Vegan! at […]

  27. siklsell said,

    oprah is a joke, i wish one day folks would stop listening to her farces!

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