Vegan Oprah Winfrey? As an ardent supporter of animal rights, Oprah was one of the first TV stars to openly talk about our destructive approach to animals and the environment.
Back in 2008, and her staff undertook a 21-day vegan trial, featured on her television show. Step by step, Oprah shared her findings and things looked promising after Oprah’s first day of her trip to becoming vegan as she had written:
“I learned a lot about how animals are treated and mistreated before they get to our tables. It is appalling and beneath our humanity to allow the torture of animals. How can you say you’re trying to spiritually evolve, without even a thought about what happens to the animals whose lives are sacrificed?”
However, at the end of the 21 days, the journey towards becoming vegan for own spiritual evolvement, and the benefit of animals shifted into a ‘cleanse’. It became all about ‘me’, ‘my feelings’, ‘my cravings’, ‘my needs,’ ‘my well-being’, with zero consideration towards the lives of animals.
“As a person who seldom eats eggs, for three weeks I obsessed over not being able to have an omelette. I craved cheese and dairy daily. At the end of the 21 days, I could not declare myself vegan or even vegetarian. But I am, for sure, more mindful of my choices. I’m eating a far more plant-based diet. Less processed food. Thinking about sugar and fat consumption not in terms of calories but in terms of what happens to my well-being.”
But Oprah had another attempt at going vegan in 2016 when Wayne Pacelle, the President of HSUS, the ‘Humane Society of the United States’ was invited on her show, Super Soul Sunday.
The two conversed around the humans – animals connection, in preparation for Pacelle’s latest book, ‘The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals’.
The book focuses on what Pacelle describes as a ‘schizophrenic relationship’ humans have with the animal kingdom, where the human sacrifice of animals, be that food consumption or apparel needs, leads to unnecessary, cruel suffering.
Pacelle went further commenting that he’s amazed how people can proclaim their love animals and pets, while continuing to exploit them for entertainment, and sacrifice them for food and fashion.
During the talk, Oprah expressed her hope that the world is getting better:
“But there is an awakening, we are becoming increasingly conscious of how we treat animals around us, isn’t it” she asked.
“Yes, over the last five to 10 years, we’ve started to wake up,” answered Pacelle.
He went on to offer Oprah advice on how she can do small things to have a positive impact on the lives of animals, further challenging the host to go animal-free on the very next Monday.
After the show, Oprah went on social media stating she’s going to start a 21 days vegan diet, urging her tens of millions of followers to become cruelty-free as well.
According to Oprah, she has taken a page from her friend’s book, Kathy Freston – Quantum Wellness, whose main advice to those trying to become vegan isn’t to give up every poor choice at once:
“Don’t try to break a lifetime of bad habits overnight. Lean into it.”
“I’m leaning,” says Oprah.
But we can’t stop asking, for how long will you be still leaning Oprah, for how long? It’s been 11 years of leaning now….