Being quite "Veganish" myself, I of course tuned into yesterday's show on Oprah. She and most of her staff agreed to a 7 day challenge to follow a strict Vegan diet: no meat, no cheese, no milk....NO ANIMAL!
I thoroughly enjoyed the show, but I've got to admit that I was somewhat disappointed. Don't get me wrong, any plug to make people stop and think about what they are eating is definitely a step in the right direction...BUT, I think the show completely left out a HUGE reason to eat a plant-based diet; HEALTH!!!
My journey towards veganism, quite honestly, had nothing to do with cruelty to animals. Sadly to say, there was a time when I didn't really give two thoughts to the treatment of animals. The reason I started veering away from meat was from a completely self-centered point of view - because I wanted better health.
I wish that they had focused on that a little bit more. I am a strong believer that we finally know the cause of many diseases that we suffer from. It's called BREAKFAST, LUNCH and DINNER. We are in fact eating ourselves to death (not just in terms of quantity, but in they types of food we are eating). There are many doctors and many clinical studies that are pointing the finger at animal products (along with all the processed junk we eat).
So, yes, it might give us all warm fuzzies to hear Cargill explaining that they don't want their animals to suffer, but this is not why I stopped eating meat. Cancer, Diabetses and Heart Disease is why I started to eliminate animal products from my diet!
Which brings me to one other frustration with the show - Cargill. It was nice to see them open their doors to Oprah's camera crew and allow us to see inside their slaughterhouse. Which I will admit looked like a nice, clean facility. However, my problem with their meat is NOT how the cows DIED, but rather, how the cows LIVED.
They showed a 20 second shot of some happy looking cows eating their last meal -that was it. They did not span out and show us the hundreds of thousands of cows all living on the feeding lot. They did not show us the disease that is often found on these Concentrated Animal Feeding Organizations (CAFO's). They did not show us the amount of feces from the cows are mention the catastrophic environmental problems associated with it. They did not show us the hormones that are used to quickly fatten the cows. They did not mention the antibiotics that are pumped into cows or the prescription of trouble that means for the consumers. They simply mentioned that they do not want their cows to suffer. It seems to me that painting a pretty picture is not the same this as giving us the full picture.
Okay, my complaining is done. Overall, it was nice to see a popular show on National Television bring a least at little more awareness onto an alternate way of eating.
It was awesome to see the people that lost weight and were feeling better after just a week. Quite frankly, it was cool to just open it up for discussion. So far that, my hat goes off to Oprah and her crew. Good job shedding a little more light on this not-so-wacky world of Veganism!