By Constance Young
In one of her final TV shows on ABC, Oprah recently filmed the results of her “one-week vegan challenge” in which she and 378 of her Harpo staffers went vegan for one week. I saw it ,and you can come to your own conclusions. [Click here to view the show] Some animal activists I know were upset by Michael Pollin’s comments that eating meat [cows] is “OK…..they have just one bad day” (meaning the day of slaughter).. The Oprah show also aired a report by journalist Lisa Ling which took her inside a feedlot and a slaughterhouse with a spokesperson for Cargill, the largest ground beef producer in the US. Incidentally, I believe that this slaughterhouse is the only one that was designed with the help of Temple Grandin – and so by design the cows are led in a circular maize that allows them less opportunity to hear and see the killings inside. Oprah said that she had been turned down by about 50 or so other companies that she had asked. I agree with In Defense of Animals who had positive comments about the program, in particular about guest Kathy Freston who gave the staffers some useful tips about veganism and helped them shop. I think also that the shared results of staffers – some of whom lost weight, got off their meds, and just felt “much better” – and after only one week, were very enlightening and encouraging.. Oprah herself coined the word “veganish” which she borrowed from Pollin, and said that she now calls herself veganish and will continue to lean in that direction. In this regard, Oprah said that she is implementing Meat-Free Mondays in the cafeterias at Harpo Productions as well as ensuring that a vegan option is always available. In response to Oprah’s show, Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s director Kathy Stevens wrote an article on the Huffington Post website with her comments about the program and her six tips to help a person “go vegan”.