by ecorazzicontributor
Categories: Animals, Eats
Tags: .

Oprah Winfrey is known for her yo-yo dieting, but when it comes down to it we are all about celebs giving veganism a chance, especially when they’re as big a star as she.

Beginning February 1, Oprah and 378 members of her Harpo staff will spend one week taking “The Vegan Challenge” where they will cut out all animal products as part of a segment for The Oprah Show.

When the show airs, Oprah will feature special guests Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and eco-author Kathy Freston, in addition to journalist Lisa Ling taking the audience on a journey through a beef processing plant.

In 2008 Oprah spent 21 days on a vegan cleanse as part of a plan to try out “conscious eating.” During that time the media mogul claimed she was craving eggs and cheese daily, but felt the experience left her more mindful of what she put in her body.

“I’m eating a far more plant-based diet,” Oprah stated. “Less processed food. Thinking about sugar and fat consumption not in terms of calories but in terms of what happens to my well-being.”

As This Dish Is Veg explained, “We know that after this one-week challenge, no matter how wonderful the vegan diet is portrayed, it is quite likely that Oprah and her staffers will high tail it to the closest pizza joint to order a cheesy meaty pie before hitting up the local Baskin Robbins. That being said, it is still commendable that Oprah will highlight this topic on her show. Twenty years ago, we would have never seen a program with the reach of The Oprah Winfrey Show give an ounce of positive attention to veganism, heck most people probably didn’t even know what the word “vegan” meant… we’ve come a long way baby.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Via This Dish Is Veg

  • robert m

    I’m so sick of celebs and their “vegan cleanses”

    It’s not a challenge to do the right thing for a week.

    I’m going to quit smoking for a week! yay me! (i don’t really smoke – i’m just being sarcastic)

    • herwin

      Hey chill out. ;-)
      Oprah doesnt do it to give her body a detox, its about being more conscious about the food she eats, both for body as well as mind. That cant be a bad thing.
      I wish more people were openminded and keen to learn more, and tried new lifestyles like veganism

      • m4rk0

        Meh. Seems a bit gimmicky. Something to talk about on her show for a week.

      • herwin

        OMG , Oprah Winfrey, the worlds most influential TV broad alive talks vegan for a “whole week” and thats not good enough for some people ?
        Considering the immense influence Oprah has, does any of these vegans realise that because of her raising the vegan topic regularly, many people go vegan, and so many animals are saved ?

      • robert m

        if you watched her show or read the more recent article you’d see in the comments a recount of Oprah on veganism – it’s a gimmicky joke, and she’s giving more of a platform to slaughterhouses and people who want to justify not being vegan – there was a whole discussion about how eating meat can easily be sustainable – anybody with the slightest familiarity of the subject of sustainable food production knows this is completely impossible

    • BenCat1000

      “It’s not a challenge to do the right thing for a week.”
      So true Robert.

      She knows very well that this issue is a serious one because of the cruelty involved. A defenseless animal is killed and hacked to pieces. It is brutal and uncivilized. She knows that this industry is wrong and yet she continues to support it.

      Yes….”vegan cleanses” is what celebrities and others like to toy around with, but it does nothing for the animals once the cleanse is over!

      There have been many, many lengthy discussions about her “sensitivity to slaughter” online, because people cannot believe that she does not “get it”.

      • Scot

        She and her staff should have to visit and watch the feature film before their “Vegan Challenege”. I’ll bet afterward, a few would be Vegan for life!

    • Trish R

      Going vegan is not about diet. It’s not about losing weight. It’s not a fad or a a cleanse. It’s not about being sexy, or hot or different. It’s not some celebrity quirk. Veganism is the refusal to participate in animal use by avoiding eating, wearing or using animals. 56 billion other animals are tortured and murdered for our pleasure each year. It is morally unjustifiable. If someone goes vegan for their health, or for environmental reasons, then it’s not veganism. People need to understand that eating a plant based diet for health or to be green is just humanocentric plant-based dieting. It’s not veganism and it will not hold because it does not come from a moral position that using animals is wrong.

      For anyone who wants to know what veganism is rather than believe the hype, check this out and

      Go vegan. It’s easy. It’s better for you, for the planet, and most importantly, it’s the morally right thing to do.

  • herwin

    One thing i greatly admire is how openmided she is.
    She will go vegan again ?
    Even if its just for a short while, its so extremely cool that she does it, and i am sure that something good sticks to her afterwards. :-)

  • Candis

    How are is it to live a life respectful of ALL creatures? A one week vegan “challenge” doesn’t cut it for me. Cut the hypocrital crap and respect other creatures already (go vegan…for life.)

  • km

    Progress has been made but by calling it a challenge then you are establishing it as challenging. I have to say that I was disappointed in the one show she did with Alicia Silverstone where Alicia went to Whole Foods to shop. I remember reading someone comment on some board, maybe here, and me thinking the same thing. That is, Whole Foods? Really? I shop there but I realize most of America cannot afford to shop and, moreover, does not even have access to one. I personally think it’s a challenge at times, like when choosing restaurants with friends, but wish it weren’t presented that way. That said, I’m glad it’ll lead to more awareness and will likely convert some people.

    • robert m

      exactly – i wouldn’t even call going vegan for life a “challenge” because it just isn’t

      my wife and i went from eating meat, cheese, meat, cheese, with more meat on top to vegan OVERNIGHT – no problem – 6 years later we’re still vegan, will never go back, and our two daughters are vegan as well (7 and 5)

      what turned two 35 year-old bacon cheeseburger eaters vegan overnight? an accidental viewing of the imfamous “meet your meat” vid introduced by morrissey as part of the special features on one of his DVDs – our reaction was unanimous, and as soon as it ended i said “well then…i guess that’s the end of that”

      we did was was right – that’s not a challenge – it’s more of a challenge to do what’s wrong after you’ve discovered what is right

      • Linda

        Awesome :) Whatever gets the word out there !

      • BenCat1000

        robert m,
        excellent comment.
        Yes, once you know the “truth” it is impossible to participate in the crime. We too are raising our daughter without hacked up animals and their body fluids/eggs. Great to know you are out there.

  • Toodles

    Oprah, what is your excuse for not being vegan yet? Whatever it is, its just that – an excuse.

    Tradition, familiarity, convenience???

    When you start having to make excuses to justify something, its time to rethink its place in your life and the control it has over you.

  • tuwidi

    dont say you are animal lovers, Oprah, if you still eat Animal..
    you should be vegan, that is minimal. but you should be an vegan-animal advocate, that is perfect

  • James Sklar

    Oprah can do no wrong. Good for her!

  • Pingback: Kathy Freston's Veganist Set To Ride The Oprah Bump | :: the latest in green gossip()

  • Anna

    It’s comments like the ones stated above that discourages people from being vegan. “You’re doing it for one week and not committing to it full-time?? How dare you!” Who cares? At least they’re trying it and acknowledging the alternative lifestyle. That’s more than most people do. I have been a vegan for a while now and I detest the debate of being vegan(full-time, half-time, or just trying it out). Just appreciate that someone IS considering switching, whether for ethics, weight-loss, a fad, or anything else.

    • BenCat1000

      the reason people are commenting the way they are is because this is not the first time that Orpah has done this. Vegans are tired of the ridiculous charade….that’s all! Not wanting to kill a defenseless animal is not a challenge and should not be for anyone with any form of a conscience. Eating vegan will never be a challenge. Eating murdered, bloody animals will ALWAYS be a challenge.

  • MJ

    I’m pretty impressed that Oprah and her staff went vegan for a week. There are some pretty weirdo vegans on this list. All they can do is criticize instead of encourage.
    Don’t you see her doing a follow-up show to see who stayed vegan after?
    Don’t you think she’ll do another show after that for a longer challenge?
    The more shows she runs, the more people she influences.
    And if she personally saved the lives of 3-4 animals in that 7 days, I am grateful for that.
    In fact, it was the snotty attitude of a couple of vegans that turned me off going vegan. From their perspective, I was enabling cruelty, not that they articulated how. From my perspective, I was eating a 99.9% vegetarian diet and hungry all the time. I was just trying to survive and there was no way I was going to spend another $7 on a piece of white plastic that looked sort of like cheese that went moldy in the fridge way sooner that cheese. More than a year later, I have finally compromised and I use Daiya cheese despite it having titanium dioxide in it. I’d rather eat the processed cheese than inadvertently subsidizing the veal industry (which is what any demand for milk or milk products is, I just learned). Milk is also cruel to the mother and the calf. Soy milk is fine on cereal and great for baking, so I don’t miss it. They also make the best chocolate soy milk. If you are scared of soy milk, try chocolate soy. Even my dad liked it, and he’s about as redneck as you can get. When I want to splurge (ie. spend a bit more money), I buy oat milk, which I find has a fresh, clean taste.