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Rachel Ray is not an animal advocate

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All the donations in the world can not make a non-vegan an advocate for animals. Rachel Ray may save time in the kitchen, but she’s certainly using more animals than she’s saving.

nj.com shared the story of a Woodglen Middle School student named Lillian Mikulski, and a National History Day research project that had her interviewing famous food personality and infamous garbage-bowl inventor Rachel Ray.

She titled her project “Two-Feet Versus Four-Feet: The Animal Rights Movement,” and highlights the $14 million dollars Ray’s organizations have donated to no-kill animal shelters and AR groups like the ASPCA. Ray’s designer dog food line was mentioned, along with her affinity for getting people to stop being speciesist towards pit bulls. Mikulski said she “spoke passionately about her animal activism” and helped her get a good grade…er…connect her research to the real world. But don’t worry, we’re not about to launch into criticism of an eighth grader. No, Rachel, this one is for you.

The idea that anyone can help animals while still using them is absurd. For Rachel Ray, that’s not just using them for her own meals, wardrobe, or entertainment – that’s also directly profiting off of their exploitation by building an empire off of animal product laden recipes, kitchen tools to cook animals with, endorsements of animal products directly, and yes, even her premium dog food is made up of animal products. We could go on, but it’s pretty evident that Ray is a non-vegan, and that her success is the result of making the world less animal-friendly, too.

We get it, you love dogs and think more dog lovers will tune in to your programs if you make it known (believable because again, her marketing team made garbage bowls a thing). We even agree that no-kill shelters and adoption is a great way to help the dogs human continue to selfishly breed into this world. But to call your efforts “animal activism” is as far off as calling The Food Network an educational channel devoted to teaching people to cook (we all know it’s only  competition shows now). Focusing only on the treatment of one species of animal, and pouring money into groups that do the same, doesn’t negate the millions of animals lost for the frivolous reasons you’ve wrongly deemed justified. Saying she is a pit bull advocate would have been more accurate.

The only way to advocate for animals is to start with veganism. Veganism demands the freedom from all use, whether that is in a dog-fighting ring or a chicken cacciatore instructional. The way Ray feels about pit bulls, vegans feel about all the forgotten farm animals. We should not worship the cheque-signing of non-vegan celebrities as meaningful change, as it doesn’t come close to the efforts of a single vegan. 

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