Oprah’s vegan challenge draws mostly positive response from ranchers | TSLN.com

Oprah’s vegan challenge draws mostly positive response from ranchers

Oprah and her 378 staff members recently took on a radical challenge: to go vegan for one week. The charge was led by author and vegan Kathy Freston, who was interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Tues., Feb. 1, 2011. Freston was also joined by self-proclaimed food expert Michael Pollan.

“Everyone at Harpo was so excited and interested in it,” said Freston, of Oprah’s vegan challenge. “I think knowing that it can be such a game-changer – that it can really affect you in your body and your spirit – I think so many people were just excited to give it a whirl.”

Freston’s segment of the show focused on offering meal plans and diet tips to go vegan. Then, Pollan took his turn in Oprah’s chair.

“Seventy-five percent of our health care spending is on chronic diseases linked to diet,” said Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” “We are eating way too many calories, too much processed foods and way too many carbohydrates. Our diet has changed more in the last 100 years than in the last 10,000. Cheap food is a blessing in many ways, but it’s also a curse. There are many good reasons to reduce our meat consumption, but to eliminate it, no. I went through this exercise myself. I can eat meat in a way that I feel good about it. We now have a renaissance of farmers that are small-scale and doing the right thing. They aren’t feeding them grain and taking that away from people that need to eat it.”

The next segment of the show took Lisa Ling to a Colorado feedlot and a Cargill packing plant. In the tour, Ling observed, “They showed me the cattle that will be sent to Cargill tomorrow. So, this is their last day at the feedlot, and in a couple of days, they will be steaks.”

Afterward, Lisa was taken to the Cargill processing plant and met General Manager Nicole Johnson-Hoffman.

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“There are undoubtedly animal rights activists out there that defiantly think you shouldn’t eat meat,” said Ling to Johnson-Hoffman. “How do you respond to that?”

“I wouldn’t ridicule people that say you shouldn’t eat animals,” responded Johnson-Hoffman. “We are committed to doing what is right. I believe when animals are handled with dignity and harvested carefully, then that’s the natural order of things.”

Later on the tour of the processing floor, Ling observed, “Everything is so precise. Everything is like clockwork. It’s pretty impressive.”

“We save every piece of the animal that we can, so we can make beneficial use of all the resources,” explained Hoffman-Johnson. “You know when you look at this, you have to have respect for the living creature that they were, so that means using every part and not letting anything go to waste.”

Oprah and her 378 staff members recently took on a radical challenge: to go vegan for one week. The charge was led by author and vegan Kathy Freston, who was interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Tues., Feb. 1, 2011. Freston was also joined by self-proclaimed food expert Michael Pollan.

“Everyone at Harpo was so excited and interested in it,” said Freston, of Oprah’s vegan challenge. “I think knowing that it can be such a game-changer – that it can really affect you in your body and your spirit – I think so many people were just excited to give it a whirl.”

Freston’s segment of the show focused on offering meal plans and diet tips to go vegan. Then, Pollan took his turn in Oprah’s chair.

“Seventy-five percent of our health care spending is on chronic diseases linked to diet,” said Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” “We are eating way too many calories, too much processed foods and way too many carbohydrates. Our diet has changed more in the last 100 years than in the last 10,000. Cheap food is a blessing in many ways, but it’s also a curse. There are many good reasons to reduce our meat consumption, but to eliminate it, no. I went through this exercise myself. I can eat meat in a way that I feel good about it. We now have a renaissance of farmers that are small-scale and doing the right thing. They aren’t feeding them grain and taking that away from people that need to eat it.”

The next segment of the show took Lisa Ling to a Colorado feedlot and a Cargill packing plant. In the tour, Ling observed, “They showed me the cattle that will be sent to Cargill tomorrow. So, this is their last day at the feedlot, and in a couple of days, they will be steaks.”

Afterward, Lisa was taken to the Cargill processing plant and met General Manager Nicole Johnson-Hoffman.

“There are undoubtedly animal rights activists out there that defiantly think you shouldn’t eat meat,” said Ling to Johnson-Hoffman. “How do you respond to that?”

“I wouldn’t ridicule people that say you shouldn’t eat animals,” responded Johnson-Hoffman. “We are committed to doing what is right. I believe when animals are handled with dignity and harvested carefully, then that’s the natural order of things.”

Later on the tour of the processing floor, Ling observed, “Everything is so precise. Everything is like clockwork. It’s pretty impressive.”

“We save every piece of the animal that we can, so we can make beneficial use of all the resources,” explained Hoffman-Johnson. “You know when you look at this, you have to have respect for the living creature that they were, so that means using every part and not letting anything go to waste.”

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