Oprah's Vegan Challenge television special aired yesterday — and it has created a massive amount of interest in the animal-free diet. For a time, the words "vegan diet" were even a top 10 trending topic on Google!
The show, which featured guests like Michael Pollan, author of "The Omnivore’s Dilemma," and wellness expert Kathy Freston, focused specifically on the results of a week-long challenge in which Oprah and 378 of her staffers went vegan. Investigative reporter Lisa Ling also visited a slaughterhouse to see where meat really comes from.
While Ling's footage didn't show cows being killed, it did contain graphic footage of carcasses being hoisted up and skinned. Viewers apparently aren't ready for the full story, but it's commendable that Oprah decided to pull the curtain back a bit.
At the end of the show, the results of the challenge were revealed: participating staffers lost more than 444 pounds (and gained 84 pounds). Even more encouraging was the intention of several to continue the diet beyond the seven days.
Harpo Productions, which produces "The Oprah Winfrey Show," has decided to embrace "Meatless Mondays" at the Harpo Cafe. "You have to decide what's right for you and for your family," says Oprah. "Half the battle is just being aware of where your food comes from and how it makes you feel."
The official Oprah site has posted some wonderful resources for anyone who wants to give going vegan a shot. Most notable are three weeks of easy meals from Kathy Freston’s book “Veganist” — as well as delicious vegan alternatives and a vegan FAQ explaining just what the lifestyle means.
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