Oh boy, another "vegan" challenge, but this time it wasn't from Peta or HSUS. It was from Oprah. At first, I thought maybe it would be a good discussion talking about the benefits of increasing the amount of fruits and veggies in your diet, but alas it was nothing of the sort. It was, once again a simplistic, emotional, appeal to not eat meat.
|Image from Mas-Luka on Flickr|
In case you missed it, Oprah challenged her staff and others to go "vegan." Well I am here to tell you that going vegan is much more complex than just not eating meat or food products from animal agriculture.
One thing I do believe is that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and bringing a spotlight on this issue is important to maintain a healthy balanced diet. And there are plenty of individuals and companies out there bringing this message to the consumer. I applaud this and hope it does, in fact, gain traction.
I actually don't have any issue with people who prefer not to eat meat. It is entirely their choice and theirs alone. But the cognitive dissonance carried by many in the "vegan world" is almost as bad as the cognitive dissonance throughout our current political system. When did this become acceptable? Or worst, applauded.
Let's take a step back and think about what it means to be a "vegan". Most people that I know who prescribe to the "vegan" way of life focus entirely on food consumption with the reasoning that we should not place animals in harms way to satisfy our need for meat, eggs, dairy, and the like. Fine by me, but there is one critical piece of the "vegan" puzzle that isn't included; the piece missing is all the other by-products that are generated with animal agriculture.
|Source: Minnesota Foundation For Responsible Animal Care, 2000|
I wouldn't give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity; I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity.Indeed sir! So, Oprah if you really want to provide a valuable service to the public and your audience, how about you bring on experts in the field of animal agriculture and the folks who use animal by-products in the products they manufacture. Really focus on having an in-depth conversation so we can truly explore the issue. To do otherwise is a dis-service to you, your show, and the public. To me it just looked like you pigeon holed your audience into the same space that happens way to often; the simple space this side of complexity.