Petition to Oprah – Revisited

Savia contacted us this morning and suggested a modification to our petition.

Oprah’s not the kind of person who is going to ask her viewers to be vegan. However, it is possible she would do a show about the horrors of the way animals that are raised and slaughtered for our food are treated. I wish you had focused on that instead. Because if you highlighted the abuses and encouraged her to do a show on that, then the natural implication is that people watching that show will come to their own conclusions on becoming vegetarian or seeking out more humaine food options.

I think this strategy would have reached more people and would have had a better chance of success (i.e. Oprah doing a show on livestock abuse/conditions).

And we agree. Since we've only had a few signatories so far, we went ahead with it. We changed the end request from asking Oprah to suggest that her audience consider becoming vegan to specifically asking her to do a story on what goes on in the factory farming industries. We feel that while the wording was changed here, we do not believe we have significantly altered the intent of this petition to Oprah.

Please note -- in the interest of fairness to those who have signed this petition we will not be making any further changes.

13 Comments on Petition to Oprah – Revisited

  1. This is an interesting idea. Perhaps we should petition “Ellen” as well; look at how much sorrow she was in during her dog fiasco.

  2. Wow – I wasn’t expecting this at all. Thank you so much for considering my comment and revising your petition. I’ll be sure to pass it on to everyone I know!

  3. If you remember, Ellen called President Bush from her show and was “gushing.” The news media treated it like it was charming and her fans thought it was sweet rather than looking between the lines and thinking how sickening, especially considering she’s a gay woman. That’s a double whammy under the Bush administration. She also did a major disservice to ALL independent animal rescues by crying on the air to manipulate her audience. Those two “little” things are enough to forget about Ellen.

  4. For those who are unaware, President Bush has been the worst president for animals. It should improve with each successive administration; not only did it not improve, but regressed…which certainly stands to reason given his record on human rights.

  5. Hello – this sounds like a great idea, but I don’t think Oprah will ever do it. Do you remember what happened when she had Howard Lyman (the cowboy who won’t eat meat) on her show and they discussed factory farming? She claimed that she would never eat beef again. The beef industry sued her for it. The charges didn’t stick, but she did get a lot of pressure from the beef industry, and I believe she even renegged her statement that she wouldn’t eat beef because of the pressure. So I really don’t think she is going to want to go down that road again, although I would love to see someone so powerful and influential bring the subject to light. Although I do believe in “never say never” so I will definitely sign the petition and I wish you luck!

  6. Hi Alex,
    I don’t watch much TV to begin with, and neither does Jane. Neither of us has ever seen the Ellen show, so we weren’t aware of this episode.

    We wrote our petition to Oprah because she implied that it was okay to treat livestock in the manner in which the dogs at puppy mills were being treated (gestational crates, constant breeding, etc.), but not the dogs themselves.

    Also, Oprah has a much further reach than Ellen, so if there is even the slightest chance that we can influence her, think of all the other people we can influence indirectly!

  7. Hi Savia,
    Well… you had a very valid point, which we should have considered early on. If less than 5% of the US population classifies themselves as vegetarian, and less than 5% of those are vegans (source: Wikipedia) then asking for the public to consider going vegan is likely to result in an ongoing battle for her, which clearly, she doesn’t believe in.
    Again, thank you for pointing this out. Especially early enough for us to make the modification without too much confusion for everyone.

  8. Hey Melissa, thanks for the details on the Ellen show which Alex referenced earlier.
    Re Bush — he hasn’t been to great for the environment either!

  9. Hi K,
    You’re right, it’s a long shot. But if we get enough people to sign, there is always the possibility she’d do the story. She’s much more influential now than she was back in the early 90s. We were talking about this as we were writing the petition. Personally, I believe she could take this on if she scripted her comments carefully. After all, she wouldn’t be singling out one particular industry… she’d (hopefully) be talking about all the ills of factory farming, across all the various species.

    But, Oprah has other venues where she can discuss these more controversial topics… she’s got a radio station where she can have guest experts talk for her, but not necessarily represent her opinions (safe route). She’s got a whole slew of things on YouTube.

    And Jane and I truly believe we’re on the vanguard of a major shift in thinking. We don’t believe there will be a huge increase in vegans, but we do think that people will be open to the occasional vegan meal or product in the grocery store. Certainly, they’ll be looking more vegetarian options as we all look for comfortable ways to ease our consciences about what we’re doing to the planet, and the other beings who reside here: the increase in starving humans, and the other species we treat so barbarously. (We refer to this as middle-class guilt — I don’t know who coined the phrase).

    Anyway, you can’t change the world unless you try!

  10. I just saw on another blog that Oprah is starting a 21 day vegan diet! How exciting is that!? Looking forward to hearing her response to the petition!

  11. Hi Chrissy,
    Yes, that was actually our post today. If/when we receive a response from Oprah, we’ll let you know. So far, we just received the immediate auto-response thanking us for our comments, and letting us know that they get tons of email requests, so we may not be contacted at all.
    Regardless, her guide in the 21-day cleanse is vegan herself and has a lot to say on the topic. And we are simply thrilled that the extremely huge Oprah audience is being exposed to veganism.

  12. Hi Chrissy,
    Thanks for the flattering comment. No, we were no where near first, breaking this story. We’ve both been pretty swamped this week, so by the time we got around to working on the blog post, we’d gotten email from a few of our readers and twitter friends, and Jane’s mom had called and told us about the segment, and it was on our news service too!
    But we feel we’re pretty invested in this topic because of our petition.

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