Score One For The Home Team – Oprah Tries A Vegan Diet

Though we'd love to say we had some influence in Oprah's decision to go vegetarian for three weeks, we really can't. We sent email to the Oprah show alerting them to our petition requesting that she do a program segment on factory farming. We received the auto response alerting us to the fact that they (at the Oprah show) are very busy and may not be able to get back to us personally... Of course, we'll keep you posted if we do hear from them. But in the meantime much of America, indeed the globe, will now be exposed to the benefits of a vegan diet.

Apparently, Oprah was inspired by the book Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness, by Kathy Freston, and she (Oprah) is now engaged in the 21-day cleanse described in the book. This means, she'll be eating vegan (and gluten and alcohol free) for the next three weeks.

Freston says "If you want to look and feel your best, you have to make the complete mind, body, and soul connection. That means you have to work from the inside out." From this she has devised her premise of the 8 Pillars of Wellness, which she says is the way to live an engaged life. Meditation may be the first pillar, but it is the second pillar, conscious eating, which is the pillar Kathy says should be observed above all others.

It doesn't only make a difference to our own personal health and well-being, but conscious eating means you stay aware of where your food comes from, how the animals are treated, and how the environment is affected by the foods that you eat. You take in the energy of whatever went into creating that food.

We are absolutely thrilled! This means Americans, and the rest of the world, will now be exposed to vegan eating and maybe even the issue of animal rights in a medium that a huge number of people are willing to pay attention to!

For further reading, you can click on this link to read more about the 8 Pillars of Wellness as previewed on Oprah.

If you'd like to follow her progress, Oprah has a blog. Here's Oprah's blog post from this week:

Well, I feel like I got baptized in Vegan Land today. Kathy Freston sent her chef, Tal Ronnen, to help me and three friends at Harpo who are doing the 21-day cleanse.

Wow, wow, wow! I never imagined meatless meals could be so satisfying. I had been focused on what I had to give up—sugar, gluten, alcohol, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese. "What's left?" I thought. Apparently a lot. I can honestly say every meal was a surprise and a delight, beginning with breakfast—strawberry rhubarb wheat-free crepes. — Oprah

I predict this action by Oprah will do more for the cause than anything else to date!


  1. Her reach is definitely far and wide, so here’s to eating a vegan diet and hoping there will be more conscious eaters on the planet very soon.

  2. I’m not sure how I feel about this.
    On the one hand, I hope that at the end of this she realizes how much better she feels and decides to stick with it, instead of the other possibility of commenting how ‘hard’ or ‘extreme this lifestyle is.
    I am concerned, though, that veganism is going to be viewed by her audience only as a ‘cleansing’ and not an actual lifestyle choice. I would be happier if she decided to become a vegan completely and brought awareness to the plight of our animal friends, instead of doing it temporarily for mere health reason.

    P.S. I wish I had a personal chef who would make me strawberry rhubarb pancakes…

  3. We can only hope that when Oprah discovers how varied and pleasurable the vegan diet is, she will want to contnue it as a permanent life change.

  4. No way is that southern girl going to make it 21 days with out fried something or other with butter. Oprah is not my favorite person anyway with her yo-yo diets and obsession about her weight. But I hope it will make more people stop and think about eating meat. I dont eat it because we dont need it and it is just inhuman to treat animals so badly. How can we eat pigs and cows but gross out over eating horses or dogs? It would be groovy though if she had a conversion though. I can dream. I bet she is squirting a can of whipped cream into her open mouth right now with a chicken leg clutched in the other hand.

  5. Hi Lee,
    That’s our hope too!

    I know where you’re coming from… it could be detrimental to the push to move people away from animal products if Oprah is saying things like “difficult” or “deprived” — however, in her first blog post she’s touting the delicious foods she’s been eating and says “I never imagined eating meatless meals could be so satisfying.”
    The issue of “vegan” being perceived as a short course of action to either “cleanse” (Oprah) or for weight loss (Skinny Bitch) is certainly more of a concern. However, Kelly Freston is vegan herself, and if she is acting as a “spiritual advisor” to Oprah, perhaps the message of compassionate eating will be brought across to Oprah’s audience instead of the idea of vegan eating as a short term fix. As for Oprah actually becoming vegan herself, well, she’d have to give up the mink eyelashes first. 😉

    Hi Sandy,
    Agreed. And with a personal chef on the payroll, that should be a little easier!

    Hi Kara,
    Yes. Maybe this is the first step on the path for the general population (I’m assuming Oprah’s influence is even broader than her huge audience).

    Hi Autumn,
    Actually, I don’t have any doubt that she’ll make it through the 21 days. If you have someone preparing your food for you, and they’re good at their job, then it’s that much easier. Besides, 21 days isn’t such a long time.
    Now Paula Deen… She wouldn’t make it 21 minutes! (I can’t find the reference, but once upon a time I heard her say that everything is better with a stick of butter, or something close to that.)

  6. I think this is a great opportunity to promote veganism. I am encouraging the vegans and vegetarians I know to send Oprah letters of encouragement and to visit the messageboards and leave information about veganism there, too. If we all sent one letter and posted one post on the messagebaords, it would be a lot.

  7. Elaine,

    That’s a great idea. We will do the same in our next follow up on Oprah. As for the rest of you reading these comments… Every bit helps!

    Yes, it is… We’re really hopeful. Actually, we’re so hopeful we find ourselves reading Oprah’s blog, something I wasn’t expecting to do. One of the more encouraging comments:

    My idea of a conscious eater, however, was not quite the same as Kathy’s.

    I thought it meant not allowing yourself to eat emotionally and filling the void of anxiety with food, as I’ve struggled with for years. I thought it meant taking your time, making healthy choices and chewing slowly—being conscious of every bite and not scarfing down a meal and then thinking about the next one.

    That is one level of consciousness. But what she talks about in her book is a higher level. She speaks of “spiritual integrity.” How can you say you’re trying to spiritually evolve, without even a thought about what happens to the animals whose lives are sacrificed in the name of gluttony?”

    … If Oprah is going down that line, perhaps trying a 21-day vegan diet will result in her becoming vegan full time. Can you imagine how many people will be influenced to at least try a vegan diet?

  8. Oprah is an animal lover. I’m sure the idea of eating at the expense of animals has already occured to her. If she remains vegan she may also begin to advocate for an end to the cruelty.

  9. Hi Sandy & Claudine,

    That is exactly what we’re hoping for. This seems to be such a step in the right direction. The planet really needs a change. Oprah has the audience…

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