Oprah Vegan Effect celebrities good bad ugly
Visit Original Source: One Green Planet
2010 was a great year for veganism in the mainstream media, from Chloe Coscarelli winning Food Network's Cupcake Wars and Bill Clinton experimenting with veganism to a vegan bakery opening in Disney World and several vegan books landing on the New York Times bestseller list.
2011 already seems to be off to a flying vegan start with none other than Oprah Winfrey and her 378 staffers going vegan for a week, for an episode dedicated to discussing food and the benefits of veganism. This episode, which featured bestselling authors, Michael Pollan and Kathy Freston as special guests has set websites like Huffington Post as well as Twitter and Facebook ablaze with discussions and debates about animal farming, ethics and health. The term "Vegan Diet" was one of the top 3 Google search terms in the U.S. on the day the episode aired and Kathy Freston's book, Veganist quickly shot to #1 on Amazon. While Oprah's show painted a very candy-coated balanced view of the issue of eating animals, it has obviously got a lot of people thinking and talking about veganism. Vegans and animal rights activists have a lot of reasons to get excited about all this mainstream attention, but there seems to be a lot of skepticism bubbling underneath the tepid enthusiasm. Why should there be any reason to not greet the Oprah Vegan Effect and celebrities promoting veganism with open arms? Let's look at the good, the bad and the ugly that can unfold when celebrities go vegan or often, 'veganish' (as coined by Oprah on the show)!
The Good: Whether you like it or not, no one can deny that our culture is obsessed with celebrities. People adore them, want to be like them and cannot get through a day without updates on what their favorite famous people are up to. This explains why magazine articles, TV and radio shows, as well as the Internet is flooded with celebrity-focused content. Big brands pay celebrities millions to endorse their products across the world and billions of people spend their time and money every day, reading, watching and listening to celebrity gossip. Celebrities are influencers and have the ability to define what is socially acceptable and desirable and therefore change people's minds on issues. For example, Ellen DeGeneres has used her network television talk show as a great platform to showcase vegan food and discuss issues related to the consumption and use of animals. Vegan musicians like Moby, as well as bands from the straight edge/hardcore punk movement have used their fame to help educate millions of fans that eating and using animals is anything but cool. Joaquin Phoenix lent his famous voice to Earthlings, the outstanding documentary about animal use and treatment and Alicia Silverstone has used her celebrity status to spread information about her positive experiences with veganism via mainstream media platforms, her blog and by authoring her own vegan cookbook.
The Bad: To understand why celebrities going vegan can actually be a bad thing, you have to get to the roots of what made them go vegan in the first place. More often than not, you will find that most celebrities turn to veganism as a "diet" or a "cleanse" that is driven purely by vanity and/or health reasons. While this in itself may be a compelling reason to go vegan, it firstly sends an inaccurate message that veganism is only a diet and that it is fine to wear wool and leather while touting the health and spiritual benefits of eliminating animal products from your diet. Secondly, a "diet" or a "cleanse" is often not enough motivation to keep people away from eating and using animal products consistently, so they end up slipping up or giving up on veganism completely. This leads people to believe that veganism is incredibly difficult and requires tremendous self-sacrifice, because if rich celebrities, who have enough money to hire personal assistants, chefs and stylists find being vegan a challenge, how can an average person possibly go and stay vegan? Veganism is a lifestyle that rejects all forms of animal use as a moral basis. In addition, it has tremendous health and environmental benefits. Till famous vegans don't embrace this clear message, there's always a risk of things turning out bad when they talk about veganism.
The Ugly: Continue Reading.
This article was written by One Green Planet: One Green Planet is an online destination for the ecologically ethical generation. We deliver relevant insights and opinions into the world of ecology, the environment & vegan living.
Oprah Vegan Effect celebrities good bad ugly