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Help Out Umbra and Thank (?) Ellen

Grist‘s Umbra answered this question yesterday:

I recently became a vegetarian for environmental reasons. Everyone says
I should start eating soy products and tofu. But doesn’t soy come from
evil industrial farms in Iowa? I thought the idea was to increase
biodiversity, not just eat the same thing 20 different ways. Also, can
I keep eating eggs and milk?

She doesn’t at all get into dairy and eggs except from the factory-farming point of view, she suggests a couple of cookbooks (from vegetarian Madison and omni Bittman), then she writes:

Other readers certainly will have suggestions (bring ’em on!).

There are oodles of holes in her response, so have at it and recommend your favorite cookbooks.

As for Ellen, she didn’t ever say the word "vegan," but she did say she stopped eating meat and dairy and "all that stuff" (she also didn’t say "animals" or "animal products") and her lunches have changed and no longer include animals (as of May). This was all about health, as expected, and when Neal Barnard mentioned foods Americans are addicted to he started with sugar and chocolate, and then later mentioned cheese. You could hear a pin drop during the entire interview, which is rare for an Ellen interview. She clearly wanted everyone to get the message–which I’m sure was so foreign to them that they were stunned into silence.

It’s always interesting to me to see how uber-mainstream people who have gone vegan present their message. This was about health, and Ellen looks better than ever and certainly has a ton of energy. Perhaps some audience members will read the free book they received (which I have read and if you haven’t gotten into the biochemistry behind that pizza addiction you used to have–oh wait . . . that was me–it’s a useful read. And of course it’s helpful to know about food addiction for your advocacy efforts.).

There was no talk of happy meat, although Elaine alerted us yesterday that she does indeed endorse it, which makes sense considering she’s for Proposition 2 and had Wayne Pacelle on her show last week.

Does anyone have any thoughts? I found the segment innocuous at worst, and informative and urgent at best. I wonder what the audience thought? You can e-mail Ellen here or write a comment about the show in the discussion here.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nick #

    Ellen is helping. Promoting veganism for health reasons, as endorsed by conventional western medicine and not "quantum healers," opens peoples' minds. After this, maybe they won't be so quick to dismiss the animal rights reasons. Even if she is a welfarist, she's not telling people to eat happy meat.

    September 30, 2008
  2. Bea Elliott #

    Yes, I think Ellen deserves kudos… her show is exposing so many people to animal issues, granted in a round about way… Having Dr. Barnard on to speak against meat/dairy to and promote better health through a vegan diet is a step in the right direction.

    All of Ellen's lunches look scrumptious… and she does look happier and healthier than ever. I think many in her audience will look into plant based foods and this is all very good. 🙂

    September 30, 2008

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