Whenever the topic of veganism or animal rights is mentioned on TV, I tend to cringe a bit. Too many times, I watched some segment on factory farms and been disappointed at the promotion of the delusional illusion of “cruelty-free” meat, eggs, milk, fish, etc. They rarely mention going vegan as a step in the direction to ending animal abuse/use. Even when Oprah had her show on going vegan, her guests would slide in some “humane” option to animal use/abuse.
So it was no different for me when I heard that a few people from the film “Forks Over Knives” were going to be the Dr. Oz show last week. I was, in fact, surprised at what I saw. Dr. Neil Barnard was very clear about not eating any animals and stressed not eating eggs and dairy in all it’s forms. He went on to detail non-animal sources of protein and vitamins. What surprised me even more was that Dr. Oz corrected him when he called it a diet stating that this is how people eat in other countries. I think this was significant since the title of the segment is “Diet Changes to Lower Disease Risk”
Something that wasn’t mentioned was the “V” word. It wasn’t referenced as eating vegan, it was eating a plant-based diet. Typically I get a urked at people dancing around the word vegan by calling everything BUT vegan. By avoiding the word vegan, how can others become familiar with it, learn about it, and erode the stigmas, myths, and stereotypes around it?
I’ll add that information on the ethics of being vegan was also missing. The fact that animals are sentient beings was not mentioned at all. Why is this important? Because once you make the connection between animal sentience and humans abuse of power over them, it is easier to not only be vegan, but to stay vegan.
As animals we tend to do things for selfish reasons, namely our search for pleasure and avoidance of pain. If my only reason for give up cheese is for my health, then chances are I’m going to try to find ways to still eat it (only at parties, on holiday, at the sample table, etc.) . But, if my reason for not eating cheese is because I know that the mother who produced the milk to make it was repeatedly impregnated had to have each of her babies taken from her at birth causing her stress AND that her baby boys would be chained for the rest of his short life and be slaughtered in his youth to become veal, then I will most likely not want to contribute to that abuse by consuming cheese.
So despite the fact that the word vegan wasn’t mentioned and that the ethics of not consuming animals was also missing, I was glad that what was mentioned wasn’t bastardized.
Take a look for yourself and if you get a chance, catch “Forks Over Knives” this month as it’s premiering in theaters in several cities.
Diet Changes to Lower Disease Risk, Pt 1. (w/Lee Fulkerson & Dr. Neil Barnard)
Diet Changes to Lower Disease Risk. Pt 2. (w/ Dr. Neil Barnard)
5 Foods That Cut Cancer Risk, Pt 1 (audience participation results)
5 Foods That Cut Cancer Risk, Pt. 2 (w/ Rip Esselstyn)
Fork Over Knives trailer
For more info. and showtimes please visit: http://www.forksoverknives.com/