On Dr. Oz, Veganism, Near Veganism, and Pragmatism

Some correspondence from this morning. A reader writes:

I happened to watch this show yesterday. Dr. Oz’s plan is hardly vegan, he has his patient switching to meat eating in the last 14 days of the plan. Take a look at the segment.

I responded:

I did watch the segment, and the meat came in only in the last seven days.

I’ll doubtless write more about this as more videos are made. I’d obviously much prefer if he didn’t reintroduce animal products, especially since I think it’s a slippery slope from eating tiny amounts of animal products to substantial amounts. But I think the overall content of the video is a gigantic step forward for most of America. You notice Vegan.com doesn’t have millions of readers, but Oz is taking millions of people 90 percent of the way there.

His response:

I could not agree more that this is an enormous step forward with such a large audience. I suspect, although I have no direct knowledge of it, that the producers of the show take this stance to dampen the blow from the beef lobby.

I think Dr. Oz is bringing people right up to the doorstep of veganism. People are far more likely to go vegan once they’re already on the doorstep, and have been inspired to cut out the vast majority of their animal product consumption. For those who don’t go all the way, I’d much prefer the bulk of America’s omnivores to eat ounces of meat monthly rather than pounds, and I think Dr. Oz is hastening that change.