Oprah Winfrey is probably one of the meat industry’s least favorite people. In 1996 she invited former cattleman Howard Lyman onto her show.
Despite the fact that she currently eats a non-vegetarian diet, Oprah Winfrey has done more than nearly anyone else in the media to publicize the benefits of veganism. In 2008 she embarked on a 21-day vegan cleanse and featured her progress on her television show. All 378 of Oprah’s staffers participated in this three-week experiment.
Over these three weeks, Oprah welcomed onto her show vegan author Kathy Freston, who guided Oprah to incorporating an assortment of delicious new vegan foods into her diet.
When her 21-day cleanse ended, Oprah wrote a thoughtful essay covering what she learned from the experience. Her strong words about the ethics of meat eating led many animal advocates to hope that she would permanently shift to a vegan or near-vegan diet:
I learned a lot about how animals are treated and mistreated before they get to our tables. It is appalling and beneath our humanity to allow the torture of animals for the sake of our gluttony. We’ve neglected basic human decency on such a large scale, and it really does bleed over into every other aspect of life.
While Oprah retreated from her vegan diet, apparently never to return, her heir to the throne of daytime talk TV, Ellen DeGeneres, has followed a vegan or near-vegan diet since 2008.