Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oprah... of all things!

I don't watch Oprah. My Mother watches with a religious devotion that is sometimes slightly creepy, and while I like Oprah just fine and think that she has a lot of influence and does a lot of good, watching her show each day isn't something I care to do.

However, yesterday's show was all about her and her staff going vegan for a week. It actually was more about conscious eating; thinking about where your food comes from and how it gets to your table. A slaughter house actually allowed them to film how beef goes from cow to steak. The GM of the plant talked about how they make every effort to kill the cows in a humane way with as little fear and panic from the cows as possible.

However, it is still killing about 4,500 cows a day, just at that factory and it is still factory farming which is just horrible from a health aspect. They have to use chemicals and other products to attempt to lower the risk for bacteria growth and infection of the beef that would cause illness in the people who ate it. The cows are actually fed a huge diet of corn and grain products to fatten them up really fast, which also results is less healthy meat on your table, so that is of concern too.

There was a man on her show, named Michael Pollan who actually advocates eating a small amount of meat, however, he is very against the factory farming and wants people to support local, grass fed, happy animal farms. He feels like this is better for out health to eat "happy" meat, but also support the livelihoods of these farmers who have started to die out and are struggling because of the huge factories what are producing more meat at cheaper prices. But at what cost??

Oprah also talked to Kathy Freston, the Veganist, who helped support the staffers during their week long vegan challenge. She is also not totally opposed to eating animal products, but for herself personally, she is not able to look at an animal and decide that the animal's death for her to have something to eat is a fair trade off. She feels that with all the food choices out there now, killing for your meal is no longer necessary.

There are so many benefits to eating an animal free lifestyle and looking at how she is thin, and looks healthy with thick, glossy hair and bright eyes and skin, it makes a huge argument for eating more cleanly or at least more consciously!

Her husband is what she calls Vegan-ish - meaning that they have a vegan home. There are no animal products in their kitchen, but when they go out to eat, her husband may decide to have something with fish or cheese or any other animal product.

This got me thinking about my own life and specifically my child. I am a vegetarian and have been all my life, I struggle with eliminating dairy and eggs from my life because it tastes so dang good!! I have replaced milk with Soy and butter with Earth Balance, but cheese remains something that I can't seem to find a good replacement for and so haven't given it up.

However, as Smug-Baby becomes more interested in food, I want to only give her foods that are good for her little body. I don't want her eating factory farmed eggs, meat or anything else. I don't want her eating meat that we don't know where it came from. I do know that Smug-Hub, being a meat eater, does not want to raise her as a vegetarian, so we need to come to a compromise.

I am going to suggest that we become Vegan-ish ourselves. Only in our case, it will be that we have grass fed, local, free range meat and eggs and cheese in our house and we don't eat meat when we go out. Smug-Hub needs to cut down on his meat consumption anyway and if he pay more for the "good stuff" and make it last, then I would feel better about Smug-Baby having some animal products in her life.

Now, I just have to convince my darling, hunting/fishing, meat-loving husband of this plan....


  1. Thanks for the inspiring post. I used to be a vegetarian, but now I consider myself a "locavore" someone who tries to get their food locally from people who they know. It's really cool. We get fresh eggs and bread delivered to our door from friends every week and all of the money goes directly to them! :)

  2. i totally agree here! as you know. :) I want to eat better proteins...good meat is expensive and you really don't need to eat as much of it as most american's presume. But you do need good protein. I've been looking into beans, but I don't want to buy canned beans. Do you have suggestions on beans?