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On the Oprah show a few days ago, Oprah convened a food panel of experts. One of her guests was advocacy-leader and vegan Alicia Silverstone. Before I say this, I must admit I have great admiration for Alicia Silverstone. She has been and is a true front-runner for animal rights and vegan diets.
But, I guess, even movie stars get nervous on TV. Oprah asked Alicia if she thought it was OK to eat cows and chickens if they were treated really, really nicely. Laughing, Alicia said she'd have to see the animals. Now I know Alicia would not have given that answer twice if she took a minute to think about it. It doesn't matter if the cows and chickens are living in penthouses--the bottom line is they are all spending the last second of their lives looking at the barrel of a shotgun.
Even worse, Oprah asked Alicia if she ever cheats on her vegan diet--and she said yes! Alicia said she has a bit of cheese from time to time. Oh no...is that the vegan police I hear...coming to drag Alicia away for "cheating." No, but it definitely opens up the door for nay-sayers to point out that even one of our greatest spokesman (is "spokeswoman" a word?) isn't devout to the cause.
I know I've certainly been in Alicia's shoes...and it is hard. Once during the police academy (Yes, it was in another lifetime called my 20s), my instructor said she would not require my class do some 200 push-ups we owed for "being bad" if I ate a small piece of beef jerky. I did it. All of the instructors came in to watch the great vegetarian fall. It tasted like plastic and was the first piece of meat I'd had in over a decade. I sure was popular for the rest of the day. Plus, I really hate push-ups. Would I do it over again? Probably. Was I proud of it? Definitely not.
Stay strong, folks. Every bite of meat, dairy, or eggs we don't eat is a step in the right direction. Alicia, if you're reading, hold your head up high. Your intentions were good, and you've done more to advance humanity in the last year than most people do in a lifetime.