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Vegan diet spotlighted on 'Oprah' episode featuring authors Kathy Freston, Michael Pollan

February 1, 2011 |  9:44 pm

Oprah Oprah Winfrey is no stranger to eating a vegan diet -- she famously tried a 21-day vegan cleanse in 2008 -- but she recently upped the ante, convincing 378 staffers at her production company to go vegan for a week and documenting the results on Tuesday's "Oprah" episode.

Winfrey's guests included Michael Pollan, the author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and an expert on the meat industry, and Kathy Freston, whose new book "Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World" is currently Amazon's top seller. Also featured on the program was a segment in which reporter Lisa Ling visited a slaughterhouse.

Freston, whose previous book inspired Winfrey's first foray into the world of veganism, is nothing if not a persuasive advocate for plant-based diets: Journalist John Heilpern, who recently interviewed Freston for Vanity Fair, ended his article by explaining, "I will never become an alfalfa-and-brown-rice man, but since my lunch with Kathy Freston I have decided to give up eating all meat."

Animal-rights activists appeared divided on the episode's merits, with many commenting on Twitter and Facebook that they appreciated the exposure Oprah offered veganism but didn't appreciate the tone of the segment on animal slaughter, which some viewed as downplaying the inherent cruelty of killing animals for food. After the jump, a sample of the chatter from vegans on Twitter.

PETA estimates that more than 16 billion animals are killed for food every year.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Winfrey in 2010. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press

 

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