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Vegan Planet: Oprah’s Vegan Challenge

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Oprah’s Vegan Challenge

I’m so happy to see that Oprah is going vegan—for 21 days, at least — in what she’s calling a “21-day cleanse as a way to jump-start an inner makeover.” In this plan, she has eliminated animal products from her diet and has invited her fans to join her. How cool is that?

Helping her to do this (by cooking amazing vegan meals for her) is my good friend, vegan chef extraordinaire, Tal Ronnen (in photo). Way to go, Tal! (See his bio on Oprah’s blog.)

Best of all, it actually seems like Oprah “gets” the reason why many of us are vegan. In her blog, she writes: “How can you say you're trying to spiritually evolve, without even a thought about what happens to the animals whose lives are sacrificed in the name of gluttony?”

I also think it’s great that Erik Marcus at is pitching in to help those who are taking Oprah’s vegan challenge and are new to veganism. During the next three weeks, his VegTalk podcast is going to offer daily guidance and support to new vegans. On the May 21st podcast, Erik recommends his three favorite cookbooks for new vegans and I’m honored to report that two of them were my own Quick-Fix Vegetarian and Vegan Planet, along with that other bastion of vegan recipes, Veganomicon.

Here’s hoping that Oprah’s 21-day vegan challenge is a catalyst for getting more and more people to go vegan and the beginning of a new era for veganism and all that it represents. What do you think?

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I am thrilled that Oprah is doing this. I actually wrote to the show's producers yesterday and asked that they consider having a show with vegan cookbook authors and well known proponents of a vegan diet. Oprah has such a huge following that her actions are bound to have some impact on others.
Great idea about writing to the Oprah producers, Kelleen. If more people follow your lead, it will be a great way to show that there is a strong interest in a vegan diet.
she hasn't updated her blog since Monday.....i have been posting on the topic under the name ncyg46
i have no idea how popular this topic but there are 43 pages so is snowballing on there. Should have added this to my other post but wanted you to go read some of it!!!
Wow, Nancy G, you're right -- this thing IS snowballing. I just checked over at the Oprah site and it has grown by several more pages. If anyone wants to check it out, click on the link "Oprah is going vegan" in this post and click on "Talk with Others" then "join the online discussion".
I didn't see the show, but of course, I've heard about it. I've been reading the blog, although, no posts since Tuesday. Let's hope she's sticking to it. I watched the videos (with your chef friend serving - nice!) and the food looks delicious! The ladies seemed to be really enjoying it. There are also recipes posted on her site. Regular folk can see we eat more than lettuce & tofu.
I totally agree, Carrie, that it's great for people to see that vegans eat more than lettuce or tofu. My only concern is the fact that what Oprah is doing is a CLEANSE and therefore more austere than the average vegan diet -- I hope people don't think they must give up caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and gluten in order to go vegan.
Robin, I also have a concern about the fact that Oprah is doing a CLEANSE, simply because of the implications of that word. Once one is CLEAN does one then go back to one's old eating habits? I had a co-worker who did a 30 day vegan CLEANSE, and once CLEANSED immediately went back to her omnivore ways, thinking somehow she had done something highly productive for her body. To me, CLEANSE implies a temporary action.
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