I just finished watching the Oprah show where Oprah and much of her staff went vegan for 7 days. While I find veganism puzzling I also acknowledge that it is a lifestyle choice, this is a free country and everyone should have the right to live as they chose. However, I do take exception to something Kathy Freston, self proclaimed veganist, said.
In this episode Cargil allowed a segment to be taped for the show from one of their plants. If you can find it I encourage you to watch it. Their employees did a wonderful job of explaining the harvest process and the measures they take. However, the veganist said she was troubled by the video because she was more evolved and had more compassion for the animals. That is where I really took offense.
You see this all happened during one of the worst winter storms in many, many years. Most of the hardworking farmers and ranchers who were taken to task by this lady could not watch the show. Why you ask? They were out in bitter cold conditions making sure their livestock was properly cared for. They were risking their own health and well-being to check on the welfare of those animals and to provide them with feed and water. Just exactly who is lacking compassion?
Meanwhile, Miss Freston was in a studio warm and comfortable taking shots at my friends and neighbors. Make no bones about it, what Miss Freston and Oprah did today is an insult to the very people who feed you. From the farmers and ranchers who raise the crops and livestock, to the hardworking men and women who work for Cargil, Tyson and others. They are the ones I count as friends not Freston or Oprah.
The show can be summed up the best by the reporter who visited the Cargil plant. Her comment was that she planned to continue to eat beef and now she knew better where it came from. That is all those of us in agriculture ask. Please become educated, not by false experts like Kelly Freston, but by those of us who live, breath and are agriculture producers. Then and only then you can make an educated choice about what you eat.