“We have neighbors that have chickens. We get our eggs from those chickens because they’re happy. They’re really happy chickens.”~Ellen DeGeneres
Hollywood vegans made one collective gasp upon hearing self-proclaimed vegan Ellen DeGeneres admit to her talk show guest, Ellen Pompeo, that she was getting her eggs from her neighbor’s backyard chickens. DeGeneres’ comment was either a major oops or the vegan community missed a prior announcement by Ellen that she was converting to “almost” vegan.
Vegan is hot in Hollywood right now.
Celebrities are announcing their diet conversions nearly every month. While Ellen has been a recognized vegan for several years now, eggs are not considered part of a vegan diet. Her comment was upsetting to the vegan community and spurred a lot of online debate via social networks. Vegan bloggers are having a fit. Stunned and somewhat angry, they’re exposing Ellen’s claims of being vegan regarding her public slip-up but also taking this opportunity to expose the uncomfortable truths about the egg industry.
Perhaps Ellen and her partner, Portia de Rossi, keep eggs in their fridge to accommodate any of their house guests’ dietary choices. Maybe Ellen recently shifted back to including eggs in her diet but failed to update her dietary status to the public.
Whatever the reason, the comment she made on her talk show exposed her present truth and brought up an issue that some of us already know—many vegans are actually closeted “almost” vegans.
Although they claim to live a vegan lifestyle, they hide their non-vegan food choices such as when they eat an egg or stir a bit of honey into their tea on occasion. We’ll take your cue, Ellen.
Why not embrace the “almost” instead of telling a fib?
Personally, I have been an on-and-off again vegetarian and “almost” vegan since I moved to Boulder at age 18 for college. It was the first time my eyes opened to the possibility that you didn’t have to eat meat to sustain your body. When I returned to Kansas City over the holidays, my Midwestern family nearly fell out of their chairs upon hearing that I didn’t care to eat the Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas Eve tenderloin or Easter ham. I grew up eating everything.
It’s been a lifelong learning process of adopting healthy and alternative food and lifestyle choices that don’t include the flesh from a sentient being with two eyes. I think it’s amazing that I’ve come so far. I’m still considered a bit odd by the majority of people here in BBQ-land for my dietary choices.
Anything anyone can do to educate others on the choices of a vegetarian or vegan diet contributes to a more peaceful, healthy planet.
Although Ellen may have made a PR goof, she has proven her heart for animals by sharing her concerns for animal welfare, her knowledge of vegan diets, and alternative eating choices with her worldwide audience—messages that indeed have had a powerful influence on the TV-watching masses. Ellen has also created a vegan dog food product and had plans to open a vegan restaurant (which has not come to fruition yet). She’s been a vegan star up to this point.
There are two, online videos exposing Ellen—one of her interview with Katy Couric on her choice of becoming vegan and the second of her interviewing Ellen Pompeo on her TV talk show where she admits to getting her eggs from her neighbor’s chickens. I’ve yet to find something that tells of her diet changing to “almost” vegan.
Huge sigh of disappointment.
This Cover Girl role is unfortunate news for vegans as well. So the truth is out for sure, Ellen DeGeneres is an “almost” vegan.
I think all of us “almost” vegans need to openly embrace our imperfection.
As a Hollywood star comedian and talk show hostess, Ellen DeGeneres has been a terrific, yet not-so-perfect advocate for veganism. Let’s take her slip up as guidance.
We should hold our ideals in our hearts and minds, but not proclaim to be devout in front of others. It’s a process so let’s be honest as we stay mindful and conscious of our food choices.
Our honesty may offer a comfortable space for others to explore or start their journey of changing their meat-eating to a more plant-based diet.
A CU Boulder grad, Laura Sterchi lived throughout the mountainous regions of Colorado for nine years then moved to live next to the beaches of Southern California. She’s been a television reporter, elementary school teacher, violence prevention program coordinator, youth snowboarding program co-founder, and a student of massage and yoga healing arts. Presently, Laura endeavors to reach the environmentally-curious through her company, Green Dream Living. Check out her website here and follow her on Twitter.
Editor: ShaMecha Simms
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