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Sometimes on Ellen DeGeneres's hilarious talk show, we get to see a hint of the real, vegan Ellen, and it's always to the benefit of her viewers. Whether she's giving away an awesome prize to the audience, or just getting them to laugh through the powerful information she spreads about the vegan lifestyle, they are benefiting.
In an interview with Katie Couric, she talked about how what she learned in Diet for a New America had really touched her and caused her to become a vegetarian for a short period of time, but that she went back to eating the foods she loved.
She says that at the time she didn't connect what she was eating and the animals she cared about, and she just ate what she wanted and what was easier.
Then, the book that really affected change and made her a vegan Ellen was a combination of the book Skinny Bitch and the documentary EARTHLINGS. She decided she could no longer support the suffering of animals.
Ellen says she is vegan primarily because she loves animals and that the reality is that there are "no happy cows."
When Ellen first announced on her talk show that she had gone vegan, she had Dr. Neal Barnard as a guest, and he spoke about the virtues of a plant-based diet. Dr. Barnard is the founder of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, and is the author of many food related books, such as Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings---And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally.
On her show he discussed the foods that the body recognizes in the same way it recognizes drugs, such as meat, cheese, sugar, and chocolate. Ellen empathized, and said that cheese was the hardest thing for her to cut out (same here!) of her diet.
He went on to tell the audience about how poor nutrition is affecting our health today and causing degenerative diseases that otherwise wouldn't be prominent. He finished by telling the audience that anyone could make a change, and that no matter how far their heart disease had advanced or how long they'd had diabetes, they could reverse the illness with a low-fat, plant-based diet.
Having Dr. Barnard on the show was a huge step for the vegan community because it brought the concept of a plant-based diet into the homes of millions of viewers.
Our favorite funny vegan Ellen continues to be a leader in the vegan community, both by spotlighting other vegans on her show and by participating with animal sanctuaries, saving her own animals, and just being an excellent example of the abundant health and happiness that comes from giving up meat.
At their wedding in 2008, the newly vegan Ellen and Portia served vegan food and had a beautiful vegan red velvet cake. She and Portia are even planning to open a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles.