So, Ellen DeGeneres is back in the news with the announcement of her new clothing and shoe collection. She is in the proverbial lentil soup, seemingly for using leather and merino wool in these lines. As we all know, it is definitely not okay for vegans to buy, use or promote these cruelty born “products”. This is not the first time Ellen and her confusing messages about her veganism have come spinning onto my radar. I wrote a post about this last year and think it is well worth revisiting before I comment about the latest scoop. Without further ado:
Reposted from March 4th 2014
I did not watch the Oscars on this past Sunday night, but the next morning I did peruse the internet to see who had won what. There are some very talented actors out there and I am happy to see when they are rewarded by their peers for some of this great work.
Ellen DeGeneres, who hosted the biggest Hollywood event of the year, passed out Pizza to some of the audience as part of a comedic routine. Okay, a bit like this is not unusual for Ellen and can often be quite amusing
But, boy, was I surprised and disturbed to hear the answer to the question Ellen posed to the delivery person.
What kind we got here?
There was Cheese Pizza on the menu. She did not mention that it was plant based Cheese Pizza. I also read that there was some pepperoni lurking in the mix, but have not been able to confirm that. In her favor, there was also some plant based pizza.
What is up with that? As many of you may know, Ellen did tell the world sometime in 2008 that she had become vegan. In an interview with Katie Couric in 2010, Ellen explains her reasons for making this important, kind and compassionate decision:
It (animal rights/welfare) is just about the right to be left alone.
I do it because I love animals.
These are beautiful and seemingly sincere statements that fit well into the The Vegan Society’s 1979 definition of veganism:
The word “veganism” denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practicable — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
Brilliant, right? But here is where things seem to get a bit muddled.
In 2008, Ellen became a spokesperson for Cover Girl, which is neither a vegan nor a cruelty free company. This means that they test ingredients and products on helpless animals and use animal by products as ingredients in their formulas.
In 2011 Ellen announced that she was launching a new website called Going Vegan with Ellen, which has been renamed Ellen’s Healthy Living. Now, I checked it out and it seems to be a completely vegan site, the recipes are plant based and The Tips, The Famous Vegans and the Gentle Barn are all about veganism.
Late in 2012, in a segment on her show, in a conversation between herself and Ellen Pompeo, DeGeneres said:
We have neighbors that have chickens … we get our eggs from those chickens, cause they’re happy, they’re really happy chickens.
Apparently there was a huge uproar from vegan and animal rights activists. Now it has been noted by some that Ellen did not say that she herself eats the eggs. This is in fact, true. This is a matter of interpretation, but in my view, the word “our” implies ownership and participation in some regard. My understanding is that Ellen did not respond to their comments, some of which were respectful, many of which were not.
I must say that I am still confused and somewhat disappointed by the latest happening at the Oscars. One could argue that Ellen is on her own personal journey of discovery in terms of what it really means to be vegan. She has most likely made some false steps along the way. Heck, I think many of us have been there. But it has been a while since she announced that she had become vegan-since 2008. She has had six years to draw her line in the sand.
Annie’s Vegan View
By definition, veganism is a truth that eschews, wherever practicable and possible, the exploitation of nonhuman animals.
Veganism is not a lifestyle choice or a diet for health (unless we are talking about the health of nonhuman animals caught in all of our death for profit industries) or an inconvenience to be set aside in favor of a comedy bit.
I get it-some thought it was funny. But consider the powerful message that Ellen could have conveyed if the cheese and pepperoni had been plant based.
May all beings be happy and free.
So, it seems that, after fast forwarding to September of 2015, the old adage still applies.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Ellen still says that she is vegan, that she does not eat animals. Now, with all due respect, I would like to know how she defines the word vegan . This is such a murky subject out there in the world at large with so many misconceptions swirling around in all media. Many vegans and animal rights activists have been chastised for being extreme, exclusive, demanding perfectionists because we insist that veganism is actually a universal truth. It is not a diet, not a journey for humans discovering themselves, not a fad, not a belief. Ridiculous descriptions like Raw, Before Four, Ethical, Dietary and the like abound in the news, on blogs and websites and in diet and health cookbooks.
For the sake of clarity, not condemnation, let’s all understand, once and for all, that veganism is about the animals who are intentionally being exploited and who suffer incalculable harm as we speak. We need to continue disabusing people of the notion that veganism is about anything other than returning freedom to said beings and letting them live in peace as they see fit. We accomplish this by continually repudiating the “fad term” of the day, by reiterating the definition of veganism, by being a pebble in the collective shoe of non vegans. Vegans do not, “wherever possible and practicable” buy, use, consume or profit from the exploitation of other species for their flesh, secretions, fur, wool, skin, for entertainment, for medical research and product testing.
Annie’s Vegan View
If Ellen does indeed, like so many others, not understand the meaning of the word vegan, then we need to ask her respectfully to inform herself and to adjust her actions to reflect her declaration or to start calling herself plant based.
May all beings be happy and free.
32 thoughts on “The Ellen Controversy and Veganism”
I was just reading an article in a Business magazine where it was mentioning that “… People who are certain of their opinions are more likely to buy, buy sooner, and spend more; more willing to recommend products; and more apt to resist challenges to their beliefs. And yet the power of certainty as a tool of persuasion is largely overlooked in business.”
It seems that Ellen is fitting the mold in business. She wishes to be vegan but the validity of her opinions or convictions is overlooked when the business rewards of promoting products are leading her position.
That is a very interesting concept and well put. Thank you. I do wish that Ellen would speak up about this issue and clarify exactly what her motivation is. Otherwise it will be impossible for us to know and to understand exactly what led to the creation of this line of clothing and shoes.
Still, there’s not much to understand when we look at it for what it is other than her being disconnected. There’s no excuse, but it would be nice to hear what she has to say.. The actions speak for themselves for the most part.
Welcome to my website. I would like to hear from her, because if it is a mistake, a slip up, then an admission would go a long way to helping people understand the true meaning of veganism. If she knew about the products in the leather and shoes, then I wish that she would stop promoting herself as a vegan and have the courage to tell people that she is plant based. This is no way would affect her bottom line, because people who are not vegan will continue to buy her products, regardless. What can I say…I am an idealist and I always start out believing that people will always do the stand up thing. At the very least, I would like her and all celebrities to know that they do great damage to vegan advocacy when they dilute the meaning of veganism by calling it something other than what it is, a social movement to end the exploitation of other species for our wants, not needs. But, I understand what you mean. Perhaps the backlash will give her pause for thought. One can only hope.
Take care and thank you for your considered comments. They are very much appreciated.
Great article. Celebrities need to STOP throwing the term vegan around when they have no idea what it really means. It isn’t a diet, but I guess it’s better publicity and sounds cooler to say vegan than plant-based diet/*mostly* plant-based diet.
This is really disappointing and confusing though. She claims to love animals, she obviously knows at least some of the holocaustic torture they go through, yet she supports and sustains it through pizzas, animal testing cosmetics, and “fashion” lines.
I am glad that you enjoyed my article. You are right, the word vegan has nothing to do with the food and drink we put in our mouths. Yes, very confusing indeed. Ellen must really not understand how high the stakes actually are, that we cannot afford to make exceptions for the sake of convenience, a laugh, popularity and profit. I do hope the penny drops, she could do so much good for the animals if she would really walk her talk.
Another good blog post, Anne. I wish vegan celebrities would pay for adverts to go out regularly on television. Short ‘Why Vegan?’clips of lovely animals of many species, including all of those regularly used in farms and labs, interspersed with clips of their routine torture, and a voice over that clearly states the vegan ethic. This would be better than any posing and posturing and bandying about of the word ‘vegan’ while publicly making non vegan decisions and silly mistakes that confuse people.
Thanks for your support and I am glad that you enjoyed my article. This is a very interesting concept about the short videos. I know that Woody Harrelson does this, but I think they are more about the environment-could be wrong there. I guess that celebrities know that they carry a great deal of influence and don’t want to risk their careers by challenging people to recognize the brutality to which we, as humans, contribute daily. I get so upset when celebrities present veganism as being about food. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I do believe that raising our voices together and being unequivocal about the truth of veganism is one of our best lines of defense against the misconceptions, the half truths and the hijacking of veganism by people who have no real understanding of the word.
Many thanks, again and take care.
“This is such a murky subject out there in the world at large….” and it’s because of things like this that Ellen DeGeneres does. I knew about the egg thing from Have Gone Vegan’s site, but did not know the rest and don’t keep up with celebrities at all so any celebrity being vegan is a surprise to me when I find out. But to use your image to promote something (thinking of Cover Girl at the moment in regard to this post) clearly not vegan while having announced to the world that you’re vegan is irresponsible. It’s actually not murky to those of us who really are living in a way that is as far as possible (now I’m thinking about things like tires – even though I don’t have a car – and other non-vegan things we get put into not of our own volition) correct and in respect of and with love for our fellow beings. Good for her for the parts of being vegan that she does follow, but it is absolutely sickening to see her promoting leather, wool and very much especially for having the audacity, indecency and inexcusably WRONG behavior in not only promoting cosmetics that are not cruelty-free…..but to pose with a non-human animal while doing so. Shame on her. I’d say more, but I’m getting sick to my stomach and kind of mad.
Thanks for the post! I didn’t know about this otherwise.
I hear ya’ and I can relate to your feeling of anger. This is why I feel it is so important to continue clarifying what it means to be vegan. All of these ridiculous labels need to be “outed” for what they are, excuses, conveniences and yes, misunderstanding. I am not about denigrating Ellen or any other personality or regular dude, but I do believe in keeping the pressure up. Even if Ellen does not explain herself, even if she continues to profit from the use of animals, we need to continually say, “This is not how a vegan lives”.
I agree with you, there is a huge difference between convenient and unavoidable. Some things we cannot change. I drive a car, I buy food that came on a truck with tires on it and I know that glue containing animal by products is holding together so many of the goods that we use. I accept that I can not do anything about this, but what I can do is speak up about what I hope to
change-people’s misconceptions about veganism, holding everyone to a higher standard. It is the least that we can do. And thank you for your contribution to this effort.
The most difficult unavoidable, so to speak, for me is the food I have to feed Spike. 🙁 We humans sure mucked it up because let’s say we really do end factory farming….look at all the “pets” that are then in a bind because they don’t have the skills or the availability of their natural food prey… but every single bit helps and we have to do every single thing in our power to do the best we can. And I’d love to give Ellen and anyone like her the benefit of the doubt, but people in the public eye have absolutely got to get it together because this is too important to get wrong.
I am in the same position as you are and this is one of the few exceptions that I knowingly make in my life as a animal rights advocate and vegan. Tires on our cars and glue in products that we have in our home are two other exceptions.
I have two cats who we adopted before I became vegan. Everything I have read says that they are obligate carnivores and so I am afraid to change their diet even though I am sure that the cat food I am buying for them is not healthy either. It is certainly not cruelty free. But, I have a responsibility to them and for the moment it supersedes the obligation to live a 100% cruelty free and vegan life. I don’t have the answer to this. I am not sure there is one.
Disappointing indeed. Back in 2012 I was willing to give Ellen the benefit of the doubt since she never actually said that she ate the eggs herself, and there was some speculation that she may have gotten them for her mom (who I believe was living with her at the time) and other guests. At the time I wasn’t too impressed by the uproar it created (I’ll link below to the blog post Krissa referred to), in part perhaps because I had just experienced a temptation myself to eat eggs from my uncle’s hens (I didn’t, but will link below to that post as well), and also because the reaction was so strong given that she hadn’t screwed up too much yet, and was still doing some things right.
But yeah, she never responded publicly to clarify, which was a real shame. Fast forwarding to 2015, I really hope she handles things differently now because leather and wool are obviously so not vegan, and there’s really no ambiguity this time. Either she’s not actually clear about what veganism entails and thinks it only excludes eating certain animal parts, or perhaps it’s time to label herself differently.
And sometimes I wonder if labels are more of a nuisance than anything else. Maybe it would be easier if we just talked about what we do or do not do, eat and do not eat, when it comes to other species. Because I don’t want to throw her under the bus completely (well, you know what I mean), as I agree with Krissa that “Good for her for the parts of being vegan that she does follow”. Maybe it would be helpful to talk about a continuum of care (or not causing suffering), because like it or not, the majority of folk will likely not go vegan, but we still need the majority to decrease the amount of suffering they inflict for any meaningful change to occur. Still thinking about about all of this…
Links I mentioned for a) so is Ellen still vegan? and b) my temptation with eggs:
Your points are well taken. and I like that you are still thinking about this, as I do, constantly. That is how change happens and we need challenge others to think too and to hold them to a higher standard and encourage (require) them to stop intentionally harming.
It is a very slippery slope when we think about encouraging people to use harm reduction. We need to make the distinction here between intentional and unintentional harm. We can encourage people to do less unintentional harm in our daily lives, like not stepping on ants on a sidewalk if one can, by releasing outside spiders who have wandered into our home, by shooing flies away instead of killing them. But when we give people the idea that eating less meat (intentional harm) is ethical, I think that we are giving them a “moral” get out of free jail card. Yes, fewer animals will be killed and this is a good thing, but it a short term solution. I salute less harm, but in doing so I tell people what the real goal is no intentional harm at all. Anything less is unconscionable on their part. I am a dreamer and I tilt at windmills and that is why I believe that we need to fight for a cultural shift in thinking so that this kind of atrocity never repeats itself.
That having been said, invective and diatribe have no place in any social movement looking for justice for someone. The anger, the bad words, the personal insults only serve to detract from the issue at hand. And yes, when I first wrote about Ellen after the Oscar bit, I was very shocked to read some of the comments made by, shall we say, “well meaning ” people. It is no wonder that Ellen did not respond. Who wants to stand up in front of a firing squad? But why then not look at one is doing, what one is professing and then bring the two more into alignment? It would appear that this has not happened.
Ellen is a celebrity and she uses her celebrity to promote herself and as such, she opens herself up to scrutiny from the public at large. She decided to announce that she is vegan, presumably to influence others to do the same, and she needs to be able to defend that or retract it. Otherwise, consider it a private issue and live it away from the public eye.
As regards the eggs, it is my view that even offering them to someone else is not okay. And I humbly say this as a vegan who used to shop for and to cook animals and their flesh and secretions for my husband and other people. I did not want to tramp on their “rights” and only when I understood that the rights of the animals being sacrificed are paramount in this case, did I adjust my behavior. I came to this understanding myself, but I really wish that someone had told me. I would have been very grateful, actually. I would have considered it a gift.
So here is my point. It seems that the moment we disagree with what someone is doing and we point it out because the stakes are too high not to, we are viewed as condemning rather than clarifying. Apparently, we must never offend someone’s sensibility by pointing out undeniable truths. But, we do
need to point these things out in a respectful, but firm manner, whenever the opportunity arises.
Thank you for the two links. I will check them out. I love this exchange of ideas, friend. Keep it coming.
Hi Anne, in the spirit of “keep it coming”, ha ha, here goes. I completely agree with the value of holding people to a higher standard, but disagree with the following: “But when we give people the idea that eating less meat (intentional harm) is ethical, I think that we are giving them a “moral” get out of free jail card.” Or at least, I view it a bit differently. I would never tell people that eating less meat is ethical, but I would say that it is BETTER because fewer animals being killed is always better than more. And I don’t really think of it as a moral get-out-of-jail pass as such, but part of the overall solution. Not even a short-term solution (more like medium), because until the percentage of vegans gets to be higher than 2 or even 5%, that’s 95-98% of the population that could potentially save a hell of a lot more animal lives than we’re currently doing.
Yes, I would prefer that everyone go vegan as much as is possible and practical and I will continue to encourage them to do so, but the reality is that 1000 people reducing their animal intake by 50% could save more lives than 10 people eliminating animal use 100%. Multiply those numbers by a further 100 or 1000, and, well, that’s a lot of lives spared and a lot of suffering reduced.
So I would argue that we need to do both. Encourage veganism AND reduction until there’s enough of a cultural or economic shift when veganism makes sense to the majority. Because otherwise I’m afraid that 100 years from now future vegans will still be grappling with being less than 5% of the population, and billions of beings will still have their lives stolen.
p.s. love the fact that we can be on the same page even with differences in opinion on how to get others to start reading the damn book already 😉
Let me begin by agreeing with you that these two methods of what essentially is death reduction are not mutually exclusive. And as Norm Phelps says, “The life of a turkey may not seem to mean much, but it means everything to the turkey whose life it is”. And he also says that it will take many methods and many different people coming together to advocate for the end to animal slavery, specifically because this is the only social movement in history where the victims cannot advocate for themselves.
I guess what I was trying to say is that we can applaud the eating and drinking of less flesh and secretions and encourage people to continue, while telling them that the urgent goal is no harm at all. I cannot in good conscience say, that just doing a little less is okay. It seems the same to me as telling an abusive father that it is good that he has cut down on the yelling, corporal punishment, belittling and so on. It is indeed better for the children that he is less abusive, but definitely not good enough. I know this is different because most people will agree that human child abusive by a parent is not okay as opposed to the common belief that it is okay and actually recommended to eat animals. This is, in essence, that blasted disconnect. And this is precisely the notion of which we need to disabuse people.
So that is why I think that it is both part of the solution as well as a get out of jail free card. We need to keep challenging people while telling them that they are on the right track, but because the stakes are so high, we need to stress that they cannot afford to take their time. People have been sleepwalking on this issue forever, so it is no wonder they don’t get it.
I like to think of this as a gift I am giving them by telling them that already have it within them to be kind, caring, and compassionate. That taking this step is, from a human perspective, incredibly freeing. If we don’t require people to understand that the end to animal slavery is about the animals and not about us, we are dooming our species to continually make the same self motivated decisions, harming others as we go.
I agree with you! We definitely do not want humans to be in the same position of intentional unawareness one hundred years from now. That is if the planet can survive the ongoing devastation from animal agriculture. Dr Oppenlander says we do not have that much time left.
I think that there is definitely a cultural shift going on and that it is gaining momentum. That is why I feel that it is so important to draw our line in the sand and not budge, encouraging present efforts and requiring change at the same time, as long as we never ever sacrifice the individual turkey for the benefit of the whole species.
Take care and much respect,
Excellent points, all. And I certainly wasn’t very articulate in my first comment here on this post. I think seeing the raccoon in the ad with her set me off really badly. Reading about the leather and wool started it, but then the rest made me mad….but for the things she does that ARE good and compassionate, I don’t want to take away from that by attacking whether she (or anyone) is vegan or not. (I still so do not like that word). It seems that we all “get it” about language and this word in particular. And you’re right that maybe she doesn’t even understand what vegan actually is…. it just makes me aggravated at people in the public eye when they get it wrong about something so important because, as you know, this is the most important thing in the world….getting it right and living as correctly as absolutely possible in the conditions we can’t change. And it isn’t hard to do. Sigh. I haven’t heard if she spoke out about this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t because there’s no way to defend leather, wool and making money off of Cover Girl and promoting them.
I found your first comment articulate. We are very passionate about what we do and therefore anxious to be clear considering what is at stake here-no worries, there!!!
I think that the issue here is not about whether Ellen DeGeneres uses wool and leather in her fashion line, but rather that she is doing it after having professed that she is vegan. And this is where the word vegan is important, I believe. If we do not make the distinction, we are complicit in the degradation of the meaning of veganism and by doing nothing we agree that it is okay to be selective about being vegan.
I can appreciate that you do not like the word and sometimes I too struggle with when to use it. Sometimes I will say that I am an animal rights advocate and activist. The rights of animals would be better served if Ellen were to say that she advocates for animals in certain areas, by not eating meat, for instance. We could say this is not enough, but we cannot deny that it is something.
Let’s think of it in another way. Some time ago, I watched a documentary about medical doctors who take weekend courses and by virtue of their medical degree are allowed to perform plastic surgery, unlike plastic surgeons who study this as a specialty. These general practitioners do not have hospital privileges as do plastic surgeons to perform these surgeries and therefore set up clinics in their offices. The usual result is compromised care and often death because these doctors do not have the skills required. Many of these general doctors say that the plastic surgeons who complain about this happening are just spouting sour grapes because they do not want to share a piece of the lucrative pie. But as a plastic surgeon said when asked, ” That is just not true. I am the one called into the hospital at two in the morning to try to save a patient who has a sucking abdominal wound caused by poorly trained general doctors. Liposuction, which these weekend seminars often teach, is one of the riskiest procedures out there. Only plastic surgeons should be performing it. This has nothing to do with money.” It is my view that it is the plastic surgeons duty to call out this travesty for what it is. Peoples lives are at stake here.
Ellen does great harm to the animals she says she is trying to protect when she makes exceptions and says it is okay to use them for certain reasons. She is, in effect, promoting the disconnect which we work so tirelessly to expose.
As you said, she has great influence as a celebrity and as such, can expect scrutiny, especially when she claims to be vegan. She has the resources to make sure that mistakes like this don’t happen, so I can only assume that she knew about it. Otherwise, why not pull the line and acknowledge publicly that this will not happen again. She does not get a pass here.
We are on the same page here, Krissa and I thank you for everything you do to help those who need our help.
Another thing that bothers me about this whole thing is why another fashion line anyway? Just how much more money does Ellen actually need? Okay, I just checked and apparently her earnings are $75 million this year, and her net worth is $345 million. Holy crap. Well, I’m sorry, but in my opinion greed should not be part of the vegan ethos. If you’ve got that much money then a huge (and I mean HUGE) chunk of it ought to go to those you profess to care about.
This part I think I can answer before I hit the proverbial hay!!! If I had to guess, I would say that nothing is guaranteed for life, even in the business of being a celebrity. Perhaps some (many) celebrities need to keep changing it up in order to stay current and trendy and noticed and popular-a new clothes line could do it. We live in a very superficial society where how we look is super important. So, bring out a new fashion trend and everybody will continue to know your name. And hey, the money ain’t bad either. I have no idea if Ellen is donating some of her earnings to animal rights and welfare, but if she donates the ill gotten gains from the sale of her leather and wool items, this is very hypocritical indeed.
I will think on your other comment about harm reduction and get back to you in the morning, or maybe the afternoon. I have a feeling I am not saying what I mean to say and I want to ponder, ponder, ponder!!!
Well written, Anne! 🙂
Welcome to my website and thank you for your support-for the animals!!!
I doubt she’s ever been truly vegan, she has the same line of disconnect as everyone else who eats animals but thinks the Taiji slaughter is awful. Her Halo line of pet food if far from vegan (although they do have a vegan line to take profits from fully vegan pet food producers). The whole grammy bit could have been a great way to get the message out but she diluted it by pandering to non-vegans. Honestly I think she’s just trying to stay hip and edgy in her quest to become richer than Oprah.
Thank you for weighing in on this issue and I agree with you. The issue is not that she is not vegan, it is saying that she is, thereby diluting the message of veganism and encouraging others to do the same, to think and act as if veganism is a matter of convenience. Her show was on the TV the other day-was about to turn it off when she did a bit about having some type of black widow spiders in her house, saying that people know she believes in the rights of all animals, but draws the line when it comes to her delicate skin. Some moments later she did a bit with Domino’s Pizza, delivering pies to audience members. I was appalled, but not surprised-anything for a joke, a plug, a dollar.
This is a great article, Anne. A lot of people (including celebrities) throw around the term “vegan” loosely. Most don’t understand exactly what it entails.
She should really educate herself. Maybe saying that she is vegetarian would better suit her lifestyle. Any change is good, in my view. Pushing away from eating less animals is always good., but labeling herself falsely isn’t right.
Welcome to my website. I agree with you about the definition of veganism. This is why I point this out, to provide clarity, not condemnation.
One can only speculate about Ellen’s motivation or understanding of veganism. I resent it when her distortion, whether intentional or not, creates confusion and tends to mislead people into believing that veganism is a matter of convenience.
Eating fewer animals is good, but I tell people that it is not the goal. In order to progress to a truly kinder and more compassionate and just world for all beings, I believe that we need to make veganism the moral baseline. The stakes are just too high not to.
I admire your commitment to the animals for whom we advocate.
Ellen has been misusing the word vegan. All she did, I believe, is to stop aeating animals. Good for her. To those of us who are vegan it’s not enough but our vegetarian brothers and sisters are doing the same thing and I for one respect that level of compassion and commitment. I know I sometimes get frustrated with her but isn’t what she’s doing better than no change at all? I know so many people who claim to “love animals so much” but still eat them supporting cruel factory farming practices with their choice. At least Ellen has made a small effort.
Welcome to my website and thank you for weighing in on this hotly discussed issue.
I must comment that Ellen has all the resources in hand to become informed about what it means to be vegan. There are many vegans and animals rights activists who have contacted her through her website, including myself, explaining to her the definition of veganism and explaining the importance of not diluting and corrupting its essence. There is a ton of information and facts in social media and mainstream media about the ongoing devastation of continuing to treat other species as commodities. As far as I know there has been no concrete response from her and no adjustment in her policies regarding the use in her clothing line of materials made from the exploitation of animals. The issue is not that she is not vegan, although I wish everyone was, the issue is that she says she is vegan, which she clearly is not.
Veganism is about ethics and the moral baseline concerning the exploitation of all nations of species for our wants, not needs.
Vegetarians are complicit in two of the most cruel of all the farmed animal industries, namely dairy and eggs. Compassion is not selective in this case.
I would much prefer that Ellen say that she eats plant based foods and supports the rights of some animals over others.
Being vegan is about more than just adhering to a plant based diet. It is about causing the least amount of harm possible to all living creatures – particularly animals. This means not wearing or using products that incorporate flesh, milk, eggs, fur, leather, silk, gelatin, wool, feathers etc. It means not using products that experiment or test on animals. And it also means not supporting activities or ‘entertainment’ that use animals such as the circus, SeaWorld, rodeos, bull fights, animal fighting etc. All vegans are in the public light. People look to us to make it clear what being vegan is all about. Celebrities and other leading public figures who are vegan can wield enormous influence on a society questioning its ethics and behavior towards animals. Like it or not these people have an even greater responsibility to not give a mixed message to the public. Either they are vegan or they are not and to claim they are vegan and then not behave as a vegan, is a betrayal to the animals they claim they love and to their public who are trusting them to be truthful.
Exactly so! And truth be told veganism is not about diet at all. It is about not exploiting other species wherever practicable and possible.
The issue is not that Ellen has a clothing line that has items made from wool and leather and so on. The issue is that she has declared publicly that she is vegan and yet continues to endorse and participate in the exploitation, all for profit. I take great exception to this, because she sends out a wrong message to the masses who are desperately trying to avoid looking a the truth of that in which they are participating.
Take care and thank you for weighing in.
This is outstanding, thanks!
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and welcome to my website. Please share wherever you this article (all of my articles, really) might have some impact. Let’s get the word out.