Vegan Is Love is three years old this Earth Day week, and I like to look back at the media storm my little book caused in 2012, sparked by this first TV segment on the Today Show. If you weren't with me then, check it out—my favorite is Matt Lauer's analysis of the book title at 5:05...it's downright Nobel-worthy journalism, I tell you.
I know you're about to get fiery and want to yell at the monitor over this sensationalized nonsense as they try to position veganism as weird, scary, and difficult, just know that I was not mad at this piece, but completely delighted for two main reasons.
One, these "experts" perfectly exemplify the very problems Vegan Is Love aims to tackle—ignorance and doubt about veganism, the underestimation of children, the general lack of critical thinking, and our culture's anthropocentric view—the belief that humans are at the center of all reality. The story proved the very need for Vegan Is Love—and I knew the people it was written for would see it.
And two, there was something else I knew. I knew that for years to come, a growing community around the world could watch this clip, all of us knowing full well that the kids we're raising are able to compete with these "expert" opinions because they've been taught to think, eat, learn, and live differently, with all life in mind. This new generation continues to grow exponentially and that is something I'll honor every year around this time.
What better thought to mark Earth Day?
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Thank you for your support, always!
In the greenroom just before this TV interview, a producer gently warned me that the anchors would likely take a tough stance against my book, Vegan Is Love.
I imagine that she, the producer, had taken in my small stature, the cuteness of my book cover, and had suddenly felt badly about throwing an innocent little children's book author to the wolves.
"It's okay," I told her, playing soft. Secretly, I was already hardened from my FOX interview, plus I had just returned from a health conference. I was feeling pretty damn sharp.
The anchors, of course, went in as they do. Along with other feigned concerns about protein and ostracization, they suggested that Vegan Is Love might fall into the category of things parents do to "traumatize" children at an early age.
By the end of the interview, as I stepped off the stage, I could feel it had not gone as expected by any of the KTLA staff...enjoy it!
P.S. Today is the LAST DAY to save 50% on all my limited edition art prints from Vegan Is Love and That's Why We Don't Eat Animals. These prints are reminders of our love for animals and the planet—a gift that lasts forever! Hurry, the sale ends tonight at 6p PST!
In certain moments, I couldn't keep the smirk off my face because I found myself experiencing—live—a segment that bordered on being a Will Ferrell comedy.
Truly theater of the absurd, the moderator and child psychologist's opinions are so over-the-top, that just after this aired, I received a flood of well-wishing emails from FOX viewers voicing their disdain of such ridiculousness. Some of the most simple, but unforgetable for me were these from two men:
"I never take the time to address issues I see on the news, however I saw you on fox news this morning, talking about your book while graciously taking narrow minded criticism. After watching this segment of the news, I felt the need to try and contact you to offer some support...I have not read your book, but from what I gathered; the message your book gives, is a hard one for most to swallow. Not only because does it challenge what they should be teaching their children, but it challenges them to reconsider the truth for themselves." [sic]
And this one, from a man with an open mind:
"Saw ruby on fox today. Very articulate with good camera appeal. Im not a vegan, im 62 but certainly can see how ruby.s message could resonate if kept up." [sic]
Score. There are fair people watching FOX, if not on FOX.
Touching emails like these, of course, were amongst a host of other grammatically-challenged, anonymous notes that accused me of being:
• "a pusher, no better than a crackhead drug dealer downtown."
• "too skinny. Your ribs are showing."
• "just trying to destroy animal farmers and the fish industries."
Well...they were right about the last one.