Al Roker gets schooled on veganism by Russell Simmons on the TODAY Show
Breaking news: In a move that probably provoked many vegans to wince in anticipation, The Today Show profiled veganism earlier this morning as one of its “popular diet trends” of the summer. However, the segment was surprisingly respectful and accurate about veganism, immediately pointing out that it is a lifestyle, not just a diet. Al Roker, who got introduced to the concept by his daughter, said:
For many vegans, it’s not just a diet, but a way of life.
You can watch the video at today.com.
Well-played, Today Show. They also go on to explain exactly what being vegan means in a dietary sense (no animal products whatsoever) and interview a health expert who raves about how good veganism is for heart health. Toward the end of the segment, they even point out that going vegan is great for the environment (!).
On the main part of the segment, Roker sat down with Russell Simmons to learn more about what it means to be vegan and why Simmons chose this lifestyle. Simmons, who has been vegan for 17 years, stated that his veganism sprang from his yoga practice of non-harm. However, he also lost 20 lbs. converting to veganism, which has has not gained back. Roker and Simmons go on to enjoy a vegan feast at New York City restaurant Red Bamboo, where they savor curry “chicken,” jerk seitan, and vegan ice cream, among other treats.
Overall, The Today Show did a great job of making veganism appear approachable, healthy, and feasible for even the most entrenched of meat eaters (hello, seaweed that tastes like bacon!). Bravo.