Bob Harper Takes On Farm Animal Suffering
First Published: October 1, 2010 1:54 PM EDT Credit: Farm Sanctuary
BURBANK, Calif. -- On NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” trainer Bob Harper is the picture of excellent health, motivating morbidly obese Americans to take charge of their lives by putting an end to their destructive eating habits and sedentary ways. The results of the show are astonishing — contestants lose hundreds of pounds and they are given the necessary skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Bob himself had a “life-changing” experience a few years ago that not only improved his health immensely, but also ensured a better life for all animals. Bob went vegan (meaning that he does not consume any animal products, including meat and dairy items) just like other celebrities — “Glee’s” Lea Michele and “30 Rock’s” Alec Baldwin — and Bob uses this plant-based diet to help save the lives and make winners out of many “Loser” contestants.
Bob recently sat down with Farm Sanctuary (the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization) on the set of “The Biggest Loser” in Los Angeles to discuss his “life-changing” experience, as well as all the work he’s doing now to ease the suffering of other animals.
“It was actually pretty seamless” going from a meat-based to a plant-based diet, says Bob. After reading two influential vegan books, “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell and “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, the old adage, “you are what you eat,” suddenly had new meaning for him. He read as much as he could about what really goes on in factory farming and he found the facts “shocking.” “When I think about the billions of sensitive, intelligent beings who are confined and mistreated on factory farms to produce foods linked with obesity, heart disease, cancer and stroke — that is all the motivation I need to make healthier, more conscientious choices.”
CLICK HERE to watch Trainer Bob Harper’s workout tips on Access Hollywood Live recently
Bob was very “excited” that he could use his role as a trainer on “The Biggest Loser” to be a “platform” through which to inform people about his monumentally helpful epiphany. “I’ve worked with overweight Americans for such a long time and it’s about a stepping process…because I get people I’ve worked with before saying to me now, ‘What? Are you just going to take out all my meat and dairy?’ I want to say ‘yes’ immediately, but I know it’s about getting them to take steps.” He adds that there is a lot of misinformation out there about vegan nutrition — the big one being that vegans don’t get enough protein. “Yes, our bodies need protein, but we don’t need as much as all these websites out there tell us that we do. And there are definitely ways to get all your nutrients within a plant-based diet.”
Bob was also happy to use his “Biggest Loser” fame to help get some attention for Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals. Farm Sanctuary set up the Walk for Farm Animals to celebrate and promote compassion for farm animals and to raise money to support their lifesaving rescue, education and advocacy work. Bob considered it a “badge of honor” to be asked to be the celebrity spokesperson for the campaign, and Farm Sanctuary couldn’t be more pleased that he said ‘Yes,’ because they credit his “star power” for helping to garner a record-breaking 78 participating cities, making the 2010 Walk the largest organized North American event for farm animals in history.
“The astounding growth of the Walk for Farm Animals is an encouraging sign that we are getting closer to the day when agribusiness’ treatment of living, breathing animals like unfeeling machinery is a thing of the past,” says Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur. “People are learning in record numbers about the intolerable abuse, neglect and confinement endured by billions of animals raised for food on factory farms throughout North America…The Walk provides a terrific opportunity to spread a message of hope for farm animals in your own hometown.”
To find a walk in your area, go to http://www.walkforfarmanimals.org.
CLICK HERE to watch Bob Harper’s new PSA for Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals
On top of joining the Walk for Farm Animals, Bob also has other suggestions for how people can make a further difference in the lives of mistreated farm animals. “[People should] get informed and get their voices heard…because we can no longer have blinders on. We can no longer just think, ‘Okay, well, it doesn’t affect me,’ because these issues affect us all.”
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.