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Freegans on Oprah!

Lisa Ling gets trashy.

Lisa Ling gets trashy.

What’s the world coming to? First, a video of downer cows being abused made it into the mainstream media. And yesterday, Oprah ran a show titled “Everyday People Living on the Edge,” which included a segment on freegans. (It also featured stripping soccer moms, but that’s another story.) Lisa Ling went on some dumpster dives, and the question was posed: “How far would you go?”

It’s great that Oprah watchers everywhere now know what it means to be freegan, and one can hope it will have an impact on their consumeristic ways. How much of an impact, of course, is unclear, since Oprah still airs entire shows in which she does nothing but give stuff away.

So maybe the guilt is getting to her. Or maybe she’s just ready to jump on the reality-TV bandwagon. Because on Friday, there’s Oprah’s Big Give Kickoff Party, a sneak peek at her new reality show, in which families compete to raise and give away money in order to better other people’s lives. (Oprah’s Big Give premieres on Sunday.) But I wonder, will the meal chef and judge Jamie Oliver prepares for the preview consist of freegan goodies?

Anyway, if you know of a deserving cause and have thought of a creative way to raise money for it, submit your idea here, or better yet, post a video with the details.


  1. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    Marmaduke is freegan. I guess pretty much all dogs are freegan, come to think of it.

    Someone remind me what freeganism has to do with veganism again, besides a similar-sounding name?

  2. Comment by


    on #

    At the risk of touching off a freeganism debate (which I won’t be back to watch), both freeganism and veganism involve decisions to not contribute to the exploitation of animals through one’s buying habits.

  3. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    Good answer, Alex!

  4. Comment by


    on #

    It seems like nowadays if you want the public to know about anything, leave it to King Oprah.

  5. Comment by


    on #

    reeganism is an anti-consumerism lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on “limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.”

    Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.[1][2] Vegans do not use or consume animal products of any kind.[3] The most common reasons for becoming a vegan are ethical commitment or moral convictions concerning animal rights, the environment, human health, and spiritual or religious concerns.[4][5][2] Of particular concern are the practices involved in factory farming and animal testing, and the intensive use of land and other resources required for animal farming.


  6. Comment by


    on #

    But what about Reganism? Isn’t that like freeganism and veganism? ;)

  7. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    Remember Donald Regan’s name on the dollar bills. Oh those were the days! And wow, The whole war-on-terror BS makes me miss Iran-Contra. And writing this makes me feel very, very old.

  8. Comment by


    on #

    No, I bet most freegans would eat meat. I watched a programme a few weeks ago (Wife Swap, UK) and the freegans were meat eaters, all the way! I don’t think they really are into veganism, theres a big difference. Freegans just wanna save as much money as possible. They’re cheapskates, thats all! hahaha……… *Waits for a bashing*

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