Oprah v. Beef Part 2: Apocalypse Cow

    enMay 23, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Fighting for Free SpeechLegal battles can be a long and difficult process, so it's important to carefully weigh the decision to file a lawsuit. Maintaining a sense of humor can help ease the stress of the situation.

      In 1996, the cattle ranchers sued Oprah for twelve million dollars under Texas's Ag gag law after she aired an episode about mad cow disease that affected their sales. The trial didn't start until January 1998, and throughout that time, Oprah couldn't say anything even remotely related to the case due to the gag order imposed by the judge. However, she managed to film her talk show's episodes in the largest theatre in Amarillo, Texas. Even though she made several jokes about this on TV, the running gag helped her get through the tough times. Trials and the legal system often take a long time, and one must think twice before filing a lawsuit.

    • Oprah's popularity transcends boundariesA powerful celebrity like Oprah can unite people from diverse backgrounds and change public opinion, highlighting the impact they can have on society.

      Oprah's power and popularity transcended all kinds of lines, including race, ethnicity, age, and class. Despite being in a small town in Texas with a population that is largely pro-beef due to the economy, Oprah ends up becoming a celebrated figure. Overwhelmingly, public opinion eventually swung toward Oprah over the course of the six weeks, despite the cattlemen deliberately choosing Amarillo as a venue to push back against her. Even though there were bumper stickers calling her a 'mad cow,' her popularity continued to grow. This highlights how the power of a celebrity can unite people from diverse backgrounds and even change how people think and act.

    • Oprah's Trial, Weight, and Comfort in Jesus and PieThe stress of Oprah's trial highlighted the societal pressure on women's bodies, but she found solace in faith and comfort food. Let's prioritize people's well-being over their appearance.

      Oprah's trial was a test case for the newly passed Texas Perishable Foods Act and a potential turning point for veggie libel laws. The trial put enormous stress on Oprah, who had to worry about both winning and her weight in the public eye. It is unfortunate how much her body has become a baked-in part of her story, with people talking about her body even when it isn't relevant. However, Oprah was able to gain some comfort by giving herself over to Jesus and the comfort of pie, which became a source of relief for her in the trial. The trial resulted in Oprah gaining 22 pounds, which she faced criticism for from her trainer.

    • The Oprah Lawsuit and Manipulation through Content EditingFalse claims and editing can cause real harm, leading to lawsuits and damaging the reputation of individuals and industries. Be mindful of the content you consume, question its accuracy, and consider the potential consequences of spreading false information.

      The lawsuit filed by the Cattlemen's Association against Oprah and her guest Howard Lyman was mostly over false claims made about the US treating mad cow disease as a public relations issue rather than a public health issue. This claim was found to be unsubstantiated, but the issue of deceptively edited content was also raised. The editing of the show could be used to manipulate the audience and Aubrey Gordon highlighted the potential for audio editing to libel someone. The discussion delves into the upsetting effects of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) on the brain, which creates holes resembling a sponge. Overall, the key takeaway is that editing and false claims can lead to lawsuits and cause harm to individuals and industries.

    • Understanding Chronic Wasting Disease and Its Implications on Human HealthChronic Wasting Disease, caused by prions, is fatal in mammals including humans but is difficult to spread and mostly affects older people. The UK's response to the epidemic was flawed, but it cannot become a pandemic as it only happens to individuals.

      Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal condition in almost all mammal species, caused by prions in nerve cells that propagate themselves by folding. It's called Creutzfeld Jacob disease in humans, which has no treatment or testing before symptoms appear. The disease is difficult to spread and mostly affects older people. The case of mad cow outbreak in 1996 was significant as it was the first time the disease was seen in cows. Humans cannot get the disease from sheep, but the UK government response to the epidemic was botched. Luckily, it cannot become a pandemic and is something that happens to individuals only.

    • Withholding Information and Incomplete Compensation Schemes in Mad Cow Disease ResponseCommunicating information and providing adequate compensation are crucial in managing disease outbreaks, as failure to do so can lead to distrust and the spread of disease.

      The British government's response to mad cow disease is a prime example of how withholding information can be harmful. They knew the disease was spreading in the cow population in March, but only announced it in May, leading to a ban on bone meal two years after the first case was found. Farmers weren't compensated for the tens of thousands of pounds spent on food, leading to a destroyed trust between the government and farmers. The government also failed to ban exports of the bone meal, and countless cows in Europe were infected by French cows eating British bone meal. Incomplete compensation schemes led to farmers keeping cows with symptoms of mad cow, contributing to the massive spread of the disease.

    • The Importance of Sustainable Practices in Preventing DiseaseSustainable practices in industries not only prevent the spread of diseases but also encourage healthcare-seeking behaviors, creating a safe and healthy environment for all.

      In the cattle industry, if a cow has mad cow disease, they lose 50% of their value, leading to farmers killing and selling the cow before it is diagnosed, which creates a disincentive for seeking mental health care among pilots. The cause of mad cow disease was traced back to the winter of 1981-82 due to the widespread use of bone meal protein, which spiked in usage that winter due to an increase in the cost of natural forms of protein. The inefficient method of creating bone meal also contributed to the spread of the disease. This highlights the need for ethical and sustainable practices in industries to prevent the spread of diseases and incentivize healthcare seeking behaviors.

    • The bone meal protein production process, fat separation, and safety concerns.Changes in industrial processes can lead to safety concerns and impact the supply chain and product quality. Consumer awareness and discussion are crucial in ensuring safe food production and working conditions for employees.

      The bone meal protein production process involves grinding animal carcasses and separating fat from protein through various industrial processes. The fat component, including beef tallow, has high commercial value and is used in cosmetics, printing ink, and plastics. The process changes in the 1970s, including the reduction in heating temperature and phasing out of chemical solvents, impacted occupational safety and led to explosions in rendering plants. This highlights the need for consumer awareness and discussion of the safety of food production processes and the working conditions of those involved. Tiny tweaks in industrial processes can have unforeseen consequences and impact the industry's supply chain and product quality.

    • Mad Cow Disease and a Government's Failure to Recognize its Threat.A comprehensive approach to animal diseases is crucial, considering the potential risks to human health. Ignoring expert advice while prioritizing business interests can have devastating consequences.

      Mad cow disease spread to humans due to the consumption of infected cow meat, which had prions that couldn't be destroyed by the cooking process. The British government treated it as an animal disease and failed to recognize its threat to human health. The disease spread because of industrial consolidation and the use of infected cow brains in the food, which was then distributed across the country. The government's approach was inadequate because they were focused on protecting the cattle industry rather than considering the possibility of transmission to humans. Scientists pointed out the need for a more comprehensive approach, but the government failed to heed their advice. This highlights the importance of considering the potential risks to human health when addressing animal diseases.

    • The Mad Cow Disease Outbreak and Lessons LearnedMonitoring animal diseases, media awareness, and safety measures in pet food production are crucial to prevent the spread of diseases like mad cow to humans.

      Mad cow disease, a prion-related disease, was not initially on anyone's radar until the 1990s. The disease was thought to only spread amongst cows, but a cat named Max died of the disease in 1990, sparking widespread panic. The British tabloids were the first to warn about the disease's potential spread into humans, which turned out to be accurate. The medical establishment was initially dismissive of the possibility. This case highlights the importance of monitoring potential diseases that could spread from animals to humans. Additionally, it underscores the role of media in raising awareness and sparking necessary action to prevent pandemics. Lastly, it is crucial to ensure safety measures are taken in commercial pet food production to prevent the spread of diseases like mad cow disease.

    • The Story of Mad Cow Disease: From Cat Food to Human ThreatMad cow disease, a real disease that affected humans, was initially covered up by the government, but media attention brought it to light, demonstrating the importance of transparency and accountability in crisis management.

      Mad cow disease started as a panic about cat food being contaminated with beef, but turned out to be a real disease that affected humans, with genetic susceptibility playing a role in the symptoms. The government initially tried to cover up the issue and promote pro-beef propaganda, but eventually confirmed ten human cases in 1996. The origin of the disease couldn't be traced back due to the time lag, and self-reporting issues made it difficult to track. The panic that started with tabloid coverage of a little girl's symptoms turned out to be true, and highlights the power of media to bring attention to real issues.

    • The Mad Cow Panic and Oprah's Influence on Public OpinionProving cause and effect in complex situations can be difficult, especially with multiple sources of information. Media figures like Oprah have a significant impact on public opinion and behavior.

      The mad cow panic was a huge deal, causing widespread panic and predictions of high fatalities. However, it remained an isolated phenomenon, and by the time the trial started almost two years later, the country was over it. It was hard to prove that Oprah's show caused the drop in cattle prices, as there were so many other factors at play. This shows how difficult it can be to prove cause and effect in complex situations, especially when there are multiple sources of information. It also highlights the power of media figures like Oprah, who can have a huge influence on public opinion and behavior.

    • Oprah's Role in the Beef Industry DeclineWhile Oprah's influence through popularizing Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil was significant, she cannot be solely held responsible for their actions or the decline of the beef industry. The trial was about freedom of speech, not factual accuracy.

      The shift in the reputation of beef was not solely caused by Oprah, as there were other factors at play, such as the crisis of children dying from eating beef. While Oprah had an influential role in popularizing certain figures such as Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil, she cannot be held solely responsible for their actions. Additionally, the accusations made against Oprah and Howard Lyman were not entirely factual, as most of them were predictions or opinions. Overall, the trial was more about the freedom of speech in journalism industry than the factual accuracy of the statements made by Oprah and Howard, and it is unfair to solely blame them for the beef industry's decline.

    • The Importance of Journalistic Freedom and Its Impact on Powerful Industries.It is crucial for journalists to ask tough questions about harmful products despite the fear of lawsuits from powerful industries, as this could cause a chilling effect on journalism. Oprah's influence is significant, but it is unfair to blame her for industry-wide impacts.

      Oprah Winfrey's defense in the beef trial was not strong as she kept saying that she was not a journalist and was just an entertainment talk show host. However, it is important to be able to ask tough questions about products that might be harmful, and journalists should not be afraid of taking on powerful industries. The chilling effect of lawsuits on journalism is a significant concern, with rich or powerful industries filing suits and drowning journalists in legal motions. Oprah's influence is significant, but it would be bonkers to trace all of the industry-wide impact back to just her. The trial effectively ended weeks before the verdict, and the entire case rested on the Texas statute which stated that the information states or implies that a perishable food product is not safe for consumption.

    • The Frivolous Lawsuit over Cattle PerishabilityDefamation laws require proving both statements as false and made out of malice. The trial caused an unnecessary waste of time and judicial resources.

      The trial of Oprah and Howard Lyman for beef defamation ultimately became a frivolous lawsuit due to the argument over cattle being perishable or not. The judge ruled that beef is not perishable, causing the trial to shift to ordinary business disparagement laws. Under this law, not only did they have to prove that the statements made by Oprah and Howard Lyman were false, but they also had to prove that they said them anyway out of malice. The trial went on for weeks and ultimately resulted in a unanimous verdict that the claims made were not false. The entire ordeal ended up being a huge waste of time for all involved.

    • The Oprah Winfrey Beef Trial and the Rules of Free SpeechThe Oprah Winfrey beef trial highlighted the importance of protected free speech and the responsibility of media platforms in amplifying controversial views, while bringing attention to the controversial practice of feeding cows to other cows in the beef industry.

      The Oprah Winfrey beef trial was emotionally charged with both sides claiming victory. While Oprah cast it as a free speech trial, the cattlemen celebrated establishing US beef as safe and non-perishable, despite the fact that the mad cow issue was already over. The trial brought attention to the practice of grinding up cows and feeding them to other cows, which did not help the beef industry's PR. The real winner of the trial was Howard Lyman who gained years of publicity for his views on feeding cows to cows. The trial also revealed the responsibility of media platforms in amplifying and platforming controversial views. The trial ultimately showed how well-protected free speech is and how opinion is protected by the first amendment.

    • Veggie Libel Laws vs. Mad Cow Disease: Unpacking the Risks and ChallengesWhile veggie libel laws exist as a chilling effect to regulate agricultural products, mad cow disease is not a significant concern anymore. The two carry different levels of risks and challenges.

      Veggie libel laws have not been tested much as they are considered unconstitutional and using them may lead to their overturning. So, they exist as a chilling effect that regulates agricultural products in 13 states, requiring more caution. The weird case of emu ranchers vs. Honda under the Texas statute is an example of such a lawsuit. On the other hand, mad cow disease has been addressed in Britain and is not a significant concern anymore. Though occasional cases surface worldwide, they are very rare, and the risk of getting it is less than getting it randomly due to aging. Thus, veggie libel laws and mad cow disease carry different levels of risks and challenges.

    • Preventing Mad Cow Disease in the Meat IndustryTo ensure a safe food supply chain, the meat industry and regulatory bodies must monitor and implement necessary precautions, while consumers should stay informed and make informed choices when buying meat products.

      Feeding cows to other cows still happens in the UK and US, but the brain and spine, where mad cow disease is most commonly found, are now removed. This measure helps prevent the spread of the disease among the cattle population. It is important for the meat industry and regulatory bodies to continue to monitor these practices and implement necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the food supply chain. Consumers can also play their part by staying informed about the food they eat and making informed choices when buying meat products. Together, we can help maintain a healthy and sustainable farming industry while minimizing risk to public health.

    Recent Episodes from Maintenance Phase

    "Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria"

    Jamie Oliver

    COVID Conspiracies



    Ozempic is being hailed as “the end of the Obesity Epidemic.” This week, Mike and Aubrey dig through the sensational claims. But will they make it past the caveats?


    Thanks to Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

    Support the show

    "Soy Boys"

    RFK Jr. and The Mainstreaming Of The Anti-Vaxx Movement

    RFK Jr. and The Rise of the Anti-Vaxx Movement


    Brittany Dawn

    Related Episodes

    Dare To Dream, January 24, 2018, CAROLINE MYSS and The Power Of Words, with Debbi Dachinger

    Dare To Dream, January 24, 2018, CAROLINE MYSS and The Power Of Words, with Debbi Dachinger
    ​Caroline Myss is a five-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker in the fields of human consciousness, spirituality and mysticism, health, energy medicine, and the science of medical intuition. Caroline established her own educational institute in 2003, CMED (Caroline Myss Education), which offers a diverse array of programs devoted to personal development and draws students from all over the world. In addition to hosting a weekly radio show on the Hay House network, Caroline maintains a rigorous international workshop and lecture schedule.
    After completing her Master’s degree, Caroline co-founded Stillpoint Publishing and headed the editorial department, producing an average of ten books a year in the field of human consciousness and holistic health. Simultaneously Caroline refined her skills as a medical intuitive, with the assistance of C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., a Harvard-trained neurosurgeon.
    Caroline developed the field of Energy Anatomy, a science that correlates specific emotional/psychological/physical/spiritual stress patterns with diseases. Her research proved so accurate that it became the subject matter of a book co-written by Caroline and Norm: THE CREATION OF HEALTH.
    In 1996, Caroline released ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT, a New York Times bestseller that has been published in 28 languages and has sold over 1.5 million copies. Through the investigation of the underlying reasons why people sabotage their healing processes, Caroline identified a syndrome she calls “woundology,” characterized by a person’s reliance on the power of illness for manipulation of his or her world, as opposed to attaining an independent, empowered state of health. As with her other seminal research, this syndrome is now a recognized psychological condition. Her third book, WHY PEOPLE DON’T HEAL AND HOW THEY CAN, became another New York Times bestseller.
    Caroline then pursued her interest in the language of symbols, myths, and archetypes, conducting research that enabled her to profile an individual’s “Sacred Contract,” a complex of 12 archetypal patterns that reflect in mythic language the agreements the soul made prior to birth. Based on this work, Caroline released SACRED CONTRACTS, which became her third New York Times bestseller. It is published in 18 languages and posts sales of well over 1.6 million copies. In 2003, Oprah Winfrey gave Caroline her own television program with the OXYGEN network in New York City, which ran successfully for one year.
    Caroline followed with two more New York Times bestsellers, INVISIBLE ACTS OF POWER in 2004 and ENTERING THE CASTLE in 2007. Caroline’s latest book, DEFY GRAVITY, was released in October 2009, a book exploring the mystical phenomenon of healing that transcends reason.
    In addition to her written work, Caroline has produced more than eighty audio/visual products on subjects that include healing, spirituality, personal development, and the study of archetypes.

    Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/dare-to-dream-with-debbi-dachinger--1980925/support.

    Oprah v. Beef Part 1: The Rise of "Veggie Libel"

    33 33 33 Rule

    33 33 33 Rule

    Call me at 888-283-7272

    Text me at 407-698-3814

    Send me a DM on instagram @AsaRxTV

    I will answer these daily and tweet the answers @AsaRxTV with the hashtag #AsaRxExperience 

    How Fast Can You Live Your Potential and Be Healthy? 

    You don’t have to live lower than your potential for the rest of your life! Take the Asa Rx Experience Healthy Solution Quiz by answering simple questions and our Healthy Solution will show you how quickly you can reach your healthy goals!  

    Our Gift To You 

    As a complimentary gift to you The Asa Rx Experience team wants to give you a copy of his international best-selling book to help you GET STARTED for FREE . Living Healthy is often misunderstood and overcomplicated. It doesn't have to be! We made it simple. After just 30 days of following The Asa Rx Master Class, 9 out of 10 users feel more confident in their choices toward a healthy future.

    Join Us On Asa Plus!. 

    Give us 2 minutes a day and Asa will change your life!

    Get the training that you need. How does your daily healthy lifestyle choices stack up? Our Asa Plus+ Community will help you what you need (and don’t need), which questions to ask, and how to make the best natural lifestyle choices. In over 500 videos learn the best tools and strategies to get healthy and stay healthy from any device and on your time. Just 2 minutes a day!

    Find the Right Provider To Help Your Body Achieve It's Best.

    Finding the right provider doesn't have to be complicated. Here at The Asa Rx Experience, and AsaR.TV, we help you with getting your free conversation with our provider specialists makes it easy to know what questions to ask so you can make a confident choice. Meet with a provider on us! 

    Listen and Watch Anytime, Anywhere.

    The Asa Rx TV app lets you download episodes for offline playback, customize your content, and see what’s coming up!

    Why Doesn't the World Function At My Speed?

    Why Doesn't the World Function At My Speed?
    Why can't I have everything I really want? Why does everything change so slowly? Why am I not the god of my reality?! I know if I was god, everything in life would be better, so what's the deal? Join Gary Douglas and Dr Dain Heer for a look at some questions we all seem to ask.