2014 is without doubt Veganism’s biggest year in Israel. After surveys have shown time and again that Israel is taking huge leaps in becoming the world’s first vegan nation, this evening, August 30th, a prominent vegan activist has won the Big Brother’s final, bringing veganism into the heart of the country’s mainstream.
Throughout the season, Tal has spoken firmly and clearly about the suffering of animals in the various industries, and prompted the audience at home to take steps towards a vegan lifestyle. Four out of the season’s 18 tenants have followed in her footsteps, one of them ending up as the season’s runner-up. Moments before declaring the season’s big winner, the Big Brother host stated that no matter which of the two will win – this season will have a vegan winner.
60% of Big Brother viewers declare a change in their eating habits
Thanks to Tal’s entrance to the Big Brother house, veganism has become a leading topic of conversation in many houses, and a hot topic of many water cooler conversations.
A recent survey published in the Israeli financial magazine, Globes, surveyed the viewers of the Big Brother TV reality show (which is considered the most watched entertainment show in the country), and found that 49% of the viewers changed their minds in regards to the suffering animals go through in the meat industry, after being exposed to Tal’s message and the information she revealed on the show.
And that’s not all. Perhaps the most amazing figure the survey found was that no less than a whopping 60% of the viewers have declared that they will make a change, or have already made a change in their eating habits, which is bringing them one step closer to a vegan lifestyle.
Never seen before on prime time TV
Those who have been following this season of Big Brother could have seen this change in the public’s view come about. From the very beginning of the show, the Big Brother production, who have stated that they did not believe the vegan activist will last more than a couple of weeks, have put Tal in various vulnerable situations aimed at making her crack.
Things started with a big bang when the production brought an actor to portray a cattle rancher as one of the tenants that have come to participate in the season; without Tal and the other tenants knowing, they directed the actor to provoke and push Tal, until one of the season’s most memorable scenes came about when Tal sat for a one on one, heart to heart conversation with him.
Another memorable moment, that in many ways changed this reality show as we know it, took place when the Big Brother production brought Tal’s vegan friends to the house. Tal’s activist friends talked in front of the tenants about veganism, and screened a heart wrenching video showing the truth behind the egg, dairy and meat industries, resulting with some of the tenants breaking up in tears. A huge part of this scene, including some parts of the video, were then broadcasted on the show to millions of viewers of all ages. This was without doubt a tremendous milestone for the vegan movement.
The big winner of the season: Veganism
From week to week, Tal’s loyalty to her principles and her dedication to bringing the message of compassion forward, have won her many fans. But no one could have imagined, not even her biggest admirers within the vegan community, that she will be embraced by the mainstream to the extent she did, influencing so many along the way to look at the voiceless victims of the animal based industries.
Right before Tal came out of the house as the season’s winner, Yoram Zack, the show’s chief editor and director, delivered the following speech to the millions of viewers:
“Tal, you are the winner of Big Brother season 6; a mother to three amazing girls that just like you, were willing to compromise their own desires in order to help somebody else. 109 Days ago you came into the Big Brother house to do some work: You came here to serve as a voice for those who cannot speak. You were the first tenant that refused to use our car for the big entrance to the house, because the seats of the car were covered in leather. From that very first moment on, you exposed us to a world of ethics and values that we were not aware of before.
Three words led you throughout your stay in the Big Brother house: Justice, Compassion, Veganism. You pursued justice, and every time you encountered injustice you rose up to act against it. Your compassion was shown to everyone in the house that needed help or support; And in regards to veganism, Tal, you have no idea what happened in the country while you were in this house. All you asked was to bring animal suffering into people’s awareness, but you did much more than that. You won tonight, and it would have been great if someone was able to tell this to the animals, because your victory is also their victory”.
Congratulations to Tal on her win. There is no doubt she has done an amazing advocacy work, touching and changing the lives of many, even on a format like a TV reality show. She has made, and will undoubtedly continue, to make a difference.