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The chat show host made the comments during her new Netflix special standup show Relatable. The show marks the first time in 15 years that DeGeneres has performed standup.
While she has mentioned eating animal products before, during Relatable, she was extremely explicit about no longer being vegan.
DeGeneres said she was vegan, speaking about how difficult it can be to order animal-free meals in restaurants.
But then she said: “I’m not really vegan, I say it for the joke. I was vegan for eight years and I really believe that it’s great for you.
“I was healthier than I’d ever been, I loved being vegan. But in the last year or two for no real reason, I started eating a piece of fish once in a while. Or I’ll eat eggs from chickens I know – if they are in someone’s backyard or are happy.”
Vegan for the animals?
The revelation is a far cry from what DeGeneres – who went vegan in 2008 after watching animal rights documentary Earthlings – once said.
“50 billion animals a year are killed and I think we all fool ourselves that there is some kind of happy cow and that it’s a quick death, that they just hit him in the head and that they are out,” she once famously said.
“They are all in pain, they are all treated badly. They are all diseased and they are all pumped with antibiotics. It’s a very disturbing reality. And it happens every minute of the day.”