Spring racing season is almost always laced with criticism and debate about the ethics of watching horses race for entertainment.
For Osher Gunsberg, that debate quickly took over his social media profiles when he shared photos from Derby Day over the weekend.
The TV presenter and radio host has been forced to respond to critics who claimed they were “confused” about why he would feel comfortable attending the races considering his vegan lifestyle.
“Never thought you’d support horse racing,” one fan wrote.
“I follow you because you’re a fellow vegan but I’m confused by your stance on this issue,” another argued.
Speaking to his radio co-hosts, Stav Davidson and Abby Coleman today, Gunsberg argued he has never declared himself a vegan; rather, it’s simply the fastest way for him to communicate his unique eating habits.
“I don’t eat animals,” The Bachelor host explained.
“I say that I’m vegan because it’s the quickest way to get the explanation across, but the truth is I’ve never really called myself vegan.
“I like animals as much as the next person but I like people better and for me, factory farming is not very good at all for our environment and the food and water that’s fed to that livestock could be much better used for people.”
Listen: Osher Gunsberg talking to Mia Freedman on No Filter about mental health, The Bachelor and why he changed his name. (Post continues after audio)
Gunsberg also told the show he has done his research into the horse racing industry and its treatment of animals.
“I’m a very big believer in going to see things first hand and going to see what the effect is. I’ve gone to horse racing stables, I’ve seen how they get the horses ready for races, I’ve seen how they look after the horses after the races … In my heart, I’m okay with it,” he said.
However, Gunsberg’s explanation on radio didn’t dispel the concerns of some fans, forcing him to address his attendance at the races once more on Instagram.
“I have much closer investigations into the industry that [sic] the brief look that you assume. Everyone has a right to draw their own line, and I would appreciate you let me draw mine,” the 42-year-old wrote.
“I’ve never claimed to be an ethical vegan. Others put this label on me. I’ve never done any animal activism, bar one low key thing for a friend. All I ask is that people are aware of the consequences of their choices, once they’ve investigated fully.”