“I was so naive, y’all,” she said. “I always think everybody thinks like me.”
She first pleaded ignorance as a defense against charges of animal cruelty leveled against her after she signed on as a spokesperson with Smithfield Hams, which critics say mistreats its hogs. “I was always of the opinion that God put [animals] on Earth for mankind’s survival. I had just never thought about it from another perspective,” she explained.
She was at least as eager to chalk her divisive response to her diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes up to a kind of blind optimism. “I was so naive about that, too, Kim,” she said, when Severson broached the topic.
Still, Deen gave probably her fullest account yet of what went on behind the scenes after she found out about her diabetes at the Times Talk. As she recalls it, her initial response to her diagnosis was denial. She just didn’t believe that she had the disease. Eventually, more tests by doctors convinced her that they were right — but even then, she didn’t feel ready to go public, because she was still “absorbing it.”
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