Activist Complains About Being Victim of Manipulative Video Editing

In December, animal rights activist Barbara Gates distributed a letter to other activists essentially apologizing for her appearance on the Fox reality TV show “Trading Spouses” and warning other activists who might consider appearing on the show.

In case you missed Gates’ appearance, the conceit of the show was that Gates lived for a period of time with a meat-eating family while that family’s mother lived with Gates’ family. To put it bluntly, the show made Gates look like a nut case. I caught a couple episodes, but laughing at Gates got boring quickly and the show was unwatchable in my opinion.

Gates’ letter basically claims she was a victim of manipulative video editing. Gates writes,

I apologize if you tried contacting me through this email address in December. I was not excepting emails due to “hate” mail I was receiving after appearing on the reality TV show Trading Spouses — as the vegan mom. We are still — weeks later — recovering from the shock and hurt over watching our family life and vegan values be desecrated on national TV. At the core of my grief is how the vegan message was not presented objectively and truthfully AT ALL. How I wish I could give specific examples — you would be shocked and upset to know. Film editing is capable of making movie magic — even black magic.

I have no doubt that the producers of this show relied on creative, manipulative editing, but its a bit odd to see an animal rights activist and others in the movement up in arm over this practice given how frequently it is used by animal rights groups to manufacture and distort evidence. All Fox did to Gates was what People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other groups have been doing for decades.

It would be nice to see activists condemn such dishonest tactics on principle, rather than only when they are the targets.


Dear friends of Project Health Beginnings letter. Barbara Gates, January 2005.

18 thoughts on “Activist Complains About Being Victim of Manipulative Video Editing”

  1. since when has ms. gates ever been a vegan?

    honestly… think about that for a moment.

    she drank.. (animal product is in alcohol beverages, most of them.. if not all.) she ate processed veggie product.. the brand that has.. ding ding ding.. animal product in it. (primarily casein) she smoked.. OH OH more animal product and biproduct!

    DING DING DING DING DING.. not only is she not a vegan but uneducated also.

    what is it these days we moreso than ever not just listen to retards like this but support them even after they’ve been exposed?


  2. Ms. Gates totally embarassed herself and her family. I’m sure there was editing but being extremely rude about Ms. Loupe’s wardrobe and life in Louisiana was shown for all to see.

    Ms. Gates also ate alligator, seemed to really enjoy it and then, lie to her family. Shame….shame.

  3. I just watched a re-run of this Spouse Swap episode. I was very disturb about many things that took place. I find it very sad when people can’t be open and respectful of another person’s views, beliefs or convictions. You don’t have to agree but at least be open. People need to slow the flip down when intermingling lives like they do on this show and take a very open, respectful view before pushing changes. Children are involved. Proceed with caution should be posted in each home.
    Gates in my personal opinion needs therapy even if her claims of being a victim of manipulative video editing are true. I was deeply concern when she said she was an “Animal Activist” when i saw the way she handled the canjun mothers son and even more concern when I watched her discipline the family pet. If she is going to make a public stand for the Rights of Animals then PLEASE somebody help her.
    I am a huge supporter of Animal rights and do my part in my community helping with Humane Society the ASPCA, and our Animal Shelter. I place my vote as often as I can on as many issues possible for the prevention of Animal Cruelity. I was deeply sicken watching Gates swat with her hands and shove the family pets face in its urine 3 to 4 x’s then CRY as she makes the entire Cajun moms family and friends watch some movie on Animal Rights with some song playing that animals are our brethren. I was completely shocked and also insulted as a person whom also stands for animal rights. Seriously! stunned! I believe Gates to be actually a very selfish person. Just replay the part of the episode when she is reading where the 50 thousand is being designated. Watch and listen to her husband and childrens comments. Watch her childrens faces and listen to her throw a wet blanket over the care her son was trying to show with the jacuzzi conversation. I wanted to scream “WHERE IS DR PHIL WHEN YOU NEED HIM”
    What is so sad as I look at these families is the upper class of americans would think that the Gates are raising their children in a more functional enviroment. I thought that the Canjun family had a very intellegent son with great communicative skills. I hope that Gates didnt hurt his sense of self.
    The Cajun mother was respectful and considerate and even though she didnt share the same beliefs as Gates she respected her and her home.
    The Cajun father was a wonderful example of fatherly love.
    Honestly when it comes to “Animal Rights” I would put money on the Cajun family helping an abused dog before Gates would anyday.
    I pray for Gates and hope she gets help.

    1. Yes when ZZ said he felt small that broke my heart , she was abusive and controlling in my opinion….

  4. I just watched a rerun of this show! I felt so sorry for the puppy! How she strangled the poor dog and put his nose in his own urine! Then, she slapped him on the behind! And, the puppy just yelped! She did all this in front of an 8 year old boy!

    It made me sick to my stomach!

    Barbara Gates is one evil woman! Not to mention a big hypocrite!

    P.S. This lady needs to go back to school and learn how to spell! It’s “ACCEPTING” not “EXCEPTING”!

  5. i hope this lady reads this. i don’t have any constructive remarks to add about her life, because nothing changes hypocritical, gross people like that. for all her mean actions and bratty attitude i want to say this: i believe your daughter will definitely be a lesbian unless you encourage her to actually look like a girl, and i think your husband is going to cheat on you because of your constant whining, complaining, and basically obliteration of his testicles. oh, and for someone vegan, you’re pretty chunky with a lot of belly flab. not to mention YOU are the one with the hideous fashion sense, you disguisting hippie.

  6. I agree with most of these remarks. Barbara is a horrible person and I feel bad that Loupe family had to deal with her!
    I also do video editing, and while you can influence some things by editing, you are not able to change how someone’s personality is presented in a show. Film editors didn’t add Barbara yelling at her kids, showing disappointment when her husband gets 10K, and very quickly switching to excitement when she gets 20K. And to top it all, she says that she is going to decide where the tub is going to go and that her husband has to buy the shower for her. Why? She is greedy….She just got 20K but she WANTS MORE.
    Oh, and yeah, she is fat and doesn’t look and act like a vegan. Also very hypocritical, paying attention to “healthy eating” by not having protein in your diet they way god/nature intended us to have it, however smoking without any issues.
    While I can go on for hours about her horrible personality that had nothing to do with editing, I will finish with her ludicrous parenting advice and attitude. She should not be allowed to raise her kids, let alone give advice.

  7. Yep, saw the rerun, It was horrible. Does this Barbara Gates have a website. I know this show was aired years ago. But how funny they ran it again. Opening up the can of worms for her all over. She so deserves it. That is right she can complain about editing all she wants but the fact is she said those things, how can you take out of context the hitting the dog, the smoking, the disrespect towards the cajun family and friends, what in the world makes her think she can Judge anyone. She is horrible to her children they looked scared to me. That is not the way to talk to someone. We were sick to our stomachs when we saw how the money was distributed. Diane’s goodness and thoughtfulness should have been repaid 10,000 fold. She is a very sweet person. Barbara your beliefs are questionable, learn how to spell. And before you judge another person, look in the mirror. The cajun’s in my opinion were very gracious and i felt so sorry for them to put up with your crap. I believe in Animal rights, I do eat meat though. Wanted to try Vegan but now, no way…If you have a little protein and eat some meat Barb you might not be so mean…

  8. I just watched a rerun of this episode. First of all, as a parent and an educator, I am deeply troubled by Barbara Gates. Even though I fully believe we are stewards of creation and it is our duty to take care of this Earth and all the living things on it, but above all of that, we need to respect human beings. I feel Barbara was completely disrespectful to the Loupe family. I feel that the Loupe people are good, respectful people. I hope they don’t change one thing about themselves!!! Way to go Loupe family!

  9. what an amazing show and what and amazingly ignorant family.
    it just goes to show what ignorance breeds ignorance.
    if i were those kids of that set of parents ….id have to go along with ZZ …YOU’RE FIRED!!!

  10. I saw this episode for the first time yesterday. I’m from south Louisiana, I eat meat, and I come from a family of hunters. I thought maybe my lifestyle and culture was the reason I viewed this Barbara Gates as a little “OFF” …but after reading several sites and comments now understand I’m not alone.

    I guess anything I type will be a repeat of others opinions. After reading an online interview of the Loupe family I’m even more in love with them. They are involved in many things, not just “gators” and tours. Seems they have had many dealings with film companies and production crews from all over the place over the years. Many people make jokes about southern people because of beliefs, accents, and way of life. Let them joke away because most of us are enjoying life and do have compassion for our fellow man. Just because we have an accent doesn’t make us ignorant or dumb. Ole Barb proved that with her grammatical rules and spelling ability.

    You can blame editing for many things I’m sure…but the comments Barb made on the other lady’s wardrobe and saying all people in Lousiana are “behind the times” is nuts. I mean, did anyone get a gander of her fashion forward self? As for people showing up early for her so called party, so what? We know what a clock is, we have a sense of time (another smartass comment of hers) Most of us will do that to visit and to HELP the host or hostess get things together and help them clean up. I always thought that was nice, but Barb from CA says it’s rude.

    You can only edit so much. Unless they had a body double it was HER making the snide comments ….there are no excuses for her behavior. If that’s what being a vegan does to you I’m glad I eat meat and fried food. I may die before I’m 60 but I’ll be happy until then, and so will anyone that is in my company!

  11. I just saw this rerun (had seen it when first aired too) and I am still so touched by the Loupe’s and so disgusted by Barbara. Barbara’s family was so sweet and I would be so surprised the husband hasn’t divorced her yet. I am vegan and so horrified that people may think that all vegans are like her. In all my vegetarian and vegan years, I have never met any vegans remotely similar to her. People, please don’t let her behavior sway you from veganism. Barbara doesn’t count as a vegan anyway since she ate alligator. I feel so sorry for her poor family. She is a nut. I loved the entire Loupe family. I want to go and shake their hands!

  12. Hi im from ireland & just saw this episode. Firstly that thick gates woman is teaching an little boy incorrect grammer with monkies & wont back down from what she thinks is right! She needs to take out from her back side cause as far as i saw she is abusive, always has alcohol & a cig in hand. I hope her husband has left her & ran with the kids as far as he can run! She needs to be in a nut house!

  13. Ms Gate’s you can cry manipulation, but it is what it is and if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it ain’t tofu! Your family didn’t wake up to see you off and the family you left your footprint on didn’t wake up to see you off. Do the math, and speaking of math maybe $4000 is enough to take a family of three to Hawaii like in 1970! You’ve been found guilty by your viewers!

  14. this show really left an impression on me!! i immediately wanted to read updates about the families since the air-date; and admittedly just looked up the tour company and even called in hopes i might have the smallest opportunity to speak with diana (i realize that was pretty dumb, especially seeing all the feedback still happening from the 4.5yr old show!) i’m so curious about the gates family- how could they not have been deeply impacted by their mother’s public display?? i truly hope somehow, by now, she’s become more humble and moreso a little less selfish. it will be extremely sad if her beautiful children and husband have succumbed to destructive coping mechanisms in order to survive; that is if they didn’t leave her after the show aired (despite her clear stronghold on all their lives.)
    i have to hand it to the producers for choosing such perfect prospects: such extremists promoted perfect enertainment and healthy mind stimulation too!
    it’s such a relief to see supporters of health(ier) standards of kindness and caring for people, over the seemingly logical approach that’s ever promoted; especially in such ‘affluent’ areas like san diego (as well as where i’m from).
    incase anyone reads this far, and has it in them to reply: i’d love to pay a visit to this beautiful family as well. any info on their wherabouts?

  15. It was a hard show to watch. Mrs Gates was a big disgrace and hope she has learnt her lesson.

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