The stork in the photo, its beak protruding from the torn plastic bag that enveloped its body, simply undid Cotati resident Andrea Vincent.
The bird's feathered head and body were trapped inside the windblown plastic, its rangy orange legs and beak sticking out as the creature rummaged through a garbage dump.
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey was clearly stricken, too, as she watched the image, turning into the camera repeatedly to comment on the painful picture shown during her Earth Day 2009 program.
"It was so disturbing. It upset me so greatly," said Vincent, an avid fan of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
She was moved to act, and so was Oprah.
By the next day, Vincent was an inventor seeking to end the need for plastic bags. She came up with a reusable produce caddie that, 17 months later, is turning up in local markets such as Oliver's, Mollie Stone, Whole Foods, Fiesta Market and Andy's Produce, made by the nation's largest manufacturer of reusable bags.
The Veggie Bed also paid off in a different way, helping Vincent, 46, win a place in the audience of "ultimate viewers" who were assembled Monday for the premiere of Winfrey's 25th, farewell season. That's when she and her new audience friends learned they are headed to Australia in December with Winfrey and actor John Travolta, who will pilot the plane.
"Local Cotati girl..." Vincent mused during a recent interview. "It's a dream come true."
The entire experience has been surreal for Vincent, from learning she could watch Winfrey tape a show, to a whirlwind, two-day trip to Chicago, to Winfrey's suspenseful build-up for the big giveaway: a free trip Down Under.
"The smiles and the excitement and the stunned looks on people's faces after we found out," Vincent said. "It was really, really exciting."
The mother of two and owner of MoonDoggy Ranch, a daycare and boarding facility for dogs, filled out vacation preferences for the trip Thursday with her husband, David Vincent, who gets to go with her.
She also sat for her first passport photo.
"I used to suffer from panic attacks, so I was never able to do much travel. So it's a full circle for me," she said.
But Vincent said Winfrey's show has inspired a whole new focus in her life as a partner in The Veggie Bed Company with friend Carlos Leet, a Petaluma attorney and co-creator.
She had a vague notion of reusable alternatives to plastic bags, but it wasn't until Vincent saw Winfrey's show about the Pacific Gyre, one of several huge areas where circular currents sweep tons of plastic bags and other marine litter into giant ocean "garbage patches," that she felt moved to do something about it.
By the next day, she had conceived a rough pattern, cut apart a reusable grocery bag and given the parts to her husband to sew into a compartmentalized caddy.
She then talked to Leet, who has patent litigation experience, and he helped improve the design with individual, mesh-sided "pods" that fit in the caddy.
The current product is made of washable non-woven polypropylene fabric that has been stiffened and fabricated to organize and protect produce. The company estimates that most families use about 500 plastic produce bags a year; one Veggie Bed can replace them all.