article was written by Daniella Ramadei.
was 20 years ago this Thanksgiving that I was home alone the day after the
holiday. My mother had kindly made a turkey sandwich for my lunch. I unwrapped it
from the foil, placed it on a plate, and surrounded it with leftovers scooped from
the numerous containers in the fridge. Before I sat down to indulge, I decided
to walk with my companion dog, Snowball, to the mailbox so that I could flip
through holiday catalogs as I ate. That decision changed my life.
I shook my head into Snowball's snout, rubbing noses, as I unhooked his collar
after the walk. I wriggled out of my coat and slipped into a cozy fluffy robe,
rolled up my sleeves, and sorted the mail. Ohhh, a PETA brochure! I had
recently become a member and was excited to receive my first piece of mail—recognition
of my newfound pre-teen independence. I dragged my squeaky chair closer to the
table and winked down at Snowball who was sitting patiently, awaiting table
I opened the PETA brochure, I stopped and stared at the most poignant
photograph—turkeys who were barely alive mangled inside a cage. I looked at my
sandwich, then the photo, then my sandwich, then the photo, and finally I saw that
it was the flesh of these turkeys between my slices of bread. I emptied my
plate into the garbage, made a PB&J, hugged Snowball, and tossed him bits
of carrot. When my parents returned from work, my mom asked if I was tired of
turkey and wanted spaghetti and meatballs instead. I answered, "Yes, but
hold the meatballs, please."
was lucky to have very supportive parents who celebrated my decision to be
vegan in my food, clothing, product, and entertainment choices. While I was
home for Thanksgiving last year, I finally sat my parents down and reasoned
with them as to why they should go vegan. After they watched "Chew on This"
and Earthlings, they finally understood
that their choices were supporting cruelty to animals. They went vegan at ages
62 and 64! A year later, they are both maintaining and enjoying the variety of
a vegan diet and reaping the health benefits—no more high cholesterol or high
this year, I am celebrating 20 years of living cruelty-free with my family and
friends by cooking them a vegan feast! The meal is as follows, and the recipe
for the starred dish is below. Enjoy!
cup vegan margarine2
cups diced onion1
1/2 cups diced celery6
cups sliced mushrooms1/2
cup fresh sage leaves1
Tbsp. dried thyme1
Tbsp. dried rosemary6
cups cubed bread1
cup low-sodium vegetable broth1
Tbsp. black pepper3
cups sliced black olives
Makes 8 servings
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.