You may not think you know Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting “Freedom From Want,” but you almost certainly do. The postwar Americana scene has come a symbol of family, peace, and plenty for many. And while we love the sentiment, PETA felt this painting (also known as “The Thanksgiving Picture”) was overdue for an upgrade—because there’s nothing peaceful about the suffering that millions of turkeys endure for this controversial holiday.
To reimagine this popular painting, PETA commissioned artivist Nikkolas Smith—known for his portraits of George Floyd, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Chadwick Boseman, and others—to create a diverse, animal-free “ThanksVegan” table fit for today’s world.
See how PETA and Smith reimagined Rockwell’s Thanksgiving as ThanksVegan:
At the head of the table is Pinky Cole, the CEO and founder of Atlanta-based restaurant and food truck Slutty Vegan. In the painting, she plays host to our dream dinner party guest list, complete with some of today’s most influential vegan stars.
- Ava DuVernay: The barrier-breaking director of 13th and When They See Us as well as PETA’s 2018 Most Beautiful Vegan Celebrity connects going vegan to issues around social justice and food access (or lack thereof) in the Black community.
- Cory Booker: The S. senator from New Jersey has been vegan since 2014 and even shook hands with PETA’s Climate Change Cow while out on the campaign trail! (Note: PETA does not endorse or oppose any candidate or party for public office.)
- Tabitha Brown: PETA’s 2020 Person of the Year and the queen of TikTok, Brown is helping millions go vegan, thanks to her infectious warmth and tasty, animal-free recipes.
- Mayim Bialik: You don’t have to be a scientist like The Big Bang Theory‘s Bialik (she didn’t just play one on TV—she’s a neuroscientist IRL) to know that cutting out animal-derived foods is the best way to eat for animals, our health, and the planet.
- Jermaine Dupri: The rapper, producer, and entrepreneur has been vegan for well over a decade and hosted PETA’s 2019 Thanksgiving dinner in his hometown of Atlanta.
- Mena Massoud: The Aladdin star is such a dedicated vegan that he launched his own vegan lifestyle brand and cookbook.
- Grey: The vegan rapper has us all playing his popular song “Vegan Thanksgiving” on repeat this time of year.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to show people they can eat delicious food without eating dead animals or risking their health,” says Cole. “Serving vibrant vegan meals to my friends and my community is exactly what Slutty Vegan is all about, and it’s such a joy to see my dream reflected in this painting during the Thanksgiving season.”
To give home chefs some holiday inspiration, Cole has also created an exclusive PETA ThanksVegan recipe: Drunken Mushrooms with Purple Potato Mash and Green Pea Purée. So grab your apron and start cooking.
Give Turkeys Something to Be Grateful For—Leave Them off Your Plate
Turkeys have been known to fall asleep in people’s laps while being petted and respond to music. When given a good life at a sanctuary, they often follow humans around like puppies, looking for treats and affection. But if our country killed 75 million puppies every year for a holiday, there would be no shortage of public outrage. Please help put an end to this violent, speciesist tradition by eating vegan this holiday season and every one thereafter.