For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2022
Lauren Kent 202-483-7382
San Antonio – Earlier today, 29 students from Anne Frank Inspire Academy brought home a surprise for their families’ Thanksgiving tables: ready-to-bake vegan roasts, courtesy of educators Zach Sokoloski and Steve Calamars, who were named the 2022 Teachers of the Year by TeachKind, PETA’s humane education division. Photos of the giveaway are available here.
Helping students understand that vegan fare is the perfect choice for a holiday about compassion, Sokoloski and Calamars gave out the roasts—donated by TeachKind—and led activities related to “ThanksVegan,” such as reading philosopher Peter Singer’s essay “Consider the Turkey.”
“Young people love animals, and they’d be horrified to learn about the fear and pain that 45 million turkeys endure each year before ending up on a Thanksgiving table,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “PETA and TeachKind are delighted to give Zach Sokoloski’s and Steve Calamars’ students an opportunity to spare turkeys and share kind, healthy vegan roasts with their loved ones.”
Not only are vegan roasts free of saturated animal fat and cholesterol, they also spare animals immense suffering: Turkeys can live up to 10 years, but those raised for food are usually slaughtered when they’re babies between 14 and 18 weeks old. In nature, turkeys are now understood to be caring parents, good flyers, and spirited explorers.
Sokoloski and Calamars have encouraged students to connect animal rights to the climate catastrophe, deforestation, and other topics; arranged a field trip to a pig sanctuary in Central Texas; took interested students to see PETA’s traveling “Without Consent” exhibit about animal experimentation; and supported students in starting an animal rights–focused book club.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and offers a ThanksVegan menu guide filled with recipes, shopping tips, and more. For more information about TeachKind, please visit TeachKind.org or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.