‘Teacher of the Year’ Surprises 25 Students With Free Vegan Turkeys


Providence, R.I. — Today, 25 students from Roger Williams Middle School brought home a surprise for their families’ Thanksgiving tables: ready-to-roast vegan turkeys, courtesy of educator Laura Barlow, the 2021 Teacher of the Year chosen by TeachKind, PETA’s humane education division.


Barlow wanted to show her students firsthand how delicious vegan food is and how easy it is to celebrate a happy, humane holiday, so she gave out the roasts—donated by TeachKind as part of PETA’s “ThanksVegan” campaign—as prizes in games she played with her students throughout the day.


 Additional photos are available here.


“Kids love animals, and once they realize that turkeys love their families, feel pain and fear, and value their own lives, they’re eager to leave these gentle birds off the holiday table,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “Families are facing so many challenges now, from post-lockdown learning to rising supermarket prices, and PETA and TeachKind are honored to give Laura Barlow’s students and their families a break by helping them enjoy a delicious ThanksVegan meal.”


A reported 47% of Americans want to incorporate more vegan foods into their meals, and ThanksVegan meals spare animals immense suffering. Turkeys can live up to 10 years, but those raised for food are usually slaughtered when they’re babies—between 12 and 26 weeks old—and a recent PETA exposé of Plainville Farms (a supplier to Wegmans) caught workers kicking, stomping on, and beating turkeys sold by companies with “humanely raised” labels.


Barlow is no stranger to incorporating animal rights issues into her classroom. She won the Teacher of the Year title for leading discussions about animal rights themes in plays, passing out vegan meals to those in need, and helping her art students exercise their creativity in ways that boost their empathy for animals—including by creating advocacy posters on topics such as the importance of animal adoption and the cruelty of bullfighting—among many other efforts.


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.


Free at home COVID tests kits will be available to order Wednesday, January 19th. The White House says they'll be available nationwide and are limited to four kits per household. Tests are expected to be shipped within seven-to-12 days of ordering.        Vice President Harris has a message after being asked about what's next in the administration's push for voting rights legislation. Harris said "We keep fighting," noting they're in it for the long haul. Efforts to pass new laws on voting rights have been stalled in the Senate.        The go-head is being given for the case against the suspect in a deadly Wisconsin Christmas parade incident. A court commissioner made that ruling Friday for the case against Darrell Brooks. He faces nearly 80 charges for what happened back in November.        A case regarding a high school football coach and on-field prayers is headed to the high court. On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Joseph Kennedy's argument saying prayers taking place after games should be held in the same respect as the First Amendment. Kennedy was let go from his job in 2015 for refusing to stop prayers after football games.       Saturday Night Live is back on the air tomorrow night. In the show's first episode of the year, "West Side Story" and new Golden Globe winning actress Ariana Debose will take up hosting duties. The Jack Antonoff-led band Bleachers will fill the musical-guest slot.        A Los Angeles woman is thought to have made NHL History. During Thursday night's L.A. Kings game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, athletic trainer Aisha Visram sat behind the bench. The Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society says it's believed that Visram is the first woman to ever do that.