‘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.


President Biden will hold his first formal news conference of the year today at 4pm Eastern. It will be Biden's first solo news conference at the White House since March. The President last took questions from reporters in November at the UN climate summit in Scotland.       The COVID Omicron [[ ahm-ih-cron ]] variant is causing a rise in infections among children. The U.S. reported nearly one-million COVID infections among children last week. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that's 69-percent more than the previous week.       The White House is making about 400-million N-95 masks available for free. The masks are of higher quality and are said to offer more protection against the Omicron [[ ahm-ih-cron ]] variant. The N-95 masks will be pulled from the national stockpile and shipped to pharmacies in the next couple of days, which means they should be available by late next week.       Some major international flights into the U.S. are being canceled today. Emirates, Air India, All Nippon Airways and Japan have all announced they're canceling flights over concerns about the potential impact that 5G cellphone service could have on airplane technologies.       The last victim of the Michigan high school shooting late last year has been released from the hospital. The family of Kylie Ossege says they have raised nearly 150-thousand-dollars to pay for her care so far. The 17-year-old is now undergoing physical therapy after being shot in the chest.       The world's oldest man has died less than a month before his next birthday. Saturnino de la Fuente Garcia [[ sat-ur-NEE-no de la FWEN-tay gar-SEE-a ]] died Tuesday at his home in northwestern Spain at the age of 112. The man known to friends as El Pepino [[ peh-PEE-no ]] would have celebrated his 113th birthday on February 11th.