Kevin Smith on vegan Thanksgiving, ‘breaking the chain with tradition’
by Alex Biese, Asbury Park Press
This Thanksgiving, there won’t be any turkey on Kevin Smith’s plate.
Smith, the Highlands native filmmaker, podcast host and author, embraced a vegan lifestyle following his massive heart attack earlier this year.
Now Smith and his daughter, actress Harley Quinn Smith, have joined forces with animal rights and welfare organization Farm Sanctuary to advocate for turkeys.
“This will be the first year that officially, across the boards in our house, we are breaking the chain with tradition inasmuch as nobody’s going to be eating any bird,” Smith said in a video posted to Farm Sanctuary’s YouTube channel on Monday, Nov. 5.
“What I know about turkeys is that they’re such kind and beautiful creatures. They’re very friendly, and I don’t really think that enough people recognize their value and importance to the world,” said Harley Quinn.
Since going vegan following his February health scare Smith, also a Weight Watchers ambassador, has lost 58 pounds and counting.
Veganism is a plant-based lifestyle with no animal products — including milk, eggs, cheese, fish and meat.
In addition to Smith, other notable New Jersey vegans include U.S. Senator Cory Booker, who made a surprise appearance at a vegan gathering in Asbury Park in June, and Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA, who headlined the Atlantic City Vegan Food Festival in July.
Smith and Harley Quinn are seen in the video visiting with a pair of Farm Sanctuary’s turkeys in southern California as they advocate for compassion over tradition in the four-minute clip.
“You’re always told by older people, ‘It’s OK to eat animals. We’re supposed to eat animals,’ and that’s just something you’re fed, that’s tradition,” Smith said. “And for a long time, that’s what my generation believed. Now, we know a lot better.”
In the video, the Smiths also advocate for Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project, where supporters can sponsor one of the organization’s turkeys.
Farm Sanctuary, founded in 1986, has locations in New York and California. According to a news release, the Adopt a Turkey Project has led to the rescue of more than 1,000 turkeys.
For a $35 donation, supporters can “adopt” a turkey rescued by Farm Sanctuary, or sponsor the whole flock for $150; more information is available at adoptaturkey.org. Each Thanksgiving, 46 million turkeys are slaughtered, according to Farm Sanctuary.
Comedian and activist Jon Stewart and his wife, Tracey, who serves on Farm Sanctuary’s board of directors, also work with Farm Sanctuary to rescue animals. The Stewarts’ Colts Neck farm is part of the organization’s Farm Animal Adoption Network.