In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm celebrating two culinary geniuses that changed my life: Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. These two ladies started a movement when they wrote their bestselling manifesto, Skinny Bitch. A sassy, hilarious diet book, Skinny Bitch exposed the horrors of the food industry while inspiring people to eat well and enjoy food. If you haven't read it, buy it right now. You'll throw out that turkey and find something else to eat that's not so chock full of hormones, anti-biotics, and life-threatening bacteria!
(Check out that turkey above...he was found that way during an undercover investigation at a factory farm in North Carolina owned by Butterball.)
Yep, I eat a vegan diet. Didn't see that one coming, did ya?
Rory: Rory Freedman attended the University of Maryland, right down the street from me, and developed a passion for writing about food the ethical treatment of animals. She always saw herself as an animal lover and she was disgusted by what she saw in a magazine article one day. One image in the article was of baby chickens crammed into a garbage bag and thrown into a dumpster. The next picture she saw was a picture of a mother cow and a baby cow. The baby was taken away from the mother, and being upset that her baby was taken away, the mother started to ram the cage and broke her neck. The mother cow was left to die. The other picture she saw was of a downer cow, an injured cow, on the back of a truck being unloaded by a chain wrapped around the cow's legs. She was devastated to know that animals were being treated this way due to her eating meat. After reading this article in the magazine, she made the decision to become vegetarian.
Kim: Before she was a Skinny Bitch, Kim Barnouin was a high school drop-out turned model who only crossed paths with a vegetable on her pizza. Born in Rhode Island and raised in Maryland, Kim felt she wasn’t ready for college and dropped out in the 11th grade. At the age of 22, Kim moved to South Beach where the waves of Miami left Kim feeling seriously lost. She modeled, waited tables to make ends meet and considered herself more of a helpless beach bum.
Kim questioned her unhappy and unhealthy self during those years. What changes could she make to her lifestyle? Instead of turning to booze or something else less attractive, Kim explored food. By eating better, Kim started to physically and mentally feel better. A lightbulb went off in her head – food heals. She got her hands on every book on food she could find and enrolled in a Bachelor’s program in Natural Health. She wouldn’t stop there. This retired beach bum went on to receive a Master’s in Holistic Nutrition and is currently working on her PhD. Learning about how food affects and heals many diseases and illnesses was something she wanted to share with everyone. Eager to spread her word to the masses, Kim worked with longtime friend and vegan Rory Freedman to write a book. Neither thought Skinny Bitch would be become such a hit let alone a New York Times bestseller for two years straight.
I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving full of seitan, tofu, and all the vegetables you can eat. And pie. Vegans can eat pie, too. Lots of pie. Don't forget the coconut milk ice cream!
(Vegan rhubarb-strawberry-blueberry pie with caramel oat ice-cream pictured below!)
I write about power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives. This is a space where I meditate on those themes and share them with the word. Who knows, my next novel may start right here...