A World Less Certain | Why Kill If We Don’t Have To?

Try celebrating life in 2021

Thou shalt not kill unless it wears feathers, fur, or fins.

We grow trees to be cut down, raise animals to be slaughtered, and give praise to a human-like God without proof of His (not Her) existence. That’s what humans do during the holidays, man.

We are a curious species. Bristling with intelligence, fear and self-doubt, our ascendancy on this planet now hangs by a thread – mired in a web of contradictions. Which begs the question: are there any genuinely enlightened lifeforms in the universe?

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Beats me.

The American diet consists of mass slaughter – there’s no pretty way to put it. Over our lifetime, we are individually responsible for the deaths of 11 cows, 27 pigs, 2,400 chickens, 80 turkeys, 30 sheep, and 4,500 fish.

Animals are raised to die, but why? We can survive without abusing and killing animals. Plant-based food satisfies all of our nutritional needs.

Home for the Holidays

The holidays are filled with love and reflection. And as such, my family chooses not to celebrate this joyous time of the year by killing animals and trees. Our meals are plant-based and super delicious. Instead of displaying a corpse in our loft, we decorate a living pine with ornaments and lights. After a couple of weeks, we give it back to Mother Earth.

Give plant-based cuisine a try

See my daughter’s recipe below for Creamy Chipotle Lentil Soup. It’s a delicious way to make the transition to a healthy vegan diet for your New Year’s resolution.

Also, go to veganuary.com and sign up for their “Veganuary” vegan January challenge.


1/4 medium yellow onion chopped, 1/2 medium red bell pepper diced, 6 small-medium crimini mushrooms thinly sliced, 2 stem-stripped large curly kale leaves, kale stems chopped into 1/4 in pieces, 1 large carrot cut into thin half circles, one celery stalk split in down middle then chopped, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tbsp oil of choice, 6 cups water, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, 1 cup uncooked lentils, 1 tbsp “Better Than Bouillon” Seasoned Vegetable Paste, 1/2 cream style sweet corn can, 1/3 cup nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp “chipotle peppers in adobo sauce” (find at your local grocery store, comes in a can), 3 tbsp oat milk, and garlic powder. Garnish (optional): Dollop of Blöde Kuh’s “Oakie Smokie” cultured cashew cheese (Available at the South Pasadena Farmers Market), avocado slices, and crispy fried onion pieces.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. While water is brought to a boil, sauté all chopped veggies (except for kale leaves) and garlic, in oil. Once veggies begin to brown, add 1 tsp cumin. Caramelize in pan. Add 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, mix, turn off the heat. Cook 1 cup of lentils in water until split and “creamy” texture; add water as needed. While lentils cook, lightly massage kale for 2 mins, then finely chop.

Add 2 cups water to the pot. Dissolve “Better Than Bouillon” in the pot. Add sautéed veggies to the pot, along with the kale and creamed corn. Boil until kale is a muted green. Add nutritional yeast, chipotle sauce, and oat milk. Add garlic powder, cumin, and soy sauce to taste. Garnish with Oakie Smokie, fried onion, and avocado.




Rick Thomas
Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.