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My name is Vivian Chinelli.  I am a retired kindergarten teacher,

proud vegan, committed animal rights activist, poet,

and author of the  book 

I'M NOT VEGAN BUT MY COUSIN IS: Rhymes, Raps and Other Good Stuff About Respecting and Protecting Animals, Our Health and Our Planet


I started outreaching about animal rights issues as soon as I became vegan back in 2017 when I turned 65.  I love spreading the message by engaging folks in deep and meaningful conversations.  I've met so many beautiful and open-minded people in the process.

I honestly never thought that I would write a book of rhymes and create a website.  It was challenging, for sure, and completely out of my comfort zone, but I'm so happy that I persevered. 


In case you are wondering about my vegan journey, I thought I would quote myself from the section of my book called "Walking My Talk."  We all have our own journeys in life.  I can only hope that mine will inspire yours.


"I was a proud and dedicated Kindergarten teacher for 17 years.  Out of all the subjects that I taught, my most important lessons were about compassion, justice, empathy, and respect.

We would often discuss the Golden Rule, "Treat others as you would like to be treated," and what it would feel like to be in the place of another human being or animal in need.

When an insect wandered into the classroom, I used that as a teachable moment.  We'd carefully slide our little visitor into a cup and take it outside to a safe place.  I would remind my students that every life, even the life of the smallest insect, needed to be respected and protected.

And yet, I didn't think twice about going home after school and eating the leg - the actual leg - of a slaughtered chicken for dinner.  At that time, I couldn't see (or didn't want to see) that my choices were at odds with the values I had been teaching.  I just wasn't walking my talk.

For over 30 years, my dear friend, Hanna, had been trying to get me to acknowledge and do something about the violence in the industries that exploit and abuse animals.  I guess I wasn't ready to do that until 2017 when I turned 65.

One day soon after my birthday, Hanna said something to me that changed everything.  'Viv, animals are sentient beings, and a sentient being is NOT a commodity.'  I had heard her make that argument before, but for some reason on that day, her words made perfect sense.  I decided then and there to act like the person I always believed I was at heart - a vegan.  I was finally ready to walk my talk."


I've created this website to be able to share personal recommendations and links to speeches, conversations, interviews, documentaries, books, and other websites that shine a light on the vegan and animal rights message.  I've also provided links to health and environmental resources, as well as to other good stuff.


There is so much important and inspiring information out there for you to discover.  I hope that you use my recommendations as a springboard for further exploration.


Thank you for visiting my website, and please do come back.  I plan on adding more content as I, too, learn more.



I just wanted to end here by saying that becoming vegan was one of the most beautiful, empowering, and profound decisions I have ever made.  I can only hope that one day you will say the same if you haven't already.



I'd like to thank my husband, Rick, for helping me get started on creating this website and for helping me with all of my sometimes crazy, sometimes not, endeavors.     

Rick is an amazing photographer.  If you are interested in his unique perspective on the natural world, please check out his website:

You'll be happy you did.

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