My name is Antonella, class of ’75, and when I decided back in 1992 to make this choice, the word “Vegan” really was a utopia. Many years have passed since that day in Milan when, while I was having lunch with Lorenzo Cherubini (better known as Jovanotti) and other friends, enjoying an Italian smoked-ham, brie and cocktail sauce wrap … he looked at me and said: “Do you know that you are eating SOMEONE? Check out some videos on slaughterhouses!”. The thought had never crossed my mind!!
On that day Lorenzo changed my life forever! At that time there was no internet, there was no direct information as there is today, everything was hidden behind a patina of misleading advertising and lies told by the big food companies. I therefore started gathering information at the library and watched the few videotapes available at the time … and I started to understand!
This choice came from the heart and from the moral principle of respecting the right to life of every living being, but as the years went by I realized that my health also benefitted from my choice. So why not let everyone know? But how could I do it by myself?
I simply began by talking to the people I met, but the biggest help I received was the arrival of internet! Freedom of information really started to grain ground and many sand castles began to crumble! My love for travelling and sharing information with other people enriched me more and more.
In 2011 I decided to create a Facebook page with the blog “La Stella Vegan”, one of the first in Italy to talk about this choice.
The purpose was to give everyone the honest and direct help which I did not receive and let them know how much suffering there was behind each piece of meat or cheese. I majored as a Social Media Blogger by attending specific courses.
However, my true passion was cooking, so I wanted to learn more about Vegan cuisine. I decided to go to California, the vegan homeland par excellence, where I specialized in Vegan cuisine and expanded my skills. Later on I used my acquired knowledge on “Italian traditional cuisine”. My first experiments were with my mother’s Calabrian recipes, revisiting them in Vegan form as best as I could. I started working “summers” in small and large restaurants (Ibiza, Formentera, Palma de Mallorca, Malta, Los Angeles), taking with me the Italian Vegan Cuisine. Little by little the first requests for my Cooking Classes and Exhibitions were made, thus taking me all over the world!
Meanwhile, the number of followers on Facebook grew bigger every day. “Thank you, you gave me a wake up call” was, and is, the phrase that I hear most of all, which fills me with great pride. As of today this page has more than 52,000 followers!