Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants your 'favorite veggie recipes' as she pays tribute to Rep Jamie Raskin's son Tommy

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she was adopting a 'vegetarian diet for Lent' in memory of Rep Jamie Raskin's son Tommy, who died on December 21, 2020

                            Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants your 'favorite veggie recipes' as she pays tribute to Rep Jamie Raskin's son Tommy
Reps Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) leave a closed-door briefing on March 4, 2020 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to make a request to her followers to join her this Lent to go vegetarian in tribute to Rep. Jamie Raskin's son, Tommy, who died by suicide last year. Tommy, a Harvard Law student, vegan, and passionate animal rights advocate, died by suicide on December 31.

In a tweet thread, she said: "Ok everyone, I need help! A few weeks ago I told @RepRaskin that this year I wanted to adopt a vegetarian diet for Lent in memory of his son Tommy. Jamie said, 'Well you’d have to do it the way Tommy would, which means bring people along with you!'.

This why Ocasio-Cortez tweeted to get more people to join her in paying the unique tribute. However, she did seem to worry about being on a diet of only "Easy Mac" and asked for "favourite veggie recipes" for her 40-day observance of Lent. Saying, she had three requests, she tweeted: "1. Does anyone want to join me? Rules are 1) No judgement 2) Make it your own (you can go full 40 days, just veggie Mondays, etc 3) Be inclusive (no need to observe Lent to join) 2. Please comment w your favorite veggie recipes below! I would like to avoid 40 days of Easy Mac". For those who couldn't join her, she requested "give or help others in this time, please consider doing so in the spirit of Tommy". 


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AOC has chosen to go vegetarian because Tommy Raskin was a vegan and closely associated with animal rights group Animal Outlook. He had also spoken at the 2017 event DC VegFest, where he recited a poem called 'Where War Begins', with lines like: "When it comes to the right to live free from the blight of aggression, oppression, from tyrannous might, how smart you are friends shouldn't matter at all; trauma is still trauma for the creatures that crawl."

(L-R) Thomas Raskin, Sarah Bloom Raskin and U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) listen as a group of Maryland residents, calling themselves the 'Pandemic Comforters,' sing to them in the front yard of their home on May 4, 2020 in Takoma Park, Maryland. Tommy Raskin committed suicide on December 31. He was 25 years old. (Getty Images)


In one interview, Rep. Raskin said Tommy's dietary habits eventually rubbed off on the entire family: "I mean, Tommy, he felt all of the pain and the suffering in the world, which is how, of course, he found his way quickly to vegetarianism. Nobody in our family was a vegetarian and now everybody is". Rep. Raskin and his family have also established a memorial fund in Tommy's honor, called The Tommy Raskin Memorial Fund for People and Animals. According to a press release, the fund will "distribute money on a semiannual basis to causes and charities championed and advanced by Tommy Raskin, such as Oxfam, Give Directly, the Helen Keller Institute, and Animal Outlook."

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez speaks at a press conference at Corona Plaza in Queens on April 14, 2020 calling for the Federal Emergency Management Administration to fund funeral costs in low-income communities of color during the ongoing amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty Images)


There was a mixed response to her tribute. Some called it a publicity-hungry move, with one user saying he had enough of "social media stunts" and another accusing her of capitalizing on "Rep. Raskin's magnificence in the midst of tragedy". 




Others supported her decision, including one of the charities, 'Mercy for Animals' that Tommy Raskin worked for. They tweeted: "Amazing!! We had the honor of working alongside Tommy Raskin. His kindness and empathy inspires us and remains in our hearts. Please take a look at our Vegetarian Starter Guide for recipes and tips. And let us know if you have any questions!". Another joined AOC's tribute because she wanted to thank Rep. Raskin for "all you have done for our country". 






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