Tommy Raskin

Celebrating the Life of Tommy Raskin: An outspoken advocate for justice and compassion for all

Erica Meier Animals, Veg Eating 1 Comment

As Tommy’s parents — U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom Raskin — beautifully expressed, he led a “remarkable life.” In a word, he was “magic.”

What struck so many people upon meeting Tommy, hearing him speak or reading his essays: He radiated a magnetic energy of wisdom beyond his years and compassion rooted deeply in his soul. He was a dynamic force for good in this world, driven to expose, challenge and uproot all forms of injustice, including the suffering forced upon animals. 

“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.” 
excerpt from Where War Begins by Tommy Raskin

Soon after Congressman Raskin inspired the idea behind — and became the first participant in — Animal Outlook’s VegWeek campaign in 2009, Tommy also began aligning his morals with his menu. He was a passionate vegan, and in 2017, Animal Outlook was honored to feature Tommy as a speaker at our DC VegFest (video below) as well as at our holiday celebration (video), leaving audiences in awe after sharing his powerful and poignant poem, Where War Begins


Tommy’s authenticity, wit and unflinching determination empowered those who knew him and created a ripple effect, inspiring countless others he never met. Though his extraordinary life was tragically brief — cut short by the darkness of depression — his love, laughter and light are woven into the hearts and memories of all the people and animals whose lives he touched. 

Tommy Raskin’s Legacy Lives On    

The Bloom Raskin family launched the Tommy Raskin Memorial Fund for People and Animals, a fund that 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.” Donations can be made to this fund, which is operated through the Greater Washington Community Foundation. 

Additionally, the strong and supportive community in which Tommy grew up is encouraging others to consider engaging in at least one small act of compassion in Tommy’s memory. If you’re willing, please add your action to this growing list of Acts of Goodness in Honor of Tommy Raskin, and you can also  add to the comments below to help inspire others. 

Tommy will be deeply missed, and our hearts go out to the entire Bloom Raskin family and to all those who knew and loved him. 


Tommy Raskin with his dad, U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin, speaking at Animal Outlook’s holiday party, 2017

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    I’m donating vegan cookbooks, with a small inscription in memory of Tommy Raskin, though the Little Free Library program.

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