Avery Yale Kamila
BornWestminster, Massachusetts, U.S.
  • Journalist
  • community organizer
Alma materS.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Avery Yale Kamila is an American journalist and community organizer in the state of Maine. Kamila has written a food column for the Portland Press Herald /Maine Sunday Telegram and its affiliated newspapers since 2009.[1]


Kamila was born in Westminster, Massachusetts in the 1970s and grew up on an organic farm in Litchfield, Maine that raised vegetables and pigs.[2] Her grandfather owned a dairy farm in the neighboring town. Kamila has said that she is haunted by the mother cows "moaning after their babies were taken from them within hours of their birth."[2] Kamila adopted a vegan diet in 1991 after reading “Diet for a New America,”[3] while she was a freshman studying journalism at Syracuse University's S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.[4][5] She graduated from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1995 with a degree in Environment Policy and Management.[1][6] Kamila is married to Adam Hill[7] and they have a son.[8] She lives in Portland, Maine.


Kamila writes the Vegan Kitchen column for the Maine Sunday Telegram.[9][10] She previously wrote the Natural Foodie column and the Vegetarian Kitchen column for the Portland Press Herald in Portland, Maine.[11] At one time, she wrote the Society Notebook column for the Maine Sunday Telegram. [12]

A column Kamila wrote in 2018 about the lack of vegan school meal options convinced[13] the Portland Public Schools to add hot vegan choices.[14] The column upset some readers. The district's superintendent endorsed the idea on Twitter. The national media coverage of the vegan school lunches in Portland cited them as part of a national trend.[15]

Kamila's recipe for pumpkin seed croquettes with shiitake mushroom gravy is included in the Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook: 200 Recipes Celebrating Maine's Culinary Past, Present & Future, compiled and edited by Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz and published by Islandport Press.[16]

Maine Vegetarian History Project

In 2020, Kamila created the Maine Vegetarian History Project and discovered 300 years of vegetarian history in the state of Maine.[17]

Victoria Moran interviewed Kamila on her Main Street Vegan podcast about Maine's vegetarian history. Moran said: "Recently, she’s been researching the history of vegetarianism in her home state and uncovered a rich past full of meat-free and plant-based eating that has been ignored and buried for more than 100 years." Kamila's research has uncovered information about Dr. Horace A. Barrows, Rev. Henry Aiken Worcester, and James Gower, born in 1772 and the great-great-great-great grandfather of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.[3]

The American Vegan Society said Kamila's history claims that nut milk is America's first milk because of the history of plant milk making within the Wabanaki tribal nations "shows how the historical record was unwittingly distorted to mask this proto-vegan tradition."[18]

She has written about the history of Seventh-day Adventist prophet who was raised in Maine, Ellen G. White, and stated in 2022 that White's "lasting influence on vegetarian food in the United States continues today." In 2015, Loma Linda University said a profile Kamila had written about White's contributions to religion and health was an "example of the wider cultural recognition of Ellen White’s continuing impact on contemporary life."[19]

In 2023, she presented her research at The Good Life Center, which is the former home of Scott Nearing and Helen Nearing, who wrote the 1970 vegetarian bestseller Living the Good Life.[20]

Community activism

In 2015, Kamila and Maggie Knowles co-founded a grassroots group called Portland Protectors.[21][14][22][23][24][25] In 2017, Kamila was featured as a speaker at the March for Science in Portland, Maine.[26] The group convinced the Portland City Council in 2018 to pass a strict pesticide ordinance that mandates organic lawns and gardens within the city.[27][28]


  1. ^ a b Carter, Emily (2019). "VEGAN ACTION | Avery Yale Kamila: Re-Maine Involved". Vegetarian Journal. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  2. ^ a b Sharon, Susan (2023-05-17). "Beyond salad and fries: there are more ways to eat your vegetables now — and help the planet too". Maine Public. Retrieved 2023-05-26.
  3. ^ a b "MSV Podcast & Show Notes July 22, 2020 David Katz, M.D. + Vegetarian History - Main Street Vegan". 2020-07-23. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  4. ^ Kamila, Avery Yale (5 September 2021). "Vegan Kitchen: The making of a vegan". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  5. ^ Grodinsky, Peggy (2014-05-25). "A vegan diet – good for you, good for the planet". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  6. ^ Belisle, Lisa. "Dr. Lisa Radio: Avery Kamila". Maine Magazine. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  7. ^ Paradysz, Amy (2016-02-16). "FARMER GAMES IN SUPPORT OF PORTLAND FARMERS' MARKET". MaineToday.
  8. ^ Staff Reports (March 13, 2013). "New natural foodie kid in town". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  9. ^ Foitades, Anestes (2019-01-20). "New Vegan Products – Portland Food Map". Portland Food Map. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  10. ^ Rooks, Jennifer (May 25, 2018). "Maine Calling: Vegan & Plant-Based Living". Maine Public. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  11. ^ Fotiades, Anestes (2009-08-19). "Natural Foodie – General News". Portland Food Map. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  12. ^ Atwood, Diane (2017-04-19). "How will I get enough protein and other questions about going vegan". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  13. ^ Saldaña, Renée (2019-10-25). "The Maine mom who campaigned for her son's school to add plant-based, and won". One Meal a Day. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  14. ^ a b Mills, Lindsey (August 25, 2019). "Portland elementary schools to add vegan hot lunch options". NEWS CENTER Maine. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  15. ^ Povich, Elaine S. (September 30, 2019). "Vegan School Lunches Expand Despite Opposition From Meat Industry". Stateline. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  16. ^ Hathaway, Margaret & Karl Schatz (2020). Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook: 200 Recipes Celebrating Maine's Culinary Past, Present & Future. Yarmouth, Maine: Islandport Press. ISBN 978-1-944-76289-6.
  17. ^ "VP#27: The oft-invisible history of a movement that didn't even have a name! Journalist Avery Yale Kamila on Maine's scrubbed veg history, women, farm girl life, and being served a friend for dinner,". Vegan Posse. 2023-05-26.
  18. ^ "America's first milk was vegan milk". American Vegan Society. 2020-11-14. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
  19. ^ "Newspaper Columnist Reflects on Ellen White's Contribution to Vegetarianism | Loma Linda University Libraries". Loma Linda University Libraries. 2015-05-26. Retrieved 2022-06-08.
  20. ^ "The History of Vegetarianism & The Good Life - IVU - International Vegetarian Union". ivu.org. Retrieved 2023-08-15.
  21. ^ Bouchard, Kelley (2015-10-07). "Portland citizens' group proposes broad pesticide ban". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  22. ^ Han, Cindy. "Vegan & Plant-Based Living with Avery Yale Kamila". Maine Public. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  23. ^ Litchfield, Kathy (2016-02-10). "Going Organic in Portland, ME: Portland Protectors Works to Eliminate Pesticides". Organic Land Care Program. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  24. ^ Billings, Randy (March 25, 2019). "Portland's ban on synthetic pesticides goes into effect". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  25. ^ Harry, David (2017-01-03). "Portland task force to keep working on pesticide use". The Portland Forecaster. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  26. ^ Dow, Rebecca (2017-04-25). "Portland Marches in Solidarity". The SMCC Beacon. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  27. ^ Helmer, Jodi (2019-06-28). "Cities Limiting Use of Lawn Fertilizers, Pesticides". Lawnstarter. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  28. ^ Miller, Kevin (2019-08-08). "Portland grants Cushing Island group first waiver from new pesticide ban". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-20.