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PHOTOGRAPHY: Steve Kay
Patricia de Leon’s career in front of the camera began with her work as an anchor and reporter in her native country, Panama. Then Hollywood beckoned. De Leon has appeared in films as well as on TV, including the Starz series Magic City. A vegetarian, she’s taken a real-life role in PETA’s campaign against bullfighting.
Your anti-bullfighting campaign with PETA makes this point: “Tradition is no excuse for cruelty.” How would you explain that statement?
As Latins, we are so rich in culture: our music, our food. Why identify ourselves with torture?
This summer, Pleasanton, Calif., held a running of the bulls as in Pamplona, Spain. Can you comment on this practice?
It’s sad. It’s time for people to understand that animals are not here for us to use as entertainment.
Is traditional Panamanian food veg-friendly?
Not really. We use a lot if vegetables, but most dishes have meat in them. Thank God, we have so many varieties of beans!
Which traditional dish have you made veg?
Sancocho, which is a soup with tons of veggies. I just make it without the meat or chicken.
What’s a current food obsession?
Broiled Brussels sprouts.