A vegan Thanksgiving day is easier than trying to cook a huge genetically-modified bird anyway! Think about it, how many mothers do you know that are stressing about making the perfect turkey? The reality is, the poor bird will never be good enough for you. It gave you it’s life, what more could you ask for?
Last year, it is estimated by the USDA, the National Turkey Federation, and cited by sources like PETA, that 46 million turkeys were slaughtered specifically for Thanksgiving day consumption in the U.S. That is almost 1/6 of the 254 million that are raised for slaughter annually!
I actually took a moment to think about it, and I hope you do too. 46 million living beings lost their lives for one day…and what are we even celebrating? Pilgrims and Native Indians? Gluttony? Touch football? Black Friday? You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who actually knows what the celebration of Thanksgiving is based upon. To most people it’s a day to gorge ourselves and then hit the sales. If you are more warmhearted and tender than most, you remember that Thanksgiving is a time to be with family members and extend your compassion to others. Above all, Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for the many blessings we all have.
So how can you make this day a truly special and thank-filled one? I think you already know: practice compassion. Make this Thanksgiving meatless. I know that’s a radical suggestion, the turkey is a socially-ingrained tradition. Most people have been so brainwashed (and how could they not be, with all the media portraying this year’s roasted turkey?) that they think that the turkey ‘makes’ Thanksgiving. But really, from a shallow standpoint of food, think of the traditional holiday food that’s vegan and vegetarian! Green beans, mashed potatoes, glazed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, roasted chestnuts, roasted veggies, pumpkin…all these things are vegan or could be made vegan with a few simple swaps, at least no animal died to be a part of it. Dessert is little harder, vegan pumpkin pie and apple pie takes a little more work…but even a vegetarian Thanksgiving is one that honors life instead of celebrates death. Even if everyone did nothing else except not eat turkey, 46 million intelligent and loving creatures would have their lives spared.
I might also add, that eating bread cooked in a bird’s anal cavity is pretty disgusting! But society has normalized that weird tradition too. No one thinks twice about eating a**-bread, just so long as you don’t bring it up at the dinner table and become the “weird” aunt everyone’s always talking about! (I bet the weird aunt is weird cuz she’s vegan, just kidding 🙂 )
If you have kids, or work with kids, you might be familiar with the sudden abundance of creative turkey crafts hanging around your home…when I was an after school care teacher, we spent most of November having the kids make hand turkeys, construction paper turkeys, toilet paper turkeys, turkeys out of pipe cleaners….everything became a turkey! And the turkey’s were all alive. No child in their right mind would make a dead bird. Children innately love animals, but society does such a good job of desensitizing them from a young age that they don’t make the connection between the living turkeys they imagined into crafts and the dead flesh they see on the dinner table. Institutions such as schools, families, and churches normalize the tradition of gorging on turkeys (even though the last time I checked, both gluttony and murder are sins); parents, teachers and friends condone the behavior; media like TV shows, holiday movies, commercials, grocery store advertisements, radio jingles and more encourage the tradition. The pressure to consume animal products is already prevalent during the regular times of the year, but during the holidays, meat is practically shoved in your face. No matter where you turn, you can’t avoid it. I’m pretty sure vegans never attack anyone with the same ferocity.
All I’m hoping this Thanksgiving, is that people will pass on the turkey. Let’s give thanks and celebrate life by allowing the turkeys to live. You can still have good food, enjoy good company, go sale shopping (if that’s your thing), and watch football…it’s not contingent on a dead bird.
Last year, I ran a Tofurky trot the morning on Thanksgiving and volunteered serving Thanksgiving dinner at a local community center. (I didn’t serve the turkey! I know that doesn’t make it right…but hey, I’m trying to do my part the best I can!) I didn’t have family in town and so I didn’t have my own Thanksgiving dinner. But I had a lot to be grateful for.
Everyday I wake up alive and my body will allow me to run is a day I am grateful for. In the picture to the left, I would say I was happy. I was vegan, and it was Thanksgiving day.
Have a happy Thanksgiving ❤ Love a turkey today! Also, if like me, you really don’t know the history of Thanksgiving, check out the awesome video below by Bite Size Vegan on YouTube! She’s amazing, and has tons of information vegan videos to check out!