Vegan Bytes #06: Vegan Thanksgiving Issue

In this issue...

*Thanksgiving For Vegans
*Adopt a Turkey... Don't Eat One!
*Thoughts From a First Year Vegan
*Thanksgiving Recipe Headquarters

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Give Thanks on Tofurky Day

It's that time of year again... time to carve your place in a very non-vegan holiday.

For most Americans, it's either a day where we are lucky enough to go to a friend's house to enjoy a meal, or where we invite others to our own home for a special meal.

You might be a very, very lucky vegan... maybe you are joining friends and family with similar ideals and you get to enjoy a large seitan roast without looking at an enormous dead bird on an ajoining table. Or maybe you get to host and cook for everyone and no one wants to eat turkey.

Most of us, I would guess, are not going to be in ideal eating situations. Most of us will be attending or hosting a gathering of omnivores who are all too excited to chow down on the bird. Most of us will have to find an excuse to leave the table when the poor guy gets cut open.

But, the best way to handle an event like this is with grace and humility. There's no need for preaching or for making people feel bad for their choices. No need to tell anyone about the poor bird's life or death. As much as we want to voice those concerns, it's better to be joyful than angry. Especially on Thanksgiving.

It's a day of thankfulness, and as a vegan, you have to focus on being happy for the family and friends with whom you get to spend time.

Some of us are newer converts, and might struggle with the idea of not being involved with the party. Some might miss the taste of turkey and might want to make things easier by simply eating what the others eat. My sister had her first non-turkey Thanksgiving last year, and if you are in the same place this year, read what she writes below.

However, you don't have to compromise your values to have a great Thanksgiving. When I go to someone's house, I never feel even slightly bad asking for some oven space to roast my Tofurky. It's tiny anyway. Or for bringing a few side dishes that I love. And I don't even feel bad when I bring an assortment of pies that taste better than their dairy-filled counterparts!

And neither should you. Believe me, you're not putting anyone out by bringing extra food. People would rather that you handle your own meal than worry about what to make for you. And besides, maybe other people might want to try your amazing apple or pumpkin pie.

And maybe, just maybe, they might realize that being vegan doesn't mean as much sacrifice as they once though and they ask for more information. Just maybe.

Turkey Adoption Center

It may sound bizarre, but every year since 1986, instead of eating turkeys, lots of people have been adopting them.

Now, you don't actually get to take them home with you, but you do get a picture of your new pet. You also get the pleasure of knowing that you are saving at least one life. Look at Hannah on the left, isn't she cute?!?!

Check out for more information on how you can donate.

It costs only $25 to adopt a turkey, and your money serves as a donation to Farm Sanctuary, and it pays your membership fee for one year. You get four issues of their newsletter with your membership.

A New Vegan's First Thanksgiving

by Maggie Woods Starr

Thoughts from a First Year Vegan…

What do you mean “no turkey on Thanksgiving?” No stuffing from inside the bird? None of Momma’s mashed potatoes made with butter and milk? What will I eat? Can Thanksgiving really exist without turkey?

The answer is yes.

Last year, I decided to follow Cathleen’s lead a few months before Thanksgiving and remove animal products from my diet. I remember this daunting feeling that I was losing something I held near and dear to my heart.

Looking back over the past year, I must say that Thanksgiving dinner was by far the hardest thing for me to give up. But what made it so hard? Was it really the turkey that I was afraid to give up, or was I scared that Thanksgiving would lose its meaning without the “traditional” dinner?

And that’s when I realized that I was the one who had forgotten the real meaning of Thanksgiving – to be thankful for the people in your life. And, instead of worrying that I was “missing out” on an old tradition, I started a new one and asked each of my family members to share one thing they were thankful for.

And because of that new tradition, becoming a vegan before Thanksgiving was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Plus, I think our Tofurky dinner and mashed potatoes (made with vegan butter and soy milk) were MUCH better than the “traditional” meal the rest of our family ate. There are so many delicious and healthy alternatives and I can say now that I will never go back to turkey. This year it's not hard at all!

You can do it. Give it a try and always remember what Thanksgiving really means.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

It's easier than ever to buy everything you need for a satisfying Thanksgiving dinner with no animal products. It's also really easy to make your own dishes.

I've collected the best vegan Thanksgiving recipes on the internet and in cookbooks. I'm talking green bean casserole, spiced sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and even a huge seitan turkey!

These are my favorite dishes for Thanksgiving. I would love to hear about other favorites out there. If you want to share, just reply to this email with your recipe, and it might even make it on the site!

This entire page is dedicated to vegan Thanksgiving recipes.

That's all for this month!! I hope you enjoyed reading it. And thank you to Maggie for contributing to this month's letter.

Comments? Feedback? Ideas? I'd love to hear from you. I would love to add an "ask the editor" section to this newsletter with great questions and answers for all. Just reply to this newsletter and let me know what you think.

Remember everything you have to be thankful for, and enjoy the holiday!

See you next month!


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Also, here is a link to backissues from Vegan Bytes.

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