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Thanksgiving Thoughts from a New Vegan

by Maggie
(Alexandria, VA)

Thanksgiving Thoughts from a New 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.

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by: Susan Cockrell

I love this post because I also expected to go through Thanksgiving withdrawal, when I became a vegetarian. My family and I decided then that you don't have to be sitting down in front of a dead bird to celebrate Thanksgiving. We changed the traditions up, and now we go to a park or some other beauiful place to celebrate the natural world and our liberation from the evil traditions of factory farming.

Now, as vegans, we will make more changes and again express our thanks for all we have.

We live in Arkansas, where millions of turkeys are raised in crowded houses and transported in the cruelest possible way to slaughter. We drive by the houses and see the turkeys struggling to get close to the wire windows just for some fresh air or sunshine.

Our family's animal-free diet may not make a big difference in the factory farmers' bottom line, but we can be thankful for our blessings and say, at the same time, factory farming continues, but "not because of us!"

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