Thanksgiving can be a rough time, particularly for new vegans that still celebrate with meat-eating family. It’s not easy sometimes to handle the chides that come with eating differently from everyone else at the table. And, especially the first time, it can be hard to resist the comfort food we remember from our childhood. There’s been a lot written about how to do a vegan Thanksgiving, but hey, there can always be a little more, right?
So, here are some ways to help get you through the holiday season stuffed and happy.
Get to cooking!
Whether you’re spending a quiet Thanksgiving at home or braving an evening of stupid questions and taunts from 20 family members, there are some great resources online to help you get cooking and make sure that you not only have something to eat, but something to wow the rest of the family as well.
I got a peek at Nava Atlas’ significantly updated version of A Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving e-book and it’s mighty impressive. It features 65 recipes in all, including Nava’s own as well as contributions from all your favorite veg cookbook authors and bloggers (among them: Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Dreena Burton, Jill Nussinow, and Bryanna Clark Grogan). The e-book sells for $8.95 and all profits go to “humanitarian charities concerned with hunger, microfinancing for women in developing countries, and the alleviation of human trafficking.”
Then, over at Vegan.com, there’s a guest post from Robin Robertson (author of many cookbooks, including the new and massive 1,000 Vegan Recipes). A full Thanksgiving menu is presented. The Triple Cranberry Relish and Ginger-Dusted Pumpkin Cheezecake sound mighty good. (Last year’s guest post is also still available.)
Go to a real Thanksgiving…
And by that, I mean a celebration that doesn’t involve killing turkeys. Why not hang out with some turkeys instead? Sanctuaries around the country have vegan Thanksgiving get-togethers. The one at Poplar Spring is my favorite event of the year — imagine a vegan potluck with 300 people bringing dishes. Hot damn.
Below is a sampling of sanctuaries and their Thanksgiving events.
- Colorado – Peaceful Prairie’s Living at Thanksgiving (sold out)
- Maryland – Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary’s Thanksgiving for the Turkeys (November 21)
- Maryland – Thanksgiving Vigil for Turkeys (November 20, leafleting event)
- Montana – New Dawn Montana monthly potluck (every second Saturday)
- New York/California – Thanksgiving Celebration FOR the Turkeys (November 21)
- New York – Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary ThanksLiving 2009 (passed – catch it next year!)
- New York – Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary’s Celebration for the Turkeys (November 22)
- New York City – Thanksgiving Celebration FOR the Turkeys (November 22)
- Oregon – Lighthouse Farm Sacntuary’s Gentle Thanksgiving (November 21)
- Utah – Ching Farm Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner (passed – catch it next year!)
Vegetarian and Vegan organizations also tend to do Thanksgiving meals on or around Thanksgiving, so check in with your local groups to see if there’s any thing to get involved in.
This is a good time of year to dig into More than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality by UPC’s Karen Davis (here’s a Google Books version). The level of detail is impressive — you’ll learn something. Trust me.
Feel free to share your favorite vegan Thanksgiving events, recipes, or books.