A comment popped up on last year’s Thanksgiving post thanking me for the resources, which was the kick in the pants I needed to make sure I had a similar post for this year.
This year’s Thanksgiving will be an interesting one for us. We’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving Day with friends who have the most interesting “how I went vegan” stories of anyone we know. Then, the day after, we’ll be celebrating again with my parents and my sister’s family at my sister’s house. What’s interesting there is that half of the people there will be celebrating a veggie Thanksgiving: my family, my mom, and my oldest niece (who’s been vegetarian for four months now!). We’re at the tipping point!
Nevertheless, I certainly remember how tricky Thanksgiving can be for new vegans or vegans with families that aren’t accommodating or understanding. So, here’s a slightly modified and updated version of my set of suggestions from last year:
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.
Nava Atlas is again offering her excellent A Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving e-book. 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.” Of course, there’s also Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Vegan Table and many, many other cookbooks with great sections on cooking for Thanksgiving.
Mainstream media is even offering up quite a few “vegan Thanksgiving” pieces, making hope this perhaps this is the year “Tofurky” will stop being the punchline to jokes about not eating turkey on Thanksgiving:
- New York Times: A Vegan Chef Dishes Up Thanksgiving – Chloe Coscarelli shares some recipes. (See also: the Times‘ blog entries tagged “vegetarian Thanksgiving”, especially this big ol’ collection of recipes – thanks, Alex)
- Washington Post: Something’s in the works. A certain blogger you know may even get a slight mention.
And, of course, there’s bound to be tons of great stuff courtesy of Vegan MoFo, as well.
Or, if you’re not the cooking type, Whole Foods has a pretty awesome Thanksgiving vegan dinner package (“for two, plus a few”) with six individual stuffed Gardein roasts, olive oil mashed potatoes, green beans with roasted shallots, cranberry pecan multigrain stuffing, cranberry orange relish and wild mushroom gravy. That sounds pretty awesome (too bad the image on the site is super tiny and pixelated).
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 (November 21)
- Maryland – Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary’s Thanksgiving for the Turkeys (November 20)
- New York/California – Thanksgiving Celebration FOR the Turkeys (November 20)
- New York – Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary ThanksLiving 2010 (passed – catch it next year!)
- New York – Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary’s Thanksgiving for the Turkeys (November 20)
- Ohio – Sunrise Sanctuary’s Thanksgiving FOR the Turkeys (November 28)
- Oregon – Lighthouse Farm Sacntuary’s Gentle Thanksgiving (November 20)
- Utah – Ching Farm Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner (today — catch it next year!)
- Virginia – Vegetarian Thanksgiving Open House on the Virginia Eastern Shore (November 27)
And a few restaurants and city listings of Thanksgiving events:
- Boston – Boston Vegan Association
- Chicago – Chicago Diner’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving
- Dallas – Dallas Vegan Thanksgiving Holiday Guide
- Durham, NC – Triangle Vegetarian Society’s Thanksgiving feast
- Los Angeles – quarrygirl’s vegan thanksgiving in los angeles 2010
- New York City – SuperVegan’s Where to Eat Vegan for Thanksgiving 2010 in New York City
- Tempe, AZ – thanksLIVING 2010
Someone should build a “vegan Thanksgiving” map like No Trick Treats! for Halloween.
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.
Adopt a Turkey
Farm Sanctuary runs the very popular Adopt-a-Turkey project each year, but you can also sponsor a turkey at your local sanctuary.
Read/Listen to Things
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.
Some other stuff to peruse:
- PETA’s Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Turkeys (hat tip: Sheryl)
- Animal Voices’ 2010 Thanksgiving episode
- Vegcast #92: Thanksgiving and Traditions
- Vegan potluck celebrates a meat-free Thanksgiving, Washington Post article about Poplar Spring’s event, with recipes.
Feel free to share your favorite vegan Thanksgiving events, recipes, or books.
(Edited 11/19/2010 to add BVA’s event and 11/16/2010 to add SuperVegan, Washington Post, and Vegcast links.)