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Vegan Guide To Thanksgiving | Recipes, Relatives & Reality



Thanksgiving is a magical time when most Americans come together with family to gorge themselves to the point of a full-blown food-coma Oh, and give thanks, be grateful, and that stuff too

Given that food is such a cornerstone of our social interactions and traditions, holidays—and Thanksgiving in particular—can be very intimidating for new and existing vegans And aside from the logistics of what to eat and how to deal with your loved ones, the ethical issues surrounding this "day of thanks" are quite troubling: from the very first Thanksgiving's foundation upon the slaughter of an indigenous people to the annual tradition revolving around the mass slaughter of turkeys How is a vegan to handle a holiday so loaded with (potential) landmines? Just leave it to this guide to help you navigate Thanksgiving like a pro—from "surviving" your non-vegan family to dropping "fun fact" historical truth bombs at the table to even educating effectively about the ethics of exploitation Now that's something to be thankful for! Hi, It’s Emily from Bite Size Vegan and welcome to another vegan nugget Just a quick FYI: you can find all of the videos, guides and resources I'll be mentioning on this video's post on BiteSizeVegan

org Before we dig into what to eat for Thanksgiving, let's take a look at where (and how) this all started Impress your family with your historical prowess while secretly busting out an educational activism sneak-attack with the true history of this twisted holiday in The Truth About Thanksgiving "Today, this relationship established between the Wampanoag and the pilgrims is mourned by the Wampanoag who gather every year with hundreds of native people at Cole’s Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock for the national day of mourning, on what we know as Thanksgiving" Now I’m not here to spoil your holiday or invalidate your family traditions I simply want to take a look at both the origins of Thanksgiving and the current practices involved with its observance Most of us Americans grow up with the romantic recitation of the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and "Indians" coming together to feast

But this holiday has a human cost at its foundation—for all its warm and fuzzy feelings, Thanksgiving is essentially the celebration of genocide with genocide You can find more Thanksgiving truth in the full video "The Truth About Thanksgiving" Now that you know how this whole Thanksgiving thing started, you may not feel so celebratory But who's to say you don't start your own tradition altogether? Luckily, going vegan doesn't mean giving up your favorite holiday-tied tastes Given how un-gifted I am when it comes to the kitchen, I teamed up with some meal-mastering vegan YouTubers to bring you the “how to” of an epically ethical Thanksgiving dinner

"Does a turkey-free Thanksgiving sound desolate and wrong? Is your only impression of a vegan Thanksgiving this thing?" [screeching horror sound effect] "Well fear not Today I've brought in a team of specialists to create an epic vegan spread for your holiday meal" Grab all of the recipes and get all of the tasty details in that full video and playlist If you're anything like me, one of the hardest parts of this holiday is the pain of knowing what the turkeys we break, breed, confine and kill experience That awareness can make it incredibly challenging to be around non-vegan friends and family, much less try to talk to them about the issue

My "Draw My Life" video covering the life of a turkey offers a way to introduce loved ones to what turkeys experience—with all of the weight of their suffering, but without a single graphic image Consisting entirely of marker-board-drawings and a poetic voice-over, this video follows the abbreviated five-month lifespan of a single turkey: "I’m up against my sisters It’s hard to breath There are so many of us No beaks

No toes No room This is our very first day Time passes I grow so fast

We all grow so fast My legs can’t lift me My sister tries to use her wings to inch to the food Others gave up long ago" You can find the written poem-transcript and resources for learning about what turkeys experience on that post

Nothing fits a family gathering quit like sharing anecdotal trivia about bizarre governmental traditions! Impress your family with your know-how about the strange history of turkey pardons (and lay down some turkey truth while you're at it!) Every year, the President of the United States pardons two turkeys from being slaughtered for Thanksgiving But what most people don’t realize about this supposedly lighthearted tradition is that the majority of pardoned turkeys die within a year of their pardon: "This extravagant production, run by the lobbyist organization the National Turkey Federation, essentially serves as an extended governmental infomercial for the turkey industry The Federation’s annual turkey gifting began more or less in 1947 when angry farmers sent crates of live hens to President Truman in protest of his failed “poultryless Thursday” attempt to reduce national meat and egg consumption" You can find more about the turkey pardons on that post The most powerfully effective way to make the connection between the body on our plate and the being they once were is to look them directly in the eye I streamed this footage live to YouTube from a turkey slaughterhouse near me here in Iowa just before Thanksgiving

Even this small slaughterhouse alone kills over 20,000 turkeys a day I stayed with them for hours In the Iowa cold They were terrified Covered in feces and sores

Wheezing from respiratory infections and the weight of their overgrown bodies Some already dying Within hours of this footage, they had all been killed Dragged through an electrified water tank before having their throats slit open All for families to gather over their corpses and "give thanks

" But this is nothing to be thankful for You can see the full live stream and find more resources on that post Now that we've covered the hows and whys of a vegan Thanksgiving, and the disturbing origins of the holiday itself, I'll leave you with something perhaps even more disturbing: your family! Holidays can be a challenging time regardless of your dietary inclination When you’re vegan in a family of non-vegans and/or surrounded by non-vegan friends, things get even less merry But fear not because today I’m going to share my top tips for staying vegan during the holidays

Here's a sneak peek: "Tip #8: Beware The Stealth Dishes & Make Alternatives! Stuffing is usually baked in the gutted out body cavity of a turkey carcass Instead, don’t bake it inside the gutted out body cavity of a turkey carcass Maybe use a casserole dish" While you always have the option of not eating with your family and friends for the holidays, if you want to be with loved ones who still eat…well, loved ones, hopefully these tips can help You can find more resources on social situations, non-vegan family interaction, and holiday recipes on that post

I hope this holiday guide has helped you get grateful for your "vegan vision," while finding tools for handling the challenges that come with such awareness While going vegan can be daunting when thinking of holidays and social gatherings, it also opens up opportunities for creativity and educating others Please share this guide around to help other vegans and vegans-to-be! Remember to head on over to the linked website post for all of the information and linked videos To support the creation of free resources like this, check out the support links below or in the sidebar Now go live vegan and I'll see you soon

Source: Youtube

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