Tips for a Turkey-Free Thanksgiving

Certainly not all traditions are worth upholding. A quick google of the words ‘Bad traditions around the world’ produces horrific results including baby tossing, cannibalism and mutilation, all enacted under the guise of tradition, superstition or appeasing the gods.  

Possibly, much like you, I like to believe we can live in a more compassionate world, so I’m pleased to hear many of these ‘traditions’ are dying out (just FYI, without going into too much detail, I just lost twenty minutes reading how some families, in the name of tradition, live with the dead bodies of recently deceased relatives, often propped up at dinner tables, to help ease them into the afterlife. I expect to never sleep again!)   

However not all traditions are moving with the well-informed times we live in. Each year for Thanksgiving, over 45 million turkeys are bred, drugged, and genetically manipulated to grow as large and as quickly possible.

The natural lifespan of a wild turkey is up to 10 years, but on factory farms they are slaughtered when they're just 5 months old.

Wild turkeys can fly at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour and run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. Turkeys farmed for Thanksgiving however never experience running or flying. They are raised in large windowless sheds, horrible unnatural conditions, before being slaughtered - all in the name of holiday spirit, being neighbourly, and family gathering.  

It all seems a bit contradictory to me. It’s even more confusing when you learn that turkey wasn’t even on the menu at the first Thanksgiving!

According to the PETA Kids website, Turkeys enjoy listening to music. They are also affectionate and kinda dog-like, they enjoy following people around and nuzzling their heads into people’s laps.  

It is difficult to fathom eating them for dinner after reading this.

Plus, there’s an array of plant-based alternatives to indulge in for Thanksgiving, where no turkeys are needlessly harmed. Plant-based brands such as Tofurky and Field Roast are reporting increasing sales spikes as more people opt for perfectly delicious meat-free alternatives. *happy dance*

PETA offers some excellent vegan substitutes in this Shopping List. Here’s a few tips of swaps you can make to your Thanksgiving table:

Vegan Turkey

Vegan Stuffing

  • Most are already vegan! Just make sure to use vegetable broth when preparing.

Vegan Ham

Vegan Eggnog

Pre-made Deserts

Finally, here is some No Meat May recipe inspo, to get you excited for your plant-based Thanksgiving feast!

Hassleback Butternut Squash

Get the recipe

Vegan 'Turkey' Seitan Roast

Get the Recipe

Vegan Veggie Mac & Cheese

Get the recipe

If you are celebrating, No Meat May wishes you a wonderful feast this Thanksgiving! 

We also challenge you to bury those horrific traditions and give thanks over a delicious plant-based spread - those baby turkeys will thank you for it 🙂 

Don’t hesitate to share this post with your friends! Spread the word - let's make nut roasts the new normal, and let the turkeys roam free.

References: Peta Kids

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