A Challenge – Thanksgiving Without The Turkey

“What is added by having a turkey on the Thanksgiving table? And what would happen if there were no turkey? Would the tradition be broken, or injured, if instead of a bird we simply had the sweet potato casserole, homemade rolls, green beans with almonds, cranberry concoctions, yams, buttery mashed potatoes, pumpkin and pecan pies? It’s not so hard to imagine it. See your loved ones around the table. Hear the sounds. Smell the smells. There is no turkey. Is the holiday undermined? Is Thanksgiving no longer Thanksgiving?

Or would Thanksgiving be enhanced? Would the choice not to eat turkey be a more active way of celebrating how thankful we feel? Try to imagine the conversation that would take place. This is why our family celebrates this way. Would such a conversation feel disappointing or inspiring?” (Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals)

This coming weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada I’m issuing a big challenge to my readers, family and friends: I would like you to consider serving this holiday dinner without any meat. Do you think it’s possible? Could you add a new element to your meal by sharing with your family the reasons behind your decision to forgo the usual turkey centerpiece? (If you are interested more information about the truth of the turkey industry, you can check out this link.)

Trust me I get it- this is no easy challenge. Suggesting a Thanksgiving dinner without a turkey can elicit reactions ranging from curiosity to downright anger. But as I am midway through Brene Brown’s amazing book “Daring Greatly“, I am encouraged to test out my own bravery and vulnerability by tackling this tradition and putting my own neck on the line (I guess you could say in place of the turkey).

What do you think? Could you give it a whirl? I’m picturing you seated around a festive table with your loved ones and raising your glass of wine to say  “I am thankful for this 100% cruelty-free dinner that I can share with my family.”

If you are open and willing, here is what I will be preparing with my family this Thanksgiving as inspiration:

Tofu Stuffed Mushrooms (recipe courtesy of Vegetarian Times)

tofu stuffed mushrooms

Vegan Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

caesar done

Kym Salad

kym salad in bowl

Fresh Baguettes from Pane Fresco

baguettes

Vegan Shepard’s Pie with Mushroom Gravy

shepard's pie on plate

Vegan Caramel Apple Pie (courtesy of Healthy. Happy. Life)

apple-pie58

Whatever you decide to serve, I wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving weekend! Cheers!

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3 thoughts on “A Challenge – Thanksgiving Without The Turkey

  1. Our Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) involves guest numbers of almost 40 people … I have no realistic hope of suggesting a Thanksgiving with no turkey. BUT, I plan on opting out of meat for myself. I’ll be bringing portabellas stuffed with my version of my mother’s stuffing, and choosing to eat the foods at the table that involve little to no animal products. There are always at least a few things — like mashed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, salads and rolls that I can go to. I aspire toward being vegan, but am far from perfect on that front. Like to the point where really, I’m vegetarian who tries to be vegan. Anyway, I love your challenge, and I love that your asking us to give THOUGHT on this holiday for which we are taught to also give thanks. Appreciate it!

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