By Kristen Johnson
Thanksgiving is right around the corner again. It’s that time of year when we plan our big dinners, get together with family and friends to count our blessings, engage in a little gluttony, watch a lot of football, and participate in that all-important turkey dinner. Of course, the basic premise is the same for vegans and vegetarians, but we do need to prepare for the big day a little bit differently than the remaining 97% of the population. Some tips to help the vegan or vegetarian (or your vegan or vegetarian family member or friend) prepare for the big day:
Step One: Head to your nearest health foods store and purchase a Tofurky. Put it in your freezer and purchase all your usual side dishes. No defrosting is necessary – it cooks up in 2-3 hours in a stove or crockpot. My personal favorite is cooking it in a crockpot – it comes out moist and delicious, and the stuffing is already inside the “turkey” to delight diners!
Step Two: Decide where you will spend the holiday after you have consumed your Tofurky meal. The sad truth is that meat-eaters have no interest in sharing in your Tofurky meal. And, unless you have a lot of vegetarian friends to invite over, you can expect quite a bit of teasing over the meal, which gets old after a while. (Comments like “where’s the meat?” are really only amusing the first 8,000 times you hear them. After that, it’s sigh-inducing.) Not to worry, it’s okay to spend the holidays with your meat-eating family members after you have already eaten your special vegetarian meal. The goal is to love each other and count our blessings, and sadly “preaching at ” people about your reasons for veganism is counter-productive. Live it, don’t preach it.
Step Three: To honor the turkey that you did NOT slaughter for your dinner, go online to Farm Sanctuary and “adopt” a turkey. Farm Sanctuary is an absolutely marvelous organization that I have long supported, which was founded by one of my personal heroes, Gene Bauer, who also happens to be one of my favorite authors. Farm Sanctuary’s mission says it all: To protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living. (Can I adopt that mission statement as my own mission statement?!?)
I “adopted” a little turkey named “Spunky” because I thought she was the cutest one. But, they all need help with care for their lifetimes, so pick any turkey you like and you will be helping Farm Sanctuary with their mission to save animals! They have rescued and cared for virtually thousands of animals! Click here to adopt a turkey today: http://shop.farmsanctuary.org/category/Adopt-A-Turkey-Project/?a=FSAATEmail6.
Compassion begins and ends with you.
Colossians 3:12 (NRSV): 12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
Serve all with love.
Photo courtesy of: stocksnap.io