Try Thanksliving This Thanksgiving!
As the month of November comes into its final weeks, the holiday of Thanksgiving remains, with many vegetarians and vegans, depending on their past experiences, having conflicting feelings.
For some, the holiday signifies being surrounded by meat, with family and relatives trying to convince them to eat some of the staple turkey, as it is tradition. For others, it may signify spending a once lively holiday with a lot less people and a lot less appetizing food. But it does not have to be this way. With many who celebrate the holiday focusing on being thankful for what they have–whether it be for family, health, happiness, and more, if you revolve your holiday around the concept of gratitude, you can still have a meaningful November 26!
One idea that you may have already heard of is the concept of Thanksliving–not a typo on Thanksgiving! Jesse Eisenberg, actor best known for his role as Mark Zuckerburg in The Social Network, explained the concept of the holiday for his family to Conan O’Brien recently on the host’s talk show:
“We (Eisenbergs) have vegan Thanksgiving, although my family calls it Thanksliving…it’s just one letter difference. But we buy turkey, save turkeys, and put their pictures on the table.”
Eisenberg then went into more detail stating they give the turkeys names, and each family member is assigned one, knowing they saved them by not eating them. The shocked O’Brien then asked Eisenberg what his family eats if not turkey, and the actor replied without hesitation: “tofu!”
For many animal rights activists, and all those who are informed about the horrors of factory farming, going beyond omitting meat from your Thanksgiving menu, and trying Thanksliving out could be the spark needed to make sure your holiday has a special meaning–for you and the turkeys!
Many sanctuaries already include options to adopt or sponsor turkeys and participate in contributing to a better life for these animals. Some options in the United States include Pasado’s Safe Haven, Farm Sanctuary, Woodstock Sanctuary, and Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary. You can visit these sanctuaries in person or online, and choose whichever option appeals to you.
Another option is participating in what is set out to be the “world’s largest vegan Thanksgiving”, organized by Long Island, New York’s Community Solidarity, or organizing a similar style event in your own community. The organization, which is the largest vegetarian hunger relief organization in the United States, aims to serve between 3,500 to 6,000 people during the holiday. The organization’s founder, Jon Stepanian, stated:
“On one side, millions of animals are killed for Thanksgiving and on the other side there are thousands of people in our community who go hungry. We wanted to create an event that would help those people while promoting cruelty-free healthy living.”
A great example of Thanksliving, this type of event not only exposes people to veg cooking, but also offers a hot meal to anyone who may be in need of one.
So this Thanksgiving, adopt or sponsor a turkey, organize an event in your community that helps both animals and people, and put a little life back into your holiday and keep it meaningful!
For some veg food inspiration, or to add your special holiday recipes, be sure to check out the Clearly Veg recipe section!
Photo Credit: http://advocacy.britannica.com/