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There is no holiday more focused on killing the members of a single species than Thanksgiving. Each November, more than 45 million turkeys end up on dinner plates in the US. Turkeys raised and killed for food are drugged to grow so large inside windowless factory farms that they are crippled by their own weight; indeed, they can no longer even reproduce naturally. Moreover, to prevent the birds from harming one another in the confined spaces of a factory farm, farmers clip their upper beaks in a painful procedure that makes it difficult for the turkeys to eat.
Fortunately, more and more people are giving thanks by making compassion the centerpiece of their table and opting for a cruelty-free holiday. From Tofurky Feasts and Field Roast products to a bounty of delicious plant-based recipes found in an ever-growing selection of vegan cookbooks, there’s no need to kill anyone this Thanksgiving.
One activity that has become especially popular is to visit a sanctuary for farmed animals and feed the turkeys. These so-called “ThanksLiving” events give us the opportunity to interact with these remarkable animals and treat them to pumpkin pie, cornbread, cranberries, and other goodies. I’ll never forget the first time I got to meet turkeys at Animal Place; they are so gentle and curious and enjoy being talked to and petted. Check out this excellent sanctuary guide from Vegan.com to find an event near you. (Tip: If you’re an animal activist, visiting or volunteering at an animal sanctuary and connecting with the animals is incredibly important.)
And if, like me, you love cooking up a feast, visit some of these sites for easy recipes and information on vegan eating:
So enjoy a delicious, vegan Thanksgiving. After all, holidays are about family and friends—not death.