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A Holiday Reminder

Way back in the day...back when we were in a considerably more archaic mindset, we instituted an American tradition that many still practice today. We decided that on Thanksgiving Day - or on any other special holiday of choice - we would celebrate our good fortune by sharing a meal with our loved ones that featured a dead bird in the middle of the table.

It's time to move on, people.

As our consciousness expands, we can all begin to realize that these beautiful, curious and intelligent animals have their own lives to live here...and we can find more peaceful, evolved and delicious alternatives to killing and eating turkeys.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a celebration of all we’re thankful for. And yet, ironically, a turkey on the table represents a level of violence and brutality that is in direct conflict with the peaceful and harmonious existence we’re supposed to be celebrating.

Instead, we can make a tremendous statement of peace and compassion by simply opting for a vegan version of the old holiday favorite. (More on this in a moment.)

So please...consider the following:

Turkeys are playful and curious birds who enjoy the company of others and are as varied in personality as dogs and cats.

The natural lifespan of the turkey is between 10 and 12 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 20 miles per hour. Farmed turkeys, however, have been genetically modified to gain weight rapidly and cannot fly at all.

Benjamin Franklin thought so highly of the turkey that he referred to the animal as "a bird of courage" and suggested that the turkey—rather than the eagle—be the United States' national symbol.


The Harsh Realities:

About 50 million turkeys are killed each year at Thanksgiving
and more than 22 million at Christmas.

Over 99% of these turkeys are from the factory farm system.

These turkeys:

Are genetically manipulated to grow six times as fast as they would in nature.

Live their entire lives cooped up indoors in extremely crowded conditions, amid their own waste, subjected to so much ammonia that their eyes, nose and lungs constantly burn.

Are basically “Frankenturkeys,” when you consider the genetic manipulation and high amounts of growth hormones and antibiotics they’re subjected to. A report from Lancaster Farming stated: "If a seven pound [human] baby grew at the same rate that today's turkey grows, when the baby reaches 18 weeks of age, it would weigh 1,500 pounds."

Are not protected by the Humane Slaughter Act, leaving them subjected to ANY kind of abusive treatment, including neck-breaking, various mutilations and being scolded alive in boiling water in feather-removal tanks.


Click here for a short video that details the agonizing plight of turkeys.

Click here for an LA TImes article that discusses new trends in vegan eating for the holidays.

Bobby with a friend from Animal Acres farm animal
sanctuary near Los Angeles.


Compassionate & Delicious Alternatives:

Two of the most widely available vegan turkey alternatives are Tofurkey and UnTurkey. Both are surprisingly delicious and available at many health food markets and specialty shops.


Tofurky offers a full line of traditional holiday meal alternatives.


The Unturkey is so good that many actually prefer it over the classic Tofurkey.

And don't forget, just about every traditional side dish you can think of can also be made vegan by using vegan margarine or olive oil instead of butter, vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, etc. With a little imagination and effort, you can have an incredible meal that is 100% compassionate!


The Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast

Of course, a prepared vegan turkey from the market is not your only option here. If you (or someone you know) likes to cook, you can take it as far as you want and prepare a killer vegan Thanksgiving feast from scratch.

I personally have enjoyed a a tradition over the past several years of sharing a 100% plant-based Thanksgiving dinner with my vegan compadres in Santa Barbara. With my friend, Deborah, as the primary chef, here's an example of the '06 meal. It was landmark, people!


Clockwise from upper left: wasabi mashed potatoes, vegan mushroom gravy, stuffing baked in squash,
a whipped sweet potato dish topped with pecans, (more stuffing out of the squash), mashed potatoes minus
the spicy wasabi, cranberry sauce with a blend of diced citrus fruits, a trey of pickles and olives, a green bean
and wax bean combo dish and, for the main event, delicious faux turkey patties made from scratch.

Yes, people, it was as good as it looks!

All vegan desserts: Pumpkin pie on left, with an almond cream topping above it. Upper center is the infamous chocolate mouse cheesecake, and on the right is a traditional pecan pie...veganized. All were insanely good!


And finally...

Are you waiting for the turkeys themselves to ask you to leave them alone? Wait no more.

(From the wire: Thu Nov 23, 2006 4:24 PM ET)

RAMSEY, N.J. - Some wild turkeys, it appears, were trying to get out of New Jersey before Thanksgiving Day. A spokesman for the NJ Transit said train officials reported a dozen or so wild turkeys waiting on a station platform in Ramsey, about 20 miles northwest of New York City, on Wednesday afternoon. The line travels to Suffern, N.Y.

"For a moment, it looked like the turkeys were waiting for the next outbound train," said Dan Stessel, a spokesman for NJ Transit. "Clearly, they're trying to catch a train and escape their fate."

Transit workers followed the bird's movements on surveillance cameras. "I have no idea how they got there," Stessel said.

A Ramsey police dispatcher said the department had received three calls about the traveling turkeys who also were blamed for causing morning rush hour traffic problems on a roadway.

"From time to time, I've heard calls that there are turkeys on the loose," said Erik Endress, president of the Ramsey Rescue Squad, a volunteer group. "Maybe they're trying to make a break."


Let's Make All of Our Meals a Statement of Peace and Compassion!



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