In Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving (or, should I say "happy turkey day"?) back in October. Now that we are approaching the US Thanksgiving, there are even more ridiculous and twisted cartoon images of happy and dancing turkeys, and of course an overabundance of commercials, ads, and cooking demos featuring turkey. This time of year is all about the bird, isn't it? Well, not from the perspective of the chicken, duck or turkey. I posted this video on fb the other day. If you haven't seen it, and you are eating the odd bit of chicken or turkey (or 'free range' stuff), please watch it.
It saddens me to see how ignorant we are of the cruelties placed on animals just so we can "honor" our traditions. How about honoring life? How about creating new traditions?
Thanksgiving is not as ramped up in Canada as it is in the US, and I truly don't have many significant memories of Thanksgiving dinners (apart from one when I was pregnant and nauseous, those memories don't easily fade)! But, Christmas is not much different in how we choose to eat and celebrate. And, I have plenty of memories of eating turkey dinners with all the trimmings. Once married, and hubby and I were living in our own home, I decided to create our own tradition, a kinder, healthier tradition. And, instead of going to our parents to eat, I decided to invite them to our house for dinner. Why not? I thought it was a nice gesture as well - our parents had been cooking for many family members their whole lives, why not return a beautiful dinner for them. That was over 15 years ago, and our parents loved our dinner. I remember them saying they never felt better after a Christmas dinner, and I also remember how lovely it was knowing that they weren't doing the cooking. Not only did they get a break - but so did a turkey!
|Festive Chickpea Tart (photo from www.toliveandeatinla.com)|
Now that we have children, I love hosting our Christmas dinner. I love that we have created our own family's tradition that we honor and cherish every year - and that will become memories for our children years from now.
Why not think about making a change yourself this coming Thanksgiving and Christmas? Opt for a meat-free menu. And, instead of going to your parents for dinner, why not try and host the dinner yourself? You can always ask guests to bring a side dish or dessert. Put it all together and demonstrate what an entire vegan holiday menu can look like!
I'm going to try and make it easier for you. Many of you are familiar with my Christmas menu. If you'd like to try some other recipes, look into the Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving e-book. This is a collection of holiday recipes from different vegan cooks, which has been compiled by Nava Atlas. This year, Nava will be donating profits from this project to Women for Women International, International Justice Mission, Farm Sanctuary, and Oxfam.
I'll also get around to reposting my Festive Chickpea Tart recipe... and, is there anything else I can post to help convince you to take on a veg menu this year? You can do it! (I promise the reward is worth the effort.)
At the center of our Thanksgiving tables is an animal that never breathed fresh air or saw the sky until it was packed away for slaughter. At the end of our forks is an animal that was incapable of reproducing sexually. In our bellies is an animal with antibiotics in its belly. ... 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? ... 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? (Source: Eating Animals)