Enjoy a Turkey-Free Thanksgiving!
Enjoy a Turkey-Free Thanksgiving!
By Jeffrey Richard, Jameson Humane Volunteer
As you prepare for your gathering of family and friends and the shared thankfulness that marks Thanksgiving Day, consider the lives of turkeys and opt for a delicious and satisfying plant-based meal instead (see suggestions below).
Turkeys are living, feeling beings. Just like our pets, they are gentle and sociable, and always curious. According to the Animal Outlook blog “Under the Feathers: The Curiosity, Intelligence and Personality of Turkeys,” they are playful birds with unique personalities (Animal Outlook). However, in recent years, their explorative nature is being restricted and controlled to accelerate their availability for human consumption. The cruelty experienced by turkeys in most farm settings is well-documented. (See, e.g., https://freefromharm.org/animal-cruelty-investigation/12-reasons-you-may-never-want-eat-turkey-again/)According to a study at the University of Illinois, 46 million turkeys were killed for Thanksgiving in 2020 (Time Magazine). The Animal Outlook article notes:
“In the 1960s, it took 220 days to raise a 35-pound turkey. Due to selective breeding and growth-promoting drugs, it now takes only 132 days. Such fast growth causes turkeys to suffer from a number of chronic health problems,” (Ibid).
The same Animal Outlook article details their intelligence and other admirable characteristics. “Referring to them as ‘birds of courage,’ Benjamin Franklin believed the turkey should be named the national bird of the United States (instead of the bald eagle). Perhaps he admired the intelligence, beauty or resourcefulness of turkeys – these are characteristics unknown to most Americans who, today, often view turkeys as little more than the center of the holiday dinner table,” (Ibid).
Scrumptious Turkey-Free Alternatives
This year, we ask you to consider the many delicious alternatives to consuming turkeys or other animals on Thanksgiving. Below you’ll find a link to a website full of amazing plant-based Thanksgiving recipes, which will happily fill the bellies of loved ones around your table. The recipes come from some of the hottest vegan chefs in the country such as vegan icon Matthew Kenney, popular chef and author Ellen Charlotte Marie, and Los Angeles’ Crossroads Kitchen founder Tal Ronnen. (Seven Top Plant-Based Chefs Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes).
The Bigger Picture of Veganic Living
This plea to switch to a meatless celebration at your Thanksgiving table is part of Jameson Humane’s campaign to support veganic living. We assist people in transitioning to a veganic lifestyle at their own pace. In our approach, veganics is a holistic, plant-based way of living — one which excludes the consumption of all animal products including food, cosmetics, and clothing. And Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for omnivorous folks to experience the pleasures – and to help achieve global benefits – of a vegan diet. Such benefits of reducing meat consumption are well-known. Here are just a few:
- Reducing even a portion of one’s meat-eating results in less greenhouse gas emissions and saves water.
- Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health support the conclusion that switching to a flexitarian, or reduced-meat, diet benefits body weight, metabolic health, and blood pressure. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5216044/
- The Meatless Monday website notes that skipping even a half serving of meat every day and replacing it with a plant protein like beans or tofu can decrease your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. https://www.mondaycampaigns.org/meatless-monday/benefits
Jameson Humane’s advocacy of veganics promotes broad protection of animals by implementing changes in the way we live our lives – without consuming animals or otherwise treating them or their by-products as property, commodities or raw materials to be used for financial gain. At Jameson Humane, we encourage a plant-based veganic lifestyle and educate those who want to learn more about how we can foster harmony between animals, humans, and our planet one meal at a time.
You can find more plant-based Thanksgiving recipes and other helpful resources on Jameson Humane’s Veganic webpage: