Holiday Recipes

Published on November 25th, 2013 | by Tanya Sitton


Eating Vegan: Resources for Planning Your Thanksgiving Feast!

Harvest food!

Planning a day of thanks without bothering any birds? Cultivating family traditions celebrating compassion and nonviolence? Worried about inlaws’ dinner expectations, on a holiday widely believed to revolve around turkeys? Look no further: this collection of resources makes it easy to celebrate a deliciously vegan Thanksgiving!

First of All

Let’s talk tradition! Before chopping anyone’s head off, I think it’s important to stop and review our goals. Despite what the National Turkey Federation et al may say on the subject, turkeys have absolute eff-all to do with the historical celebration that came to be known as the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you eat vegan, you’ll probably be called upon to defend your weird non-turkey-eating ways — I mean, even more so than usual — during this holiday season. So take a moment to review the history of the ‘tradition’ under discussion: it may surprise you to find that it’s completely made up!

We invent and evolve and reinvent traditions all the time, as human beings; it’s simply what we humans DO! So there’s no good reason not to shape new traditions from old ones, and some excellent reasons (in this case) to do so.

For example, celebrating your family’s values of compassion and nonviolence would count as a very good reason!

It’s important for us radical non-bird-eaters to understand the history of the Thanksgiving (ahem) traditions, so that we can respond confidently and happily when we’re asked to defend our noncompliance with that whole ‘turkey’ business.

Now for the Fun Stuff…

Let’s talk food! So many resources exist for finding delicious vegan Thanksgivyness, the main problem is not having time to make (or eat) it all!

Last year I highlighted some of my favorite recipes and strategies here:

This year Marla Rose — creator of Humane Halloween — has made it even easier to find amazing Thanksgiving vegan recipe nom, with the Thoughtful Thanksgiving group on Facebook. If you haven’t joined this group yet… WHY NOT? GO THERE NOW!

Robin Robertson  also offers a wonderful compilation of vegan Thanksgiving feast ideas here, via

Naturally the idea of vegan Thanksgiving feasting has come up a few times before, here at EDB!

Grab your ear-buds and check out the latest episode of Progressive Kitch for a thorough exploration of all the ins and outs of celebrating a turkey-free Thanksgiving,  with Main Street Vegan’s Victoria Moran.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau also hosts a lovely podcast episode devoted to the evolution of what we think of as Thanksgiving traditions, and to the veganization therof:

Last but not least, find a road-map below for positive and compassionate communication with the omnis in your life — how we talk about our ideas and values, as we celebrate holiday traditions in alignment with those ideas and values, really really matters!

Happy (Vegan) Thanksgiving!

If you have relatives who insist that Thanksgiving without a turkey ‘just isn’t complete,’ give ’em one! Then joyfully and thankfully celebrate the delicious animal-free abundance on your table.

Image credit: Harvest photo via Shutterstock.

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About the Author

is an ecovore, veganist, messy chef, green girl, food revolutionary, and general free-thinkin' rabble-rouser. M.S. in a health profession, with strong interests in biology, nutrition, and healthy living - find her on .

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