ANNA — We’ve reached that time of year again when everyone begins wondering, “What do vegans even eat on Thanksgiving?”
I was a vegetarian for 7 years before I started going vegan last year, and I can attest that all too often the Thanksgiving meal for someone who doesn’t eat meat is a sad, dull one. For many years, while my family enjoyed colorful, heaping plates of food, mine was filled only with green beans, mashed potatoes and a bread roll. When you compare a holiday meal like that to everyone else’s, it almost doesn’t seem worth it to pass on the turkey and stuffing.
However, if you do a simple google search to find out just how many turkeys die each year to appear on our tables, you will find that they estimate that number to be about 46 million. This isn’t for the whole year. 46 million turkeys are slaughtered just for the Thanksgiving holiday alone. Whether you are a vegetarian or vegan yourself in need of a more filling holiday dinner, worry about the effects of raising animals on the environment, or just plain feel bad about all the turkeys that make up our main dish, deciding to forgo the traditional Thanksgiving meal doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate or enjoy delicious fall food. There are plenty of options to choose from and filling recipes to make—because, let’s face it, who wants to eat a salad on Thanksgiving (or ever)?
This year, my family will be preparing the prototypical turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and bread rolls. But instead of leaving it at that, we will be expanding our menu to include a variety of vegan-friendly dishes, including corn on the cob, wild rice, butternut squash, oven-roasted vegetables, and bell peppers stuffed with quinoa, in addition to an apple pie and berry cobbler. It takes a little creativity to come up with a special meal for the holidays, but veggies are quicker to cook than a 12 pound turkey! By including a variety of fall vegetables and grains, anyone who wants to save a turkey this year can enjoy a holiday dinner that everyone will want to try.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.