The very mention of vegan eating during the holidays can cause the average person to run away screaming. More specifically, the thought of celebrating Thanksgiving without a turkey is almost blasphemous for some, and I’ve witnessed time and again people who toss consciousnesses out the window just for that reason. What they aren’t taking into consideration, is their perception of what Thanksgiving really means, and why vegan eating is giving the ultimate thanks.
Thanksgiving is not about turkey. While our country primarily focuses on this as the staple of the holiday, that doesn’t mean that we have to limit ourselves to that idea. Thanksgiving is about being grateful, and giving thanks for your life and your loved ones. It’s about counting the blessings, and the fact that you have shelter, running water, clothes on your back, heat in your home, a job, and the opportunity to celebrate your good fortune with close family and friends. Keeping this in your heart and meat off your plate is giving thanks your body and your spirit, as well as the lives of our feathered friends.
When we sit back and remember why we became vegan in the first place, it shows us that family and love is the most valuable message on this day, and not what sits on our tables.
With this in mind, the holiday is actually a time of abundance for vegans. After celebrating the past few years turkey-free, I can tell you first hand that my holiday is not missing anything. In fact, each and every year, the holiday leaves me feeling more blessed and thankful for this amazing life (and stuffed from a delicious vegan feast!). Vegans have so many options during the holidays, and you will see many of the traditional favorites spread across my table. Homemade stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, southern gravy, green bean casserole, fresh cranberries, an assortment of dinner rolls, sweet potatoes topped with toasted pecans…the list can go on and on. For the vegans that still enjoy the “idea” of a centerpiece, there’s stuffed Tofurkey, tempeh “steaks,” or tofu. Want your dessert? Have it! Make a pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, and vegan coconut whipped topping. Everything is possible to make Thanksgiving truly a vegan feast, and there is nothing that will make me ungrateful for that.
I think that the important thing to remember, is that whether you have a turkey or not, it doesn’t make you more or less grateful. I know each person who will be sitting around a crowded dinner table will no doubt be SO grateful for the bounty of food sitting before them (who wouldn’t?) and has to give joy for this absolutely, wonderful holiday! What I ask of you is to continue to be thankful for the blessings, and even grateful for the challenges. It’s the contrast of life that makes us really appreciate all the good that flows to us and through us every single day.
This year, be grateful to be vegan, be grateful to be you, and be grateful for love. It is the most powerful feeling during the holiday, honor it and remember it always.
*Blessings and Love!*
Sending special thanks to “Vegan Housewives,” for giving me the opportunity to be part of their wonderful team! This is my first post on VH, looking forward to many more!