Photography: Terry Cummings
Since the very beginning, the cornerstones of a Thanksgiving celebration have been fabulous food and good company. And when served with a heaping helping of benevolence, you’ve got the makings of a truly meaningful holiday. Give your Thanksgiving a compassionate revamp with these options that benefit humans as much as the (spared) animals.
Adopt a Turkey Historically, the holiday season has been rough on our feathered friends, but shifting the old “turkey day” paradigm in a kinder direction is easy with the help of Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt A Turkey program. “Each turkey sponsored comes with a picture and a certificate describing their personality, so people can come to recognize them as individuals,” says Farm Sanctuary President Gene Baur. “It opens up the conversation.” Sign up at farmsanctuary.org.
Eat & Greet Attending a farm-animal-sanctuary-sponsored event can be a revelatory experience for the whole family. “It shows you can create new Thanksgiving traditions that are kind and compassionate,” says Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary’s Terry Cummings. At Thanksgiving with the Turkeys (pictured above), guests dined on delicious vegan food and visit with the resident rescues. Similar events are scheduled at sanctuaries around the country. Find an event near you at sanctuaries.org.
Party Heart-y Coordinate a community Thanksgiving event showcasing the tasty benefits of a meat-free diet. FARM’s Compassionate Holidays site teems with resources—an event registry, recipes, and tips for a festive holiday celebration. “It’s a way to bring people together and spread our message of compassion,” says FARM’s Michael Weber. Prefer a scaled-down soirée? Visit Mercy for Animals’s Pardon a Turkey site for menu ideas and turkey facts to impress your guests.
Dine Out in Veg Style At veg restaurants from San Francisco to D.C., tucking into a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast—and leaving the cleanup to someone else—is a time-honored tradition. “Thanksgiving is our busiest day of the year,” says Mark Doskow of New York’s legendary hot spot Candle 79. Nowhere near the Big Apple? Los Angeles's Crossroads and the Windy City’s Chicago Diner offer special Thanksgiving menus too. For more, visit vrg.org, and search for “Thanksgiving.”
Are you celebrating Thanksgiving veg-style? Share in the comments below!