It's almost Thanksgiving!
While not a happy time for vegans, there are reasons to make one feel like a kid again. Waiting for your favorite balloon to come down the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade while on the couch under a blanket with a mug of non-dairy cocoa. In New York City, kids young and old can watch the balloons being blown up the night before. It's simply magical. I'm 34, and still never miss A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Snoopy and Woodstock even cooked a vegetarian feast of pretzels, popcorn and toast, much to the dismay of Peppermint Patty and the gang.
And I love the idea of an entire holiday devoted to giving thanks. Sarah Ban Breathnech, in her book Simple Abundance, encourages us on a path guided by six principles: gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty and joy. In a passage on gratitude, she quotes Melody Beattie, who stated,
"Gratitude...turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
Not on my dinner plate this year, turkey. This beauty lives at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Flackback to my visit, and yummy vegan eats. My mouth still waters thinking about the cinnamon French toast.
This year, I also plan to give thanks over a Gentle Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by God's Creatures Ministry. Whatever your religious stripes, you can share a humane meal including Tofurkey, wine and desserts. The dinner takes place next Sunday, November 22nd at 3:00 p.m. in Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 231 Parish Drive, Wayne, NJ. RSVP with a suggested $20 per person donation by November 18th. Learn more.
Not in the area? Find similar events all over the country on Gentle Thanksgiving. Find recipes including Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Potatoes, Cornbread Muffins, and Vegan Pumpkin or Squash Pie.
If you're not a vegan or vegetarian, consider just trying to eliminate animal by-products from a recipe when it's possible. When I switched from lacto-ovo vegetarianism to veganism, it was eye-opening how animal products are in everything, when many times they don't need to be.
Here's to gratitude, awareness, great vegan food, and the joy of feeling like a kid again. Oh, my favorite balloon? Snoopy, of course!
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