Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hold the Butter on My Toast Please, Snoopy

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!


Anonymous said...

We're gearing up for a great dinner.
Is there any better way to give thanks for the 'things', relationships and people who help animals than to celebrate without any animals being abused in the process?
Be content with what you have, but discontent with what others (including animals) have not.

Julie said...

I saw your comment about using Pacific Foods almond milk instead of the real stuff on "My Year Without Spending". I use it too, love that stuff, especially for baking, because it only has 35 calories per cup and of course, it's cruelty-free. I gave up milk in June 2007. My husband just stopped drinking it last month. (He's the meat eater of the household but is a sweetheart and eats the veg food that I prepare.) Yay! Our son (8) still drinks milk occasionally in restaurants but at home, he's a chocolate soy milk man. Anyway, every little bit helps. I enjoyed your comment and the blog. Now, I just have to get through Thanksgiving at a fancy hotel with my husband's family---I'm the only one ordering a vegetarian meal, let's just put it that way. (My son eats like a bird, no pun intended, and will just nibble off my plate.) At some point, someone will ask me why I'm not eating fish or chicken, but I'm sure you're familiar with that phenomenon!

Vegan Good Life said...

Jan-Agreed! So looking forward to celebrating over a humane meal.

Julie-Thanks so much for the comments. You are so right to say "every little bit helps." Just about everyone in my life isn't vegetarian, but my mom, for instance, eats mostly veg. She now bakes with EnerG egg replacer, eats tofu scrambles instead of scrambled eggs, and uses the almond milk. If everyone made little switches, so much suffering could be eliminated.

I too will be the only vegetarian again at the table. Take pride that you don't need to cause suffering to celebrate anything.

Have a happy, healthy, and humane Thanksgiving to all!