Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Very Gentle Thanksgiving

This Sunday past, I gathered with 55 individuals - some vegan, some vegetarian, even some meat-eaters like my mom and sweetheart who shared in a cruelty-free feast for the third annual Gentle Thanksgiving held by God's Creatures Ministry in Wayne, New Jersey.

To start: Trader Joe's white bean hummus and garlic hummus, with mini pita bread and chips. Check out their vegan list of offerings. My vegan TJ staples are tofu for eggless scrambles; soy creamer for coffee/tea; and almond milk for cereal. Also heart their vegan apple strudel and meatless meatballs (great for spaghetti or in sub sandwiches). To name just a few.

Trader Joe's pumpkin bread and cranberry sauce. I've veganized this mix at home using Ener-G egg replacer.

Tofurkey and the works: green beans, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and a biscuit.

Joe Dwyer, author of Shelby's Grace, was on hand. Shelby, found chained in a gas station, scared and hungry, now works as a therapy dog, and is a glowing example of how animals can forgive even after suffering the most egregious cruelty.

I coveted, but did not go home, with any of the fine raffle prizes. Love cozy pasta nights at home.

I could so picture this green candle and cheerful holly plant on my coffee table.

Sweet potato soup for frugal office lunches, apple crisp mix, cranberry trail mix, couscous: it's as if the person creating this basket thought of me personally!

Sweet ending: apple crisp and pumpkin pie.

My turkey that my family sponsored from Farm Sanctuary as a birthday gift arrived in the mail. Daphne was seized in a neglect and cruelty case this year, and lives at their Watkins Glen, New York shelter.

Said it before, will say it again: stand proud if you are shunning turkey this year, even if you are the only one at your table doing so (which is usually the case for me). I don't feel the least bit deprived I'm not doing something millions of others are doing just because that's what "they" say we should.

That said, educate, but be accepting of others choices. Someone at the dinner said he walked out of a Thanksgiving dinner and is no longer friends with the hosts because they didn't 'get it' about turkey. This gives vegans and vegetarians a bad reputation. Isolation is no way to foster a world of compassion. A veg lifestyle will simply not be everyone's choice - but reducing animal consumption through non-dairy; meat-free; and eggless alternatives is something realistically all can strive for to some level. If people can go veg, even better. Food for thought as we strive toward our goal of reduced animal suffering.

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