This Year, Should You Pardon the Turkey?


A vegetarian or even vegan Thanksgiving does not have to be a sacrifice!  This year, there are more ways to prepare a meatless Thanksgiving meal, with recipes in abundance (keep reading).  And more Americans than ever are preparing meat-free meals this Thanksgiving, according to Time Magazine — due to climate change and health reasons.

Why This Matters:  Time reports that a Neilsen poll taken in December 2018 found that more than 60% of Americans are willing to cut back on their meat consumption in order to personally reduce their carbon footprint.  Tofurky, the tofu turkey replacement, may not be for everyone, but the company now sells 400,000 roasts each holiday season.  Turkey has historically been part of the national “culture” of the Thanksgiving holiday, down to the President’s turkey pardon.  In war times during the last century, going meatless was seen as a patriotic duty.  Who knows, maybe that sentiment can take hold again.  This year, I (Monica) will one of the growing number of Americans who will be making salmon as an alternative for those who want to go meatless in our house.

Vegetarian Options

Five percent of Americans are fully vegetarians now, according to Gallup polling data, but nearly 20% of Americans are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods, and for them this year the tide seems to be turning a bit in their favor.

But a Reuters story reprinted by The New York Times claims that some are still not satisfied — they want the flavor of turkey without the meat and that there still is not a plant-based alternative that “hits the mark for turkey flavor and texture the same way plant-based options have nailed the beef target.”

Vegan Tips

Ecowatch suggests the following: the Butternut Squash Vegducken — a dish that stuffs a zucchini inside an eggplant inside a butternut squash for “a flavor combination that’s perfectly suited for the season.”  They recommend an Epicurious “original vegetarian recipe, plus tips for turning it vegan.”  Ecowatch also has suggestions for animal-free gravy, dairy-free mashed potatoes, vegan casseroles, and Earth-friendly pumpkin pie.  And even the oldy but goody, Good Housekeeping, is getting into the vegan spirit, with 22 easy recipes for Thanksgiving.


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