Why many Americans will celebrate ThanksVegan this year

By Heather Mooreturkey-less-stuffed-roast-gravy-label-602x350-1447097445
TRADER JOE’S Veggie holiday roll …TRY IT THIS THANKSGIVING! There’s a TJ’s in Shrewsbury!

At least 47% of Americans are likely to eat more vegan foods this Thanksgiving, according to food industry analysts. The forecast sounds pretty accurate, considering that turkey prices are expected to hit record highs this year, and more and more people are becoming increasingly concerned about human health and environmental and animal welfare issues.

Rather than putting a turkey’s carcass on the table, many people will be celebrating ThanksVegan — a fresh new take on the Thanksgiving holiday — and gorging on tasty vegan versions of traditional favorites, including stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberries and pumpkin pie. Both seasoned and aspiring vegans can also enjoy a savory vegan roast, stuffed squash or other vegan main dish.

ThanksVegan meals reflect mercy and kindness, not suffering and death. Turkeys are friendly, inquisitive birds who like gobbling along to music, having their feathers stroked and spending time with kindhearted humans. At some sanctuaries, turkeys greet guests, eager for treats and affection. They’ve even been known to fall asleep in visitors’ laps while being petted.

Inhumane …

Rescued turkeys are treated radically different from those who are killed for food. According to the USDA, about 46 million turkeys are slaughtered for Thanksgiving each year. Most are raised in dark, filthy, cramped sheds. They’re unable to run, build nests, raise their young or do anything else that’s natural and important to them.

Many are fed antibiotics in order to stimulate growth and keep them alive in the sickening living conditions, at least long enough for them to be killed when they’re between just 3 and 5 months old. Because of the antibiotics, turkeys grow so big that they can barely walk, let alone mate. That’s why turkeys are typically bred through artificial insemination.

Part of the birds’ beaks are cut off with a hot blade to keep them from pecking one another out of stress and frustration. Males’ snoods (the fleshy appendage that hangs down from their beaks) are chopped off, too. These procedures are performed without pain relievers, even though they cause excruciating acute and lasting pain.

Even birds at self-professed “humane” farms are grotesquely abused. Over the summer, a PETA investigator saw workers at “certified humane” farms in Pennsylvania kick, choke, stomp on and throw birds around. They also hit them with an iron bar and used them to mimic sex acts.

One crew position was even called the “kick,” because kicking was that person’s role in loading the birds onto trucks.

The stress of being crammed into tiny cages, thirst, terror all combine to create situations where turkeys self-mutilate and pluck each other’s feathers.

After they arrive at the slaughterhouse, turkeys are often scalded to death in the tanks of water used for feather removal.

There’s nothing “humane” about killing turkeys or any other animals for food. Thankfully, most stores now carry plenty of vegan options, which are truly humane, healthy and in keeping with the seasonal spirit of gratitude. They’re also environmentally friendly. Researchers have found that animal-based foods account for a whopping 83.5% of food-related greenhouse-gas emissions in the U.S.

So, be grateful that there are so many plant foods available, and have a happy and humane ThanksVegan!


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