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A Vegan’s Guide to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is quite possibly one of the toughest days to claim your veganism. While many prep for a day of joy and relaxation, a vegan is consumed by the massacre that takes place during this holiday.  More than 46 million turkeys will be slaughtered in order to celebrate Thanksgiving.  To a vegan, it is the opposite of giving thanks. The question is, how do you survive this day among those that do not have the same beliefs as you.  Many will gather with family and friends who they may not see other than holiday times.   Those close to you may already know your choices, but the extended family members are often unaware.  These circumstances can put a vegan in a precarious position.  Holidays are a time when all ages and all walks of life unite to spend a day together, seeking commonalities and (hopefully) enjoying catching up.  But, there is no way to avoid sharing your beliefs about eating animals.  That being said, VeganFitness.Guru has a few tips that might just help your “coming out” go a bit smoother.


  1. Plan in Advance- If you are comfortable with the host, you can coordinate in advance, letting them know that you would be willing to bring a meat alternative.  If you decide to do so, here are a few great recipes…who knows, you might sway a carnivore!
  2. Bring a Hearty Side Dish- Although Thanksgiving offers up plenty of squash, potatoes and veggies, they are often laden with butter…making them unfit for a vegan.  The best-case scenario would be that the host leaves some aside that is not buttered.  However, this may not be a possibility.  Bring a side dish that would be hearty enough to fill you and others as a complete meal.  Here are a few great hearty side dishes.
  3. Offer to Host- This is an ideal situation as you have the opportunity to provide your guests with a true vegan Thanksgiving!  At first, it may seem shocking that there is no carcass on the table.  However, this is a great opportunity to gently let your guests know that you are a vegan and in the spirit of giving…you wanted to give them a vegan Thanksgiving experience!  Hopefully you can change a few minds about the need for a turkey on Thanksgiving.
  4. Share Your Thoughts- When the turkey is passed your way, you will naturally decline.  The person who spent all day basting that turkey may look at you sideways.  Here is an opportunity to let those gathered around you know how you feel.  Of course, you need to handle this moment with finesse.  Have a look at this video:


5.  Bring an Open Mind- This is the most important thing you can bring to the Thanksgiving table is an open mind.  Those who change lives do it with acceptance and understanding.  If you bring judgement to those around you, it will be quite a challenge to ask them to see your ways.  Be open minded while still educating others.  Even if it seems like they are not listening, they will hear you.

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