By Dani Poirier, Environmental & Sustainability Studies student
When I hear the word “Thanksgiving,” the stereotypical images come to mind: turkey, pie, cornucopias, pumpkins, mashed potatoes, and casseroles. My mind is also flooded with personal memories and Thanksgiving family traditions. We prepare the average cliché feast, and although my sister and I are both vegetarians, we manage to gobble everything up besides the turkey. But I’ve wondered, how do vegans indulge in this annual over-the-top meal? After diving into many different vegan recipes, I’ve come across mouthwatering concoctions that are sure to be a hit for vegans and the whole family! So this Thanksgiving consider preparing a vegan meal with a purpose.
What is veganism? Veganism is the practice of refraining from consuming any food or purchasing any material items that contain animal elements. This means no meat, dairy, eggs, honey, fur, silk, wool, or cosmetics with animal products. Of course, this definition doesn’t apply to all vegans and this lifestyle isn’t for everyone… but we should all try to be conscious consumers and have a purpose behind our purchases. Perhaps the first step is changing our eating behaviors by practicing Meatless Mondays or Dairy-free days. Even the little actions can make a big difference!
Why go vegan? There are a number of reasons why we should consider going vegan including environmental factors, animal ethics, and personal health. The Vegan Society lists a number of arguments supporting the vegan lifestyle. Did you know that one of the most effective lifestyle changes that we could make to reduce our carbon footprint is to go vegan? There is a massive amount of energy required to produce and transport animal products. Significant habit loss, species extinction, and deforestation are the results of the grain required to feed animals in the meat production industry. Livestock production also require massive amounts of fresh water. When combined with the rapidly growing population and desire for the “western diet,” there is a strong argument that going vegan could have significant positive impacts for the planet. Interested in veganism and what it has to offer? Check out Vegan Society for more information about the positive impacts of being a vegan.
This Thanksgiving, try some of these delicious vegan recipes or hop online and discover the plethora of other vegan ideas.
For starters, whip up some savory appetizers:
- Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls with Cranberry-Pear Sauce
- Caramelized Onions and Gruyere Tarts (Bonus, they can be made the night before and stored in the fridge!)
Here are some ideas for the main course fixings:
- Roasted Broccoli with Lemon, Pine Nuts and Basil
- Mashed Winter Squash with Indian Spices
- Butternut Squash and Mixed Mushroom Lasagna
- Hearty Vegetable Pot Pie
For stuffings, try one of these:
Add a seasonal salad:
No feast is complete without dessert. I hope you save room!
- Gooey Pumpkin Spice Latte Chocolate Pudding Cake (This one is gluten free!)
- Pear and Apple Crumble
Check out VegKitchen for more ideas and recipes for dishes and sauces. The pictures will make your taste buds swoon. Trying something new this Thanksgiving will surely be a great holiday memory and you may even start a new tradition!
Have a favorite vegan recipe to share? Pass us the pie, and we’ll post it on our Facebook page.