Latests Challenges
 
     
 
watch the film    

Find a Screening


Host a Screening

 
what people are saying

Reviews and Quotes from Viewers


Tell Us What You Thought

 
join us    

Enter Your Email for Updates

connect with us online

FacebookTwitterYouTube

 
share with friends    
 
| More
 
sponsors & allies    
 
 

Have Mercy: A Grateful, Tasty Vegan Thanksgiving

What are you thankful for?
No, really.  Right this minute, can you rattle off some things you’re grateful for?  Go ahead and do it.  I’ll wait…

Didn’t that feel wonderful?  Perhaps you count your blessings on the regular, or maybe you think you’re too busy to ever reflect on the many gifts – big and small – in your life.  Whatever the case, gratefulness is the reason for the season, and science has shown that a consistent gratitude practice can not only change the trajectory of your day, but the course of your life.  While we’re tackling your most pressing holiday questions and talkin’ feasting in today’s blog, we’re also focusing on the real reason for the season.  Besides, everything tastes better with a heaping side of thankfulness.

Be Grateful.  Everyday!

Question #1: “How do I deal with all the questions I’ll get from my family and friends when I show up as a vegan on the most food-focused holiday of the year? How do I balance being proud without sounding preachy?

This is a common quandry at the GetVegucated Schoolhouse Online Community, and it’s one with a response that only you can refine and perfect over time.

  • For starters, offer to bring your own food.  That way, you can eat and be merry and be considerate of your host, while also showing your pals how delicious the vegan lifestyle is.  I usually bring both a sweet and a savory dish to show the versatility of meat-free fare, and I always bring plenty for sharing.
  • Secondly, try to look at inquiries about a vegan lifestyle as an opportunity, rather than a defensive trigger.  Sure, there are misconceptions out there, but people usually ask because they’re genuinely curious.  Honor this curiosity and give them an affirming response with a dash of proactive education like: “That’s a great question. I became educated about how animals we eat are treated and I realized that I didn’t want to be part of that. I still get to eat fantastic food, too.”  You know your friends and family best, so whether or not you want to engage in a more detailed conversation is your choice.
Vegan Thanksgiving Feast

Question #2: “What do I make and/or bring to the festivities that everyone will enjoy?”

Gobble Day is an excellent opportunity to BLOW PEOPLE AWAY with your delicious food.  While Thanksgiving is commonly associated with a Turkey leg, any seasoned (pun intended) Gobbleday gobbler will tell you that the meal is all about the sides.  Of course, there are amazing recipes for cruelty-free main dishes, too.  Whether you’re the chef, a dish-toting attendee, or a grab-and-go party goer, the suggestions below will make you the most popular person at the gathering.  And don’t forget your local veg-friendly restaurants and grocers who will likely have awesome grab-and-go and order ahead options.

Get To Know A Turkey: In addition to all the blessings in my life, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to visit the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY earlier this year.  It was there that I met my first turkey and it was the most transformative animal encounter of my life.  In addition to having the wise, inquisitive stare of Sophia Petrillo from the “Golden Girls,” she beckoned for massages under her wings and made little cooing noises when you massaged the right spot.  Lemme tell you, it’s a real mind-blower when you feel the downy feathers and the little bones (ya know, the ones people eat) expanding and contracting with each breath.  I already hadn’t eaten meat for years, but that encounter completely changed how I looked at Thanksgiving.  Visit or volunteer at a local sanctuary and get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures.

Sponsor a Turkey: On a holiday where 45 million sensitive and inquisitive turkeys are slaughtered just to fill our plates, it’s a pretty great time to sponsor a gobbler and save a life.  Farm Sanctuary has a wonderful “Adopt a Turkey” Project that aims to generate support for the Sanctuary’s many rescued turkeys.  The campaign boasts supporters like Ellen Degeneres and Shannon Elizabeth, so you’ll be in excellent company when you donate.

Mercy For Animals Spare a Turkey Campaign

Attend a Vegan Meet Up: No family in town?  No problem!  Join a vegan meet up, attend a dinner at a local veg-friendly restaurant, or attend one of the many “Gentle Thanksgivings” being held around the country.  Farm Sanctuary is also holding Celebrations for the Turkeys at their New York and California shelters.  If you’re the boozier type, Vegan Drinks has various events going on around the country.  A great way to meet like-minded people – new friends to be thankful for!

Get Your Gratitude On:  Make a list of what you’re thankful for.  Yes, it’s that simple. Check it out: Your words have beautiful power.  Writing down and declaring your blessings is an awesome way to put positive momentum into your life.  Struggling to find something?  Here’s a start: Are you breathing right now? Are you warm and dry? Are you living in a war-torn country? Do you have friends? Are you living a lifestyle that lessens suffering in the world?  Sounds like you’ve got a bounty!

Do For Others: Nothing gets you feeling more grateful than doing good for those less fortunate.  Volunteer with Food Not Bombs to serve nutritious vegan meals to the homeless and victims of Hurricane Sandy, donate a warm coat to someone sleeping outside, walk (or sing to – just sayin’) animals in your local shelter, visit with or invite a lonely senior to your meal, give one of the 400,000 children in foster care a memorable gift (November is National Adoption Month, after all).  The point is – every little bit matters and means something big to someone, and the options are really limitless.  My awesome friend, Marla, gets her son in on the action by having him save up his allowance for a trip to the thrift store.  There, he chooses gently-used blankets and sheets, which he then donates to a local animal shelter.  Teaching the kiddos about fiscal responsibility, compassion, and giving back?  Now, that sounds like the real spirit of gratitude.

Have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe or tradition you’d like to share?  What are you thankful for?  Spill in the Cafeteria Section of the Vegucated Schoolhouse Community Forum!

Ashlee Piper

Ashlee Piper is Writer & Community Manager at GetVegucated.  She is a social worker and AADP-certified Holistic Health Counselor who shepherds people toward a more compassionate, cruelty-free, and joyful lifestyle.  Her no-nonsense tips and insights for a happy veg life can also be found via her mischievous blog, The Little Foxes
  • David Wishengrad

    Ashlee,

    At the risk of sounding preachy, the, “Be Grateful”, picture is a lie. We can only be who we are. We can feel grateful, but we cannot be our actions. The seriousness of the situation requires complete candor and openness. Your article is nicely worded and is a nice try at trying to improve the current situation. The text below this is almost an exact copy and paste of something I wrote somewhere else, with some minor adjustments, and some added quotes of mine at the end. I thought it might help you see the bigger picture and what it’s really going to take to end the needless and preventable suffering.

    You seem to perfectly understand that Life is Most Important in Life. It helps me to love the Truth even more. You understand people and animals are Truly important.

    These mistakes that we people make can be very harmful and painful. You believe there is something there in each person worth reaching out to. This faith you have where you believe is based completely in reality and on the reality of the beauty of Life and how precious Life really is.

    There are times when we begin to see these things around us for what they really are. We jump up and shout; we sit and talk quietly, and we kneel in silence, for what strikes the heart with a note that we never forget. Yet, because we were raised in this mess that is so real and so tragic we make mistakes even with our best intentions and easily cause more harm then if we did nothing at all.

    Veganism is not going to save the Life on this planet. Only the Truth can do that. Even if the greatest miracle ever seen happens and everyone on earth willfully choses a vegan lifestyle, we will still face mutually assured destruction nine ways to Sunday if ANY of the people continue to discard the Truth.

    That is what is called, ‘tempting the True Living God’. That’s saying Truthful reality doesn’t count and it’s just fine to make choices for Life by completely ignoring the very center of our mutually observed reality where Life is Most Important in Life. That’s saying that mankind and all Life is not “Truthfully” worth saving from destruction.

    Truth comes first. If we don’t accept the Truth in understanding, then nothing we say can be deemed Truthful.

    Truth comes first before the bible. Truth is first in the, ‘True Word of the True Living God’, and ‘True Living God’. The Truth must be present for us to hear the Truth speak.

    Without the Truth first, the only god we can arrive at is a false god.

    Of all the words ever written, spoken, or even implied, “Life is Most Important in Life”, remains The Most Important Truth in Life. This is factually True for everyone, whether we have forgotten it or not. No written or said words on earth are more important!

    If we are to believe in a True Living God who’s spoken Word is the Truth itself, then The Most Important Truth is the Most Important Instruction we have ever been given.

    This 100% Truth, which is solidly based in mutually observed, everlasting, unchanging, undebatable Truthful reality, is Number 1! That’s how it really is for everyone. To even attempt to challenge this Truth a person must use Life in hypocrisy, which is a lie.

    No statement from the bible or any other written words on earth or the heavens above currently override The Most Important Truth in Life. Only when this Truth has been changed do we know we have heard something more important.

    I was recently on the Vegan Society website and read their Articles-of-Association-Nov-10.pdf. The word True only occurs in their financial. And they promote all over their website to “become a vegan’ or to “be a vegan”. What a mess! Who are these people that speak up for the animals and then ignore The Most Important Truth in Life? Have they heard the Most Important Truth in Life or read it somewhere? Probably not. That’s why we have the problems we have from needless killing of the animals, to war, to starvation, to mutually assured destruction.

    The Most Important Truth backs you up in your article above. Beautiful words. I feel that you really do feel this compassion. We need the Truth now. All Life depends on it. We can’t end this mess of needless and preventable suffering occurring for the sole purpose of personal gratification (taste, unneeded nutrition, fun, tradition, etc), once and for all, if we attempt discard the Most Important Truth in Life.

    We can compare any thought, word, or action to The Most Important Truth and if they disagree then only The Most Important Truth in Life is the correct one and the other must be a lie. All Truths will agree because the Truth is never in hypocrisy by very self evident definition.

    Truth in Life is the only Way. It’s a Life onto itself and Authority to all. The Truth does not accept the needless killing and enslaving for the sole purpose of personal gratification, nor does it accept labels that imply inequality, nor does it accept that we are anything less than Most Important.

    We have the greatest responsibility in our lap of any generation that has ever lived.
    We have been given Life and The Most Important Truth in Life.
    The Supreme Authority of The Most Important Truth in Life is self-evident witnessed by all Life.

    You could say we figured it out together. You could say this Truth has been paid for in the lives, blood, sweat, and tears of all those that came before us; Life itself.

    We have the Most Important Truth in Life now as perfect and flawless logical Truth that is never disproved and always reproved as long as we live. It’s Authority is Supreme in all discussions.

    Let the people hear the Most Important Truth in Life: Life is Most Important in Life.

    It will never fail to be True. It will be there for each of us never changing and dependable. Reminding us that we really are Truthfully Most Important in Life, Life (a Truth), and Equal.

    This provides the logical and healthy understanding through experience that our minds need to think reality based whole and unselfish thoughts. Once a person has solid Truth in their mind then as they live Life the Truth will reprove itself again and again with them until the day they die.

    If we live long enough we may choose to accept the Truth. If we live long enough to choose to accept the Truth then through our experiences with the Truth we just may choose to love the Truth. That’s our choice and the our relationship with the Truth. It’s up to the Truth to cultivate Truthful love with us. That’s the best we can do. We cannot make another love the Truth and not violate the Most Important Truth. The glory must be Truthfully real.

    So, when do you think the people calling themselves vegans are going to get what it really takes? Do they understand that many of those with religious beliefs will quote some passage out of a book and say some person killed and ate and that allows me to kill? The only valid response is, “Needless killing is hypocritical to The Most Important Truth in Life”.

    That’s the Armor. That’s the Sword. That’s the Foundation. That’s the Most Important. That’s the Authority. That’s the Compassion. That’s the Way to Perfect Equality Among Celestial Entities. That’s the Truth.

    The needless and preventable suffering on earth will continue until The Most Important Truth in Life is universally accepted as self-evident.

    Of all the great things, in what appears to be this endless universe, you are Truly Most Important. That’s really True!

    All Life requires Life.
    This is True, by the very definition of the word, “Life”.
    This is why Life Truthfully is Most Important in Life.

    When all Life experiences the very same observation then all life does TRUTHFULLY observe the same thing. This Truth. Truth is very real.

    We require Life, ourselves, to say, Life is Most Important in Life”. Therefore, Life is specifically Most Important in Life.”

    We require Life, even generally speaking, to say Life is Most Important in Life. Therefore, Life in general is also Most Important in Life.

    I will accept any personal interpretation of Life is Most Important in Life, so long as the interpretation is never proved false in reality.

    If it’s not the True Living God, it cant be truthfully real. The Truth always comes first for us in all things real, even before god.

    Real love is really Truthful love. We dismiss the very foundation of real love when we dismiss the Truth.

    A person that does not humbly accept and love the Truth in conversation cannot love their own self, let alone you.

    Piety requires us to honor Truth above our friendships.

    Life is Most Important in life. That’s not an opinion. That’s Truthful reality

    The fastest and surest way to turn someone away from real veganism (a lifestyle rooted in Truthful reality) is to call anyone a vegan and impart the lie of inequality.

  • David Wishengrad

    Marisa Miller Wolfson, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Mary Max, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Frank Mataska, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Demetrius Bagley, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Sara Leavitt, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Ellen Goldwasser, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    John Pierce, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Richard O’Connor, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Christina Capozzi Riley, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Jonathan Ackerman, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Dave Fischoff, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Tesla Lobo, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Brian Flegel, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Ellen Mausner, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Marisa Miller Wolfson, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Joel Fuhrman, M.D, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Julia Spagnoli, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Kenneth Williams, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Jason Tracy, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Cayce Mell, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    T. Colin Campbell, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Stephen Kaufman, M.D., do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Howard Lyman, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Milton Mills, M.D, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Jasmin Singer, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Janice Hoffman, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?

    Let’s face it. Choosing to attempt to make large scale environmental change requires a greater responsibility in having our thoughts, words, and actions, better rooted in Truthful reality. What say each of you to The Most Important Truth in Life?

  • David Wishengrad

    They censor the most important truth in life here.

  • David Wishengrad

    They do not adhere to free speech that is truthful.

  • David Wishengrad

    They promote a cause for money while ignoring the Truthful fact that it’s the Truth itself that gives any Truthful cause value.

  • David Wishengrad

    Marisa Miller Wolfson, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Mary Max, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Frank Mataska, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Demetrius Bagley, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Sara Leavitt, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Ellen Goldwasser, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    John Pierce, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Richard O’Connor, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Christina Capozzi Riley, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Jonathan Ackerman, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Dave Fischoff, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Tesla Lobo, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Brian Flegel, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Ellen Mausner, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Marisa Miller Wolfson, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Joel Fuhrman, M.D, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Julia Spagnoli, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Kenneth Williams, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Jason Tracy, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Cayce Mell, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    T. Colin Campbell, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Stephen Kaufman, M.D., do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Howard Lyman, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Milton Mills, M.D, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Jasmin Singer, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Janice Hoffman, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?

    Let’s face it. Attempting to make large scale environmental change requires us to behave responsibly by our thoughts and understanding better rotted in Truthful reality.

    And yes, I seriously request an answer from each and every one of the people listed here.

    And yes, you can call me and I will answer. You can all get together on a conference call and call me at the same time if you want. I have been at this a very long time. You would do well to follow the Truth.

  • David Wishengrad

    Marisa Miller Wolfson, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Mary Max, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Frank Mataska, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Demetrius Bagley, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Sara Leavitt, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Ellen Goldwasser, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    John Pierce, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Richard O’Connor, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Christina Capozzi Riley, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Jonathan Ackerman, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Dave Fischoff, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Tesla Lobo, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Brian Flegel, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Ellen Mausner, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Marisa Miller Wolfson, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Joel Fuhrman, M.D, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Julia Spagnoli, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Kenneth Williams, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Jason Tracy, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Cayce Mell, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    T. Colin Campbell, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Stephen Kaufman, M.D., do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Howard Lyman, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Milton Mills, M.D, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Jasmin Singer, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?
    Janice Hoffman, do you accept and agree that “Life is Most Important in Life” is “The Most Important Truth in Life”?

    Let’s face it. Attempting to make large scale environmental change requires us to behave responsibly by our thoughts and understanding better rooted in Truthful reality.