While millions of people across the country will overdose on turkey this Thursday (and continue to OD on leftovers for days after), many other people choose to have a gentler day of thanks. Vegetarians and vegans will replace the typical centerpiece fowl this Thanksgiving with cruelty-free fare, such as tofu turkey (or “tofurkey”), lentil or nut roast, and stuffed squash.
There are a variety of reasons to have a meatless holiday. One such reason is for your health. Turkey flesh is full of cholesterol and saturated fats, which have been linked to an elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Deadly pathogens and antibiotics can also be found in the flesh of turkey.
Another reason to ditch the bird is for the environment. The factory farm that your dinner comes from generates billions of pounds of manure, which ends up in your drinking water. Also, the grain that is fed to turkeys to fatten them up could be much better used to feed the millions of starving people around the world.
Finally, skip the turkey this Thanksgiving for the sake of the turkey itself. The 300 million turkeys killed each year in America spend their whole lives stuffed in sheds with little room to move. They are artificially inseminated and forced to gain incredible amounts of weight, which often cause them to suffer from heart attacks, broken limbs and death.
So, this Thanksgiving when you sit down for a gut-busting feast, practice giving thanks to your health, the planet, and the animals by gobbling up some tasty tofurkey and savory squash. Oh, and don’t forget the vegan pumpkin pie.