WHY A COMPASSIONATE HOLIDAY?
Each one of us has the power to change old habits and leave animals off the table each holiday season. Whether you’re looking to improve your health, care about our environment, or just oppose animal cruelty, the holidays are the perfect time to celebrate life together over a delicious, plant-based meal. We hope you’ll find something at Compassionate Holidays to help create new lifelong traditions for your friends and family to cherish.
- Turkeys are highly social and intelligent animals who form deep friendships and emotional bonds and even like to listen to music.
- Turkeys love to cuddle and have their feathers stroked.
- In nature, turkeys can fly 55 miles an hour and run 18 miles an hour.
- In nature, turkeys live more than 10 years, but on factory farms they’re slaughtered at just 4-5 months old.
- According to USDA, 242 million turkeys were killed in the U.S. in 2017.
- Turkeys on factory farms are denied the simplest pleasures, such as raising their young, building nests, running and flying.
- Turkeys, like chickens, are bred to grow so large very quickly that their legs often break underneath them.
- Due to overcrowding, turkeys become unnaturally aggressive, so poults (baby turkeys) have their beaks and toes cut off without anesthesia, which leads to life long pain.
- Turkeys on factory farms will only see the sunshine or breathe fresh air when they are being loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter.
- Many turkeys don’t survive the trip to the slaughterhouse, as they are denied food and water, often in extreme weather, resulting in death.
- Once at the slaughterhouse, turkeys have their throats slit, sometimes while fully conscious before being dunked into the scalding tanks that remove feathers. Sometimes, turkeys are fully conscious while this is happening.
A Little History
“You know that Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation, but did you know he also penned a special order of reprieve to save the life of a turkey named Jack? The story begins on Oct. 3, 1863, when Lincoln signed an official proclamation setting aside the last Thursday in November as a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” That November, a citizen sent a live turkey to the White House to be part of a holiday feast. Lincoln’s son, Tad, who was 10, bonded with the bird. In addition to naming him Jack, Tad treated the turkey like a pet and taught it to follow him around the White House grounds. When Tad learned that Jack was to be killed and prepared for a big meal, he interrupted his father at a cabinet meeting, crying and pleading that his new friend be spared. Lincoln had a soft spot for his rambunctious youngest son and delayed the meeting long enough to pen “an order of reprieve” for the turkey. Tad rushed the order with him to the kitchen and proudly presented it to the ‘executioner.’ Jack then became a part of the Lincoln pets collection, which also included a pig, a rabbit, ponies, goats, cats and dogs.” –presidentialpetmuseum
Sharing your vegan diet at holiday parties can be challenging but, with a little planning, holiday mealtimes can be a great experience as well as provide learning opportunities for the whole family
If you’re going to be a guest at the table, let your hosts know you don’t consume animal products ahead of time. You can help by asking what you can bring and how you can help prepare the meal. Make a list of your holiday favorites or follow our suggested recipes to easily veganize traditional meals.
You don’t have to try to convince your entire family to go vegan over the holidays. The message might be better received when they are more open to hearing it. Live by example and plant seeds of compassion.
Veganize Your Favorite Holiday Recipes
It’s easy to make almost any recipe vegan simply by substituting ingredients. Veganizing some of your old favorite recipes is a great way to get further along the vegan path. Here’s how:
Choose your favorite recipes. List the ingredients that are not vegan. Replace the animal-based ingredients with vegan products / ingredients. And, thanks to some amazing, innovative companies, it’s even easier! Try any of these delicious plant-based celebration roasts for your holiday gathering (or any time of the year):
Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to share a compassionate meal with friends and family. FARM is encouraging people around the world to host a potluck in your community or even just in your own home. Invite others to experience how amazing a vegan meal is for your health, the environment, and of course for the animals!
We recommend using Meetup to find event and host events. It already has a large user base and many Vegan Thanksgiving/Potluck events that you may be interested in attending! You can join meetup and look at the events here.