How to convince a non-vegan family to avoid turkey for Thanksgiving

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For many Americans, turkeys are virtually synonymous with Thanksgiving – someone spends all day cooking the turkey, the bird is the centerpiece on the table, and the party is even dubbed “Turkey Day.” But for vegans, vegetarians, animal lovers and environmentalists who would love to see the end of Thanksgiving turkey, trying to express thanks with a huge turkey carcass on the table can be an emotional or frustrating experience.

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And even if you do convince your family to jump the bird this year, the fact remains that turkeys are usually slaughtered for Thanksgiving around the age of 4-6 months, which means they are first. high for spring break. So if the last minute campaigns are still a positive thing, it is too late, because the fate of the turkeys is already sealed.

According to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, renowned author of A Handful of Vegan Books and Cookbooks, the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are actually a great time to start campaigning for people to avoid eating a turkey at home. Following Thanksgiving of the year. She believes changing hearts and minds so far in advance is what will impact demand for years to come, ultimately reducing supply (i.e. the amount of turkeys bred and slaughtered).

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Source: Courtesy of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

“Most people think of Thanksgiving around October… by then the turkeys that are served at that meal… they’ve already been killed,” said Patrick-Goudreau. Green business by telephone. “So the idea is to get people to think about it upstream, and to really decrease the number of turkeys bought, so that the demand goes down and there are fewer animals the following year, etc. “

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The seventh and most recent book by Patrick-Goudreau, The happy vegan (which also happens to be her nickname) is a supportive guide for vegans who want to let go of the sadness and hardships that sometimes come with being a vegan in a non-vegan world. We recently caught up with Patrick-Goudreau to give her her top tips for having a happy Thanksgiving as a non-turkey eater, and to hear how she thinks we’ll one day end the association between vacationing and eating turkeys.

Start conversations early – get your family to commit to skip the turkey next year now.

If a turkey has already been purchased for your dinner this year, consider asking family members to commit to skipping the turkey for the next Thanksgiving, “to start planting the seeds in people’s minds already this year.” for next year, ”Patrick-Goudreau tells us.

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She has noticed that more people are ready to go without Thanksgiving turkey than you might think, but deciding that right before Thanksgiving isn’t enough to reduce economic demand. She suggests thanking your family members for understanding your point of view and saying something like, “You already did, but for next year, would you consider not having it,? not to serve it, not to do it, not to buy it? And so can we think of the next Thanksgiving now? Just to plant that seed.

Show off how wonderful turkeys are at your Thanksgiving dinner.

These days, Patrick-Goudreau and her husband share Thanksgiving dinner with a group of vegan friends. But despite everything, she continues the traditions she has had for years by honoring turkeys at meals, which she does by posting a photo of a turkey she has met, and walking around the table. to people to share stories about the turkeys they interacted with. .

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Patrick-Goudreau compares turkeys to cats, and she thinks that if more people interacted with the creatures, they would be more likely to stop eating them. She says Green business the story of a sweet turkey named Lydia whom she met in a farm animal sanctuary, who kept hugging Patrick-Goudreau. “These kinds of stories really get people to understand that these are people who want to live and who love life, who have their own personalities,” she says.

Offer to create a delicious vegan centerpiece for Thanksgiving.

Patrick-Goudreau thinks that so many people are so “attached” to eating a turkey on Thanksgiving for two main reasons: because that’s what most of us learn (“we may not learn,” she says. ), and because the body serves as the focal point on the table. Instead, Patrick-Goudreau suggests creating a squash-based centerpiece for Thanksgiving, whether it’s a large pumpkin filled with stuffing, or a platter of roasted acorn squash or mini pies. that everyone can share. (There are also many plant-based turkey alternatives on the market.)

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Remind others that Thanksgiving is really about community and gratitude, not about eating turkeys.

“The turkey has become the symbol of this holiday called Thanksgiving, so what is this holiday called Thanksgiving really about? It’s a matter of gratitude, and it’s a matter of abundance, of the fall harvest… and it’s also a matter of community, family and friends, ”says Patrick-Goudreau. “So if we insist on it, I think people will say, ‘Wait, you’re right, that’s stupid. Why would I put all my weight on this one thing, this turkey? “

If family members resist, have an open conversation and compromise.

Seeing a huge dead animal on a table can be an emotional experience for some vegans, but your family may not realize it. “When you have changed your perception, you see the suffering, you see, the abuse, you see the violence,” she explains. “If we haven’t shared this with our family members, they just think we’re dictatorial or we’re too emotional or trying to make them feel guilty.”

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She suggests sharing your feelings about eating near a dead body, and then asking questions such as, “Why is this so important to you?” What does this mean to you why? Why the turkey? And why do you feel resistance to doing something different? But don’t ask these questions rhetorically; really listen to their responses and try to find a solution that makes everyone happy.

If your crew refuses to give up the turkey, Patrick-Goudreau suggests a compromise: ask if the cutting and serving of the bird can be done in another room.

Put yourself in their shoes.

It can be frustrating when your loved ones don’t share your belief that animal exploitation is bad – and Patrick-Goudreau encourages all vegans to try and see the situation from a different perspective, to help them become a ‘happy vegan’ like she. is.

“If we can remember that we didn’t understand, that we didn’t see, that we only saw animals as products or as meat, and now we have a different perspective, why would anyone else in our Wouldn’t life also have that potential? “she said.” Remember that people have the capacity to change, but [don’t get] upset that they don’t – that’s the secret.

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