46 Million

46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving. My friend Chloe told me this statistic and showed me this awesome art campaign that wants to create a remembrance of those turkeys and bring awareness to the fate they have during the holiday season.


Compassion

When I brought this information to one of my classmates, they told me that they feel badly, but eating turkey is part of their family’s tradition. I think a lot of people feel this way.

I grew up eating turkey on Thanksgiving, as well as mashed potatoes that had milk and butter in them and non-vegan pumpkin pie. But for me, the tradition isn’t made by the food. Thanksgiving at my house is really just an excuse to get together with all of my extended family. We have those poppers, where one person takes one end and the other takes the other end and you pull, and it pops and inside is a paper crown and a little toy. It seems like there are always at least 10 little kids running around, and we take lots of pictures and love being with each other.

I know other people have different experiences and traditions, and maybe the turkey dinner really is a large part of that. But when it comes down to it, on a day I am supposed to be giving thanks, I want to be appreciative of all of Earth and its creatures. I want to show respect to my fellow beings and know that my dinner table does not contribute to the 46 million lives that are taken on Thanksgiving.

Here are some links to websites that can give you ideas and recipes for your vegan Thanksgiving!


Vegan Thanksgiving dinner table

http://www.meettheshannons.com/the-procrastinators-guide-to-a-vegan-thanksgiving/

http://gentleworld.org/vegan-menu-for-a-gentle-thanksgiving/

http://www.ourbodybook.com/eat/vegan-thanksgiving-meal-guide/

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A Happy Halloween (for Humans, Ghosts, and Animals Alike!)

It’s easy to have a vegan Halloween, but sometimes people don’t realize all of the things they need to watch out for in order to make this a fun night for animals as well. Below are a few things to keep in mind as you enjoy your fun and vegan Halloween!

 Pet Safety

Pet safety is always important, but it becomes more so during the holidays. For this holiday in particular, black cats are often at an increased risk. They are often adopted right before Halloween and then dropped off at the shelter a few days following. The conclusion is that some people like to have them around to add to their themes or spirit. This is traumatizing to the cat and shows little respect toward our furry friends. It happens so often that many shelters now refuse to let people adopt black cats around Halloween. If you have a black cat, it is important to keep it in doors on Halloween night. They are often the victim of violence, pranks and abuse during this holiday.

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Watch out for other pets as well. Sometimes, they will get into the candy and accidently ingest foods that are toxic to them. Chocolate and Xylitol (which is found in some gums and candies) are toxic to dogs, and eating candy wrappers can cause major issues as well. On top of that, make sure your Halloween decorations are safe for any pets you may have and if you are planning on having trick-or-treaters, consider keeping your pets in a room away from the front door so they run out or get scared.

Candy

Not all candy is vegan, but a lot of it is! Here is an extensive list of all candies that are vegan if you are worried that some of yours might not be! http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=4487&catId=2

 Here is a shorter list that includes some common Halloween candies that are vegan:

  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Airheads
  • Blow pops
  • Dum dums
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Now and Later
  • Mamba Fruit Chews
  • Licorice
  • Pez
  • Skittles
  • Smarties
  • Swedish Fish
  • Lollipops
  • Dots
  • Fireballs
  • Fruit by the Foot
  • Fun Dip
  • Hubba Bubba bubble gum
  • Pixy Stix
  • Runts
  • Nerds
  • Sweet tarts
  • Twizzlers

 Remember, candies that have caramel, gelatin, and milk chocolate (even dark chocolate too sometimes; be sure to read labels!) are most likely not vegan.

 Vegan Halloween Treats 

On the subject of candy, there are also some great vegan goodies and treats out there that are in the spirit of Halloween. Here is a great recipe for a Halloween treat from ohsheglows.com! https://powerofthevegan.wordpress.com/recipes/

And here are some more recipes:  http://www.theveganwoman.com/top-10-vegan-halloween-recipes-and-treats/

And on a side note…

Vegan Pumpkin Carving!

My friend, Chloe Hull (http://onethousandsunsblog.wordpress.com/), and I participated in our school’s festive pumpkin carving tonight and here is our finished product!

 

As college students, we didn't exactly have the right tools to accomplish this task, nor are we professional carvers...but all in all I think it turned out well!

As college students, we didn’t exactly have the right tools to accomplish this task, nor are we professional carvers…but all in all I think it turned out well!

The back of the pumpkin has a peace sign on it. However, it didn't turn out looking quite as good as we hoped...

The back of the pumpkin has a peace sign on it. However, it didn’t turn out looking quite as good as we hoped…

 

Have a fun and safe Halloween, and help spread the word about how to make this an enjoyable night for all creatures!