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/

Advertisements

Vegan101

Although this blog is primarily for those who are already vegan, I thought it would be good to cover the basics. If you Google “veganism,” the first hit is a Wikipedia page that gives the definition: “Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals.”

Basically, what this means is that vegans do not consume animal products, including meat, milk, eggs, honey, bone, and blood. It also means that vegans do not wear or use products, such as leather and feathers, that come from animals. The complicated phrase that says “following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals” just means that vegans do not believe in using sentient animals (that is, animals that are able to perceive pain and feel things) as a commodity.

Vegangraphic

There are also different types of vegans. They include: ethical vegans, dietary vegans, environmental vegan and raw vegans. Dietary vegans are vegans that avoid consuming animal products, but do not abstain from buying such things as leather boots or feather pillows. Ethical vegans, on the other hand, do both. Environmental vegans are the same as ethical and/or dietary vegans, except their reasons for practicing veganism stem from the unsustainability of our agricultural system. Those who are raw vegans do not eat any food cooked above a certain temperature and also do not eat any processed food, adhering to a strict diet of fruits, nuts, legumes, vegetables, grains, seeds, herbs and sprouts. This blog will mainly focus on environmental veganism.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veganism

Here are five brief reasons as to why people choose to “go vegan”:

1. It Conserves Water

It takes up 200 times more water to produce a pound of beef than it does to produce a pound of plant foods. Source:http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=4425&catId=3

Pic-Water_Conservation_Tipsn-Pic

2. It Makes your Carbon Footprint Smaller

According to a United Nations report, animal agriculture contributes more to greenhouse gas than every type of transportation put together. Source: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=4425&catId=3

photo (3)

3. It Makes you Healthier

A diet high in animal fats and proteins has been shown to raise a person’s risk of developing all kinds of diseases like heart disease, diabetes and multiple types of cancer whereas those who adhere to a plant based diet have a significantly decreased risk of developing these illnesses. You’re also less likely to be overweight or obese.  Sources: http://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer/facts/meat-consumption-and-cancer-risk

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/149636.php

veggies

4. It’s more Sustainable

Seventy percent of the grain grown in the United States is fed to livestock. Source: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=4425&catId=3

grain

5. It Doesn’t Harm Other Beings

happy cow

Here are three common myths about being vegan and why they are wrong:

1. If you’re vegan, you can’t get enough protein

As long as you aren’t living on a diet that consists entirely of one food group, you should be fine. Protein can be found in all kinds of non-meat, non-dairy food. To name a few: tempeh, soybeans, lentils, black beans, veggie burgers, chickpeas, tofu, bagels, quinoa, peas, almonds, spaghetti, peanut butter, soy milk, almond milk, whole wheat bread, sunflower seeds, cashews, spinach, broccoli, and many more vegetables, nuts, grains and food.

Another myth that needs debunking is that vegans and vegetarians have to strictly monitor their protein intake to make sure they are getting enough and they are getting all the amino acids they need. Once again, as long as you aren’t surviving off a diet of little variance, this isn’t true. You will get plenty of protein just by eating a regular diet of vegetables, fruits and grains. Personally, I have been vegan for a year and have never once tried to figure out my average daily protein intake nor worried about whether it is enough. I don’t feel like my body is lacking anything; quite the contrary. Since becoming vegan, I have had more energy and felt better, both mentally and physically, and the stress over choosing what to eat and worrying about where my food comes from has gone away almost completely. I simply eat what is natural and what makes me feel good.

If you are looking for a list of how much protein is in foods typically thought to be in line with a vegan diet, you can go to the Vegetarian Resource Group’s webpage!

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.php

2. Vegans are aggressive activists and can’t be reasoned with

There seems to be a stigma surrounding veganism that vegans disapprove of every meat and dairy eater and will take any opportunity to tell others why they are wrong. When I first became vegan, I didn’t tell anybody. I knew by just mentioning it, my friends would perceive it as an attack on their eating habits. Some vegans may be critical about others’ eating habits, but other vegans may not. It really depends on the person.

3. All vegans are animal lovers

This simply isn’t true. While a lot of people do choose to become vegan because they love animals and can’t stand the thought of hurting them, others, such as environmental vegans, have different motivations. I, myself, am not an animal lover. I do want to prevent the harm of animals, but I don’t have any interest in visiting a farm or owning chickens or even dogs.

One last thing: if you are search of an amazing vegan recipe, try these vegan enchiladas by clicking on the link below. They are absolutely delicious! http://ohsheglows.com/2011/05/04/vegan-enchiladas-with-cilantro-avocado-cream-sauce-2/

download (2)

(Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Spinach, and Pepper Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce)