For the first time in history, I won’t be spending Thanksgiving with my family. I just went vegan in April, and I told the fam I want to be able to enjoy myself this year, eating everything that’s put in front of me instead of analyzing the side dishes in hopes that one of them wasn’t made with butter. Not sitting at a table with a dead turkey in the middle of it won’t be so bad either.
The great thing is, there are so many options for doing Thanksgiving the vegan way. The weekend before, head on over to Orland, Calif., or Watkins Glen, N.Y., on Nov. 18 and 19, respectively, for Farm Sanctuary’s Celebration FOR the Turkeys. The California dinner is catered and costs $30, while the New York event is a potluck; participants are asked to bring a vegan dish that will feed eight people (entrance is $5). Register online here, or call 607-583-2225 ext. 221, but be sure to do it by Nov. 10.
Also on Sunday, Nov. 19, is Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary’s ThanksLiving Dinner—that’s where I’m headed! For $50 per person ($25 for kids), you’ll hear speakers and live music while feasting on delicious vegan dishes, all topped off by desserts from Vegan Treats. It’s also the last weekend this year that the sanctuary will officially be open to the public, so head on over and make friends with some of the critters.
On Thanksgiving Day proper, you have several options, depending on where you live. If you’re like me, you’re not a natural-born cook—though I do follow a mean recipe. If that’s your MO, consider signing up for Moo-Free’s five-hour Caribbean-style holiday cooking class, which takes place this Thursday, Nov. 9, from 1-6 pm. You’ll learn how to make rice and peas, “turkey” breast and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, apple pie, and more. The best thing is, after you make it in class, you get to eat it! Fee is $75.
If you’d rather just sit back and have your dinner delivered to you, enter PETA2’s Win a Free Tofurky Feast! contest. Use the online form to e-mail five friends or family members and tell them why they should forgo turkey this year, and every year. The most persuasive e-mails will win Tofurkys, and the letters will be published on the site. Deadline for entries is Nov. 19.
If you’re lucky enough to live in L.A., you can enjoy dinner from Real Food Daily in your own home. For $36.95 per person, you can feast on all-organic fare like Butternut Bisque, Faux Turkey Breast, Corn Sage Stuffing, Candied Yams, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Relish, and Pumpkin Pie with Tofu Whip. Place your order in person at one of Real Food’s restaurants or by phone: 310-451-7544 for Santa Monica and 310-289-9910 for West Hollywood. Meals must be picked up on Wednesday, Nov. 23, between 2 and 9 p.m.
To keep the holiday going strong, or at least weeklong, on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, there’s a VegOut Meetup Group potluck at 5pm at the LGBT Community Center. Bring $5 and a vegan dish, and be prepared to eat the evening away!