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Thanksgiving, the Vegan Way

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!


  1. Comment by


    on #

    it would be great if you guys could post some tried and true vegan recipes for thanksgiving, or links to.

  2. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    Since this is my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, I don’t have anything tried and true, but here’s a selection of recipes from FARM’s Gentle Thanksgiving:

  3. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    We’re gonna do some more Thanksgiving-related posts as the day approaches. Stay tuned!

  4. Comment by


    on #

    Where can I buy a vegetarian “turkey” in NYC? Cheers.

  5. Comment by


    on #

    Whole Foods is one place to get vegetarian (seitan) turkey in NYC!

  6. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    The Westerly usually has a good selection too, and I love to support the littler guy!

  7. Comment by

    Laura Leslie

    on #

    I always make at least one of these pies for Thanksgiving. My favorites are the pecan and pumpkin.

  8. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    I don’t always love what Ideal Bite espouses, but this info on veg Thanksgiving options was surprisingly good:

  9. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    And I just heard that at the deli counter at Whole Foods, you can get Garden Protein’s new Turkey Breast With Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing.

  10. Comment by


    on #

    What about something actually ON Thanksgiving? Some potluck or just informal get-together? I’m not doing ANYTHING this year as it is, and I don’t have the money for someone to cater mine. Last year I found the VegOut dinner to be awkward and, well… a white-walled room in the LGBT Center isn’t nearly as cozy as someone’s home…

    Surely there’s gotta be SOMETHING…

  11. Comment by


    on #

    If you’re in Southern California, you can always go to Native Foods in Costa Mesa on Thanksgiving for an amazing dinner buffet. It’s not the cheapest dinner out there, but it’s worth every penny to eat yourself stupid on such delicious food.

  12. Comment by


    on #

    Is it too soon for 2007 NYC Thanksgiving menus? My house is too small to cook in!