Celebrations of Years Gone By

Happy Thanks-living

Ah yes, we Canadians eh!, always jumping to the front of the line. Not only did we celebrate our Thanksgiving more than a month before our fellow North Americans to the south, truth be told, many years ago we actually borrowed the holiday and tradition from them. But what is a holiday or two among friends? So, since we have already celebrated this day of Thankfulness and Gratitude, I thought I would share a few ideas that may inspire those of you who will be celebrating this coming November 26th, 2015.

Instead of thinking about what foods to serve, think about what might be fun to do when everyone is gathered together.

1) How about touch football, or a walk in the woods, or if you live in a warm enough climate, maybe a pool party could work.

2) Ask your guests to make a gratitude list and and share it at the dinner table.

Holiday Centerpiece

Holiday Centerpiece

Setting the Table

Setting the Table

3) If you have little ones in your life, help them to create a centerpiece for the table and to set the table as well.  A skit presented by them is always appreciated by the guests.

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

My Granddaughter and a Piggy!

My Granddaughter and a Piggy!

4) Make visiting a farmed animal sanctuary the main event.

5) Visit relatives and friends and even strangers who may be shut or live in assisted living and may be alone in this world.

6) Put together some gift bags and stand on a busy street corner and give plant based food and products to the homeless.

Animals do suffer daily in the production of food for our traditions and culture.  As humans, I believe  that it is our responsibility and honor to protect the vulnerable. Who could be more vulnerable than those species caught either directly or indirectly in all of our death for profit industries?

By definition, tradition is:

the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice: a story that has come down to us by popular tradition. 2. something that is handed down.

There is no mention made here of traditions being an incontrovertible truth. In fact, many traditions are inherently and overtly harmful and filled with disrespect for others, while contributing nothing whatsoever to our attempt to  respect and memorialize our history and culture. Pig wrestling competitions at fairs and fundraisers, chuck wagon races at despicable rodeos and fox hunting, all  fall under the rubric of acceptable tradition even though most of them have nothing whatsoever to do with human history and culture. Why would we want to continue perpetrating such cruelty in the name of tradition?

Cozy Jammies

Cozy Jammies

Holidays of Yesteryear!!!

Holidays of Yesteryear!!!

I will be the first to admit that traditions can comforting and fun and do connect us in some way to those who went before us. Warm and comfy flannel PJ’s and Nighties remind me of my mother and grandmother. I give some of these “cozies” to my grandchildren every year  at Christmas time. Turkey also reminds me of the warm and wonderful meals my mother and grandmother would lovingly make for their families at holiday  time. I still cherish the memory of the love, but instead of the turkey, the ham and the roast pork, I now serve plant based dishes in honor and respect of all life.

Baked Apples

Baked Apples

Celebratory Table

Celebratory Table

When it comes to Menu Planning, use whole plant based foods. The world of recipes has exploded with wonderful sites which can help you with your holiday planning. And consider how easy this might be with the plethora of wonderful fruits and vegetables at this time of the year. You know how you get a tickle in your tummy when visiting an outdoor market and see a table piled high with luscious peaches, bright red tomatoes, nubby looking squash?….Now, just imagine for a moment all that goodness transferred to your celebratory table.

Plant Based Websites and Recipes

it doesn’t taste like chicken

Fat Free Vegan

Forks Over Knives

One Green Planet

Check out my recipes in the Menu tab at top of my website.

And this Thanksgiving or maybe this Sunday, please try my newest addition to my recipe pool.

Baked Apples

Annie’s Vegan View

Create a new, plant based tradition on this and all holiday celebrations.

Make family and friend togetherness the centerpiece of our tables and our hearts.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne

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10 thoughts on “Traditions and a Vegan Thanksgiving!

  • November 18, 2015 at 8:01 am
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    I envision a place where soulful kindness comes through every man woman and child.

    Reply
    • November 18, 2015 at 8:26 am
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      Hi Lisette,
      Welcome to my website and thank you for your comments. I too envision such a place even though sometimes I have to choose to believe in a kinder, better world, considering all that I know about our cruel use of animals for our wants, not needs. This is why I do what I do, hoping to always be the pebble in the shoe of non vegans, encouraging them to use their critical thinking and their hearts to change the status quo and to be on the side of all species, not just the human species.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • November 18, 2015 at 10:03 am
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    What a lovely write up Annie!
    I love the ideas of getting the little ones to make the centrepieces. This is exactly the kind of project that would have thrilled me as a kid.
    Thank you for the link to my site as well.
    All the best,
    Sam

    Reply
    • November 18, 2015 at 10:24 am
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      Hi Sam,
      I am glad that you enjoyed my article. My grandchildren and I had a fun time. We gathered the last of the fall flowers and picked some fallen twigs and maple leaves.
      I am always happy to share the link to your website. You are doing important work for the animals by showing the benefits of veganism and plant based eating. Plus, your recipes are fun and tasty.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • November 18, 2015 at 3:59 pm
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    Love your suggestions. I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for the last 7 yrs, this being the first as a vegan. I’m taking the family to a wolf sanctuary in Julian, CA followed by a vegan picnic. Most of the members are accepting of having 1 meal without animal products, but my sister says she’s going to bring her own lunch; she wants the traditional meal at a house not a park. I wanted to tell her to just not come but kept my mouth shut. I’m new to veganism. I live in drought-stricken California and it was my search for information on where our water was going that I found out how much water is used for animal agriculture which led me to factory farming which lead to me becoming a vegan. Of course my family thinks I’m nuts and I don’t pontificate about it, but my son who’s signature dish is a delicious steak is now using vegan sausage in his spaghetti sauce and it’s been months since he’s lit up the bbq. He’s not completely vegan, but he does make better choices. I think one of the hardest things for people to give up is cheese. I feel that by not choosing to educate ourselves about our food and the environment is saying to the future generations we don’t care about you, only about us. It’s good to see that more and more people are choosing a lifestyle that doesn’t cause harm. The very best to you Grammie Anne and to all you out there that respect life and the planet.

    Reply
    • November 19, 2015 at 10:15 am
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      Hi Ellen,
      Thank you for your considered and heartfelt comments. Firstly, kudos on the Thanksgiving day plans. I truly believe that one of our goals as humans is to inform, to educate, to learn. What better way to do it than by showing people that your values are firm and that making new traditions can be fun. It is a tough one-people hang on to tradition as if it is the only thing connecting them to the past.

      Yes, we read quite a bit about drought stricken California. This is why everyone needs to watch Cowspiracy. The information and truth in it have the ability to rock and literally change the world. being a presence and an example to others has great power to shift our understanding of what veganism is and why it is really a universal truth that is gaining traction in this non vegan world.

      So happy to hear about your son. Cheese contains casomorphins, which are addictive.
      Yes, it is our continued responsibility to educate ourselves so that we can better life on this planet and leave something worthy to our children and grandchildren.
      And the best to you, Ellen.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • November 19, 2015 at 3:36 am
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    I like your #4 idea of visiting a sanctuary the “best”, but they are all great suggestions! Luckily, I escape most of T-giving, living in Germany. I miss my family, but I wouldn’t actually be able to see them even if I were in the US (they all lived far away from where I did before I moved) and none of them are vegan. … And although I keep in mind the terrible suffering this ‘holiday’ causes, the ‘happy’ parts aren’t shoved in my face and for that, I am thankful. It’s too bad that something as good and noble as being thankful has been hijacked and turned into something truly terrible. Maybe in time, with more awareness, things will change for the better. For our US friends…Happy Thanksliving! (I got that term from Have Gone Vegan). 🙂

    Reply
    • November 19, 2015 at 10:21 am
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      Hi Krissa,
      Yes, the sanctuary idea is a good one and one of my readers, Ellen is taking her family to one on Thanksgiving Day. Kudos to her!! She gets it and has been a vegan for only one year. It is very encouraging to see and know that vegans are continuing to bring their ethics in line with their daily living. It is such an important advocacy.
      Our holidays and traditions certainly have been hijacked by ideology and many of them no longer even remotely resemble their origins. It must be hard, though to be away from your family.
      I do believe that awareness is growing and we must never underestimate our role in this. We are, a voice united, standing with and for the animals.
      Take care,
      Anne
      Anne

      Reply
  • November 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm
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    The wolf sanctuary was awesome and no one suffered or went hungry from eating veggies. There were some complaints. 🙂

    Reply

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