I’ve got my Thanksgiving turkey! Have you?

I adopted a turkey at Farm Sanctuary. You can do the same here.


Turkey Myths

Is it true that turkeys are dumb?
There is a tendency for people who eat turkeys, or other animals, to perceive “food animals” as unworthy or undeserving of respect and compassion. One way for people to rationalize their choice to eat animals is to dismiss these beings as dumb. There is even a rumor that turkeys are so dumb that they will look up in the rain and drown. This claim is ridiculous and false. Farm Sanctuary has cared for turkeys for more than 20 years, and when it rains, the turkeys go inside their barn. No one who works at Farm Sanctuary has ever seen a turkey drown in the rain.

Do turkeys really suffer?

Every year, between 250 and 300 million turkeys are bred for slaughter in the U.S. Sadly, these turkeys are not protected under most state anti-cruelty laws, and they are specifically exempt from the federal Humane Slaughter Act. To meet consumer demand for white meat, commercial turkeys have been anatomically manipulated to have abnormally large breasts. As a result, the birds cannot mount and reproduce naturally, and the industry now relies on artificial insemination as the sole means of reproduction. In addition, most factory farmed turkeys, comprising the vast majority of turkeys raised for holiday dinners, endure painful beak and toe mutilations, because they are given only about three-square-feet of space on which to live. Through all of this physical manipulation, the industry has yet to grow an animal who does not feel pain and is not curious, social or friendly.

Thanksgiving Tradition

But Thanksgiving is a tradition – why do we need to change it?

Using a turkey as the centerpiece and symbol of Thanksgiving is a relatively new tradition invented and actively promoted by the poultry industry during the 20th century. Thankfully, humans are not bound by cruel traditions. Just because we’ve done something routinely in the past does not mean that it is automatically right. Traditions must evolve over time in order for our civilization to thrive. We must strive for better, more compassionate ways to interact with one another, and with other animals. Find more information on the history of Thanksgiving here.

What do vegetarians eat for Thanksgiving?
In addition to staple Thanksgiving foods like baked squash, savory stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and cornbread, there is also a growing variety of products that have been developed specifically to take the place of turkey at the Thanksgiving table. One popular product is called “Tofurky,” a meat-free, faux turkey roast made by Turtle Island Foods in Hood River, Oregon. If people want to make something themselves, they can just stuff a squash or pumpkin, instead of a turkey. After all, celebrating a compassionate Thanksgiving entails celebrating ALL life by giving up the broiled bird. Find vegetarian holiday recipes and more here.


Austin: Cats in urgent need of adoption

I just saw on News 8 Austin that 14 cats were dropped off at the Town Lake Animal Shelter today, from a single owner who can no longer take care of them. They currently have colds, but are healthy and ready to adopt. If they are not adopted by Friday, they will be killed on Saturday morning.

I recently adopted a lovely, lovely cat from the Town Lake Animal Shelter, and I highly recommend you check these cats out if you’re considering adopting one. Read my post about it here.

Town Lake’s adoption site

Search for a cat or dog here.

Cross posted from The Vegan Tree House.

"I can’t believe I’m still a vegan"

Newsweek prints an article written by a middle aged health vegan who is following Austin’s own vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Diet:

It would be simple enough to let it all go. As millions of middle-aged Americans have discovered, it’s a hell of a lot easier to grow a belly than to not grow one. But I don’t want to be one of those guys in the XXL golf shirts who look like they are about to give birth to a basketball. And I don’t want to increase my risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health problems associated with obesity. Which is why, in early January, as my holiday food intake helped push my weight past the 210 mark for the first time (I’m six feet tall) I became a vegan. Much to my surprise, more than two months later I am still a vegan. I am also 12 pounds lighter and I have substantially more energy than I did when I was a flesh eater. (That’s the term I use now to describe people who eat meat; annoying non-vegans, I have found, is one of the best things about being a vegan.)

Read more here.

Cross posted from The Vegan Tree House.

There’s a vegan in Beaumont!

Texas, y’all!

It’s tofurkey roasting on an open fire
By Humberto Martinez
December, 16, 2008

Turkey, cheese logs, eggnog and ham – these are the foods of the season.

But they’re foods that Tim Sebile, who is a vegan, can’t eat. Not in the traditional sense, anyway.

Sebile, who works at the Basic Foods store, hasn’t eaten meat or any other animal product for six years. It’s a way of living he said he’s proud to be a part of, even though there aren’t many vegetarians or vegans in the area.

Coming up with an alternative recipe isn’t hard, Sebile said, and if you’re a vegan or vegetarian for animal rights reasons, there shouldn’t be any temptation to cheat.

“You can have the same things other people eat, just made with different things,” he said. “Most people think if you’re a vegetarian, it doesn’t taste good, but that’s not true.”

Keep reading. Kudos to the Beaumont Enterprise for publishing this story.

Cross posted from The Vegan Tree House.

Guide to a Vegan Vanguard Thanksgiving, Part 3

Where Can a Vegan in Austin Go to Get Their Thanksgiving Grub On?
Cross posted from Vegan Vanguard

In Austin, there are many food-related events for vegans in the days leading up to, and including Thanksgiving Day.

Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts
Annual Very Best Thanksgiving Class and Luncheon
Great community-building event, where all dishes are vegan and gluten-free.
Class is 9:00am-noon, lunch is 12:15pm-1:45pm
Saturday, November 22
Class & lunch are $55 for the first person, $40 for the second, or attend lunch only for $25
1701 Toomey Road
Austin, TX 78704

Royal Co-op
Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck
Enjoy a sense of camaraderie and meet new people
Sunday, November 23
512 478-0880
1805 Pearl Street
Austin, TX 78701

Happy Vegan Baker
Eat Thanksgiving dinner in your own home without having to prepare a thing.
Complete 8-part meals prepared by Inge
Order by 5 pm on November 25, pick up or get it delivered(for a fee) on November 26.
Full meal is $28 per person, but dishes can be purchased separately.
Order via the website, phone 512-657-3934, or email inge@happyveganbaker.com

Casa de Luz
Austin’s only totally vegan restaurant continues its tradition of offering lunch on Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 27
$15 includes full meal and dessert
1701 Toomey Road
Austin, TX 78704

I know other cities are host to similar events, unfortunately, I don’t have any info about them.


Since the premature demise of Dhaba Joy, we have to sniff out every other vegan cupcake in Austin. Good news – Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop at 1905 South First now has some! According to their online menu, they are now “rotating flavors every day.” YES.

Their FAQ also invites customers to let them know if more vegan items are wanted. Here’s their email: feedback at sugarmamasbakeshop dot com

And, as it turns out, the vegan miracle-workers from Dhaba Joy have set up a renegade underground bakery.

Nom nom nom

Cross posted from The Vegan Tree House.