So it’s Thanksgiving and it’s your turn to host the dinner this year.  What a lovely notion.  Hope you’ve been reading up on the latest information on preparing a meal with multiple guests?  We’ve all seen the YouTube videos with the traditional turkey, mash potatoes, stuffing, Mac and Cheese, where each guest—one at a time—complains that they’re either vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or lactose-intolerant; and that’s just the beginning of today’s current dietary requirements.  The poor host slaves over that convection oven all day to prepare a traditional 9-course meal, filled with love, only to end up throwing the turkey against the wall and calling it a night out of sheer frustration. Yes, having a dinner party in 2017 has turned into a cook’s biggest nightmare.

Turkey-dinner2Now mind you, certain people are a whiz to cook for. Turkey with all the trimmings and tryptophan is just perfect for Southerners, Midwesterners, visitors from the third world, lower-income districts, etc.  In these easygoing households, the calorie-laden Thanksgiving dinner is nothing more than an excuse to relax, watch the big game, and graze on leftovers.  Did you know the average Thanksgiving dinner dolls out 4,500 calories and over 229 grams of fat per serving not including seconds?  After all, it’s an American tradition.  But for your yoga going, zen crowd, forget about frying that turkey!  In fact, forget about wasting four hours preparing a turkey at all; there will be none of that!  You can throw out the stuffing while you’re at it, too.  So what do we feed those finicky guests of yours?  Let’s face it, the most problematic eaters are usually vegans.

Vegans can forgo the soporific bird for other tasty options. Surely you’ve heard of the brand Tofurkey (a tofu turkey).  There’s actually a Tofurky that looks like a roasted turkey, which looks savory and delicious; it comes equipped with stuffing that you can place inside. It is a full six pounds and should feed 12 to 16 people. Plenty of leftovers! I could end this article now, but I won’t.  Most vegans have chosen this way of life for the environment, and for their love of animals. I’ve spoken to many vegans and they do not consume any food that once had a face. So why then would they fashion their meal after an actual turkey?  It would be like a person claiming he’s not a cannibal, yet he designed his meal to look like a person. The idea of Tofurky (or Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Roast, and others like it) defies vegan reasoning. So the question is can a vegan or vegetarian in good conscience enjoy a Thanksgiving meal without it looking like a Thanksgiving meal.


For you non-carnivores, sustaining a plant-based diet can be difficult, depending on the part of the world in which you live. With the constant commercials featuring hamburgers, steaks, chicken, and fish, I commend anyone who can resist the temptation to indulge.  Oh and the smells . . . how does one resist those smells? Are vegans like recovering alcoholics who, one day at a time, are constantly choosing not to take a drink?  Or are they resigned to honor their beliefs and fight the good fight—only eat a plant-based diet.  But is it a good fight?  Don’t plants have a say in the matter?  Don’t they have feelings, too?


Plant perception or biocommunication is the paranormal idea that plants are sentient, that they respond to humans in a manner that amounts to ESP, and that they experience pain and fear. The idea is not accepted, as plants lack nervous systems. Paranormal claims in regard to plant perception are considered to be pseudoscience by many in the scientific community.” Wikipedia

The problem is that humans have victimized animals to such a degree that they are not even considered victims. They are not even considered at all. They are nothing; they don’t count; they don’t matter. They are commodities like TV sets and cell phones. We have actually turned animals into inanimate objects – sandwiches and shoes.” Gary Yourofsky, Animal Right’s Activist

My body will not be a tomb for other creatures.” -Leonardo Di Vinci

Thanksgiving dinner photographed by Marcus Quigmire (Florida, USA), Wikimedia Commons

But here’s some real food for thought . . .

Animals and humans are not the only “things” that feel.  Scientific proof has confirmed that plants are sentient.

“Over the past two decades, there has been a revolution in vegetal biology.  Science now shows that plants appear to be sentient beings.  They perceive light, touch, smell, water, and many more variables than we do.  They can learn, remember, and communicate. They exhibit the traits that we associate with personhood.  Experimental science has confirmed that plants can see when you’re standing next to them, and the color of your shirt.  They don’t have eyes, but they have the same photoreceptor proteins all over their bodies that humans have at the back of their retina.  Plants don’t have brains, but they transfer information to electrical chemical signals in their cells identical to the ones used by our own neurons.  A plant may not have a brain, but it acts like a brain.

–Kenny Ausubel, 2016 National Bioneers Conference

I think we all have some real thinking to do. Vegans, pescatarians, vegetarians, carnivores, breatharians how will you celebrate your Turkey Day? Let’s be thankful for the food we have.  Let’s be thankful for the fact that we can still choose what we eat.  Let’s be thankful that we have food and non-contaminated water.  Not everybody on this planet has been as fortunate, so enjoy your turkey or tofu, but just remember to have a happy Thanksgiving, Americans!

(This article came from Agenda November 2017, Issue #2 in print.)