vegetarian thanksgiving
by Ali Berman
Categories: Eats, Vegan, Vegetarian.

It’s a shame that the Thanksgiving holiday is married to the act of eating meat (usually turkey or ham) in the minds of millions of Americans. The truth of it is, there are more reasons to leave animals off your place this holiday season than to gobble them up.

Here are six of our favorite reasons.

1. To Outlive Your Annoying Cousin/Uncle/Sibling (or whoever else you dread seeing on Thanksgiving)

Vegetarians and vegans will probably outlive you. They are less prone to health problems like cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. They don’t just get fewer diseases. They also weigh less too. Don’t trust me? Ask the American Dietetic Association. Leaving meat off your plate (and eggs and dairy too) will help you lead a long healthy life.

2. Butterball Was Caught Torturing Turkeys

In October of 2012 (yes, one month ago so these will be the turkeys thousands of people eat), a Mercy for Animals undercover investigator caught Butterball employees essentially torturing turkeys.

According to MFA they were caught doing the following:

Workers kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their fragile wings and necks, and maliciously throwing turkeys onto the ground or on top of other birds;

Wirds suffering from serious untreated illnesses and injuries, including open sores, infections, and broken bones; and

Workers grabbing birds by their wings or necks and violently slamming them into tiny transport crates with no regard for their welfare.

You can click over to MFA to watch the video. As they say, where there is smoke there is fire. The countless undercover investigations that come out show us that this kind of cruelty is the rule, not the exception. Don’t support it.

3. Pigs Are Smarter Than Your Kid…and Your Dog

pigs are smart

Anyone with a three-year-old knows how smart and inquisitive and wonderful they are. Even with all of that spunk, pigs are smarter. They are also smarter than your dog. Not that intelligence alone should tell us who we should or shouldn’t eat, but I’d say that even the biggest bacon enthusiast might think twice about eating pigs if one outscored their kid on a test.

4. Meat Is Destroying the Planet

As James Cameron recently said, “You can’t be an environmentalist, you can’t be an ocean steward without truly walking the walk and you can’t walk the walk in the world of the future, the world ahead of us, the world of our children, not eating a plant based diet.” Everyone agrees. Growing an animal for its meat requires water, food, land and so many resources that could be used to feed people, or keep our wilderness intact. One of the biggest reasons rainforests are being torn down so fast is so cattle can have room to graze. Say no to meat for the planet. The U.N. agrees.

5. Timmy the Turkey is Freaking Awesome

woodstock farm animal sanctuary

Last time I was at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary I met Timmy the turkey. This fella follows you around with his feathers all puffed out just to impress you. He is sweet, enjoys being cuddled and just wants to hang out with people. Timmy deserves better than to be eaten. He deserves a happy full life free from pain. Only we can give Timmy that life. But first we have to decide not to eat him.

6. This Beatle Told You To

Okay, so maybe the Brits don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but can you really go against a Beatle and look at yourself in the mirror the next morning? I didn’t think so.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is a writer, teacher and activist. She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Ali is also a fiction writer. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Shook/1492658712 Ron Shook

    I don’t have a problem with any of this except for point #4 which is wrong in so many ways. I’m not vegan or vegetarian, although I eat meat pretty much as Thomas Jefferson recommended, as a condiment, in small amounts in primarily vegetarian dishes as a flavoring and energy rich enhancement. We cannot begin to fix what we have done to this planet without even more of these animals than we already have, in nature mimicking cycles that can replenish soils and help us with the repair. Prior to Columbus there were two to 3 times the tonnage of animals in North America as today, and this was a paradise not a crap hole. The problem is not the animals, but in how they are grown, used and abused. Vegan/vegetarians need to get a handle on that.