Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a heartless holiday feast that leaves out vegans.

Being the animal lovers that lesbians are, Thanksgiving can be a tough time of year. The iconic role played by oven-roasted turkeys, the centerpiece of any successful Thanksgiving dinner, can have vegans feeling left out in the cold.


The truth about turkeys is that they’re more like us than we think. It’s been reported by scientists that pigs are responsive to domestication and develop behaviors much like human beings. The same is now being said about our large feathered friends. Turkeys form lifelong bonds with other turkeys and tend to mate for life. They feel sadness, happiness and fear—just like us. They sleep together, bathe together, and are never found more than a few feet apart. Each turkey has its own personality—some are more social, curious and energetic than others, while some turkeys are laid back or even lazy. And while everybody, it seems, prizes a plump turkey breast at the dinner table or in a sandwich, these large creatures certainly get around in the wild, flying at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. And just like us, turkeys enjoy the company of other animals, bonding with other species in the wild and hanging out with their families. 


Captivity is the enemy of this bird's longevity: turkeys in the wild live up to 10 years, but commercially farmed turkeys live only for 3 months. In fact, without our intervention, turkeys would have a pretty nice life. A mother turkey is fiercely protective of her baby and the bond between them is strong.


Farming turkeys is also not kind to the environment. It takes around 5 pounds of grain to make one pound of turkey meat. So imagine how much grain it takes to create the 45,000,000 turkeys sold each in the U.S. during the holidays!


But what are the alternatives? Thanksgiving is, after all, as American as apple pie. How can you celebrate Thanksgiving and save a turkey? Well, twenty years ago, an "ecopreneur" in Portland, Oregon developed the first meatless alternative for the holidays—the Tofurky Roast. At first, many people were skeptical of a meatless turkey roast. What would it look and taste like? Would it be as good? Would meat eaters be tempted? But the idea turned out to be a success and more than 3.5 million Tofurky Roasts have been sold, in more than 25,000 stores, on five continents, earning annual revenues of more than $30 million. Tofurky is now the most popular item on the vegetarian and vegan holiday table, and meat eaters even like a change. 


Tastes also seem to be changing. America’s per-capita consumption of turkey meat has declined nearly 12 percent. It seems like every family has a vegan or vegetarian (and a gay person!) somewhere in the family tree. So, be adventurous and kind this Thanksgiving and try the Tofurky recipe below for a cruelty-free Thanksgiving dinner.


Apple Cider Glazed Tofurky Roast


This delicious recipe is a lovely centerpiece for any holiday table—and the bonus is that you make it in one pan! Whisking some of the pan juices into your Tofurky Savory Gravy ties the dish together beautifully.



1 Tofurky Roast, thawed with casing removed

1 tart apple (such as Granny Smith or Pippen) peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" slices

2 cups apple cider

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 tsp dried sage

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1 each carrot, celery, parsnip, sweet potato, yellow onion, peeled and chopped into large chunks



Preheat oven to 350F. Make a slice in the Tofurky Roast every 1/4 (only cut down half way down into the roast). Insert a slice of apple into each slit. Place the roast into a baking dish and surround it with the chunks of carrots, celery, parsnips, onions and potatoes. In a separate dish, mix together the apple cider, soy sauce, sage, thyme and rosemary. Pour the sauce over the roast and veggies. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the foil from the pan and carefully spoon some of the juice surrounding the veggies over the roast. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes uncovered.

When heating the tub of Tofurky Savory Gravy, whisk in 1 cup of the juices from the Tofurky Roast baking dish. Enjoy!



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