Vegan potlucks build strong communities

Thousands gave thanks this year around turkeyless tables and fed their bodies with nourishing foods void of all animal products. Though that might sound strange to some, us vegans know that there’s a lot more to Thanksgiving than what’s on the table – to us, it’s about what’s not on the table. (Though please don’t be mistaken, vegans love our food and eliminating animal products doesn’t inhibit our taste buds!)

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Give side dishes the thanks they deserve.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Americans will trash an estimated $282 million of uneaten turkey this Thanksgiving; which contributes to the $165 billion in uneaten food Americans waste every year.

“Along with trashing uneaten turkeys, they’ll be wasting the resources necessary for its production — meaning 105 billion gallons of water — enough to supply New York City for more than 100 days — and greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 800,000 car trips from New York to San Francisco,” a statement by the NRDC said.

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Thanksgiving is only a week away and most Americans have only ever encountered a turkey in the freezer section of the grocery store or one who was served to them on a platter – sadly, most have never experienced the joy of meeting a living, breathing turkey.

Turkeys are very beautiful birds. They pay great attention to grooming and preening their fancy feathers, while soaking up the warm sun and taking dust baths. Turkeys are known for their resourcefulness, agility and social nature. Like other birds, turkeys spend their days building nests and foraging for food. They also enjoy the companionship of others and create strong social bonds that last a lifetime.

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Photo: Flickr user mmassie under Creative Commons License

A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reveals that local slaughterhouses are not a sustainable option, despite the public’s notion that local meat may be an answer to factory farms.

The study looked at the number and types of slaughter facilities available in the United States, and found that although demand for “local meat” has doubled over the last decade, the small-scale characteristics of local operations are not necessarily viable.

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So it seems that talk of climate change only resurfaces following a devastating natural disaster. This time “Frankenstorm” Sandy, which struck the U.S. Eastern Shore at the beginning of the week, can be thanked for bringing global warming back into view. Even the up-coming presidential election seems to have ignored the issue.

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