What’s thanksgiving without the turkey? An increasing number of families had to explore this possibility this holiday season as more and more families are committing to a vegan diet. Whether it’s for environmental purposes, anti-racism or health reasons, vegans are faced with the task of adapting holiday traditions usually centered around a warm, roasted bird.
According to the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG)—“a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on vegetarianism and veganism and the interrelated issues of health, nutrition, ecology, ethics and world hunger”—more people every year are faced with this task. According to a 2016 national survey conducted by Harris Poll and asked by the VRG, 3 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 and over were vegetarian or vegan. This would mean that 8 million adults are vegetarian or vegan and the VRG estimates that of this number, 3.7 million are strictly vegan. Their 2015 data report a similar estimate of 8 million vegetarians or vegans in the U.S., but at the time, they only estimated 1 million to be vegan.
As more and more people change their dietary habits, more and more companies have started to cater to the vegan market.
Take a stroll through your local Whole Foods or health food store this time of year and you’ll be surprised to find a vegan version of your favorite holiday staples. Miss turkey? Try Tofurky–a vegan tofu and wheat protein turkey! Stuffing? Avoid the sausage and replace that chicken broth with vegetable broth! Mashed potatoes? Come on now, you don’t really need that butter! Mash some Yukon Gold potatoes with spices and some unsweetened almond milk (and you could even add some Earth Balance vegan butter if you desire the creamy texture that pairs well with your Tofurky)! Desert? Whole Foods offered ready-to-eat vegan pumpkin pies. And don’t forget to top that pie with Trader Joe’s whipped coconut cream!
Recipes for homemade vegan roasts, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, no-bake pies and other staples are circling pinterest, instagram accounts and blogs on the internet in case you want to D.I.Y. your vegan holiday meals.
So, what’s thanksgiving without the turkey? It’s just thanksgiving, but without the turkey. Becoming or staying vegan this holiday season is not as difficult as it may seem, thanks to corporations recognizing us as a valuable market and the thousands of vegans out there who share their scrumptious recipes of the holiday staples we all crave.
Information for this article was gathered from vrg.org.