According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, being a vegetarian is one of the top things you can do for the environment. If you figure it takes 3¼ acres to feed the average meat-eating North American and only a ½ acre to feed a vegetarian, you can see how they might have a point. When we have holiday meals with meat as the centerpiece, however, it's hard to consider vegetarian options. But once you know that more than 45 million turkeys are killed each year just for Thanksgiving dinner, and that prior to their deaths turkeys spend their days on filthy factory farms, growing to be pathologically obese, weak, and suffering from heart and lung disease, you might rethink your menu.
There are plenty of faux turkey alternatives available at many national grocery store chains or you can make your own faux-turkey at home! There are even vegan versions of many of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes! In this article, we focus primarily on vegetarian turkey replacements for your Thanksgiving table centerpieces.
Before sitting down to eat your delicious turkey-free Thanksgiving dinner, also consider donating $30 to sponsor a turkey residing at Farm Sanctuary to help combat the abuses of factory farming and to encourage a new awareness and understanding about farm animals! Since the holiday is all about giving thanks for life's bounties, it couldn't hurt to add a level of compassion and generosity to your annual Thanksgiving tradition! Visit AdoptATurkey.org to get started!
DELICIOUS TURKEY ALTERNATIVES
Tofurky: The first Tofurky Roast was introduced in 1995 and with it came both popularity and ridicule. Today, however, the Tofurky is an integral part of worldwide vegetarian culture and provides a delicious and convenient alternative to turkey, with its savory flavor and meat-like texture. The Tofurky Feast is made with organic, non-genetically engineered soybeans and comes with savory “giblet” gravy, a wild rice, whole wheat bread crumb stuffing, Tofurky Jurky Wishstix, and more, and only takes about an hour to cook!
Vegan Whole Turkey : VegeUSA and Vegetarian Plus know how important table appearance is to your holiday celebration, which is why their Vegan Whole Turkey is shaped like a bird. The great part about the VegeUSA vegan turkey by Vegetarian Plus, apart from the obvious fact that no turkey was harmed, is that it's largely comprised of soybean and vegetable protein, which means it takes just 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook after defrosting!
Savory Stuffed Turk'y: Gardein's Savory Stuffed Turk'y comes frozen, breaded, and stuffed with a classic cranberry stuffing along with a packet of vegetarian gravy. The Gardein brand is universally loved for its chewy, aesthetically appealing meat substitutes and, unlike other vegetarian turkey alternatives, contains all natural ingredients that are easy to identify and pronounce. With its great visual appearance and minimal cooking time of just 30 minutes or less, the Gardein Savory Stuffed Turk'y is a guaranteed hit!
Turk'y Roast: Quorn's Turk'y Roast is a meatless, soy-free loaf that's made from all-natural ingredients and bears a texture that's remarkably similar to its meaty counterpart. The 16 oz roast takes between 30 minutes and an hour to cook, serves five people, and only costs around $8.
Celebration Roast: Seattle, Wash.-based Field Roast delivers a seasonal Celebration Roast made from soy-free grain meat seasoned with rubbed sage, garlic, and lemon juice, and stuffed with a rich and savory sausage-style stuffing. The Celebration Roast makes a beautiful centerpiece, appetizer, or sandwich filling. You can find the roast in both 1 and 2 pound sizes, and it's quite easy to order online from any of the Field Roast retailers.