Saturday, November 21, 2009

Excellent site: Gentle Thanksgiving

Gentle Thanksgiving

Please visit their site:

Millions of vegetarian and other caring folks across the U.S. are celebrating this Thanksgiving with a rich selection of delicious vegetables, fruits, baked goods, and mock meats replacing the carcass of a dead bird on their dinner table. The vegetarian bill of fare may include a 'tofurky,' lentil or nut roast, stuffed squash, corn chowder or chestnut soup, candied yams, cranberry sauce, pumpkin or pecan pie, and carrot cake.

Some are doing it for their health, some oppose the violence, and others are concerned with the environmental consequences.

Most vegetarian Thanksgiving observances are held in the privacy of a home. Many others, in hotel ballrooms, community centers, and church halls, are open to the public. Please click here for a listing of public events

Vegetarian homemakers have many choices. Those pressed for time can buy a tofu and seitan 'tofurky,' as well as other wholesome, delicious, ready-to-eat vegetarian dishes in their local food markets. More traditional homemakers can consult a number of vegetarian cookbooks and web sites. Please click here for recipes and other resources.

Much of the credit for the national shift to plant-based eating goes to the overwhelming support of food editors and other media representatives.

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About A Gentle Thanksgiving

Many people believe that abusing and killing an innocent bird betrays the life-affirming spirit of giving thanks for our life, health, and happiness.

The 330 million turkeys killed each year in the U.S. spend their entire lives crammed into large sheds with little room to move. Their legs can barely support their genetically disfigured bodies. Their beaks and toes are trimmed to reduce damage from stress-induced aggression. Their eyes and lungs are burned by toxic fumes emanating from their excrement. After 16 weeks of misery, they are hung on a conveyer belt, their throats cut, then they are dumped, sometimes still conscious, into scalding water that strips their feathers.

The birds exact their revenge. Their flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats, which have been linked conclusively with an elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic killer diseases that kill 1.4 million Americans annually.

Turkey flesh is also contaminated with hormones, deadly pathogens, and antibiotics. Hormones disrupt normal growth and sexual development in the consumer. The pathogens, including Salmonella and Campylobacter, are introduced by eviscerating equipment spilling fecal matter into the bird's body cavities. Careful adherence to U.S. Department of Agriculture warning labels and Poultry Hotline directions are required to avoid severe food poisoning. The antibiotics build up the pathogens' immunity to these powerful remedies.

Much of the 10 billion pounds of manure generated by 7,300 turkey farms in 33 states ends up in our drinking water. Grain fed to turkeys is denied to millions of starving Third World people.

Plant-based eating has become increasingly popular, as Americans discover the health, environmental, and ethical benefits of kicking the meat habit.

More than 30 million Americans have explored meatless eating, and nearly one third purchase mock meat products regularly.

One in three teens thinks that being vegetarian is 'cool.'

California and Hawaii legislatures have recommended that schools offer a daily vegetarian lunch option, and other states are considering similar resolutions.

Mainstream health advocacy groups, like the American Dietetic Association, American Cancer Society, and National Cancer Institute are touting plant-based, vegetarian diets.

Major food manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, like ConAgra, Kraft, Kellogg, SYSCO, Burger King, and McDonald's, are marketing vegetarian meals.

All supermarket chains carry a large selection of mock lunchmeats, vegetarian burgers and dogs, and ready-to-eat meals containing these items.

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Arranging your own vegetarian Thanksgiving event is easy and satisfying. Please click here for detailed instructions.

The purpose of the Gentle Thanksgiving campaign is to encourage your friends, family and neighbors to adopt compassionate alternatives to funding the abuse and slaughter of innocent, feeling turkeys. We accomplish this by demonstrating the great taste and superior nutrition of turkey-alternatives and other festive plant-based foods.

We invite you to plan and Register a public or private Gentle Thanksgiving event that will raise awareness of these delicious alternatives and spread the message that compassion should be an integral part of everyone's vegetarian Thanksgiving celebration. Events can be as simple as a private vegetarian dinner or an elaborate public event. It is important to Register so we can list you and your city in our Events Directory and publicize your event to local and national media, as well as other activists.

For guidance on how you can make your event or celebration as effective as possible, with tips on timing, planning, and materials, please click on our Guide to an Effective Observance. A number of Gentle Thanksgiving materials available for downloading are provided below, and more are available after you Register.

In addition to arranging a festive vegetarian meal for your friends or the general public, you can conduct various educational activities. You can utilize the power of the printed word by distributing Gentle Thanksgiving leaflets at local events, malls, metro stops, natural food stores, or anywhere your inspiration takes you. Leaflets can be downloaded and printed from your computer by clicking on Leaflet Master. Be sure to collect pledges to make this Thanksgiving a truly gentle and compassionate holiday on a copy of our Petition Master.

You can bring your message to the streets with graphic video footage of factory farm and slaughterhouse atrocities. TVs and VCRs can be set up wherever you can find a power source, including your car battery. To find out more, click on Setting Up a Video Rig.

Athletic? Try a charity race (as an individual or with friends). Wear a vegetarian or animal-friendly t-shirt. You could also choose to provide tofurky samples at the finish line. Remember to stay friendly and positive so as not to detract from the sponsored charity.

Sample news releases are provided in our Media section. If you expect to conduct media interviews, please review the Arguments for a Gentle Thanksgiving. You can obtain additional media coverage by following our guidance on Visiting TV/Radio Stations.

Once again, please be sure to Register your event, even if your plans are not finalized. This will allow us to promote your event to activists and media (both local and national).

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