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November 12, 2009

Tofurkey!?!

After having read Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, I have to say that I've lost my desire to sit down to a holiday meal that celebrates the consumption of an animal that likely lived a miserable existence and likely was slaughtered for market that way too. So I'm considering making a vegetarian Thanksgiving instead.

I'm not talking about making a Tofurkey the way they did on the classic season 3 of Everybody Loves Raymond Thanksgiving episode. Maire comes out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving day with a quivering, gelatinous blob of tofu that has been turned out of a turkey-shaped mold. Brother Robert observes that it a has an "after taste" before you've swallowed. For me, Thanksgiving is all about the dressing, brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes with pecans.

New York Times Eat Well Blog will be offering ideas for vegetarian dishes for Thanksgiving between now and turkey day.

We will hear ideas from top chefs like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and Dan Barber of Blue Hill, both of whom have raised the standard for fresh and delicious vegetable dishes.

Where do sign up?

Now I'm not saying that I'm completely willing to give up meat entirely (I love bacon way too much), but I believe it would be healthier for me and my conscience to find healthier ways to eat that don't require meat as the center piece of the meal. New York Times has a handy dandy link for that idea, as well, titled An Almost Meatless Diet. Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond have a cookbook, Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet, for reluctant meat-eaters who aren't willing to go totally vegetarian (everybody has to start somewhere).

So if you can no longer stomach a holiday that celebrates mass consumption of turkey rather than the plenty we were intended to be thankful for, you may want to change up your holiday traditions a bit. Celebrate the bounty with fresh vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. You'll leave the table satisfied, no doubt.

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Posted by linda at November 12, 2009 6:40 PM

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