With a little planning you can wake up to sumptuous sweets on Thanksgiving Day

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Image: “The Crosley Range Girl” via And Everything Else

So far this November, I have explored 50 vegan main dishes and 50 side dishes for Thanksgiving — all vegan, because that’s how I roll — just as I did last year. Instead of 50 desserts for Thanksgiving (as I did last year, too), this year I thought it’d be a fun and helpful challenge to find recipes that can be created overnight, meaning you wake up in the morning to your Thanksgiving dessert, all delicious and ready to go! …


We’ve got bread, we’ve got gravy, and of course we have stuffing — are you ready to get your vegan feast on again?

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Credit: Fifty Years Too Late

Last week, I established that this last year has nearly squeezed the life out of me so I am going to just copy-paste the introduction to last year’s collection of 50 amazing vegan side dishes for Thanksgiving because, you know what? It’s perfectly fine and nothing much has changed except that life has gotten even more complicated and fraught since last year. So here we go…

“I get it: Thanksgiving is very serious business in households across the U.S. If you dare to go rogue and stray from Aunt Eddie’s trusted cranberry sauce by using pecans instead of walnuts, grown-ass adults can transform into pouty toddlers faster than you can say “sacrilege.” So, if you suggest replacing the customary dead turkey with a plant-based main dish as the centerpiece, as I did earlier this week, you know things are going to get tense in some families. …


No dead animals? No problem! There are endless ways to enjoy your feast without compromising your taste buds or your values.

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Credit: Kay Lovelace Smith

I will admit, it’s a little lazy of me but I am just going to quote my introduction to last year’s epic (if I must say so myself, and indeed I must) collection of 50 vegan main dishes to enjoy for Thanksgiving instead of turkey.

“I will start this bluntly and unappetizingly: For the Thanksgiving holiday alone in the United States, approximately 46 million sensitive, innocent birds who have been intentionally bred for painful and short lifespans in cramped, miserable environments will be killed for meals in households across the country. A much smaller number of turkeys will be slaughtered against their will on smaller farms and in nature. Why? Because somehow eating a turkey’s body has come to mean celebrating gratitude in this country on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. …


Our spoons are magic wands, no biggie.

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Maybe it’s just on my mind because ’tis the season, but lately I’ve been thinking more and more about how vegan kitchen witches and wizards are real-life alchemists, combining ingredients and techniques in clever, creative and skillful ways to help create a more compassionate and sustainable world, one with less unnecessary suffering and harm. I have collected 24 recipes that will replace the cheese, eggs and meat in your life, or at least give you a good start in that direction, plus some extra fun little tidbits.

First, though, we must address the Big Why so many people wonder when they learn that vegans might like animal-free versions of these foods. Namely, if we gave up eating them, why bother recreating them? The answer is really quite simple: We didn’t necessarily quit eating these things because we didn’t like how they tasted but because we didn’t want to support cruelty. My grandmother was shocked when I went vegetarian at 15 because, as she lamented, I was the grandchild who loved her brisket the most. Again, though, it wasn’t the taste I didn’t like, it was the cruelty. If we are able to replace the animals from our diets with plant-based alternatives, why would we not? We get to have our cake and eat it, too. …


Start making your holiday plans now. Pretty please…

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My husband at last year’s Thanksgiving.

Last year for Thanksgiving my husband and I, along with our son, didn’t have our usual celebration with friends. The house was quiet, there was no buzz of activity, no greeting of guests, no counters full of aromatic dishes people had brought. In 2019, we had a quarantine Thanksgiving.

I’d like to tell you about it for one reason: We isolated on Thanksgiving and so can you. As rates of coronavirus infection are on the uptick in conjunction with the growing fatigue of using mitigation efforts and there is no end in sight, I am truly nervous about what will happen this November 26 through January 1. People are tired of it; participation enthusiasm is waning. I get it. At the same time, I will be blunt: I don’t think you should visit your friends and your families this Thanksgiving and holiday season. (Experts on infectious diseases don’t think you should, either.) I don’t think you should carry on as normal. This man just wanted to have a small family get-together and look what happened. We have not done what was necessary to get out ahead of this virus so a return to normalcy has been pushed further and further back. I know you are tired of virus spread mitigation efforts. I am, too.


Or: Why eggs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be…

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Credit: VeganStreet.com

Yesterday, an unsuspecting PR person sent me a cheery message, informing me that October 9 is World Egg Day, offering me recipes to share on my website. I think sometimes we are just put on a list of those who create food content and you would be shocked at the variety of animal torture people are trying to get this 25-year vegan to promote, something even just a quick glance at our URL should have prevented. In return, the PR person got a link to my story about the hidden cruelties of the egg industry and a couple of memes for good measure. …


Once you see the characters as vegans you’ve known, you’ll never be able to un-see them…

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Credit: Pop TV

This weekend, Schitt’s Creek fans got the great news that Netflix was releasing the last season of the beloved Canadian show a few days early. After cleaning up at the Emmys for their fantastic writing, acting and, well, everything, I thought there was no better time to celebrate this amazing ensemble and show. I haven’t watched the new season yet but can’t help but see archetypal vegans I recognize in some of the Schitt’s Creek characters I love. …


The leaves aren’t afraid to change and you shouldn’t be either.

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Credit: Pixabay

There is never a bad time to go vegan but I think autumn is best.

Here’s why…

• You can capitalize on September being a month of newness, growth and change

As Brené Brown discusses in a recent episode of her podcast, though January is recognized as the official calendar start of the year, our bodies are tuned in to that butterflies-in-the-belly feeling of change being afoot in September. Use that intoxicating momentum. With the natural world changing around us, autumn is a great time to usher in positive new directions in our personal lives. Living vegan has beneficial outcomes for the animals, the planet and humanity, as well as future generations. I cannot think of one lifestyle change that can result in such a positive domino effect, especially if adopted by many. September is the ideal time for this shift, too, because who needs the pressure and baggage of the January 1? …


You don’t have to like us but let’s be honest about the consequences of eating animals

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Credit: VeganStreet.com

One of the common criticisms lobbed against vegans is that we’re pushy. Of course, you’ve heard the old chestnut: “Q: How can you tell if someone is vegan? A: Don’t worry. They’ll tell you.” Get it? Because, like, we’re are all up in your business and blasting our irksome vegan vibes all over the place, perpetually dialed to 11 like the amps in Spinal Tap.

I have been told vegans are annoying, nosy and intrusive since I first went vegan in 1995 and after 25 years, it’s crystal clear to me that the mere presence of a vegan, physically or virtually, provides all that is needed for a defensive reaction. A friend, who is a meat-eater, remarked on his Facebook recently that all he did was post favorably about a brand of vegan sausages and he faced all kinds of heckling. He is an omnivore and that one little post was triggering enough for haters to come out of the woodwork. …


Because even when you’ve outgrown glue sticks, September signals an unrivaled time for positive change

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Credit: Chris Curry via Unsplash

While back-to-school time may look almost unrecognizable in this pandemic and many of us have already moved on from classroom learning, it is still an exhilarating time of personal transformation. I’m not sure if it’s the leaves falling off the trees, the chill in the air or just that muscle memory of going back-to-school with my fresh pencils and notebooks but it’s a time ripe with potentiality. Here are four ways you can embrace the opportunities of the season and a changing world even when you are no longer in a classroom.

• Dress for success

Feeling your most confident in any situation means dressing so you are comfortable whether you are sitting at your desk, taking an impromptu catnap or marching in the streets. September is an ideal time for scrapping what no longer serves you and curating fashion choices that transition gracefully from that important video conferencing meeting to going to a protest rally. It’s time to be ruthlessly unsentimental about releasing clothing that constricts or no longer reflects your priority of easy movement, comfort and body confidence. In other words, buh-bye, bras and jeans; hello, house dresses and yoga pants. …

About

Marla Rose

Marla Rose is a Chicago-area writer and co-founder of VeganStreet.com and VeganStreetMedia.com.

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