Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday. It’s a time when, regardless of religion, Americans pause to gather with loved ones and express gratitude for life.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that simple celebration of gratitude did not cost a life?

Each year, nearly 45 million turkeys are killed in the United States for Thanksgiving alone. The vast majority of these creatures had their toes and beaks amputated without anesthesia, which allows factory farms to cram a very large number of turkeys into extremely cramped, filthy, and dark prisons,  without risking that the turkeys will harm each other and thereby decrease profits for their torturers. The amputations cause a lifetime of chronic pain.

Turkeys are also pumped full of antibiotics and hormones to accelerate growth, and consequently become crippled under their own weight. Those that don’t die from the torture will end up on American tables.

A turkey drumstick contains 165 milligrams of cholesterol, which is 165 milligrams more than you need. So not only is turkey not healthy for your body, it’s also no way to show gratitude.

You don’t need to consume a carcass to celebrate Thanksgiving. Consider making your Thanksgiving tradition a celebration of compassion over killing. Click on the following links for delicious, cruelty free recipes that will delight and impress your loved ones.

Thanksgiving Menu 

Raw CranApple Relish
Holiday Roast
Pumpkin, Cranberry, and Walnut Dressing
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Gravy
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
Stuffed Carnival Squash
Pumpkin Cheesecake

Servings: 8

Nutrition
Serving size: 1/8 of a menu.
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from menu items.

Amount Per Serving

Nutrient

Amount

Daily Value

thiamine

8.61 mg

574%

vitamin B6

9.01 mg

451%

vitamin A

14973.13 IU

299%

niacin

55.76 mg

279%

manganese

3.77 mg

189%

vitamin C

96.05 mg

160%

sodium

3249.25 mg

135%

fiber

32.86 g

131%

protein

56.91 g

114%

folate

439.61 mcg

110%

selenium

73.65 mcg

105%

vitamin B12

6.21 mcg

104%

phosphorus

963.37 mg

96%

potassium

3109.82 mg

89%

magnesium

336.56 mg

84%

iron

14.77 mg

82%

carbohydrates

235.24 g

78%

Calories

1467.44

73.37%

copper

1.42 mg

71%

fat

40 g

62%

calcium

568.28 mg

57%

zinc

7.56 mg

50%

riboflavin

0.79 mg

46%

pantothenic acid

4.11 mg

41%

vitamin E

2.57 mg

25%

vitamin K

9.48 mcg

12%

vitamin D

48.72 IU

12%

cholesterol

0mg

0%

For comparison, I decided to take a look at the typical Thanksgiving dinner of the Standard American Diet (SAD).

SAD Thansgiving Dinner

Roasted Turkey
Sausage Stuffing
Canned Cranberry Sauce
Canned Turkey Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Praline Sweet Potato Casserole
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

Servings: 8

Nutrition
Serving size: 1/8 of a menu.
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from menu items.

Amount Per Serving

Nutrient

Amount

Daily Value

vitamin A

18162.01IU

363%

selenium

128.12mcg

183%

sodium

3572.92mg

149%

fat

79.34g

122%

protein

52.67g

105%

manganese

1.68mg

84%

Calories

1563.37

78.17%

niacin

14.39mg

72%

phosphorus

668.31mg

67%

riboflavin

1.14mg

67%

cholesterol

197.17mg

66%

vitamin B6

1.12mg

56%

potassium

1880.19mg

54%

vitamin E

5.39mg

54%

copper

1.07mg

54%

thiamine

0.81mg

54%

carbohydrates

159.83g

53%

vitamin C

30.63mg

51%

fiber

12.85g

51%

iron

8.63mg

48%

zinc

6.32mg

42%

folate

155.34mcg

39%

pantothenic acid

3.67mg

37%

calcium

346.1mg

35%

magnesium

141.68mg

35%

vitamin B12

1.16mcg

19%

vitamin D

33.21IU

8%

Compared to the vegan Thanksgiving menu, the SAD Thanksgiving menu contains more vitamin A, selenium, riboflavin, and vitamin E. Too much animal-sourced vitamin A can be toxic, as can too much selenium, so those are not necessarily good things to have in excess. The SAD Thanksgiving also contains more sodium, nearly twice the total fat, and nearly 200 unnecessary milligrams of cholesterol, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. It contains less protein (surprised?) and more calories. It contains no vitamin K, only 9% of the thiamine, 12% of the vitamin B6, 18% of the vitamin B12 (surprised again?), 25% of the niacin, 32% of the vitamin C, 35% of the folate, 39% of the fiber, 42% of the magnesium, 44% of the manganese, 59% of the iron (surprised again?), 60% of the potassium, 61% of the calcium, 66% of the vitamin D, 70% of the phosphorus, 76% of the copper, 84% of the zinc, 90% of the pantothenic acid.

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