Each year, millions of Americans gather around their dinner tables with family and friends to give thanks for all the wonderful things going on in their lives, but at least one dinner companion is certainly not joining in on that gratitude – the turkey at the center of the table. However, some compassionate celebrities are encouraging others this year to hold a more humane feast for the holidays.
Ellen DeGeneres teamed up with Farm Sanctuary (the nation's leading farm animal protection organization) as the national spokesperson for its Adopt-A-Turkey Project. "Save a life this Thanksgiving, and join me in starting a new tradition by adopting a turkey instead of eating one," she encouraged.
"Tron's" sexy leading lady, Olivia Wilde, added an important point to Farm Sanctuary's message: "The good thing about Thanksgiving Day is that a lot of stuff is already vegan," she points out. So, folks can rest assured that giving up the turkey doesn't mean they also have to give up on gorging on delicious food.
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Ellen and Olivia aren't the only ones offering turkey-free alternatives. Many celebs have embraced a plant-based diet due to the benefits for their health, the environment, and the animals. "I was vegetarian first [but] I read a few books that told me about a vegan diet and that really opened my mind," "Glee's" Lea Michele proudly declared to Access at PETA's 25th Anniversary event. Other veg-friendly stars include Natalie Portman, Carrie Underwood, Sarah Silverman, Portia de Rossi, Leona Lewis, Pink, "Dancing with the Stars'" Chelsie Hightower, Mike Tyson, former President Bill Clinton and so many more.
Access spoke with a few other of Hollywood's hottest stars to get tips on how you too can celebrate a meatless Thanksgiving:
"Step Up's" Jenna Dewan Tatum shared this tip: "Earth Balance butter is amazing! It's a staple. Daiya cheese is too. You just have to find the right products and mix them all together, but it's totally yummy. I've made food for my husband [Channing Tatum] who's non-vegan and he's like, 'That's really good!'"
Noah Wyle suggests: "On Thanksgiving, [my family] loves to walk around our farm and visit with our rescued pigs, goats, horses, emus and many other animals." And then "[my] whole family enjoys a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner." The Wyle family's favorite holiday treats are baked yams, mashed potatoes, stuffed squash and pumpkin pie. CLICK HERE for some of their favorite recipes.
Newlywed Katy Perry (who is not a vegetarian) is also jumping in on the veggie action for her husband Russell Brand (who is vegetarian), "We're gonna try to cook a tofu turkey!" she joked recently with Access about bringing Russell to one of her wild Perry family Thanksgiving dinners, "We're gonna put him through it…again. Ha!"
The aforementioned Olivia Wilde adds: "All the food aside from the turkey is a lot of good vegetable stuff. The sweet potatoes, the Brussels sprouts, the wild rice and all those fixings. That's some of my favorite food of the year!"
"Conviction's" Juliette Lewis offers: "Pumpkin. Anything with pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread. We can do that vegetarian. Pumpkin. I love it!"
Both Kim Basinger and Casey Affleck couldn't list just one favorite holiday treat, so they didn't stop at just one. Kim's delectable choices, which she shared with Access, include squash casserole, sweet potato soufflé, asparagus, meatless tomato basil loaf and pumpkin pie, and Casey's are tempeh, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, gravy and rice.
If you do enjoy the taste of turkey, have no fear, Tofurky has tons of delicious options that capture that turkey flavor. Also, for all those fans of sausage in their stuffing, Field Roast has a yummy apple sage flavored sausage sure to satisfy your cravings.
These fantastic ideas are just the gravy of tasty alternatives to the meat and dairy at your traditional Thanksgiving meal. If you're interested in going vegetarian, spice up your menu with recipes from Compassion Over Killing, Mercy for Animals, PETA, The Humane Society of the United States and Healthy.Happy.Life.
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