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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Celebrate a Vegan Holiday

Chances are, if you’re hosting a holiday feast this year, you’ll have at least one friend or family member who will be a little flustered by the feathered fowl at the center of the table. For either ethical or health reasons, many people are making the switch to a vegetarian or vegan (vegetarian minus the eggs, dairy products, and other animal products) diet. Although this is all well and good for them (and for turkeys), it can present a definite challenge for their carnivorous hosts.

These delicious recipes will please every palate and make it easier to give up the giblets, giving everyone—including animals—something to be thankful for this holiday season.

Photos: © Steve Lee Studios 

Appetizers and Snacks

Soups and Salads

Entrées

Side Dishes

Gravies

Desserts

In order to avoid ruffling any feathers this holiday season, PETA has dished up these handy tips:

  • Serve any one of these tasty vegan turkeys instead of the traditional fowl.
  • Make the holiday stuffing vegetarian-friendly by using vegetable broth instead of a meat-based broth.
  • Great gravy is a cinch with canned Franco-American mushroom gravy or Hain instant vegan gravy, available in traditional brown or “chicken” flavors. Just add water and simmer.
  • When baking the holiday bread, be sure to use an egg replacer and soy milk in place of eggs and milk.
  • Swap the milk and butter with soy milk and margarine for vegan mashed potatoes that everyone will love. Try Earth Balance, or check out our shopping guide for more vegan margarines.
  • Be sure to have a vegan dressing for the salad; our shopping guide has a list of vegan dressings that can be found at most grocery stores.
  • Save time in the kitchen by having each of your guests bring a vegan dish to share. Our holiday recipe guide has loads of tempting dishes that will satisfy even the pickiest of palates.
  • Still not sure about how to make a vegan cake or what to use in place of gelatin? Our handy substitution guide will answer all your vegan cooking questions.

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  • MelissaM says:

    Sarah, why do vegans not eat dairy? I was a vegetarian for years, but just “couldn’t” give up my dairy. I was just being lazy! When I learned how HORRID dairy cows are treated I stopped consuming dairy immediately. I couldn’t believe it. PETA has video of how dairy cows are treated–if you can handle to watch it. I read in Skinny Bitch (book) how awful they are treated. I watched a YOUTUBE video in which Rory Freedman talked to the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii about veganism and she talked about dairy cows. It’s really awful and I can’t handle it. Once you learn that there are alternatives to dairy you never go back! Look in to it!!!

  • Ashley says:

    @Sarah – cows have machines stuck to their utters and it causes illness from open sores they cause. Also cows (like all female species) can only produce milk when they are recently pregnant. The industry rapes the cows and then steals the baby calf so they will not drink the milk that you want. Those are both short explainations but research them further.

  • Sam says:

    Sarah… I know one of the reasons why Vegans don’t drink milk or eat yogurt is because if you were ever on a farm even an Organic one. You would find out by the end of the tour(about milk) that the only reason why you can get milk is because the Cow or in this case only female cows have to be knocked up all the time to produce the milk. Can you even imagin being pregnant all the time of your short little life. Yup that’s right little life of maybe between 8 and 10 years. So I would think this is one of the many reasons why. ( :

  • olgi-boll says:

    I made a video guide to making a vegan “tofurkey” from tofu. Hope you like it. There are also instructions for how to make a gREAT stuffing and a mushroom-red wine-gravy.

    Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKIrgls-WCw

    I know a lot of people will disapprove of the fact that this holiday centerpiece is shaped like a turkey but you can shape it anyway you want. :)

  • Sarah says:

    “I am a vegan, but I drink milk. I just need to know, in what way the cow is hurt when I drink milk or yogurt? Can anyone please tell me why the vegans are not supposed to eat dairy products? Thanks”

    If you drink dairy milk, you are NOT a vegan. As for why vegans don’t use dairy products, google “veal”.

  • Delia Yeung says:

    I applied PETA early this year. I am a new vegan as well. It is really amazing to choose vegan life and now my family support me and follow my lifestyle!

  • Gina says:

    Had an amazing VEGAN Thanksgiving…and oh so very yummy! Best of all, a kind meal.

  • Jack Hafif says:

    I am a new Vegan. I will not make any comments until I get to know this way of life better. So far, I am enjoying the new vegetarian diet very much. More later

  • Vetable Oat. says:

    It is verry hard during any holla day. I am a vegetarian with no other vegetarian to relate with. What sould I do when almost every dish has meat(s) in them. I at this point have no dish to contribute. The Sister is a vegan yet visiting others in Austraila. Last year I contributed two tofurkies. This year I have verry little if any to offer the table. Please pray that no one thievs to end a one or thievs to creat a one (“in with”) what we will consider accabtable, we all have fealing and a sole even those that are in need people & animal.

  • MD says:

    DD said “THERE IS A DISTINCT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE SLAUGHTER HOUSE TOURTURE FARMS AND RESPONSIBLE FARMERS”, which is true, but the farmers are only part of the beginning of an animal’s life. They do not partake in the “fattening” of the animal, which they are sent elsewhere for, nor do they perform the slaughter–in many places it is illegal for them to do so.

  • Nina says:

    I just watched a film called food Inc and in absolutely sick to my stomach. My heart’s broken for families that lost children from unsanitary slaughter houses. How farmers are driven to be unable to farm vegetables and animals with humanity is unbelievable. The government should care about its people.

  • Bryan says:

    “…The human body is designed to be omniverous…” Men are designed to have sex with endless numbers of women to spread their genes. Evolution designed humans to be selfish and greedy in order to survive….I could go on and on about how we are “designed” by evolution. Yet if we want to survive as humans on this earth we now have to evolve on our own away from past behaviors that at one time served us well and toward new behaviors that reflect the current and future reality of this planet.

  • Nadeje says:

    Humans do not have carnivore instincts. We do not have claws or razor sharp teeth to attack and kill any animal. Most people would be to appalled to eat raw meat or a rat or cat. We are not carnivores. Humans are not closely related to lions, but monkeys. Many humans would not be able to witness the suffering or abuse of an animal. Most people would never be able to slaughter a baby calf or chicken. Why is it okay for these horrific acts to occur? Just because we don’t see it with our own eyes we can put it out of our minds and continue mindlessly consuming. Any who would you care if the animals are treated fairly when you are going to eat them?

  • D D says:

    People need to do more independant research stop being sheeples THERE IS A DISTINCT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE SLAUGHTER HOUSE TOURTURE FARMS AND RESPONSIBLE FARMERS.
    As long as you research where your food is coming from you can effectively avoid the tourture farm product. There is so much misconception. I am not giving up meat completely, give me real solid fact give me a real reason I should not eat meats from responsibly farmed animals, you can because there is none. The human body is designed to be omniverous meaning we biologically are designed to eat both meat and plant there is essential nutrition in both for our body. I personally buy only from responsible and ethical farmers and the stores I shop at buy only from responsible and ethical farmers and manufacturers so there is no animal cruelty involved less cruelty by far than how a carnivors go about eating their meat.
    People are so caught up in the FAD of being vegan, find a real cause do some research like all this vegan food you are buying how GMO contaminated is it, how heavily sprayed with pesticides is it, so busy looking at what the right hand is doing completely missed that the left hand is poisoning you. Fight Masono or the polititions fighting to have pesticides on everything and take away the right to be organic or have responsible and ethical farmers- like literally organic farmers are being persecuted and even arrested in different parts of the country.

  • Jhey says:

    Hi, my name is Jhey, I love meat, but I love animals.
    We humans are carnivores beings, deny that is like deny the fact that we need oxygen to live, thats the truth, for the lucky ones who can live without it, congratulations, but the truth is, there are good people who can NOT live without it, so what those people should do for the sake of the animals, that we love so much?

    Thank You.

  • Lisa says:

    Lindsay Rajt just had a terrific interview on Neil Cavuto/FoxNews. A class act!

  • Elio says:

    Im vegan all the way and loving it!!!!!!!

  • Ashley-P says:

    At least 5 million cows raised for milk in the United States live on factory farms under conditions that cause them tremendous suffering. They do not graze contentedly in fields; they live in cramped, concrete-floored milking pens where they are milked by machines that often cause cuts and injuries that would not occur if people did the milking.

    In addition, while many consumers have heard about the cruelty of the veal industry, most people don’t know that the dairy and veal industries are inextricably linked. Cows, like humans, only give milk after they’ve had a baby. Thus, in the eyes of the farmer, the cows’ offspring are simply a byproduct of this milk-production cycle. Perhaps the greatest pain suffered by cows in the dairy industry is the repeated loss of their young, which is quite traumatic to these extremely maternal animals. Female calves may join the ranks of the milk producers, but the males are generally taken from their mothers within 24 hours of birth and sold at auction either for the notorious veal industry or to beef producers.

    Within 60 days, the cow will be impregnated again. For about seven months of her next nine-month pregnancy, the cow will continue to be milked for the fluid meant for her older calf—and this cycle is repeated until her milk production wanes, at which time she is sent to slaughter, most likely to be ground up into fast-food burgers. Calves will continue to suffer as long as there is a market for dairy products. onlyme: You can learn more about the cruelty of the dairy industry here: http://www.peta.org/issues/Animals-Used-For-Food/Cows-Milk-A-Cruel-and-Unhealthy-Product.aspx

  • Lynn Anderson says:

    To the meat-eaters: sarcasm & insults are a poor substitute for logic and ethics.

  • First Vegan Thanksgiving! says:

    Well you can make new traditions. And be healthier. Which is greater than your need to eat rotting flesh of an animal and call it “tradition”

  • Shalott says:

    I can’t be vegan because I have no intention of giving up eggs (from chickens who are treated nicely of course;) but everything else including dairy, I have learned to forgo.

  • Elisabeth says:

    disgusting tradition

  • gab says:

    How about a coupon? :)

  • onlyme says:

    I am a vegan, but I drink milk.
    I just need to know, in what way the
    cow is hurt when I drink milk or yogurt?
    Can anyone please tell me why the vegans
    are not supposed to eat dairy products?
    Thanks

  • imdas510 says:

    Tradition < Compassion

  • MEAT EATERS 4 LIFE says:

    Tradition > Health

  • Easy dinners says:

    Vegan is a good way to get a healthy life.

  • Ndoki says:

    Crap, after playing that cooking Mama turkey game I was so hungry I came here to find a good recipe for turkey. What a disappointment.

  • carrie says:

    Just wanted to share something that I have been doing for a long time now . Another way to make mashed potatoes creamy and very tasty , Is to use coconut milk .. I get it in a can from my local store.
    The brand I use is Imperial Dragon . This is realy good and I have so many people rave about my mashed potatoes ..
    I want to say that I went back vegetarian and I am feeling so much better again . I’m so happy Peta is here , And it kinda feels like home here at this website . I love all the animals and pray they will soon never have to suffer again . I inform as many people as I can about the cruelty of meat companies and the fur industry .I allways ask them to check out Peta . Happy Hollidays to all .

  • fred says:

    dont forget, were animals too

  • Summer says:

    Thanks from a long time vego.

  • Katelyn says:

    Heather, if you buy semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips most do not contain any dairy in them in my experience. Check it out but make sure you read the ingredients first. Some do like to sneak in some dairy…

  • heather says:

    I support vegans and am practically one except i do eat organic dairy. I just have one question: Why do they say chocolate chips in the recipes if there is milk in almost all chocolate and chocolate chips?? -i do have some from trader joes without but havent seen them anywhere else

  • Jen says:

    I have been vegan for 3 years now. Thanks for providing the awesome recipes/ resources. Happy Holidays!

  • nancy says:

    Steven Pace, owls do not belong in captivity and it’s unethical to be breeding them.

  • Katrelya Angus says:

    I am among those who do not care much for imitation meat such as tofurky. However, I do enjoy traditional Chinese food and solve the problem as to what to eat or serve on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Epiphany, Chinese New Year’s, and New Year’s by eating traditional vegan Chinese food from authentic recipes, which I have always found much nicer than ham or turkey anyway!

  • Steven Pace says:

    I fully support and admire your efforts to protect and prevent curelty towards all animals, but I must admit that i am stuck when it comes to feeding my dogs, cats, and wait for it….captive bred owls! What alternative is there for feeding these pets?? Thanks Steve

  • Elizabeth says:

    I would like to know why Sara says Whole Foods is a terrible company?

  • Betty says:

    I have just finished reading “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins. I am committed to being a total vegan now. I was a vegetarian for a year now. I want my family to read this book so they will change their diet also. I recommend that everyone should read it. I am glad PETA is out there trying to show people truth and trying to save animals and having the treated right. I AGREE DON’T EAT MORE ANIMALS, GO VEGAN>

  • Emperor_Gort says:

    I like to add patches of hedge trimmings to my Tofurky, with extra margarine (we call it marj at my house we love it so much!!), and an extra helping of tempeh on the side!

  • Jason says:

    I’d love to try almond milk but it is too expensive. Soya milk can be bought for 59p-£1.50 per litre whereas almond milk is £3.19 per litre. Here in the UK anyway.

  • Steve MacFadden says:

    I think this is more than ethical – its the actual tradition as far as there was no turley at the original Thanksgiving feast.

  • SaSar says:

    vegan holiday

  • darraugh says:

    This is the only way I could reach you. On the news tonight they showed cougars in Henry County IL which is farm land.

  • Raquel Rodriguez says:

    We have to remind that: “All animals were here on the Earth before us, so we have to respect them, their lives and their spaces here, DON’T EAT MORE ANIMALS, GO VEGAN”!!!!!!!!!!Raquel and family

  • Rik Reynolds says:

    I’d substitute organic almond milk for soymilk. It tastes better and is better for you.

  • Marcy says:

    I do not eat meat and I find that the fake meat is just gross. But thank you for all the veggie help. I know that I will be adding to the thanksgiving meal this year with all the vegetarian meals!

  • Marcy says:

    I do not eat meat and I find that the fake meat is just gross. But thank you for all the veggie help. I know that I will be adding to the thanksgiving meal this year with all the vegetarian meals!

  • Squillions says:

    What gives with having to create and account to view recipes, and then wait to have the account created. Not very user friendly, and discouraging to newcomers. Maybe you could rethink this?

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