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Demand Your Free Tofurky!

This article originally appeared on PETA Prime.

It’s that time of year again. As a Thanksgiving promotion, many supermarkets in the U.S. are offering the corpses of turkeys to customers who spend a certain amount at their stores in the weeks prior to Thanksgiving. It’s become a fairly competitive promotion in my area and in other parts of the country.

One supermarket offers a free turkey for each $400 spent. Another is offering $10 in “Turkey Bucks” for every $200 spent, with no limit on the amount that one can claim. Both stores will even donate one or more of your turkeys to a local charity! The irony is hard to escape: You are supposed to be contributing to a good cause while supporting one of the most cruel and inhumane industries out there. How charitable for everyone—except for the turkeys.

Sorry, but offering a vegan like me a turkey for my faithful business of buying their vegan food is more of an insult than a gift—and every bit as offensive to me as offering a Jewish customer a free ham for Passover. I could just decline to take the turkey, but darn it, I deserve an appropriate reward for my shopping as well. Time for this PETA Primer to take some action!

In a dual effort to benefit me and educate others, each year I ask to see the store manager to make my simple request: “My family follows a healthy vegan diet, and we patronize this store all year purchasing the many vegan foods that you have. Can you offer me a vegan alternative?” The manager is usually quick to suggest a vegetarian option like meatless lasagne. But that’s not vegan, so I am just as quick to point out that items with cheese in them are not vegan (a great moment of enlightenment for the manager). Prior to last year, we would reach a reasonably fair compromise: I would get a $10 gift card, which was about equal to the value of the free turkey.

Last year, with Tofurky products now available at the store, I was brave enough to ask the manager for a free Tofurky. I pointed out that the Tofurky Roast was comparably priced to the turkey, and he immediately agreed! With such products as Tofurky and Field Roast’s Celebration Roast now offered at many “traditional” supermarkets, why not suggest a similar arrangement with your own grocer?

Let’s all do the same so that one day, all supermarkets will offer healthy vegan options for Thanksgiving! What have your experiences been with these promotions?

Commenting is closed.
  • Rev. Meg says:

    One year, just before Thanksgiving, a police cruiser came up behind me and began flashing its lights. I could not imagine what I had done wrong but I pulled over anyway; maybe I had a broken tail light or my license plate was hanging off the car. When the officer approached my car he told me he had just observed me politely helping another driver change lanes to pull in front of me. He handed me a voucher for a 25 lb turkey and wished me a happy Thanksgiving. Now in those days I knew nothing about PETA (this was in 1978 and alhough I loved animals I had no idea they had rights) and I still ate turkey, so I was happy. Our local P.D. is still passing out vouchers for good driving so I wish they would get vouchers for Tofurky (which is available at our local stores) to give people a choice.

  • Sigma says:

    Fisrt off, I’m not vegan. Sorry. I do agree that you need an alternative, and I do think the stores should supply you with one. It is your choice to be vegan, and if you are, good for you. I choose not to be, but that is me.

  • Tigress says:

    Staying on topic haha. I think that’s a great idea! I don’t ever spend that much money

  • Joyce says:

    Hi, Karen. I think perhaps that using the term ‘offended’ is getting in the way of what is truly meant in the heart of those who use the term. I’m thinking there is the outside chance that, like me, those people are more saddened than anything else and feeling a bit of anger is so much easier to handle than eventual and constant depression built up more and more over the years by so much un-necessary violence against all living beings, including ourselves. As a woman who comes from a very long line of farmers,at least as far back as 1710, I can say unequivocally, animals used to be respected and treated very differently than today, sometimes better than family as they were depended on for transportation, communication, tilling for planting, helping to harvest, etc. We always allowed our animals plenty of free time just to be and closely watched them to respond to their moods (yes, they do) and needs before our own. If they wanted to share our life by helping us with something at various times, we were grateful. If not, we thought of something else or postponed. We instinctively knew that those animals knew best about nature. We listened. Hard. It added many years and a lot of comfort to their lives and to ours. We had a pretty good symbiotic relationship. We worked in harmony. And we did not eat meat. Not because of our awareness of the sacredness of it all, but because our animals were far too valuable. I understand that those farmers with money may have been different, but no one who lived anywhere around us were any different than we were in this regard. We would have never considered treating our hens badly or forcing them to lay eggs beyond what they would do anyway with their one rooster friend. OK We did do the glass doorknob trick, but that was all. 😉 Every farmer we knew would have been appalled at the idea of forcing pregnancies on cows, taking the milk from the calf and taking their calves. Or VEAL? For years I thought that was a very sick joke. There has been a paradigm shift about how we think of animals. It is a very unfortunate one. We have become pests on our own planet. We no longer are good for or work in harmony with our earth family, which includes all living things, we are destroyers of nearly everything in our path in the name of that ol’ buggaboo, money. It is no wonder the earth seems to be attempting to rid herself of us.

  • jean king says:

    first & formost, I would like to apologize for “john”. i am also a meat eater, but i do & ALWAYS will respect ANYONE’S OPINION. PETA & vegans everywhere are HANDS DOWN doing a wonderful & unselfish act of love & not to mention courage. i myself did try to go vegan. it lasted 3 mo.s only because i was not clearly ready. that was a year ago, but i will try my best to go back trying to go vegan. again, i have nothing but RESPECT for PETA & all vegans everywhere!!!! PLEASE keep up the loving work that you do!!

  • sam says:

    Shop Rite is offering the free Tofurky this year. Someone made an impact.

  • adsigler says:

    PETA is only laughed at by meat eaters….around the world they are recognized as a leading advocate for animal rights and change. They have turned activism into theater and while most wont understand it, they get things done. Radical change requires radical ideas… changing the “tradition” of the cruel slaughter of turkeys for Thanksgiving….this year I will be hosting my first vegan thanksgiving and i have guests coming from 5 states! My mother has even forgone her feast this year to attend mine 🙂 so nah!

  • Muriel Servaege says:

    I have never cooked anything special for Thanksgivings and Ihave never received or eaten a turkey either. And I’m still alive. Shops had better stop that habit of distributing turkeys. It may be a tradition but as so many more turkeys are needed today, it would be much more humane to forget that. We pretend to be civilized but we’d better make an effort to live up to that reputation.

  • Brit N. B. says:

    Okay, John, I don’t know why this was a laughing matter. We simply want to part take in the ‘normal’ Thanksgiving tradition but want to do so by being animal friendly. If the supermarkets offer their meat eating customers a free turkey why not offer us, their non-meating eating costumers, a tofurky? Us vegans spend just as much on food as meat eaters and we are diffently just as faithful.

  • Emily says:

    @ John
    What do you ”let it go”? Peta is trying to save the lives of thousands of turkeys.What is wrong with that? So what if it’s a traditional American holiday? I AM AN AMERICAN AND I WILL BREAK THIS DISGUSTING HABIT.

  • karen says:

    “Meat eaters are sometimes the most insensitive people when it comes to people eating differently from them”:

    yes this statement can be true at times, but perhaps they seem insensitive because you say you are “offended” by a free ham. pass on the free ham and politely ask for a veg alternative. done.

  • RosieVeg says:

    I’m so Proud of whom ever did the above you sure have some Moxy!! You stood up for your right to be you,Vegan you right on!!!! We should all stand up for our Veggie Ways!!!!!! “I DON’T MEAT MY FORK”

  • John says:

    And this is why PETA is laughed at. Let it go. Turkey is a tradition which 200,000+ Americans will not break. I applaud the effort you make for abused animals but this is just laughable.

  • ASHLEY DALY says:

    I’ll even buy one if you make it available!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • J. Stoneking says:

    A couple years ago my job gave us free hams for Christmas. Needless to say, I was quite offended, but my complaining about it got me NOTHING in exchange for the ham. Meat eaters are sometimes the most insensitive people when it comes to people eating differently from them. I am glad you were able to get your free Tofurkey!

  • Dianne Harrop says:

    We are customers too, and not in small numbers!