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November 19, 2009

Celebrate the Season

Practice humane eating with a meat-free Thanksgiving meal

All Animals magazine

All Animals ND 09 Humane Living Turkey

Paul Tessier/iStock

by Andy MacAlpine

Turkeys will be an integral part of Diane Miller’s Thanksgiving celebration this year, but not as the centerpiece of her holiday feast. Instead, the director of the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch plans to spend the day with 14 fortunate birds at the 1,250-acre sanctuary run by The HSUS and its partner organization, The Fund for Animals.

Since January 2008, the rescued animals have lived in and around a safe barn with room to roam, their new digs a far cry from their previous existence, when they lived among 84 turkeys crammed into a 20-foot-by-20-foot cage that was part of a rundown pony ride business in north Texas. Like a lot of turkeys raised without socialization or good care, this tight flock prefers the company of its own kind. “So beyond providing for their care and well-being, we just let them be,” says Miller.

For Miller and other animal lovers, the holidays can be bittersweet. But cookbook authors Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero are helping to turn the season into a time of celebration—by introducing more people to the pleasures of meat-free meals.

“I love the flavors of autumn; it’s really my favorite time to cook,” says Moskowitz, who counts a creamy green bean casserole among her can’t-miss sides. “I’ve been to Thanksgivings where people were serving turkey, but I bring a lot of my own dishes and share them. More often than not, people are more into my stuffing or my chickpea dish, or my salads or my mushroom casserole.”

For Romero, stuffing is the highlight. She created this onion and butternut roast to satisfy her craving while including a variety of holiday tastes. “Things like chestnuts and the butternut squash totally scream holiday food,” Romero says. “And I know when it comes to Thanksgiving, what people really want to eat is the stuffing. [This dish is like] stuffing with a whole meal going on.”

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