Holiday Meals: Turkey vs. Tofurky

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Holidays in America revolve around eating. Americans consume about 56 billion animals per year. It only makes sense that during the holiday’s people gather together and feast on meat. However, in the past couple of years, there have been many meat alternatives that have surfaced the market and ended up on people’s dinner tables. 

One of the most versatile meat substitutes is tofu, bean curd made from compressed soy milk. Also made of tofu, tofurkey is a popular meat substitute that mocks the taste and texture of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. 

Many students at Dimond High School have altered their diets to become vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, or plant-based.

Vegan Senior, Mary Reinbold, said, “I became vegan for about a year and a half ago after taking environmental science to protect the planet and the health of my body.”

Another vegan Senior, Kai Crawford, had a similar vegan background and said, “I became vegan three years ago, at first for health reasons, but now I’m vegan to save lives.”

Some people are terrified of the vegan diet because of their deep love for meat, but the meat substitutes give the same satisfaction and flavor. 

Reinbold said, “At first I was scared because my family is big meat eaters, and I was worried I would have trouble finding stuff to eat. But I soon realized that it was super easy

On the other side of things Dimond Senior, Kinlee said, “I could not live without meat, and I eat it with most of my meals whether it be fish, game, beef, or pork.”

However even though Kinlee eats meat, she said, “I have tried Tofurky, and it tasted quite different than I expected.”

Even if you consume meat, you can still reduce your intake by simply eating something else or trying some of the many different meat substitutes. With seasonings and sauces, you might not even be able to tell the difference. 

While some may argue meat has the necessary nutrients humans need to survive, there are many other ways to obtain them. For example, you can get protein from nuts, quinoa, chickpeas, and many other foods. 

Reinbold said, “One of my favorite things to make for lunch is quinoa salad because it is so yummy and I can pack in so many vegetables are full of nutrients.”

Reinbold said, “I don’t feel like I miss out on anything by not eating turkey during thanksgiving. My mom makes so much other delicious food that in my opinion, is way better than turkey.” 

According to PETA, “National Tofurky Day is November 25th to spread awareness that Thanksgiving is murder on turkeys.”

To celebrate this holiday people can skip the turkey and opt for a more environmentally friendly option.

Crawford said, “I do not usually eat tofurky, but I would definitely consider eating it this year.”

I agree with Crawford and I think people should reconsider the number of dead animals they consume. Being more aware of how your actions affect the world around you is an important skill that many people do not have. Food is what brings people together and changing up some of the traditional foods will not hinder the celebration.