Philippe Cousteau's Thanksgiving ethical dilemma
November 21st, 2011
02:30 PM ET
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Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. It’s the one day of the year that’s off-limits on my calendar for anything other than family, dear friends and my complete and total domination of the kitchen. No work, no crazy international travel schedule; it’s all about bringing loved ones together to share an amazing traditional holiday meal complete with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, the works.

This year, however, work and my favorite holiday collided. My team and I at EarthEcho International, the environmental education nonprofit I co-founded with my mother and sister, had just taken the wraps off of a new tool for educators and students to help them explore the environmental and health impact of daily food choices called What’s On Your Fork?

In fact, the main element of this resource is a guide created in collaboration with the Meatless Monday campaign to help students start each week with options for healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives. You can see where I might be feeling a little conflicted about my poultry-centered food extravaganza.

Should the bird stay on the menu?

Without hesitation, I say yes - and not just because Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday.

The fact of the matter is that while I follow a largely vegetarian diet I, like many folks, enjoy eating meat on occasion. For me, it’s all about making smart food choices with positive impact year round, including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. I can’t think of a better place to start than one of the most celebrated food-focused holidays of the year, turkey and all.

The Turkey
Most turkeys eaten this Thanksgiving will be of a single breed, the Broad-breasted White. This industrially-bred turkey wouldn't exist without our modern system of food production because the birds no longer have the ability to reproduce on their own. In fact their breasts are so large they can barely walk and often have been stuffed full of growth supplements, antibiotics and then injected with liquid post processing. A better choice in my opinion is to take a walk on the wild side and seek out local growers who raise "heritage" breeds.

5 Reasons to buy a heritage turkey

With names like American Standard Bronze and Bourbon Red these birds are as flavorful as their names are colorful. You’re also helping support local farmers working to preserve these amazing breeds and bring diversity back to the table. We found our heritage turkey source at our local farmers market. Organic and free-range turkeys are also great options.

The Preparation
My turkey is pretty simple. When I pick up the bird it is fresh not frozen so I don’t have to worry about thawing it out. Instead, the day before Thanksgiving I wash the turkey with cold water and dry it off, then rub butter all over it and salt it.

Leaving it overnight in the refrigerator gets a nice coating on the bird and by the next morning it is ready.

Philippe Cousteau's Perfect Turkey

Note that I don’t put traditional stuffing inside the turkey, my mother makes that separately, instead I place a mixture of herbs, butter, and vegetables into the body cavity that season the bird beautifully and then discard them after cooking.

1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery sticks
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/4 cup dried herbs de provence
Tbsp of salt and Tbsp of pepper
3 sticks of butter: one stick chopped up and added to the stuffing I put inside the bird, the other 2 sticks go into the bottom of the pan.
1 750 ml bottle of vermouth

Combine the onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, herbs de provence, thyme, rosemary, parsley, one stick of butter, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and mush together by hand. Then stuff the mixture into the turkey.

Leave at room temperature for 2 hours before putting in the oven. Turn the turkey upside down on the roasting rack and preheat oven to 450 degrees until ready.

Place turkey in lowest rack of the oven upside down for one hour, this allows the juices from the stuffing to soak into the turkey. Add half the bottle of dry vermouth and one stick of butter to the bottom of the pan along with another bay leaf or two and some of the leftover herbs. Then turn the turkey over right side up and turn heat to 350 degrees.

The key is to cook them slowly. As the drippings collect in the bottom of the pan the vermouth will slowly evaporate but the butter will not. The vermouth will cook down or reduce so add the other stick of butter after an hour and a half and the rest of the vermouth.

Use a baster to suck up the juice and regularly squirt over the body of the turkey throughout the cooking process. If the juice level gets too low you can add a bit of water, turkey stock and/or more vermouth to keep it moist in the bottom of the pan.

If the skin of the turkey gets too dry and crispy, put a sheet of aluminum foil, oiled parchment or buttered cheesecloth over the top of the body. Cook time depends on the weight of the bird. Internal temperature should be 180 degrees when thermometer is put into the thickest part of the thigh not touching the bone.

After 4-5 hours (depending on the size of the bird) use a cooking thermometer to make sure the turkey is the right temperature and remove from oven. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the body and let the turkey sit for 10-15 minutes for the juice to absorb back into the meat, the foil will keep it warm.

In the meantime take a fat separator container (you can find them at many cooking stores) and pour the drippings from the bottom of the pan into the separator. Pour off the juice leaving the fat behind and voila - perfect gravy.

Carve the turkey and enjoy.

The Sides
Carrots and potatoes are mainstays on our Thanksgiving table. They also happen to be great choices because they are seasonally appropriate this time of year. More and more there are great heirloom varieties available for both of these holiday staples.

Remember, heirloom means food that was commonly grown in the past but which has fallen out of favor in our industrialized farming system. In fact, in the past it people had access to a myriad of foods that we would scarcely recognize. Thomas Jefferson for example grew a dizzying variety of vegetables that many people haven’t even heard of including over 80 different types of apples!

Carrots come in every shape, size and color from purple to pale yellow. A little poking around online reveals staggering numbers of unique varieties of potatoes.

Like our friend the turkey, seeking out and eating heirloom varieties helps preserve them for future generations. One word about choosing spuds: selecting organic is particularly important when eating "regular" potatoes because of the toxicity of the inputs used in conventional production.

Potatoes are ranked ninth on the Environmental Working Group's dirty dozen list (ranking of pesticide residues found on conventional fruits and vegetables). This is an important point for our family as we like them baked and mashed.

The Wine
This is a critical part of any Cousteau family gathering. Good and plentiful is the secret on this front.

I think you get the idea. My point is that when it comes to food, we can make choices every day, even on the best food holiday of the year, that are good for people and the planet. Locally grown and produced, heirloom varieties, heritage breeds, organics, vegetarian options, free-range poultry, grass-fed beef – there are a range of options to fit into any lifestyle.

When we started collaborating with our friends at the Toyota Foundation, Participant Media, Discovery Education and the teams at the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and Meatless Monday to create the Water Planet Challenge What’s On Your Fork? resources, I had no idea we would launch right before my favorite feast of the year.

It turns out Thanksgiving is a great holiday for reflection as well as for giving thanks. Bon appétit!



soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. AnnMarie

    Mr. Cousteau, you seem a bit confused about your "ethical dilemma". I think I have the perfect solution. Perhaps you will have the opportunity to reincarnate in your next life as one of those enhanced thanksgiving turkeys you speak of which should clear up any ABSOLUTELY any confusion you have about eating meat. In the meantime, in this life you might just try to imagine the terror, pain, confusion and fear of being an innocent animal that's about to be slaughtered to be eaten in celebration. Sadly, the pose you strike with your carefully coiffed hair, hip assessories and stupid serious gaze make me feel that perhaps that won't happen anytime soon. May God lead you from ignorance to wisdom asap.

    November 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Randoid1234

      I bet you're a blast at a barbeque.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      And how sure are you that plants don't experience fear before being cut down to feed you? Ultimately the author's ethical dilemma is not about cruelty to the bird, but cruelty to the planet as a whole. Eating too much meat is not sustainable over the long haul, but if everyone cut back their meat consumption to modest portions just a few meals a week, it would be.

      Ultimately, as the only true moral agents on the planet, we need as individuals and collectively draw a line on what sort of food consumption is ethical and what is not. By and large, when focused on individual animals, I have never seen argument against eating meat that was not rooted in emotionalism and anthropomorphizing animals.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
      • ...

        Well said, and I agree.

        November 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
      • Contessa

        Plants.have.no.central.nervous-system..thus.they.do.not.fell. pain..So.with.your. reasoning..I.will.eat.your.kid...Happy.Fecal.Soup.Day!..

        November 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  2. SteakWrappedInBacon

    You vegetarians should stop eating all the animals food!

    November 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Rainman

      A very happy triple bypass to you and yours!

      November 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
      • Tess

        Good one, Rainman!

        November 23, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  3. SteakWrappedInBacon

    More meat for me!

    November 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  4. Debbi

    Honestly, there really is no cruelty-free way to eat a turkey, so why not just skip the bird altogether. With so many wonderful and flavorful plant-based side dishes and desserts, a person can certainly enjoy a delicious meal and give thanks with no harm to foul.

    November 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  5. Wastrel

    Actually, a very good turkey recipe, it seems to me. Vegetarianism is an eating disorder.

    November 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Rainman

      Yeah–tell that to Herschel Walker. Still an amazing athlete at 50.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
      • Rick

        And ultramaraton champ Scott Jurek, a vegan, Brendan Brazier, a professional Ironman triathlete, a vegan, or John Salley (former) professional basketball player, vegan, or, or, or......

        November 23, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  6. Artsy

    I'm one of the people who selected "other" in the poll. We are a family of carnivores, vegetarians and vegans, atheists and christians all sharing a meal. Through discussion and compromise, we have a vegetarian Thanksgiving with a different cuisine each year. This year we're doing East Indian. Last year it was Greek and the year before that, Mexican. Coming up with the dishes makes us all thankful that we have choice in what to eat. Christmas we have a turkey and a turkey substitute with plenty of side dishes for the vegetarians and vegans. Respect for each other's beliefs and choices is our motto.

    November 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Kaybearry

      This is a very good view! I enjoy reading about families that are actually accepting and not stuck in the 1400s.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  7. JJ

    Every Thanksgiving I look forward to a round of articles about us vegetarians and how to deal with us during the holidays. Of course, I can't wait to read the enlightened comments from the other readers who seem to have had either very bad encounters with vegetarians or they just might not understand vegetarianism.

    I'm vegetarian by choice and have been for 14 years. I don't campaign to make others vegetarian. I only have control over my mind and body – not yours or anyone else's. What you eat is up to you and I truly make no judgements. I am one less person consuming meat and that is simply my choice and I feel better for it.

    My family will be eating turkey and ham and I know they will enjoy it and be thankful and not wasteful. I am looking forward to my time spent with them and am not interested in what they put into their own mouths.

    I hope we all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  8. PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals

    NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Old joke is old

      Never heard that one before.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • Marie

      If eating only vegetables makes me a vegitarian, does that make cannibals humanitarians?

      November 22, 2011 at 9:45 am |
      • Contessa

        hahahaha

        November 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Tess

      Oh my, that's original! Never have heard of People Eating Tasty Animals! Wow, you really should consider a career in comedy with that quick wit of yours! Wow, that is like, totally, for sure, like, such an original term you have come up with. How long did it take you to think of that? Have you had it patented yet? Because I'm SURE, just absolutely sure, that no one has ever said that before.

      November 23, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  9. Phil

    People should really get over themselves. Your hearts bleed for the poor turkeys, but could give a dammm less about the human fetus. You'll even strip it of humanity (even if in name only) to justify the apathy. I loved the choice in the poll that said "I will eat turkey only if it was raised humanely". Are you really that blinded by your emotion? Sure, it was raised humanely, but it's still d-e-a-d! Veal is raised humanely... kobe beef is raised better than your children are. What's your logic there? Vegans are severely sick in the head. Wiring is all crossed up. I wonder why you don't think that carrots cry when you rip them from mother earth.

    November 22, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • GB

      See... this is the way most people think about vegan/vegetarians. I'm almost vegan. I can't say that I am a true one, though, because the vegan council would hunt me down and pass judgement. I just want to eat vegetable. I don't like the idea of eating something that was alive like that. Plus, I think that eating a vegetable based diet is healthier for me. Despite this, I can still sit down at Burger King and watch you eat a burger while I have a salad. Everyone needs to lighten up on this. We need to be more accepting of other people.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Say what?

      Man, you went off on about fifteen different tangents there. Did you get dumped by a pro-choicer followed up by getting dumped by a vegan? Why are you so angry?

      November 22, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Megan Corning

      I don't eat fetuses. I also don't eat meat.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • yomama

      With regard to your comment about carrots crying when you rip them from the earth: Try this: Rip some carrots from the earth. Did they cry? Now, go beat your dog. Did your dog cry? Experiment solved.

      I have know many vegans/vegetarians over the years. Not a single one has ever proposed that we make eating meat illegal. Yet, Pro-Lifers all went to make abortion illegal. 100% percent of them. Vegans don't wish to impose their morality on the entire society, yet pro-lifers do. It's the pro-lifers who are warped and arrogant.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:29 am |
      • SteakWrappedInBacon

        Stop eating all the animals food!!! lulz

        November 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Kaybearry

      Way to bring up a topic that is in no way, shape or form related to the article. That isn't ignorant at all...

      November 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tara

      How much do you care about the human fetus, Phil? Please, do tell!

      How many babies of pregnant teen aged rape victiims have you adopted?

      How many pregnant girls and women have you paid bills for and supported who don't want to be pregnant?

      Yeah, just what I figured–ZERO.

      You 'pro-lifers' care about all them little babies as long as they're in the womb, but once they pop out, what do you do to help them? To help their mothers?

      And let me guess, I bet you don't like all those parasites that get welfare either do you...you know, to feed all them little babies that you cared about so much for before they were born.

      And as a 'pro-lifer' why aren't you then a vegetarian?

      Are you a hypocrite Phil?

      You are the one who isn't right in the head.

      And by the way, Phil, how is your uterus these days?

      November 23, 2011 at 1:26 am |
      • UseYourBrain

        Well said, Tara! I loved your answer.

        November 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  10. Clare

    You either eat meat or you don't. You can't be a part time Vegetarian. If you eat any meat at all (turkey being one of those meats!) then you cannot call yourself a vegetarian. Just doesn't work that way.

    November 22, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • GB

      And attitudes like yours make vegetarians and vegans seem like stuck up jerks. Its repellent. I wonder how many more people would think about becoming vegetarian if it weren't for attitudes just like this. I'm almost vegan. Almost because I'm not a fanatic about it. Heaven forbid I call myself a true vegan – folks like you would crucify me. Lighten up. Vegetarian is how you eat – its not a religion.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:21 am |
      • JL

        Someone using the term "repellent" sure does sound like a stuck up jerk too.

        November 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • yomama

      I'm 100% with you Clare. I expected to see an article that was sympathetic to how I (a veg) feel on Thanksgiving and instead opened up a turkey recipe. Rediculous.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Carrie

      Are you a “smoker” if you smoke 4-5 cigarettes in an entire year? Or are you a non-smoker who very occasionally partakes of a cigarette?

      I’m a vegetarian who will likely eat turkey with my family on Thanksgiving. There are a handful of holidays and occasions throughout the year when I choose to consume meat, as a part of 4-5 meals each year. I still call myself a vegetarian as that best describes my diet for the other 1,000+ meals I consume.

      I am happy with my dietary choices and I’m the only person who has to live with them. Why do others get so hung up on a label?

      November 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
      • JL

        You sound pretty hung up on it since you are the one calling yourself a vegetarian which, btw, you are not since you eat meat.
        PS smoking 4-5 cigarettes a year doesn't make you a non-smoker either. Smoking no cigarettes makes one a non smoker. Sorry, you cigarette-smoking meat-eater.

        November 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  11. Dezzle

    I just clicked a link that read "Stay vegetarian on Thanksgiving?" and was led here, to an article that quickly says NO and has a turkey recipe. I guess I was expecting something else...

    And Philippe, quit throwing around the word Vegetarian like you're bragging about something. It's like me telling you that I'm largely a marathoner, but I just couldn't get out of bed on the morning of the big race. You don't get to be a vegetarian if you go to the store – or local farm – and buy an animal to cook and eat.

    November 22, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • Jess

      Hahaha I was thinking the same thing! How does this have anything to do with being a vegetarian on Thanksgiving? If you're a vegetarian, you don't eat meat, not make exceptions for a holiday. There is tons of other food that you could, even if the rest of your family is eating turkey. This guy seemed to have missed that memo.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  12. Alto Farmer

    Not all of the advice given in this article is practical for many people. Nor do I believe that it is intended to be a "you must do this if you love the earth" guideline. But I do think it points out that we should think about our food choices more closely. His plug for the small farmer is greatly appreciated. My wife and I have a small scale farm with fruit and vegetables. It is hard to get people to appreciate that they get better quality products that are worth the extra price compared to supermarket food. I'd like to put my two cents in on the turkey discussion too. We raised some heritage turkeys this year and butchered them ourselves. They grazed on the land that was unsuitable for producing vegetables. They also helped to control insect pests so I didn't need to spray chemicals. The birds themselves had a good life. The carcass is a bit leaner than the butterballs in the store but the taste is fabulous. The future of farming is small! Support your local farmers and give your area an economic boost.

    November 22, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • Kaybearry

      Thank you so much for your comments! I think more people need to think about their food, where it comes from and the effort that goes into producing it. The small, family farmer should be recognized for their hard work.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  13. Tom Turkey

    I feel like a fool. I just read Philippe Cousteau's article on cnn.com in it's entirety again. I guess I skimmed over the most important part the first time I read it. Look again at the last paragraph. It's just really a self serving advertisement designed to call attention to the long list of sponsors featured at the end of the article. After all, doesn't everyone have a Toyota with their turkey? Shame on them and shame on all of us for falling for such a poorly veiled advertisement disguised as a newsworthy article.

    November 22, 2011 at 6:01 am |
    • Karen G

      You are right! I would have skimmed over that fact, but I'll stick with my American brands thank you very much! I think I'll still eat my turkey too since I already bought it, but I might think twice before I buy another one next year.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:09 am |
    • BioHzrd

      I would bet that Toyota give plenty of money to keep the "Meatless Mondays" and other awareness project his organization puts forth. Therefore they get a plug. You gotta rep your sponsors. I mean it was at the very bottom of the article and most people glazed over it. I know I did. And the other mentioned was John Hopkins, which invests in such research. Not everything is worth getting in a tizzy about.

      November 22, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • CEW

      Ah, just because someone has a French name, doesn't mean that they are themselves French. He was born in California, and grew up both here, and in France.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  14. Tom Turkey

    Spend a little time at a turkey farm between today and next time you eat turkey. Feed the birds and talk to them. Watch how they tilt their heads and interact with you while they are listening to you. Most of them are so tame and trusting of people that they will gently eat right out of your hand. I will never understand how some people love their pets, but will eat other ones. If your neighbor is a farmer, and you think it's okay to eat his cow (or turkey), is it also okay for him to eat your cat?

    November 22, 2011 at 5:31 am |
    • Randoid1234

      Bahahaha! You give them too much credit. This is what the turkey is thinking when you are there talking to it: ".....food.....food........food........food....."

      November 22, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  15. Tom Turkey

    There is no such thing as a "part time" vegetarian. You either are, or you are not ! You can't have it both ways. Are "heritage" turkeys specially bred to be void of nerves that feel pain when they are slaughtered? Killing any animal to eat it is wrong. The next time you want some meat, take a big bite out of your own body instead and see how it feels.

    November 22, 2011 at 5:04 am |
  16. Okhn

    I have been a vegetarian (technically a pescitarian) since I was 10, and the only days I would choose to skip over my vegetarianism was on Thanksgiving. Now, I just go with Tofurky, and it is a great substitute that I strongly recommend for fellow vegetarians. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and always brings dilemmas to my vegetarianism, but now I just eat Tofurky and everything is fine.

    November 22, 2011 at 3:18 am |
  17. rdg18

    I Thank GOD that I was born a Conservative and not a meatless and clueless liberal!!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • marty

      Sorry, some conservatives are vegetarian, too. And some of us are even vegan. It has to do with health, not animal rights. So maybe putting all of us in a liberal box isn't the best idea. Happy Thanksgiving, whatever you eat.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:44 am |
      • Gail

        I'm a Libertarian (go Ron Paul) and I'm a vegetarian for animal rights and health reasons. More for animal rights. Ron Paul is a vegan btw. I don't get the hostility towards vegetarians. We don't try to impose our values on others. Although of course, we do encourage it. I'm definitely not a so-called liberal. Many conservatives want animals treated humanely.

        November 23, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • JininTexas

      Pure nonsense. As a conservative I feel it is my responsibility to help the local farmers. And to stay healthy and slim I do not eat meat except for my annual heritage bird on Thanksgiving. Politics have nothing to do with a healthy lifestyle troll.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • rick

      I am too as it forces me to think about and practice compassion.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:16 am |
    • Rick

      i am a conservative vegetarian. no worries, rdg18, you still appear to be clueless

      November 22, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Beth

      Why, because I CHOOSE not to eat meat but a healthy diet, does that make me clueless?

      November 22, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Contessa

      Happy-Fecal-Soup-Day....
      Clueless.that-he-is.eating-pain-suffering-hormones-antibiotics-along–with-a-turkey-that-is- bathed-in -fecal-water-with-100's-of-other-turkeys-covered-in-their-own-excrement..
      Factory-farmers-do-not-eat-factory-farmed-animals.
      Enjoy!

      November 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  18. turkey

    thanksgiving is full of hypocrisy. first you murder all the native Americans and then in the name of thanking them you butcher millions of these poor birds.

    November 22, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Deebo

      you obviously never heard about the turkey zombie apocalypse study your history foo! dis deebo!

      November 22, 2011 at 3:38 am |
      • Tom Turkey

        Who ever heard of that? You shouldn't make fun of people for not knowing about history, when you know absolutely nothing about it yourself! The very situation you are talking about should be a reason not to eat turkey. Hundreds of thousands of people died from eating diseased meat. "foo! dis"

        November 22, 2011 at 5:46 am |
  19. Jveg

    How sad that Cousteau could have taken the high road (and the humane road, and the environmental road) by saying that no tradition trumps the suffering and damage caused by animal agriculture. There clearly aren't enough Heritage turkeys to go around, so eating turkey at all still encourages others to do so and support factory farming: which collectively spews more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined. And all turkeys bleed the same color as you and I do; you'll notice he doesn't seem to have the courage to slaughter one himself.

    November 22, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  20. 21 Year Veggie

    Spare me. This is a no-brainer to actual committed vegetarians. I don't even want meat.

    November 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Justin Thyme

      Agreed and I'm not even a vegetarian.

      November 22, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • Rick

      I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years. I am not grossed out by people eating meat. I just don't

      November 22, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  21. kayjulia

    I follow a plant based diet as outlined in "Forks over Knives" because of health reasons. I have three stents in me now and I don't want any more stents or a by-pass. Therefore I don't eat any animal products, ever! I don't care what holiday it is or who gets upset because I don't eat their food. I don't want to be on that operating table ever again! So I enjoy my veggies and work towards getting healthier and avoiding the knife. So far my weight has dropped, my blood pressure is down, the DR has cut my lipitor in half and I feel good, therefore I don't make any exceptions.

    November 21, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • marty

      Better late than never. Congrats on the health improvements. Hope that it just gets better and better for you.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  22. JoMama

    I eat vegetarians

    November 21, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  23. Tess

    I have been a vegetarian since 1977, and a vegan since 1985...proudly so, and strictly so. I read the labels on everything I buy, without exception to ensure I never eat any animal by-product of any kind. I get so sick of all the psuedo-vegetarians out there who dare to call themselves vegetarians, yet eat fish (it is an animal, and it is flesh–don't give me any b.s. that fish 'isn't meat') and/or will eat meat on holidays. It is laughable. You either are or you aren't a vegetarian...unless you absolutely NEVER eat animal flesh should the words 'I'm a vegetarian' come out of your mouth. If you eat meat one day out of the year, you are not a vegetarian–don't give yourself the honor of calling yourself one when you are nothing more than a hypocrite.

    November 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • Janine

      Well said. As a recently turned vegan (within the last year), I get asked the question all of the time – what do you eat? I have to laugh because know I eat more of a variety of foods than the meat/cheese/dairy/egg eaters ever do.

      November 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
      • Randoid1234

        Yeah, that makes sense. Someone who eats meat/cheese/dairy/eggs eats only those four things, therefore you obviously eat more than they ever do. I don't have a problem with vegetarians, just people like you.

        November 22, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • What?

      But you ate meat before 1977! And Dairy/Eggs before 1985!

      YOU. ARE. A. HYPOCRITE... and not a vegetarian, and definitely not a vegan. Unless of course, one renews their Vegetarian vows yearly.

      I wasn't aware there was a qualifying time on being a vegetarian.

      November 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
      • Cam

        What, your argument makes no sense. Unless raised veg from birth, anyone who chooses to become vegetarian or vegan has obviously consumed animal products in the past. That's not relevant. Tess is expressing her perspective as a long-time vegetarian/vegan – not saying she's never ever ever had meat. There's absolutely nothing hypocritical about her statement because prior to 1977 she wasn't *claiming* to be a vegetarian. That is where the hypocrisy comes in – claiming the title and eating meat now, even if only occasionally.

        November 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
      • Beth

        That's as silly as saying a Protestant who becomes Catholic is still a Protestant or an Atheist who finds 'religion' is still an atheist! Why not state that a single person who marries is still single! Wow – I don't think I can read any more of the idiotic comments!

        November 22, 2011 at 10:55 am |
      • Tess

        You apparently are not mentally well, so your comment isn't worth commenting on any more than this.

        November 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • LatinaMD

      I absolutely agree. Anyone who eats meat – and yeah, fish is definitely a form of meat – is simply not a vegetarian. They may be a person who rarely eats meat, but true vegetarians don't. Ever. I've been veg since childhood and raised my family that way as well, and have noticed that it's become trendy in some circles, even if it doesn't apply.

      November 21, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
      • srd

        So, by your thinking, those of us who were not raised vegetarian but made a conscious choice to do so at a later point in our lives are just trying to be trendy? Do I have to come from a long line of vegetarians to truly be one of your group? This is absurd. Additionally, I don't give a damn who you grant the apparently coveted title of vegetarian – I think it is great when people think about where their food comes from and make conscious decisions about what to eat, whether it be meat, fish, veggies, whatever. Why be so uppity and judgemental? Live and let live.

        November 22, 2011 at 5:24 am |
    • Randoid1234

      The "honor" of calling yourself a vegetarian? You act like it's a title you put on a business card.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:38 am |
      • Tess

        A person like you who is so low vibration doesn't have a clue about the spirituality and yes, HONOR, of being a vegetarian...some of us in this world don't just talk it, we walk it, and refuse to put our stamp of approval on the rampant and hideous abuse and exploitation of animals that goes on so idiots like you can have your meals of rotting flesh and dairy and eggs.. But this way of thinking is obviously far beyond anything you could possibly wrap your mind around.

        November 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Frencharedolts

      You sound very militant. I am sure this is endearing to someone most likely someone your own gender because Ii doubt too many guys would put up with that attitude for long. For what it is worth I eat meat all kinds and I am a very happy person too and my health probably far exceeds yours. Get over yourself and enjoy life.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:49 am |
      • Tess

        Militant? Who is the one collectively calling French people dolts? Do you know each and every person in France, and those who also live around the world? Fascinating! And they all are dolts are they?

        Anyone who is such a racist is certainly not 'a very happy person'.

        Also, llittle man, you do seem to have a BIG problem with women...saying only my gender might find me 'endearing', and that 'no man would put up with that attitude'. Is your wife (though questionable if you even have one) currently locked in her room so you can control her every move, and all of her opinions? Does she only speak when spoken to? Is she allowed to have her own cell phone, but only because you can listen in?

        You call me militant, but in just the few short sentences you wrote I see you are A) a Racist B) a Sexist, maybe even a Misogynist (go look it up in the dictionary, if you own one) C) Presumptuous–as to the status of my health being far inferior to yours D) Ignorant E) flat-out Stupid.

        And by the way, my life is so happy and fulfilling I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming.

        'You really should get over yourself'. Have a nice day, dolt.

        November 23, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • CEW

      Wow... what a judgemental attitude. No wonder omnivores get so annoyed with vegetarians. I'm someone who occasionally eats fish (maybe 6x/year), yet I call myself a vegetarian. Why? Because that's how I eat the vast majority of the time, and it's simpler to say "I'm a vegetarian" than it is to say "I'm a vegetarian for health and environmental reasons, and because I prefer not to support factory farming which is a blight upon our nation, therefore I never eat any meat but wild-caught fish, and that only rarely."

      November 22, 2011 at 10:54 am |
      • Gail

        Agreed. Who has time to explain to everyone whenever it comes up? I'm mostly vegetarian because I eat poultry 3x a year. Who cares?

        November 23, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Gail

      That's a bad attitude with your moral purity test. I think every little bit helps. If someone even likes the thought of not eating meat it's a step in the right direction. Get over yourself. I don't consider someone who eats fish or meat occasionally a vegeterian but rather a mostly vegetarian or a pescetarian. But it is quibbling over words. If that's what they need to call themselves then so be it, I'm glad they're trying to give up meat as much as they can. Arguing over what they call themselves is just your petty ego talking. Even though I don't think the Oxford English Dictionary would agree with them completely.. whatever. WHATEVER, get over it. Channel your hostility elsewhere.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  24. Paul

    Sorry it's meetyourmeat.com
    Click on the second video. Enjoy!

    November 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  25. Al

    I think one point being missed here is that to a true vegetarian, meat just does not taste good, so skipping the turkey is no big deal.

    November 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Tess

      Absolutely, Al. Well said.

      November 23, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Gail

      Oh, ok, I'm not a true vegetarian then because even though I don't eat meat, I don't dislike the taste of it. I only disliked it when it tasted really like dead meat. Sometimes it tastes good. I guess I'm not a TRUE VEGETARIAN. I'm a lower class of vegetarian. Get over yourselves.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  26. Paul

    I would just suggest that everyone watch the short fantastic video narrated by Alec Baldwin meatyourmeat.com
    It provides some excellent insight into the industry that fills our grocery stores.

    November 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  27. Accepting Vegetarian

    Hey Cousteau.. a recipe for turkey is not vegetarian!

    I think getting people to eat heritage turkey's should be the real point of this article, rather than mixing it in with vegetarianism. I can't really figure out why this article would start out touting a plant based diet, then give a recipe to cook turkey. Cousteau's advice on heirloom turkey is great though. If I were ever to eat meat again, it would be organic, humanely treated, and cage free. I'm sure it tastes better too. I wish my family would look into getting a non-factory farmed, antibiotic-filled turkey.

    However, I won't be eating meat for the holidays. Yet, that is my choice, alone. If someone wants to be a vegetarian, except for traditional or cultural gatherings, GREAT! The choice to eat less meat is a positive step that more and more people are taking to eat healthier, lower their ecological footprint, and stay away from the factory food system.

    Vegetarians shouldn't criticize others who eat meat occasionally. Of course, I'd like to see them not eat the meat. But I understand why they would choose to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. I want people to make smarter choices, but ridiculing and 'excommunicating' vegetarians who do not adhere to a year round meat-free lifestyle is a poor way to encourage them. If they want to call themselves vegetarian, that's fine. We shouldn't really care. It might not be entirely accurate, yet neither is calling them a carnivore. "Vegetarianism" has absolutely nothing to lose if more people start eating a predominantly plant based diet. If everyone ate meat only a few times per year, our health, environment, and farm animals would be in a much better condition.

    Now if only my family would listen and try to understand why I eat vegetarian, rather than ridicule me for not eating their turkey... how great that would be.

    November 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • BioHzrd

      I appreciate this post. I was wondering when vegetarianism went militant and it's nice to see that reasonable people still exist.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • Part Time Vegivore

      Thank you Accepting!

      I eat a mostly vegetarian diet. Yes, I do still sometimes eat meat. That is my choice and decision. Yes, I sometimes call myself vegetarian because it simplifies things. "is your meat antibiotic and hormone free? grass fed? is your poultry free range? where do you get it from? is it local?" vs. "do you have a vegetarian menu?" Instead of questioning my every motive of why this and not that, people seem to be more accepting of my simple reply. If people want to discuss my choices with me, I'm more than happy to oblige. Vegetarianism is a personal choice. And people have many different reasons for adopting the lifestyle. Be it health, environment, or choosing not to cause undue harm to animals, that is your choice. Please, let me make my own.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • CarrieC

      The problem with people "calling themselves vegetarian" when they actually eat meat, is it makes it very confusing for the person cooking your food (whether an uninformed relative, a chef, a cook, etc).

      I can't tell you how many times I've been served chicken soup with the chicken bits hurriedly strained out, due to the cook not understanding the concept of vegetarianism because all the other "vegetarians" they've encountered have eaten chicken and fish, or fish and Turkey once a year, etc. When you call yourself a vegetarian loudly and then are seen chowing down on flesh, it makes it hard for the actual lifelong vegetarian sitting next to you to be served meat-free food by that same cook the next time around.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  28. Sandra LeVin

    QUORN makes an awesome turkey substitute – very simialr in both texture and flavor!

    November 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  29. Mose

    Local and sustainable? My neighbor's turkey likes to peek over the fence every once in a while. I guess he won't be doing that for much longer. He sheds a tear every time he sees me spraying the monsanto.

    November 21, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  30. HotStilletos

    I'm a vegan and do not eat sugar or synthetic sugar substitutes and I don't seem to have a problem with gathering with others on holidays. My eating restrictions are because of cancer and not political, but I will tell you, I feel so much better. At 42 I'm a size 2, my skin is not wrinkled, I'm not grey, have a ton on energy and run ultramarathons. A lot of vegan and vegetarian foods have cane sugar in it so which isn't much better for you compared to eating meat diets. I think it is what works for you. The doctor restricting my intake of hormone filled foods like meat, perservatives, additives, and sugar has saved my life.

    November 21, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Rick

      I am a long term vegetarian (primarily vegan) and have done 3 ultras. The people in my life that trash talked the most about vegetarianism when I started back in the late 70's are gone. I am not a PETA member. This is a health issue, not an animal rights one

      November 22, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  31. Lila

    There is nothing wrong with anyone who is "largely vegetarian". If everyone went vegetarian for one day a week it would have a positive impact on the environment, their health and their pocketbooks. I don't see anything wrong with that. There are people who are against factory farming although they prefer to eat meat so they eat "largely vegetarian" too. People don't have to be all or nothing and defend it. For the most part, I agree with what he wrote and I'm glad he chose a bird who may have had a healthier life. I think there is too much focus on the turkey anyway. There are so many yummy side and desert options that would be fine for vegetarians. Butternut squash soup, potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie etc..

    November 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  32. Brent

    I like who I am when I do not kill for my food or clothing. I wish not to be a monster to other creatures.

    November 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Joon

      I've always found it strange that people who declare their love for other creatures, and their refusal to consume them, feel no compunction about being rude or cruel to other people. Last time I checked, people were creatures too.

      Live your own life, make your own choices, be kind to whomever crosses your path, and try to be a person of integrity.
      You can't go wrong.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:05 am |
      • Gail

        One could say the same thing about Christians. or Liberals.
        and being rude to another person is not the same as killing them and eating them. Now that would be cruel.

        November 23, 2011 at 11:41 am |
      • Brent

        I agree, I am kind to all creatures, people as well. I also am careful to take care of myself in relation to all creatures, as some will act with aggression and even kill.

        November 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  33. Lizz

    It's unfair to lump in local farm-raised foods with selective vegetarianism. What Cousteaus wrote has merit, especially considering the horrible state of mass-produced food in this country. However, I worry that people who could really benefit from what he has to say will be put-off by the tie-in to vegetarianism and conversely, he just angered a lot of people who do not eat meat.

    And those side dishes, especially when prepared in very traditional American ways, are just as laden with pesticides and preservatives as a factory farm turkey. Even in the few years when I *did* eat meat, I could never come to bring myself to eat green beans smothered in cheese, butter and whatever else... let alone anything called a "salad" that includes marshmallows as an ingredient. (BTW, most marshmallows are not vegetarian.)

    I have been vegetarian for most of life, and vegan until very recently. However, since I've moved to the Pacific Northwest, I have become much more open to eating fresh, local fish as it is both sustainable and better for you than processed fake meats and/or real cheeses. But this is my choice and in lieu of terms like pescetarian, I just out myself quickly as a hypocrite. It saves times and breaks the tension... Plus it still allows me to avoid dairy and eggs.

    November 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • luxxxy

      How is eating an egg worse than eating a fish?

      November 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
      • Gail

        Not sure which is worse, the egg industry is rife with cruelty. Male chicks are separated and dumped into the dumpster to bake and die in the sun since they can't lay eggs. THe hens laying the eggs don't even have room to turn around or spread their wings. I could go on and on. Anything involving the wholesale production of animal product by big businesses is going to be horrible to them.

        November 23, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  34. Ke

    I'm a vegan and everyone I closely associate with is a meat eater – except my lovely wife. I don't tell other people what to eat. I eat what I eat and they eat waht they eat.

    November 21, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  35. jillmarie

    I am vegetarian, no exceptions. I don't think he was calling himself one, but I agree, either you are one or you're not. If someone consumes fish or chicken, turkey, or turducken even, you are no vegetarian, no matter how cool you think it is!

    November 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Gail

      Who cares? if mislabeling yourself as a vegetarian makes you eat less meat. go for it.

      November 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  36. Kaybearry

    I think lots of people have missed the main idea of this aricle. The author is simply saying that we should chose as much local and sustainable food as possible. Who cares what he calls himself? I eat meat maybe once every two months so I have a similar situation as the author in which I largely eat a vegetarian diet (largely is the key word there people) and when I do eat meat I make sure it is locally grown or hunted, not factory farmed. I don't see why people are chosing to attack the author in such a manner. Chill out and enjoy some local, healthy food for Thanksgiving.

    November 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Lael

      I think the issue here is that he is calling this an 'ethical dilemma' (in the title) and this is what most of us object to. It's not a dilemma if you are an actual vegetarian. Veganism/vegetarianism isn't about convenience or emotion or holidays! And he touched a nerve by saying he puts the emotion of the holiday before the animals, sustainability or not. I agree about the local and family farm viewpoint. But I think he could have left the vegetarian thing out of it.

      November 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  37. Allen

    I think most vegetarians agree, either you eat meat or you don't. Personally I don't, and don't see a need to at Thanksgiving or not. It's amazing how some people can make excuses for anything. If your not a vegetarian, that's your choice, but don't say you only are when you feel like it.

    November 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  38. S.F. Schneeberger

    I'm vegan, and, like vegetarianism, it is not a part time thing. That's like being a little pregnant. It is one's perfect right to eat whatever is legally available, but just be honest about it. If you eat meat once in a while, you are an omnivore, NOT a "vegetarian who sometimes eats meat".

    November 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Gail

      No. Every few years I get the flu. and crave fish or poultry. I'm still a vegetarian. I'm not an omnivore because that's what everyone else is who eats meat three meals a day. What's with the purity police?

      November 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  39. Lael

    It can be very confusing to say you eat a "largely vegetarian diet." Lots of people think this means that vegetarians sometimes eat meat. What you mean is you don't eat a lot of meat. Leave the term vegetarian out of it. But I don't understand why Thanksgiving is different whether you are an actual vegetarian or someone who doesn't eat a lot of meat? Like the poll said, vegetariansim isn't situational. This is a sad post for turkeys, factory farmed or 'heritage.' Thanksgiving is about family and thanksgiving, not some emotional attachment to a suffering animal.

    November 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Woozily

      I agree, Lael. I applaud people who opt to live a more humane and eco-friendly life (whether that means recycling, walking to work, or eating less meat). But if you eat meat sometimes, then you're not a vegetarian. No judgment here, but it creates confusion about what it means to be vegetarian. So kudos for the effort to reduce consumption of meat, but please don't suggest that vegetarianism is something flexible ... like casual Fridays.

      November 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
      • mostlyherbivore

        When I decided to go to a largely plant based diet(no eggs or milk), I gave myself permission to exclude Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday(though I have since found a vegan bakery within a 2 hour drive).

        November 21, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
      • LatinaMD

        That's my point exactly – when I went veg as a kid, you were either vegetarian or you weren't. No one ever asked if I ate fish, or ate meat sometimes. Then, when I raised my own family vegetarian, suddenly these bizarre questions came up... "Oh, but you eat fish, right?" – uh, no. Because we're *vegetarians*. "Want some BBQ, just this once?" That's really not how it works.

        November 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  40. sophie

    Don't even miss the meat...at all.

    November 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Allen

      When I became a vegan, the variety of food that I ate opened up such a giant amount, that I now feel sorry for omnivores. They think they are almighty because they eat meat, but the reality is, they are missing out on so many other foods, that they likely don't even know exists. Once you discover all those new foods, meat is so trivial that I doubt few vegetarians miss it.

      November 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  41. jb

    What a crock of rubbish! What a sell-out. The guy touts eating environmentally friendly, and then doesn't do it himself. He gives himself a pass. What rubbish! Vegetarianism isn't situational. You are either a vegetarian or not. End of story. You either believe in environmentally friendly eating or you don't. You don't forget your principals because it is a holiday. I stand by what Gandhi said (which is what this guy is not doing): "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

    November 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Gail

      This attitude is not helpful to animals or human health.

      November 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  42. Kris Rood

    This is bizarre. You are either a vegetarian or you're not. If you eat meat, you are not a vegetarian. To say you can have meat on special occasions means you a not a vegetarian, simple as that! I applaud your effort to eat mostly vegetarian, but what is the point of this article? Are you just promoting your recipe? Why bring up vegetarianism at all?

    November 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  43. Lifelong Vegetarian

    I don't eat meat, not even on special occasions. However, I don't care if someone chooses to flex on holidays or such. In the end, it's their choices, and as long as they respect mine, we're all good.

    November 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  44. Laura

    I am vegetarian and do not eat meat, even on special occasions. I don't like the taste of meat and would much rather eat the sweet potatoes, peas, and pecan pie. More turkey and ham for the rest of the family.

    November 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Devon

      Same here. The only meat I sometimes miss is sushi..was never a fan of turkey in the first place.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
      • Gail

        Not me, I do miss turkey when I smell it cooking on Thanksgiving. Does that mean since my spirit isn't pure I should give it all up and start eating meat all the time? sounds like it.

        November 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  45. rlhtx

    I've never really understood the whole "vegetarian exceptions" concept. You're either vegetarian or you're not. To me, the author is a person who doesn't eat meat very often; however, that doesn't make him a vegetarian. A vegetarian is someone who makes a conscious decision to abstain from consuming meat. If a person consciously decides to eat meat, then he/she falls outside of that particular category. I applaud him for not eating meat frequently, but to call him a vegetarian does a disservice to those who strictly adhere to the diet regardless of what day it is.

    I always get the Thanksgiving question. My answer is always the same: I stick to the side dishes and sometimes pop a Tofurkey in the oven. The holiday is about giving thanks for all of the wonderful people, opportunities, and events in our lives. What ends up on the plate in front of you isn't the most important thing - it's those who are sitting next to you at the dinner table. As long as I'm with my whole family, it doesn't matter whether I'm eating a bowl of cereal. It's a reason to celebrate.

    November 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Laura

      I believe "Flexetarian" is the term being used for someone like the author, who rarely consumes meat, but still partakes on occasion. I thought it was strange when I met someone who labelled themselves as mostly vegetarian because they only ate chicken, and did not eat other meat products. They consumed chicken on a daily basis.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • sam

      it does no disservice to anyone and that opinion is about as annoying as those who think same-sex marriage is destroying marriage.

      November 21, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
      • Tom Turkey

        I must disagree with you, and as someone that is in a same sex marriage, I see absolutely no connection. You either eat meat, or you don't AND you either support same sex marriage, or you don't. Everyone is allowed to have their own preferences and choices, but pretending to be or support something only when it benefits you is kind of deceitful.

        November 22, 2011 at 5:17 am |
      • Lynn

        Yeah like saying I'm a Christian then worshiping the devil only on the soltice.

        November 22, 2011 at 5:43 am |
  46. Tami

    I'm a vegetarian (my family is not). I personally don't think it's such a big deal to enjoy meat once in a while, but I know this get's some people's feathers ruffled! Maybe relaxing a bit would encourage more people to eat less meat (they wouldn't feel like they had to go all or nothing and sacrifice at family gatherings). I personally will not be partaking in turkey- the traditional bird that I couldn't imagine doing without has lost its appeal compared to the delicious side dishes, veggies and pumpkin pie!

    November 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  47. Big E

    I love vegetarians. Them denying themselves means more chicken, cow & pig for me!

    November 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • rlhtx

      Big E, too funny! When people ask my boyfriend if it's difficult to date a vegetarian, that's always his response, too! He says it just allows him to eat twice as much. :)

      November 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • TeeBee

      Wow... how clever you are.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Zonk

      Well aren't you special.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Tom Turkey

      I bet you think you dog, cat or family members would be tasty too.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:10 am |
  48. CEW

    I don't eat meat, and don't make an exception for holidays. However, most of my family does eat meat, and I think the heritage turkey idea is a GREAT idea. I think I'll pass it on to them.

    November 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Beth

      What I need to know (I gave up meat less than a year ago) is if it is tradition for your family (w/ children!) to have the traditional Thanksgiving including a casserole w/ egss and canadian bacon as ingredients and it's your turn to host (which means cooking!!) how do you manage?? Do you cook the meal and just not eat it – seems like a lose/ lose proposition no matter what happens.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:52 am |
      • Laura

        Maybe you can have another family member agree to prepare the casserole.

        November 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
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