My heart felt heavy all week at the thought of our society’s  annual way of “giving thanks”. I won’t stay on the subject for long, I just feel that as a race that has the ability to choose compassion over cruelty, we should rise up and be better to everyone.. including Mr. Tom Turkey.

I wanted to be a voice for the Turkeys this week, so I turned to Instagram to share some turkey related perspective. It hardly felt like enough, but I know I will continue to grow and understand how to use my voice for the animals! In a world of mostly non-vegans, it’s truly amazing to see such a large vegan population on social media, which gives me hope and courage to keep building on my cyber-activism. At times it can feel like I’m not reaching anyone, but my sister reminded me this week that this is a journey, one with many phases, and one that I was at the beginning of not long ago myself. I am working on balancing my sense of urgency to get everyone on board with this lifestyle against my level of patience and compassion with people who don’t comprehend, or are too closed minded to accept that a vegan lifestyle isn’t crazy, but is in fact, a quite nobel way of living by recognizing the dysfunction and choosing to no longer participate. After all, the whole idea behind veganism is to spread the knowledge in a compassionate way so that we may all one day live our lives with cruelty free standards.

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And speaking of cruelty free standards, here’s a peek at what our Thanksgiving dinner looked like! It was our first Tofurkey experience (last year we just ate sides at my mom’s house), and it was great! It came frozen, so I left it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, made a flavorful marinade and baked it in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes. Super easy! I feel like women nation wide would love to switch to this option just for the preparation ease! Not to mention it was literally delicious, and gets a 10/10 from both of us on taste, consistency, and overall ingredient list. Our side dishes included cranberries, green beans & mashed potatoes (courtesy of our garden!), squash, stuffing, pumpkin and apple pie. A feast that will last for days! I’m not professional, but my cooking and baking skills are definitely improving! I’m confident I could host one of these years.. and when I do I may try and order THIS baby! Vegan food technology sure is moving along 🙂

 

It was an amazing day. I feel so grateful for the many blessings in our life. Being away from my big family during the holidays is hard for me at times, I love and miss them all! However, I feel incredibly fortunate for my own little family, and the joy and adventure they bring to my life each day. I thought it appropriate to close out my post with a little tradition that my big family likes to do each year after dinner. We simply go around the table and each share the things we are thankful for in our life. Although I’m only there in spirit this year, here are the things I am thankful for:

image (66).jpegJames. Your young spirit and desire to enjoy life has been inspiring me since the day we met. Thank you for providing a safe, calm environment for our family, and for being so open minded and willing to work toward our vegan lifestyle. Our shared passion for animals and nature makes us a great team, and I’m so grateful for your willingness and strength in giving up all of our old favorite foods and choosing compassionate, conscious living together. The past 2 years have been a whirlwind of fun, adventure, and chasing dreams, and I couldn’t imagine sharing my life with anyone else.

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Si Si. You are my diamond in the rough, little mouse! I would spent any amount to save your life over and over again, you just continue to surprise me. From a ruthless, grumpy,whippersnapper to a kind and patient lovebug, I’m so proud of how much you’ve grown inside. I never doubted that you could overcome your ‘grumpy side’, and you’ve blown my wildest expectations out of the water. Sharing your food, toys, heating pad, and cage.. you are an extremely loving dog. You bring so much joy to everyone in our family, I couldn’t imagine sharing my winter coat with anyone else.

image-56Stitch. Human reincarnated or just a very in-tune pup? I guess I’ll never know, either way you bring so much warmth to all of our lives, little rumpus. Your genuine desire to be  held and snuggled like a child reminds me to be a more gentle person. One glance at your sweet innocent face melts my heart! You constantly surprise me with your unwavering concern for the other dogs, whether it’s comforting them with kisses during bath time, letting Selena keep warm up under your coat, cleaning Stel’s eyes each morning, or helping Bami lick his bug bites. Your are truly a sweetheart, and I couldn’t imagine a better little spoon cuddle buddy.

Stella. You just radiate joy and happiness, a true blessing image-62to this world! Your peppy outlook on life reminds me to live in the positive and not take one day for granted. I love your energy and excitement when we go on walks, especially when you make that infamous howl-growl noise if I’m taking too long! You’ve been such a trooper through all of our moves, and I’m grateful for the all the exploring you’re able to do at our new place. Your smile is contagious to all, and I couldn’t imagine falling asleep without your insistent pillow-sharing-paw-batting.

Bama. Wise beyond your years, you’ve confirmed my image-61belief that animals can not only understand us, but can communicate back as well.Whether I need to refill the food bowl, it’s time for a treat, or everyone wants to get out for a walk, you are at my side to get the plan rolling. Your expressive huffs can totally guilt me into stopping whatever I’m doing to give you attention, and I love every minute. You’ve given me an in depth understanding of domesticated animals’ life experience, and that it 100% relies on its’ owner, a truth that many pet owners quickly forget. You deserve the best life, everyone looks up to you, and I respect your unwavering demands for the best treatment in life for everyone. Your slinking perimeter walks around the house brings smiles to our faces, and I couldn’t imagine a better smelling dog breath than the one you cultivate.

 

 

 

** Please note, no animals were harmed in the creation of this meal. Enjoy guilt free!**

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