Tofurkey Season: Vegans & Thanksgiving

Sydney Lyle, Social Media Editor

Thanksgiving is known for delicious food, and while some Sea Kings experience Thanksgiving a little bit differently, it is no less delicious. Veganism means that a person no longer consumes meats, eggs, or dairy. 

While this puts restraints on most Thanksgiving dishes, many vegans are able to adjust and develop new dishes to still join Thanksgiving dinner. 

“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I am able to have delicious food and still be vegan,” senior Leilani Fonoimoana said. 

Fonoimoana and her family altered traditional meals by using vegan ingredients. 

 “I have been able to modify them to be vegan-friendly by using vegan milk and butter for the mashed potatoes and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for the gravy,” Fonoimoana said.

 Fonoimoana and her mom are both vegan and her accepting family has made the transition easy. 

Every vegan has their own unique story of how they changed their lifestyle initially. Some change their diets due to health concerns, some to save the animals, and some to benefit the environment.

“I first became vegan in 2018 because my grandfather passed from Alzheimer’s along with many other relatives. I decided to take initiative and change my lifestyle in order to prevent or decrease my risk of this appalling disease,” sophomore Alina Montalvan said. 

With the help of her family, Montalvan was able to see how beneficial becoming vegan would be in the long term. 

“My cousin was vegan with me for about a year and both my dad, my grandma and my uncle are vegan as well. Most of the food prepared in my household is vegan,” Montalvan said. 

Since she is constantly surrounded by many vegan dishes, Thanksgiving is no different. 

“I love eating mashed potatoes, congri (a Cuban rice with black beans) and chia seed pudding.Traditionally, congri has bacon, which we just leave  out,” Montalvan said.

When surrounded by family who shares the same dietary needs, veganism can seem simple, but the reality is that being vegan can often be very difficult. Restaurants aren’t always accommodating and eating out with friends who aren’t vegan is not always easy.

“I never feel like I’m missing out because my house is usually where we have family gatherings, so my mom always makes vegan options. When I am not in a situation like this, it is definitely difficult to eat. I will usually bring my own food to other functions,” Fonoimoana said.

Senior Whitney Todosiev said she “made the switch to vegan when [her] acne started to get progressively worse.”

After visiting her dermatologist and researching online, she decided that going vegan was the best option for her health.

Todosiev was also inspired to become vegan after taking the AP Environmental Science class offered on-campus and learning so much new information about her impact on the environment. 

“Going vegan has made me experiment way more in the kitchen and find joy in cooking good food for myself and family members,” Todosiev said.

Being vegan can be challenging, but overall the health advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages. Veganism doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite foods. Thanksgiving can still be a holiday filled with delicious food, family, and friends, just make certain to stock up on your vegan butters and dairy-free milks at your local grocery store.