Struggling With A Vegetarian Thanksgiving - 11/26/11

This year was my first meatless Thanksgiving.
Before the big day arrived, I kept thinking of how hard it would be to pass up a juicy, tender turkey just sitting on a platter in my kitchen, almost taunting me.
I wondered if I would even be full, or feel like something was missing from the holiday so interwoven with the concept of meat. For the past seven months, I've stuck to my guns and have been a vegetarian through and through. One day shouldn't be too hard, right?

On Thanksgiving day, the house was completely enveloped with the aroma of sweet potatoes, corn, stuffing, and the looming turkey. I stepped out into the living room and saw a glorious spread of guacamole, chickpea salad, mashed potatoes, tomatoes, and pumpkin pie. I realized that all of these delicious plates were completely vegetarian! It was then that I knew I could have a completely satisfying and memorable evening, all without a trace of meat. I was just as enthralled with my herbivorous dinner as those of my carnivorous family members'. Our plates might have looked different, but they were both full to the brim.

I ate until I was completely stuffed. It didn't feel like I had missed out on a thing. Sure, it was a different kind of thanksgiving, but it was none less fulfilling or meaningful. Many automatically define Thanksgiving as a feast incomplete without a turkey, but I realized how little the food actually mattered. What is truly important is the time spent with family. Maybe next year I'll make a turkey made of tofu. I'm not sure how that well that will bode with my Dad, but it's worth a shot.

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