No Turkey, Thanks

November 20, 2017

No turkey sits at the center of our Thanksgiving table. No turkey gravy on mashed potatoes and no turkey leftovers in the fridge. These are foods I used to prepare for my family with great anticipation and pleasure! But everything changed when I learned that turkey was ruining my health. 

Then I started to read about the cruelty suffered by turkeys as they are unnaturally confined and fattened. I was horrified by the filth, the stench, the abuse and the disease that can be transmitted to humans.* It occurred to me that my demand for turkey set this destructive process in motion. I was supporting an Industry that commodifies terrified animals for profit. 

Environmental damage was the final straw. When I became aware of the devastation to land, sea and air by poultry waste, I knew that I must no longer participate in this foul practice.

And so I sought another way—another way to gather with family and friends around foods that nourish without harming our health and that of animals or the environment.

Now I don’t need a turkey to give thanks. Stuffed butternut squash is delicious and satisfying. Mashed potatoes are divine with mushroom gravy. Roasted Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and cranberry relish fill our plates and make tasty leftovers. Macaroni and NO Cheese is so popular there is none left. And then there are the pies—apple, pumpkin, pecan...

Yes, there is no turkey on our Thanksgiving table, but there is a fabulous feast and it is good for body, mind and spirit. For that, for love of family and for the hope of a kinder, gentler world, I give thanks!

Recipes for a turkey-free Thanksgiving follow:



  • Dorothy Greet invites you on a journey to amazing good health and vitality through Plant-Based Eating.

    A heart attack turned her life upside down at age 70.

    Now, with a Cornell Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition, this retired clergywoman teaches free classes to community groups upon request.

    To contact Ms. Greet, email

    For more information on plant-based eating go to