Thanksgiving for vegan kids

21 Nov

With Thanksgiving looming, Silas and I have been reading a ton of books on the subject. Right off the bat, this went badly. He finally realized that people actually eat animals. That was a real bummer. It kind of sucks to have to teach your kid that this is something we have to just be chill about. We can’t hate people because they eat animals because truly they are just following social norms. This seems wrong to tell him, but I did anyway. I have flashbacks of Shae telling everyone how awful they were for killing the little animals, he went through a stage of being the obnoxious militant vegan that we are all made out to be. Except he was 3 and people totally listened to him, but you know, still probably not a good look.

Silas is only 4, so I try to just steer the conversation to the fact that we are vegan so we do not eat animals and how awesome that is that we choose to be nice to them! And Tofurky is so yummy! All happy and positive and let’s all just forget about the poor dead turkeys! (also feels wrong, but you know, it’s as much as he needs for the comprehension he has at this point)

So then we stumbled upon the comedy genre of children’s Thanksgiving stories which apparently means not eating turkeys. Hilarious idea, right! Ugh, whatever. These are more like dramatic stories with a heartwarming ending to us, so I’m happy. Turk and Runt was a good one about Turkeys who yearned to be the biggest and best so they would be “chosen” until they smart little brother, Runt, made them realize that people meant to kill & eat them. It wasn’t graphic at all and Silas enjoyed cheering them on.

This led to me hunting down Shae’s old copy of Dav Pilkey’s Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving.

Again, this is a “wacky” tale meant as humor, and to that I roll my eyes. This book was introduced to us by Shae’s kindergarten teacher in 2004. She did an entire unit on the book, then at the end, the kids went to the school’s turkey lunch. Yeah, I don’t know either. Shae was the only vegan in his super rural school, basically the only vegan in a sea of hunters. His teacher was by no means vegan, she just thought it was a cute book, but it meant a lot to Shae at the time. It showed him that other people think the way we do and that it’s okay to buck the normal traditions in the name of compassion. We must have read this book thousands of times over the years. Shae went on to reading all of Dav Pilkey’s other books and fell in love with him. He even dressed as Captain Underpants for character day at school in 2nd or 3rd grade. I’d like to post the picture, but you know, ruining his life and all that.

Of course, Silas dug it too. He was stoked to see the kids eating a vegetarian feast at the end with their turkey friends. We made turkeys afterwards and I asked him to fill in the blank afterwards from this lesson idea I found on pinterest. “Save a turkey, eat more ___________!”. He cracked me up by saying, “Food! They should eat actual food!”. YES. They totally should. Kids are kind of the best.

{Fun fact about Dav Pilkey: he wasn’t vegetarian when he wrote this book, but he is vegan now!}

As for the meaning of Thanksgiving, I have a real problem with celebrating white dudes killing off Native Americans and stealing their land. I just teach that we are celebrating gratitude and respect for Native Americans. I love this book so hard. We’ve read it everyday for 2 weeks now. Silas can’t get enough.

(Here’s the reading rainbow episode. I just found this and I’m so excited to share it with the kids.)

Oh and of course, what Thanksgiving is complete without Charlie Brown? NONE. So, get on that. We like to do a toast and popcorn feast while watching!

Silas keeps begging for “SO MANY TURKEYS” so we’ve been crafting them like no mans business. Starting to look like a little sanctuary around here.

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4 Responses to “Thanksgiving for vegan kids”

  1. Valerie November 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM #

    Thank you so much for this information! I have added these books to my long-term wishlist and saved this post for future reference (currently vegan and pregnant). It’s great to find mainstream books with an unintentional vegan message.

  2. laceyjbrown November 23, 2012 at 8:59 PM #

    Reblogged this on Making myself useful and commented:
    Save a turkey. Eat More Food!

  3. laceyjbrown November 23, 2012 at 8:59 PM #

    This is great info. If I ever have kids, I will definitely need these books!

  4. addictedconfessor January 8, 2013 at 12:53 AM #

    Hi Kelly,
    its 6.50am here and i have read your entire blog throughout the night so still havent slept!! You and your kids have really inspired me to become vegan, Ive been considering it for a long time as ive been veggie for 13+ years and would love to do more but thought it would be to difficult but you’ve proved otherwise!!! Thank you :)

    Please check out my blog and id love to talk about getting your cupcake recipie and converting it into UK terms to post on my blog (linking to you obviously!)

    Addicted

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