WSU students celebrate vegan thanksgiving

Graphic By: Jake McIntosh
Weber State University students try an alternative Thanksgiving feast, Tofurkey.

While some are thinking Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, some Weber State University students are getting their Tofurky ready.

Michael Brown, a WSU alumnus, is taking to a movement called “Gentle Thanksgiving.” Brown has been vegan for nine years. This year, Brown will be attending the WSU Animal Unanimity club’s potluck. Brown said the potluck is good support for new vegans celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time under their new diet.

“Well, we come together and we make new traditions,” Brown said.

The potluck, he said, provides a place for people with common ground to come together and celebrate a new kind of Thanksgiving. Brown said there are a few events for vegans around the holiday. He also said they aren’t too different from traditional Thanksgiving.

“We had pumpkin pie,” he said, recalling one vegan event. “We had yams, we had mashed potatoes, we had Tofurky. They are all vegan.”

Chase Wilson, a WSU freshman, will be celebrating his first vegan Thanksgiving this year. Wilson said he was never really a fan of most meats anyway, so being vegan isn’t too different.

“Instead of turkey, I’ll just probably have Tofurky, which is pretty common,” Wilson said. “It’s not that hard. There’s replacements for everything.”

Jacob Kameros, a second-year WSU nursing student, has been vegan for a little more than a year. He also will be having vegan replacements for Thanksgiving. He said his family will be having a traditional Thanksgiving, which he would bring his own food to if he lived closer to them. He brings his own food because of his family’s outlook on his veganism.

“They have been pretty against it,” Kameros said. “They have a more traditional view.”

Wilson’s mother accommodates a vegan menu for him, and his family’s only concern is whether he is getting enough protein.

Brown said some of his family members are more supportive than others, but his father has been vegan for three years. Most of their families were not vegan, except for a few vegetarians or soon-to-be vegans.

Brown said it is hard for some people to adjust to being vegan because they don’t think about what animal products are used in recipes.

“These habits run deep,” Brown said. “It just shows the depth that it’s penetrated our culture and our society and our economy. You kind of have to make a conscious decision to not eat animal products or else you’re going to be eating them by default because food establishments have put them there for you.”

Brown and Kameros became vegans after seeing a movie about the meat, egg and milk industry, whereas Wilson became involved with Animal Unanimity. Wilson said how meat gets to the plate is a dark process.

“I don’t think what you eat should be scary,” Brown said.

As for eating vegan this Thanksgiving, Kameros said he thinks it’s a better option.

“I can tell you this: You feel better the next day,” he said about eating vegan for Thanksgiving.