Brentwood School

Opinion: A meatless Thanksgiving

When you think of Thanksgiving, you think of turkey, but when I think of Thanksgiving, I think of tofurkey.  I am a pescatarian, which means that I am a vegetarian, with the exception of eating fish.

As a pescatarian, Thanksgiving is different for me.  With all of the different food choices available for Thanksgiving, you might want to try a vegetarian Thanksgiving too.

One of the reasons why I became a pescatarian is because I support the ethical treatment of animals.  I became a pescatarian about five years ago after I visited the Gentle Barn, an animal rescue farm in Santa Clarita where the public can visit many types of rescued animals. At the Gentle Barn, each animal has a personal story that is posted on a sign stating how they were rescued from abuse. After leaving the Gentle Barn, I gained a new compassion towards all animals.

The Gentle Barn hosts a special event for Thanksgiving where you can a eat vegan Thanksgiving meal. Ironically, the people who attend the event also feed the turkeys.

Thanksgiving is a time of thinking about what you are thankful for, bonding with family, and of course enjoying a family meal with a turkey as the star.  

For those who chose not to eat turkey on the big day, there are a variety of replacements that can still leave you feeling full after a big Thanksgiving dinner. Anything from salmon to tofurkey can be a replacement.

There are also many health benefits to not eating meat, which is another reason why I became a pescatarian. According to, by being a vegetarian or pescatarian, you can lose weight, reduce your risk of diabetes and cancer, and have better looking skin. You can also have increased energy levels which will help make you happier in your life overall.

Living in Los Angeles, there are a myriad of restaurants that offer healthy Thanksgiving meals. These restaurants create alternatives to eating meat on Thanksgiving. Real Food Daily, an organic restaurant, includes a faux turkey breast as part of their Thanksgiving meal.

If you do want to eat turkey, you can chose a free range turkey that has been treated more ethically than one that was kept in a slaughterhouse.

You might want to consider trying a vegetarian Thanksgiving this year. You may actually feel healthier and know that you are eating a delicious vegetarian meal without harming any animals.