Vegan Alert: Thanksgiving Thoughts

Norman Weiss, Purchasing Manager, and Jeannine Kienzle, Weavers Way Programs Coordinator

Celebrate ThanksLiving, an alternative gathering with food, gratitude and friendly faces on Tuesday, Nov. 26, from 6-8 p.m. at Mt. Airy Nexus! For more information, visit


  • Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds
  • Amy’s California Veggie Burger (Pro-tip: Toast it in the toaster!)
  • Kite Hill Ravioli

Two vegans, one an old-timer (Norman) and another newer to the scene (Jeannine), exchange banter on all things vegan, from products to events to controversial topics to the shelf life of rutabaga fondue.

N: Somehow, when we opened our Chestnut Hill store, ordering turkeys for all Weavers Way stores became part of my job. So every year, I make a phone call and read off an order that basically results in that number of turkeys getting killed — ironic job for a vegan.

J: Ironic indeed. I read that an estimated 46 million turkeys die each year for Thanksgiving alone.

N: The Co-op accounted for about 800 of those last year.

J: I remember my first Thanksgiving not eating meat. I was able to eat the majority of the side dishes. How do you spend Thanksgiving each year?

N: Lately, it has been varied. Years ago, we had traditional gatherings with family or friends. My ex was famous for her tofu pot pie. People raved about it.

J: That sounds delicious. Obviously, I’ve modified my meals as well, veganizing some traditional foods and introducing my family to new tasty sides. I made a vegan pumpkin pie a few years ago, but most people only ate my mom’s pumpkin pie.

N: Have you ever had a meat pie?

J: No, it sounds pretty gross. Have you?

N: We used to eat Swanson chicken pot pies when I was little, but I’ve never had any other pie with meat. I used to see meat pies on display at Zerns Farmers Market, made by the Pennsylvania Dutch. I always thought it was odd to put meat in a pie, but I don’t know why. Maybe just unfamiliar.

J: Meat pie. Meatloaf. Both seem unappetizing to me. Always hated when my mom made meatloaf for dinner.

N: Did she put an egg in the middle?

J: No.

N: For some reason, my family always put a hard-boiled egg in the middle.

J: Interesting. I’m organizing the second annual all-vegan ThanksLiving potluck at the Co-op this year. Will you be joining me for this special event?

N: When is it?

J: Tuesday, Nov. 26. Also, during the event we’ll be making a special announcement about starting a Vegan Meet-Up at the Co-op in 2020.

N: Did you make up the term ThanksLiving?

J: No, I can’t take credit for the name. I learned about it years ago, probably from some animal sanctuary celebrations. Nice play on words, just like Tofurky.

N: Here we go again. Veganizing non-vegan foods for the sake of tradition. I’m going to invent a Poturkey — a turkey made out of potatoes!

J: If the first Thanksgiving was to celebrate the harvest season, I don’t understand why or how turkeys became the centerpiece of the meal. 

N: Harvest implies planted crops, so that means Thanksgiving’s origins are in vegan food.

J: A true plant-based celebration giving thanks to all the vegetables harvested. 

N: Do you think plants feel pain?

J: No, I think that is a ridiculous argument.

N: I didn’t make an argument. You vegans are so argumentative!

J: Well, sometimes I’ve heard omnivores challenge vegetarians/vegans by saying plants do have feelings, just like animals. 

N: Speaking of “vores,” I’m experimenting with being a “monovore.”

J: And what, pray tell, is a “monovore?”

N: We only eat one food. In my case, potatoes.

J: Well, there is such a thing as a mono meal, where you eat only one type of fruit for a meal. Have you ever heard of Banana Island?

N: No.

J: It’s basically when you eat solely bananas all day for every meal. People tend to do it as a “detox.”

N: For your ThanksLiving, let’s make it bananas only, in the shape of a turkey, of course. A Banurkey. We can invite Curious George.

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