Celebrate the holidays with heart and rediscover what Christmas really means, and why our holiday traditions are not only cruel, but also serious health hazards
Celebrate these holidays with heart and think kindly of all those who are in need for a little bit of love and compassion. Is that what you usually do? That's great - but do you usually also include your four-legged, winged, feathered, finned, and scaled fellow creatures into the good wishes from your heart? Have you ever thought about having a vegan Christmas?
Holiday traditions are wonderful things, but not if they are the reason for needless cruelty and suffering. Eating a holiday turkey or holiday ham is a very painful and frightening tradition for the innocent victims: the sentient animals that are slaughtered by the millions to grace our holiday tables.
For those of us who celebrate holidays with heart and have already made the connection between the turkey or ham on the dinner plate, and the living, feeling creature that it once was, the holiday season is a difficult time.
The vast majority of people does not think twice before buying that holiday turkey. The death toll of these animals is over 300 million annually in the US, and the holiday season alone sees 67 million turkeys being slaughtered.
Does death and torture really need to be part of a celebration that is dedicated to affirming life and giving thanks for the wonderful bounty of nature?
Does agony and pain really belong to a season that is meant to reflect on giving, sharing, and cherishing other living creatures, and to rekindle the loving connections we have with our family and friends?
Can we really find spiritual fulfillment and celebrate holidays with heart, when the victims of our outdated traditions have never found peace - neither in their short wretched lives nor in their horrific deaths?
Meet your Christmas turkey
Do they know it is Christmas?
Most turkeys are raised on factory farms, where they live their miserable short lives in overcrowded, dark, and filthy conditions without access to fresh air and sunshine, or the ability to do anything that comes natural to them.
- Turkeys are hatched in large incubators and never see their mothers.
- Often right after birth, the young poults are mutilated with hot blades to burn off their toes and beaks - all withut pain killers.
- Turkeys are so grossly overbred with drugs and growth hormones, that their legs often break under their unnatural large breasts, as they can no longer support their own weight. Some die a slow agonizing death from starvation.
- After just 5 months of a short painful life, these baby birds go to slaughter, where the frightened animals are further abused, throat-slit, and often scolded alive, if they have not bled to death on the fast running production line, which never stops - no matter what.
Meet your holiday ham
Courtesy Humane Farming Association
Pigs are raised on factory farms where they never see the daylight or get a chance to roll in the mud. Sows are force-impregnated to birth up to 20 piglets a year.
- Right after birth, piglets have their ears chipped, teeth clipped, tails chopped off, and male pigs are castrated - all without painkillers.
- Pigs grow so quickly through artificial growth hormones that their legs often can't sustain their bulky bodies. Pigs that can't walk are often killed or left to die without food and water.
- Pigs that don't grow quick enough are being killed by workers through slamming their heads on the concrete floor-– a method that is even condemned as animal cruelty by the meat industry's own advisors for pigs this size.
- 400,000 pigs are too weak to walk off the slaughter trucks by themselves every year. Since these are meat industry official numbers, the reality is probably far worse
Traditional Holiday Feasts are Serious Health Hazards
And even if some of us may not care much about the animal suffering that is an inevitable part of our holiday meals, do we really need to fatten our bellies further and add more cloaking to our arteries and cholesterol to our blood every year? Holidays with heart should not mean with heart disease...
Shouldn't the holidays be a time where harmony, friendship, sharing, and spiritual growth supersede gluttony, greed, selfishness, and the growth rates of waistlines and heart attacks?
The holiday season is a perfect battleground to add new heart disease and diabetes patients, and to up the ante for strokes, heart attacks, and high blood pressure cases. Cholesterol-lowering and heartburn drug makers will cash-in as well.
While you may think that turkey is lower in cholesterol and saturated fat, it is MUCH higher than any vegetarian alternative. The main concern however is the amount we tend to eat over the holidays, and the fact that turkey and ham get mixed with large amounts of gravies, casseroles, pies, cookies, candies, and holiday chocolates - all usually high in dairy, sugar, and fat. These are the classic culprits in wreaking havoc on your health!
Is this something to truly feel grateful for? Rather than looking towards the new year with joyful anticipation, many will be on the waiting list for hospital beds, or cringe at the need for another diet to get rid of the pounds so thoughtlessly amassed.
Why are we doing this to ourselves, when so many great alternatives exist to replace the loaded health hazards in meat, butter, and dairy with delicious equivalents, that come without the animal cruelty and danger to our own lives?
There are delicious vegan desserts, candies, and cookies, which you can enjoy without the worry about your heart or waisteline. Wouldn't it be nice to feel great about having that second helping?
Enjoy these holidays with heart - and heart-healthy food! Take a look at our healthy holiday desserts.
Celebrate the Holidays with your heart and not with your fork!
This holiday season, make a real difference for your family and yourself: celebrate the holidays with heart and pledge to embrace the spirit of the holidays with love, compassion, and giving back to others.
Celebrate birth over death and preservation over destruction! Don't indulge in the wasteful consumerism that contradicts the spirit of this beautiful season.
Beautiful male turkey
The holidays should be a time of peace and reflection, but we can only find real, deep inner peace if we are in balance with the natural world around us, and don't destroy it or contribute to its living bounty's exploitation, torture, and death.
The art of living in harmony with nature and not against it, is what peace is really about. Our thoughts, actions, and words should endeavor to rebuild and improve our holiday traditions, to match what we wish for from the depth of our heart: peace, love, joy, and happiness for all beings.
Replace your meals that cause terrible pain and suffering - first for the animals and later for yourself - with delicious vegan meals that keep everyone happy, healthy, and truly grateful for your choices.
Choose cruelty-free meals for your holidays with heart this year and know that you can rejoice full-heartedly, because this year you are improving your holiday traditions to celebrate a season of joy for everyone, no matter if they have skin, fur, feathers, or scales!