Yes, You Can Have Thanksgiving Without Turkey—at Vegan Thanksgiving in Boca Raton

The Palm Beach County Vegetarian Society will be celebrating Thanksgiving by hosting a vegan picnic in lush South County Regional Park. The Boca Raton-based event, which is now in its seventh iteration, is poised to attract dozens of local vegans.

“Organizing this event each year is one of the things I do to give back to the community,” says Delray Beach resident Melanie Wolf, who has organized the vegan-friendly Thanksgiving party. “Our group shows people that a plant-based diet can help them feel better, control their weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and potentially avoid or reverse disease.”

On top of promoting a plant-based diet, Wolf says another motivator in creating the Thanksgiving event—which will be held at the park’s Pond Apple Pavilion—is that she hopes curbing locals’ meat consumption will help curb animal cruelty. “Turkeys, pigs, cows, and all animals are sentient beings who, just like humans, cherish life and fear death,” she says. “Every life is precious to the one living it. You can celebrate Thanksgiving with delicious meals and without taking a life.”

Wolf will help supply paper plates, cups, napkins, utensils, and bottles of water. In terms of food, she asks that guests bring only dishes that contain no animal products so that both vegetarians and vegans will be accommodated. Recipes for vegan dishes can be found here. You can also see who’s bringing what by RSVPing on social media and letting others know what you’re cooking up in the comments section.

There is no entrance fee to the park, and all are welcome to the vegan potluck—including dogs—but there will be a contribution jar to help cover the cost of the pavilion ($165) and supplies ($50). The suggested contribution is $5 per adult.

Alcoholic beverages are allowed and so are small radios. Also, since there is a volleyball/badminton net, as well as basketball courts near the pavilion, Wolf says to feel free to bring frisbees, games, blankets, bicycles, etc.

“You can choose not to cause animal suffering, greatly reduce your contribution to global warming, and keep your arteries clear,” says Wolf about going vegan. “[It’s] a win, win, win situation!”