Bicoastal Tofurky Feed-Ins Give Over 700 Consumers a Taste of Compassion

Written by Jaya Bhumitra

TofurkyTurkeys don’t have much to be thankful for this time of year—save for Tofurky’s Roast, Field Roast’s Celebration Roast, and Gardein’s Stuffed Turk’y. These three delicious options require little more than an oven, and are especially convenient for the reluctant cook, new vegetarian, or time-strapped holiday traveler. With that in mind, we hit the streets—on both coasts and with two types of Tofurky— to show consumers just how easy it is to satisfy their cravings for turkey (and the sandwich leftovers) without harming a single feathered friend.

On Sunday, Baltimore-based volunteers Lesley Parker-Rollins, Elena Johnson, Mark Peters and Kelly Lally handed out more than 300 sandwich samples piled high with Tofurky hickory smoked deli slices, Vegenaise, and lettuce, and nearly 850 Compassionate Choices brochures, Easy Vegan Recipes booklets, and Vegetarian Guides to Baltimore, at Roots Market in Clarksville, MD.

“You might have changed a life today,” said one man, who added both Tofurky and Vegenaise to his cart before returning for a second sample. The woman accompanying him seemed shocked that he’d even try a meatless sandwich, let alone like it! Even more rewarding, another woman stopped by to say that she had just finished reading Compassion Over Killing’s Vegetarian Starter Guide which she received from a leafleter the week prior, and that the information was influencing her to make more conscious, vegetarian food choices. Turns out that that leafleter was Kelly! The volunteers also offered personal advice to shoppers interested in learning more about the animal-free products at Roots. According to Lesley, “It was fun highlighting our favorite foods while encouraging more compassionate consumerism.”

TofurkyOn Monday, Los Angeles-area volunteers Kelsey Rinehart, Lesa Miller, Jessica Spain, Kelly Boston, Zack Wolk, Lucy Mueller, and Jessica Resnick distributed approximately 400 bites of the Tofurky Roast (cooked in Tofurky’s flavorful gravy), as well as 400 Compassionate Choices pamphlets and 400 “Harvest Compassion” Thanksgiving flyers, in front of the Westwood Whole Foods near UCLA.

At first, one man refused our offer, but when an extra bright smile convinced him to finally give the Tofurky a try, his own taste buds surprised him: “You have a winner!” On a separate occasion, a woman proudly proclaimed to us, “I know what this is! My daughter has them in her freezer. We both eat it.” And the curiosity of several passersby was piqued when they overheard a new vegetarian, of just one month, admit  “I’m not ready yet—it tastes TOO much like turkey!”

Check out more photos on Facebook. And for additional compassionate alternatives for your holiday table (including Savory Stuffing, Chicken-Free Gravy, Mac Uncheese, Apple and Cranberry Stuffed Squash, and Pumpkin Pie), visit VegRecipes.org, or try these five festive recipes from our staff.