Salem, Massachusetts, USA - Salem and North Shore residents may be heading into summer and looking forward to some much-anticipated beach weather, but Salem Vegan Society’s director has his sights set on Thanksgiving 2009.
SVS Founder/Director Marc Delaney, now in the process of preparing for the fourth annual Salem Vegan Food Drive to benefit the Salem Mission this June, has just received a special vegan product donation from Vegan Food Drive corporate sponsor Turtle Island Foods, the makers of the vegan turkey-alternative product, Tofurky.
Turtle Island, currently the leading vegan turkey-alternative producer in the United States and a vegan company itself, has agreed to sponsor this year’s Food Drive, and has provided Delaney and Salem Vegan Society with over $200 in Tofurky product vouchers, which may be redeemed at any time throughout 2009.
Recognizing the appropriateness of this donation, given the numerous Salem Mission Thanksgiving dinners served to the homeless each November, but favoring Tofurky’s vegan “alternative” ingredients, Delaney is now considering retaining Turtle Island Food’s product vouchers for now, and presenting the actual vegan Tofurkys to Salem Mission’s kitchen manager in November, to coincide with the Salem Mission’s annual Thanksgiving dinners.
Delaney has informed Salem Mission staff member Jennifer Pieroni and Mission Director Mark Cote about his projected plans for this very special donation to this year’s Salem Vegan Food Drive, and has been informed by Pieroni, acting as this year’s contact for the Food Drive, that the Mission’s kitchen manager will in fact be able to accommodate and prepare the alternative-meat product donations this November.
Delaney said: “According to a University of Illinois fact sheet, in 2007, 271,685,000 turkeys were produced in the United States. Turkey consumption has increased by 116-percent since 1970, that’s a 300-percent increase.
“In 2007, the average American consumed 17.5 pounds of turkey, and 97-percent of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation reported that they eat turkey at Thanksgiving.
“And these figures just reflect the United States, not the world. These numbers are staggering, considering that each turkey “produced,” or raised, is a thinking, sentient being, that should in fact have rights of their own, to live out their lives as they choose, on free-range land or sanctuary.
“Today, animals have virtually no rights. This is the main purpose behind the annual Salem Vegan Food Drive, to provide good, wholesome, vegan food for Salem Mission residents, but also to remind those more fortunate among us here in Salem and on the North Shore that consuming turkey and other animal products is not necessary, that all of us can live happy, healthy lives consuming an entirely vegan diet.”
One local supplier of Tofurky is Whole Foods Market in Swampscott, and Delaney says that he will work with Whole Foods to obtain the Tofurkys that will be donated this year to the Salem Mission.