ThanksLIVING Dinner 2015



Rehoboth’s Vegan ThanksLiving Dinner 2015 a Sparkling Success!

In an elegant venue overlooking the ocean, over 80 guests gathered at Salero on Sunday for Rehoboth’s annual vegan ThanksLiving Dinner. By all accounts, the evening was a tremendous success, as people from as far as Wilmington, Pennsylvania, and one from Oregon gathered to celebrate with like-minded others a meat-free holiday centered on compassion.

“We’re thrilled about the turnout and enthusiasm for our vegan ThanksLiving Dinner, says Tara Sheldon, Vice President of VegRehoboth, who organizes the event. ThanksLiving Dinner is a way for people to celebrate a holiday that traditionally has meat at its center, in a new tradition where no meat, eggs, or dairy are used. “People loved the venue, the fabulous food. There was real joy and camaraderie among those attending. People are consciously choosing to eat without causing suffering, and that’s a very good feeling.”

Before the sit-down meal, guests mingled and took in the ocean views as waiters passed platters of savoury vegan appetizers.

In welcoming remarks, Patricia Haddock read “This is Why We Don’t Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving,” a Nov 19 article by Ari Solomon of the national non-profit Mercy For Animals.

Citing the 45 million turkeys that are killed for this holiday alone, Haddock quoted: “The truth is that turkeys, just like all birds raised for food, endure hellish lives on modern farms from the moment they’re born until they’re violently killed” and reminded that the tradition of having a dead animal as the centerpiece of the meal “flies in the face of all that the holiday is about: compassion and gratitude.”

For Rehoboth’s vegan celebration, those kind qualities filled the air. A communal blessing by.Ruth Lamothe preceded the meal and put into words the meaning for the evening: peace, justice, and freedom from suffering for all beings. Attendees joined aloud in repeating the final refrain..

Guests then feasted on meat-free turkey holiday roasts by Gardein, quinoa-stuffed butternut squash, and all the trimmings from stuffing to fabulous chocolate desserts, as DJ Sue P screened video from Farm Sanctuary of colorful rescued turkeys and turkeys in the wild living free.

Chef David Horton of Salero prepared exquisite appetizers, salads, and entrees. Delicious seasonal stuffing was prepared by Chef Hari Cameron of a(Muse), and Chef Denise Vansant of Cave Girl at the Beach prepared dessert of Dark Chocolate Apple Zucchini Brownies with Salted Caramel Ganache.

At one point Haddock described her recent experience of personally meeting three of these rescued turkeys – named Barry, Robin and Maurice after the hit-musical group the BJ’s. Just as she described these colorful animals joyfully bounding out to greet people, the room suddenly was filled with the upbeat tempo of the refrain “Sayin’ Alive.” Guests clapped and applauded as the upbeat music captured the message and mood.

Soon after, in seeming affirmation from the universe, a large vivid rainbow appeared rising from the one point in the ocean and arcing back in fulling circle, while the setting sun illuminated birds flying free . The room crackled with energy, as attendees rushed to the winders to capture pictures. Two guests later echoed what many had felt – the universe seemed to approve of those gathered to promote compassion for all.

A raffle, live auction, and dancing concluded the evening, as departing guests sighed their appreciation and planned for next year.

I think ThanksLiving is growing in appeal each year because more people are thinking about their food choices,” says Haddock. “People are turning away from meat. They’re realizing that’s a dead animal on their table – and they don’t want to be part of that any more.”

Organizers extend special thanks to sponsors Jenn Harpel, Good Earth Market, Hari Cameron, Denise Vansant , Trish From-Letters CAMP Rehoboth Community Center Tiffany Piperno Caldwell; to Sue P, Ruth Lamothe, Rose Wellman, Cindy Holt, and to all who attended. A special thank Salero Oceanfront Banquet Facility for being so wonderful to work with.

More information about VegRehoboth and upcoming events can be found at www.vegrehoboth.com