BY KAREN HIRSCH, The Humane League

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and as we reflect on gratitude, here are five things that all plant-based eaters can be grateful for this year. 

1. You’re saving about 174 animals per year. The average American eats 23 chickens, ⅓ of a pig, ⅒ of a cow, ¾ of a turkey, a small amount of duck, 12 fish, and 137 shellfish (mostly shrimp) annually, so by leaving animals off your plate, you’re saving lots of lives.

2. You’re more likely than ever to find plant-based options on your family’s Thanksgiving table. A 2021 survey found that 56% of the respondents thought offering vegan options at holiday gatherings was important. 

3. You’re not alone, because plant-based food is no longer fringe. Over 80% of all Americans have tried plant-based foods and 79% are repeat buyers. Further, over the past two years, plant-based foods sales grew to $7 billion. 

4. You’re in good company as athletes are thriving on plant-based diets.  An increasing number of world-class athletes are changing the perception that you need meat to be a champion. These include Olympic gold medalists: Hannah Teter (snowboarding), Serena Williams (tennis), and Carl Lewis (running), along with heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, New England Patriots’ Quarterback Cam Newton, and Ultra-Marathoner Scott Jurek.

5. Best of all, you’ll live longer and be healthier! Numerous studies on large populations have indicated that vegans live longer than meat eaters and have lower risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic degenerative diseases!

As you celebrate Thanksgiving, your family or friends may be curious about your diet. Fortunately, there’s a new, free resource that you can share that will answer all of their questions.

The Humane League’s new Plant-Based Starter Guide covers everything from the impact of plant-based diets on health and the environment to nutrition, recipes, and everything in between!

Additionally, if you’d like to join our community of thousands of digital activists who drive meaningful change for animals in just a few minutes a week, please visit the Fast Action Network

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!