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Happy tofurkey day!

Join the Central Coast Vegan Network for a healthy and kind Thanksgiving



GREEN GODDESSES :  Peggy Koteen (left), Ria Bacigalupa, Johanna Andris, Erika Hirsch, and Judy Lautner (right) invite vegetarians and would-be vegetarians to share their holiday feast. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • GREEN GODDESSES : Peggy Koteen (left), Ria Bacigalupa, Johanna Andris, Erika Hirsch, and Judy Lautner (right) invite vegetarians and would-be vegetarians to share their holiday feast.
Animal lovers and tofurkey (tofu turkey) fans unite! The Central Coast Vegetarian Network is hosting their first annual fall feast on Nov. 14 to celebrate their first anniversary. The event will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Dallidet Adobe and Gardens at 1185 Pacific St. in SLO.


The dinner will be buffet style and will include dessert along with water, sparkling non-alcoholic beverages, and wine. Turtle Island Foods is donating the tofurkeys and traditional vegan pies for dessert will come from New Frontiers market.


Central Coast Vegetarian Network founder Erika Hirsch explained, “I love all animals, so Thanksgiving had been a challenging holiday for me. I just never liked having turkeys be the center of the holiday and the center of the table. For vegetarians, Thanksgiving is a tough holiday because the focus is on the turkey; it’s even called turkey day. Now that I know how turkeys on factory farms are raised and slaughtered, I choose not to participate.”


No turkeys will be there in the flesh but there will be photographs of rescued turkeys that reside at Farm Sanctuary. The dinner will support the Adopt-A-Turkey program; see for details. For information about a special feed-the-turkeys event, visit


The 65 members in the local vegan group meet at least twice per month, usually at restaurants that serve vegetarian fare. They hold such special events as the 4th of July vegique that took place in Morro Bay, which was arranged by member Jenny Brantlee. She said, “People choose to be vegan for a variety of reasons, but all decisions are usually based on health, environment, and compassion for all animals. I became a vegetarian in 2003 and a vegan in 2007. I remember both days when I declared my new diet. The best change was going vegan. Giving up dairy was exactly what my body needed. I saw and felt improvements right away.”


Going cold turkey isn’t so tough, Brantlee claimed. “I find new delicious recipes all the time. Pasta dishes, gourmet veggie burgers with sweet potato fries, soy creamy vanilla frozen dessert with home-made brownies and warmed raspberries to name a few. There are also many vegan foods at grocery stores. Trader Joe’s has been awesome. They even mark all their vegan foods with the ‘V’ seal! Vegan restaurants are already a hit in L.A. and San Francisco, so I believe we will start seeing those here too.”


The group anticipates at least 75 people will arrive for the feast, which will be open to members of the network, friends, and families. The dinner costs $10. Anyone interested in dining can connect to the very welcoming group at “I am thankful for the opportunity to share the experiences of the Central Coast Vegetarian Network with our community,” Hirsch exclaimed.


Fast facts


South County Family Educational and Cultural Center Exploration Station will present a learn-to-maneuver-the-Internet course on Tuesday Nov. 17 from noon to 3 p.m. and will teach students new to computers how to master e-mail on Tuesday Nov. 24 from noon to 3 p.m. The classes will be taught at a new computer lab and cost $25. For more information and to register, call the Exploration Station at 473-1421 or e-mail [email protected]. Registration forms can be downloaded at


Woods Humane Society welcomes the public to a “Holiday Open House” on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be opportunities for pet portraits with Santa, along with pet first-aid workshops, a holiday gift workshop for kids, shelter tours, and fun activities for your dog. Wood’s Holiday Open House is their largest annual in-kind donation drive. Visit to review their holiday wish list for items that will assist them by offsetting operational costs. Call 543-9316 for more information


The Cal Poly Climate Team will host a community workshop on Nov. 19 at 6 pm in the City/County Library Community Room, 995 Palm Street in SLO to discuss climate action planning and to gather ideas from participants about reducing greenhouse gas emissions to improve San Luis Obispo. Children are welcome and encouraged to attend. The Cal Poly Climate Team is collaborating with the City of San Luis Obispo to create a draft climate action plan. The Climate Team will staff a booth at Farmers Market on Nov. 12, one week before the community workshop. For more information, see


Head coach Paul Holocher and the Mustang men’s soccer team recently confirmed the competition format and rules for the program’s inaugural Winter Youth 4v4 Jamboree, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 at Cal Poly’s Upper Field Complex.


Jamboree matches will be played without a goalkeeper and on a shortened field to increase individual skills and ball movement. The entry fee for each team, which is guaranteed at least four matches and may field up to six players, is $150. Age groups in both boys’ and girls’ divisions will include under-8, under-10, under-12 and under-14 levels.


All entry fee proceeds will benefit the Cal Poly men’s and women’s soccer programs. For information, call 756-7070.


Intern Dylan Baumann wrote this week’s Strokes& Plugs. Send your news to [email protected].

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