From not liking the taste to vegan ethics these celebs -- including Billie Eilish, Kourtney Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen and many more -- think "turkey sucks!"
Turkey may be a staple in any classic Thanksgiving dinner -- but it’s not for everyone.
In fact, when it comes time to sit around the table and give thanks with a festive meal, some families skip the turkey entirely. Whether it’s a dietary preference, a moral decision or just because they straight-up don’t like it, it’s becoming more common for turkey to be absent from Thanksgiving feasts. Even celebrities are opting out of turkey, instead chowing down on a vegan alternative or just a whole lot of sides!
Find out why these stars don’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving…
Billie Eilish lives a vegan lifestyle and that includes Thanksgiving day. In years past, the singer has pledged not to eat turkey on the holiday -- and she hopes that her fans will follow suit. In an Instagram Story from 2021, Billie shared a snap cradling a turkey at a sanctuary.
"Turkeys are some of the most gentle creatures in the world. and 46 million of them are killed every Thanksgiving,” Billie wrote. “I know it’s hard to change traditions but just keep it in mind.”
Kourtney Kardashian went completely vegan for an early Thanksgiving celebration that coincided with her husband Travis Barker’s birthday. Since Travis is vegan, they opted for a faux turkey as well as sides that included vegan mac and cheese as well as lots of veggies.
“vegan thanksgiving for my baby’s birthday @travisbarker ❤️,” Kourtney captioned a video from the dinner on her Instagram Story.
Pamela Anderson is a vegetarian so she avoids the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Instead, she actually opts to spend Thanksgiving Day with turkeys. She says that she often heads to the Gentle Barn, a sanctuary for abused animals, and hangs out with the birds.
“I go to the Gentle Barn and hang with the turkeys. I tickle them under the wings and I sit them on my lap, and I feed them pumpkin pie,” Pamela told Page Six.
4. Madelaine Petsch
As a vegan and animal advocate, Madelaine Petsch skips the turkey on Thanksgiving. While partnering up with animal rescue organization Farm Sanctuary, Madelaine opened up about how turkeys are treated in the food industry and encouraged fans to take part in the organization’s turkey adoption program.
“Did you know that each year, almost 46 million turkeys are killed and eaten during Thanksgiving time? During their short lives, they are often subjected to cruel practices…It doesn’t have to be this way and you can help,” Madelaine said in a video for Farm Sanctuary. “This year, adopt a turkey instead of eating one.”
In 2020, Alicia Silverstone pledged to have a turkey-free Thanksgiving. The actress, who has been a vegan for many years, has often opted to have a vegan holiday dinner -- and hopes by speaking out, she could encourage others to do the same.
“Thanksgiving is such a lovely holiday and it just feels so good to make delicious vegan food and share it with your friends and your family,” Alicia shared. “Turkeys are creatures…and they are funny and they are loving and they love to be snuggled and they have big personalities and they certainly don't want to be killed.”
She continued, “I think that by saying I’m not going to eat a turkey this year means I am taking a stand on the side of making change, on the side of standing in my beliefs, and saying actually, ‘I don’t want to contribute to climate change. Actually I don’t want to hurt animals.’”
Chrissy Teigen passes on turkey on Thanksgiving but it’s not because she abides by a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Instead, Chrissy admits she just really doesn’t like Turkey, so she chooses to make chicken instead.
“Screw turkey. Turkey sucks. Turkey is gross!” Chrissy told InStyle. “I do two whole roasted chickens because chicken is so much better and you can still get a great gravy out of it. I just really feel like people feel like they’re forced to eat turkey, and nobody really enjoys it. Surprise everyone. Serve them chicken, and they’ll be much happier.”
Jesse Eisenberg is a vegetarian and so is his family, so they have a turkey-free celebration every year. Instead of turkey, the family has tofu and also adopts live turkeys to keep them from being killed.
“I’m mostly vegetarian. My family’s vegetarian. We have vegan Thanksgiving although my family calls it Thanks-living,” he said on Conan. “We buy turkeys…We kind of buy them in theory. You know, we save them and then we put the pictures on the table like, ‘You saved Mabel. You saved Todd.’”
Kristen Bell has been a vegetarian for a long time so she’s always skipped the turkey on Thanksgiving in favor of a Tofurkey. Her parents first started making it when Kristen stopped eating meat as a kid and now she continues the tradition each year.
“Tofurkey. It’s a faux turkey that my parents always made for me because I’ve always been a vegetarian. It’s awesome. It’s so great. You’ll have to try it!” Kristen once told InStyle.
In an interview with People, Kristen also noted that she often forgets to defrost the tofurkey in time for dinner, so she ends up enjoying it the next day.
Kelly Ripa doesn’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving, but it’s not because of dietary preferences. Instead, Kelly says she once had a mishap which left her family with a ton of guests and a half raw turkey. Instead, they now focus on other Thanksgiving staples and “protein alternatives.”
“[My son] Joaquin is really big on the sage and butter pork chop. He loves it so much! My daughter is more like my people. We like a whipped mashed potato, but we also like a mashed sweet potato. We like anything mashed and carbohydrate," Kelly shared with Entertainment Tonight.
Mayim Bialik isn’t a big fan of Thanksgiving, especially the tradition of eating turkey. The actress, who is a vegan, opts out of serving the dish -- and actually shies away from celebrating the holiday altogether.
“I don’t like the tradition of killing a bird that, in most cases, has been genetically modified so that it’s so big that it can’t even stand up and then you lay its carcass on a tray and you carve it up and then you eat it. I don’t like that tradition. I don't want that one,” Mayim shared in a YouTube video.
Kaley Cuoco abides by a vegetarian lifestyle so when it comes to Thanksgiving, she opts out of eating turkey. In partnership with Farm Sanctuary, Kaley encouraged fans to do the same and instead, adopt a turkey to save it from being killed.
“Each year 46 million turkeys are inhumanely raised and slaughtered for Thanksgiving. The majority of these birds are raised on factory farms, which are linked to numerous environmental problems hurting us and our planet,” Kaley said in a video for Farm Sanctuary, adding, “Try something new. Take the turkey off your plate and sponsor one instead.”
Sarah Silverman has been a vegetarian since she was a little girl and it all began on Thanksgiving. When her family headed to a farm to pick the turkey they would eat on the holiday, Sarah says she was shocked to find out how they were killed. Since then, she’s been a vegetarian and skipped the turkey at dinner.
“When I was 9 or 10 years old, my dad took me over to a neighboring farm to help get stuff for the meal. The farmer, Vic, told me to look at all the turkeys and pick one out. I saw a cute one with a silly walk and cried, ‘Him!’ Before my pointing finger had even dropped to my side, Vic had grabbed the turkey by the neck and slit [the bird’s] throat,” Sarah told Marie Claire. “Blood and feathers went flying. I had sentenced that turkey to death! Up until then, I didn’t know where meat came from -- and I’ve been a vegetarian ever since.”