Stove Top Stuffing – Vegan or Not ?

This year I went to Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and his family, at his son’s house, at a farm in Kansas USA.

When I was a kid growing up, and we had our Thanksgiving dinners together, it seems that we always had stuffing at the Thanksgiving table and it was always the stove top stuffing from the box.

I’m aware that some people think it’s disgraceful to have stove top stuffing from the box at the Thanksgiving table, as opposed to having dressing or stuffing that a person makes from scratch with the breadcrumbs or cornbread or whatever. As an example, in the let’s go vegan-ish Facebook group, one of our Black moderators told me that no self-respecting Black mommy would allow stove top stuffing on the Thanksgiving table.

I get it that the comment was a joke, no problem, but in reality, stove top stuffing was the only thing we ever considered having for our Thanksgiving table. It had nothing to do with lack of self respect. My mother was a single mom (white woman .., 100% Northern European, per the DNA test) with six kids at home. She was a registered nurse, working the holidays, so any way that she could cut corners and save time to put on a fantastic Thanksgiving meal was a godsend for her. All of us kids loved stove top stuffing, so it was a crowd pleaser and a very welcome part of our Thanksgiving tradition.

Fast forward, 40 years into the future, my brother in Kansas is much more of a foodie nowadays. Blending in traditions with the Thanksgiving from his wife, a fellow white person in the Midwest of the USA, they include other things like brussels sprouts, which honestly I had never heard of as a child.

Personally I haven’t made stove top stuffing in 20 years or more, probably because I don’t believe that they make any vegan varieties? Or if they do make a vegan variety, I wouldn’t know exactly where to get it.

At Thanksgiving this year, I was surprised and maybe even comforted to see that my foodie brother still includes stove top stuffing on his Thanksgiving table. Actually, it wasn’t really stove top stuffing it was another brand, possibly from Aldi. I didn’t get a chance to read the ingredients as I was in a hurry, but what do you see here? Is it vegan or not?

Regardless, I would consider any stove top stuffing to be “veganish” because whatever animal product that it does have is just a small amount of flavoring. I don’t think that trillions of fish and other aquatic animals, billions of chickens, and millions of pigs, turkeys, ducks, sheep, goats, and cows are being harmed every year in the USA for seasonings. More so, they’re being harmed for the actual meat, eggs and dairy products that people are eating. Think about it .., if stove top stuffing made a vow to no longer use whatever animal product seasonings, would the food industry decide to scale back and harm any fewer animals? 

While people are still keen on eating actual chicken meat, chicken eggs, beef, and so on, I don’t see the industry scaling back due to a boxed package like this no longer using the seasoning. If sales of chicken meat or chicken eggs were to drop by a large amount, that would make a difference, but I don’t see how the seasonings would be a big enough difference for them to change anything about how they do their business. 

For example, McDonald’s still uses beef seasoning on its french fries, but the number of beef cattle in the USA has decreased dramatically since the 1970s. That’s because per capita, people in the USA are eating a lot less beef, compared to in decades past. Millions of cows in the USA are not being harmed today, on an annual basis, because of that. Conversely, if McDonalds were to stop using beef flavoring on its fries, I seriously question whether even one less cow would be harmed in the future.

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