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Having a Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner at Ed Begley's Home

Why is he vegan, and just how vegan is he?

Ed Begley Jr. and his family celebrated another Thanksgiving completely vegan.

"I've had Tofurkey for the last six years and I couldn't be happier!" said the actor/activist, who lives in Studio City.

His older daughter Amanda cooked for everyone. Ed's oldest child is Amanda, 36, from his first wife. He is now married to Rachelle Carson and they have a daughter named Hayden. 

As they continue building a LEED's platinum environmentally-sound house in Studio City, Rachelle and Hayden are also filming a series On Begley Street that will show the step-by-step creation of this house (near the Los Angeles River in the Colfax Meadows area).

On Black Friday, which he prefers to call Green Friday (to promote environmentaly-friendly businesses), he said, "I'm grabbing up a lot of bargains today. Watching grass grow and clouds change shapes."

When he decided to turn vegan more than two decades ago, he didn't want to do it in a specialized way: lacto, lacto ovo and all the other variations.

"It was too hard to find vegetarian food in many parts of the country where I found myself working," Begley said. When he first became vegan, he couldn't do it all the way just because of what was available in the stores.

"I strayed for a while, but returned to being a full vegan again in 1992," he admitted. "But, I certainly haven't had red meat since 1970."

He did it for his own health, and the planet's health and to avoid killing animals.

"I love Studio City because there are so many restaurants that are vegan all around that are so good, and I keep discovering more," the actor said. "I find it quite easy to be vegan now. I feel great all the time. If you don't feel great, you're doing something wrong."

He doesn't wear leather, the only circus he goes to is Cirque du Soleil. During Thanksgiving he often takes his family downtown to the Midnight Mission to help feed the homeless. His name and face are on the flyers that were distributed to households throughout the city over the past few weeks.

While at home, he makes soups.

"Yeah, I make wonderful soups," he said. "I usually cook them in my solar oven. I make about 40 salads, side dishes, appetizers and entrees that vegans and non-vegans alike rave about."

One of the funny Tweets he re-Tweeted during the Thanksgiving holidays, Begley said, was: "May the nutritional yeast gravy flow like the waters of the L.A River, minus the syringes."

Editor's note: This article originally was published by Studio City Patch in Studio City, CA. It is part of a regular column with Ed Begley and Patch Editor Mike Szymanski. Here's the description of the column on Studio City Patch:

Studio City resident and actor Ed Begley Jr. is known for his environmental activisim. He can often be seen riding his bike around town and pitching in for causes that help decrease humans' carbon footprint. Ed checks in with Studio City Local Editor Mike Szymanski about the biggest issues and concerns for local residents about the environment. For more info about Ed, go to his website: www.edbegley.com

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