Thanksgiving – a Day to Honor All Life
In the US, Thanksgiving is a time when families and friends come together to reaffirm their love and appreciation for one another through the age-old custom of sharing food. Americans will eat more than 50 million turkeys on this day.
Why do Americans think it necessary to slaughter so many innocent animals to show their love for each other? It is a sad commentary on modern society that we have so much to be thankful for, and yet we carve up innocent animals on major holidays to express that sentiment. And at what expense? Americans are getting fatter and sicker year after year. The three top causes of death – heart disease, cancer, and diabetes – are all food-related. Eating a greasy, fat-laden dead bird is not going to help matters. But millions do it anyway, in the name of tradition.
The origins of the Thanksgiving celebration are not as blessed as most people think. Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday, so much so that it is often considered one of their holy days and is almost universally celebrated by Americans around the world. Ironically, in truth, American families get together to celebrate one genocide (against Native Americans) by committing another (against turkeys). How can people celebrate in good faith and conscience?
On Thanksgiving Day, Americans give thanks for being the invader, the exploiter, the greedy, the colonizer, the thief, indeed the genocidaire. As Mark Twain points out in his War Prayer:
Wishing and being thankful for one’s own success and victory is, at the very same time, wishing and being thankful for another’s defeat and destruction.
Do Americans really want to make these kinds of wishes and give these kinds of thanks?
I do not wish to belabor the disturbing history that Thanksgiving represents, mainly because most people reading this book will probably already be vegetarian and much more conscious in their eating habits. On Thanksgiving, however, I urge one and all to be consistent with the true spirit of the holiday by sharing pure food with love and respect for all of God’s creation. Do not conform to the bogus traditions perpetrated by the masses, but rather stand strong on principle, and make this day a day where you honor God and all creation for what it truly is –your larger spiritual family.
Food in its purest form has the power to unite and heal and, more importantly, to create real peace and prosperity in the world. I believe that such food, given in a spirit of love, is the solution to all problems simply because food is so central to every cultural gathering, every spiritual holiday, every ritual, every battle, and every celebration – and, of course, because without food, there is no meaning to life.
Thanksgiving, therefore, should be a day that highlights the importance of food in our lives and how critical it is to our physical, mental and spiritual health. By eating flesh, Americans defile this holiday and lose touch with the very spirit of giving thanks. By taking the life of another, we offend God’s creation and abuse the blessings human life affords us. Instead of eating a turkey, we should invite a turkey to dinner and feed it as we would any other animate being that came asking for a meal.
The Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM) has this to say:
Abusing and killing an innocent bird betrays the life-affirming spirit of giving thanks for our life, health, and happiness. The nearly 300 million turkeys killed each year in the US spend their entire lives crammed in large sheds with little room to move. Artificially inseminated and selectively bred to gain enormous amounts of weight, they suffer heart attacks, broken limbs, lameness, and death from their genetically-induced accelerated growth rate. Most of these same conditions apply to “free-range” turkeys.
Let the madness and hypocrisy stop once and for all.
Why not break the trend and try a NON-VIOLENT Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Some great resources include:
- PETA – Holiday recipes
- Treehugger Vegan side recipes
- FARM – Gentle Thanksgiving recipes
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HUMAN’s Thanksgiving Song
Popular conscious musician Human wrote the following song that beautifully captures the sad history of the American genocide of native Indians, while at the same time making a heart-warming plea for all of us to realize just how connected we all are, despite the apparent differences on the surface. The song features on the Breathe album by The Human Revolution band.
Broken treaties, stolen lives, mislead the children
and the culture won’t survive.
Cannot be trusted, poisoned with greed,
disgrace the mother, watch her people bleed.
Seems like things never change,
Same rich white men playin’ the same old game,
It ain’t a color its a way of life,
Keepin’ the poor and the colored underneath the knife.
It’s the way of money, it’s the way of greed,
Exploit the earth, pollute the water,
sell what they don’t need,
The 4-leggeds livin’ on the land,
Become another possession in the white man’s hands.
It don’t matter who we’re related to,
We all come from the same religious group,
We have similar wants, we have the same needs,
We all wanna survive, we all have to eat.
Its time we all help each other out,
Cooperation’s in, competitions out,
We better start to turn things around,
Put your ear to the ground, you hear that tremblin’ sound.
It’s the Earth Mother gonna start pushin’ back,
All these smokes stacks givin’ her a heart attack,
You can’t take her blood without givin’ back,
You leave holes in the ground while above her skin cracks.
But she’s so strong, she’ll live on,
Long after we’re all dead and gone.
It’s not too late to turn it all around,
Change is the name of the game in this song.
Ain’t no shame in bein’ proud of where you come from,
But don’t ignore the history,
Millions will never know who their ancestor were,
But we can begin to set these tortured people free.
It’s time we rewrite these Babylon books,
It’s time to give history a second look,
And stop ignoring what our ancestors have done,
So many have died by their blankets and guns.
We can’t give back all the stolen lives,
But we can heal the past, we can finally cry,
And vow that it won’t ever happen again,
We can learn from the past, start making amends.
And give sovereignty back to their tribes,
Prove we have honor, repent for our lies,
Stop diggin’ up the burial grounds,
Restore their languages and rename the towns.
Cause they were here first, we owe it to them,
We must protect them from our own government,
I can’t understand why they don’t leave ‘em alone,
All the meat is gone, all that’s left is bone.
And I declare right now, till the day I die,
That I won’t watch this injustice happen through my eyes,
It’s the same with Iraq, it’s the same all around,
This sick culture must finally fall to the ground.
Broken treaties, stolen lives, mislead the children and the culture won’t survive.
Cannot be trusted, poisoned with greed, disgrace the mother, watch her people bleed.