This year for "thanksgiving," my partner and I ate vegan cream of potato soup. In my view of things, thanksgiving is just another day, as I'm not particularly fond of anything is has come to stand for (or ever did, for that matter). First of all, although the history of thanksgiving is somewhat mysterious, most Americans believe its origins to be a sharing of food and gifts between the pilgrims and the indigenous people of this land. Of course we all know how that story ended, as the white settlers raped, enslaved, and stole from the Indians, eventually stripping them of their land and their way of life. (CLICK HERE to read one Native American woman's view on thanksgiving.) Not sure where the "giving thanks" falls in to that story. (If you want to learn the real history of this country, I suggest reading Howard Zinn's, "A People's History of the United States.")
Second, over 45 MILLION turkeys are slaughtered and eaten every year in this country in the name of "giving thanks." Most people are completely unaware that these birds were genetically manipulated to grow at an astounding rate, raised in intense confinement, and then brutally killed, all so they could fill their faces with their flesh and spend the rest of the day napping and watching football.
I'm sure many of you have seen (or at least heard about) the interview of Sarah Palin on a turkey "farm" in Alaska. Callously standing in the foreground, Palin happily chirps to TV cameras as turkeys are visibly slaughtered in the background (CLICK HERE to view video). I want to make several comments about this interview.
To begin, it is somewhat of a tradition for governors - as well as the president of the U.S - to "pardon" a turkey, which is what Palin is discussing in this interview. The allegory in this story is that while one bird is ceremonially chosen to be "pardoned" (for what crime, I am completely unaware!), another will be eaten in its place. I am utterly baffled by the hypocrisy of this exchange and the magnitude of its ceremony!
Next, many people were disturbed by Palin's attitude during this interview, as she appeared completely unfazed by the executions that were going on right behind her. Make no mistake, I am NO fan of Palin and I certainly don't agree with her actions here, but I am loathe to understand why others would so loudly criticize her behavior when most of them are consuming the very animals that are being killed! Most people are so far removed from the food they eat and the violence that comes with it, they are "shocked" when they see footage of this nature. Warnings for this video include "graphic footage," and "this may be disturbing to some viewers." And yet, it does not stop people from eating these animals and, in a strange twist of fate, seems only to encourage their desire to remain "in the dark" about what really happens to these creatures.
These are just a few of my thoughts to follow up the "thanksgiving" holiday weekend. What are your thoughts? I'd like to hear from you.
Thank you for all you do for animals!