So, turkeys are sort of beautiful and sort of ugly, and they’re really smart, but they’re kind of mean. Personally, I don’t think we should eat them. I think a lot of people would concur.
I’m a little dismayed. I don’t consider myself a food blogger, nor do I consider myself a vegan blogger, but I follow a lot of food blogs and vegan blogs. Nearly all of them have Thanksgiving posts.
I have an apartmentstead blog. I talk about independence, sustainability, and reducing one’s carbon footprint. After reading a post on another blog about distinguishing one’s self by refusing to ascribe to an ideology or label, I think though, that it is time that I make a similar post.
There is a difference between being plant-based and vegan, vegan and vegetarian, low-fat plant based and plant based, and so on and so forth. Like all labels, there is a grand spectrum of how people interpret these meanings. In fact, until recently, I was a flexitarian- that is, someone who abstains from certain foods predominantly most of the time, allowing exceptions per my “needs” in the moment.
Upon reflection, I realized how stupid this was to me. I mean- this isn’t about failing or caving in. It was more like “oooo chocolate!” and out goes my opinion that factory farmed dairy cows are tortured. I would forget for as long as there was chocolate in my mouth.
Along came the idea of carnism– just as strong a label as veganism, it is the idea that people who eat animal products are carnists, because what ELSE do you call them (aside from culturally “normal”). Carnism ascribes to the idea that people who eat meat should be labeled because what they do is not normal, and people who don’t eat meat are normal. Furthermore, the concept explains how we keep dogs as pets and eat cows, which is hypocrisy. If you want to eat a turkey, go out and kill and gut one, then come back and tell me how tasty it is. I assure you, if you can do that, your brain is broken.
Hypocrisy is the bottom line, really.
Let’s make something clear- if you are against puppy mills, you should not eat meat. A tortured puppy is the same as a tortured chicken. If you are against tortured cows, you shouldn’t be wearing leather shoes unless they’re upcycled or used. No one should be funding that industry. If you are against declining bee populations, you shouldn’t be washing your body with animal fat soap. If you are against our nation’s obesity epidemic, you should recycle. IT’S ALL RELATED.
Imagine my surprise when I see vegan blogs LOADED with Thanksgiving recipes.
I’m sorry, but as a vegan, aren’t you an objective thinker? Aren’t you asking questions? Aren’t you doing research?
First off, if you don’t know anything about Thanksgiving, here’s a recap. There’s no real “Thanksgiving”. Why? Because it’s actually a concept, like giving in charity. People across cultures would have “Thanksgivings” in order to celebrate things like…victory in war or religious recognition. If that weren’t vomit-inducing enough, consider that all of the trimmings we know to be traditional to Thanksgiving were non-existent until the last century. Why? Because people ate corn and clams here in New England. That’s supposedly where the pilgrims landed. So the idea that there’s a “Thanksgiving” tradition is really not founded.
Second, even if you were re-inventing the holiday and tossing out all of it’s horrible history with it, consider the hypocrisy behind how it’s celebrated. People are “giving thanks” by having a giant feast. How do I even begin to describe how backwards this is? They begin by giving thanks- some give thanks for health, or family, but let’s be honest with ourselves. We are thankful for all of the FOOD and our HOMES and our MATERIAL GAIN. Then we eat until we feel sick.
We eat POUNDS of pesticides and GMO’s across the nation, slaughter thousands- if not MILLIONS- of turkeys who were raised in inhumane and barbaric conditions, consume TONS of sugar, create TONS of garbage, use TONS of fuel and electricity, and in the name of what, exactly? Thanks? Is that really how you show appreciation for your LIFE and your PLANET?!
Do you think that the farmers who are barely able to pay their mortgage because of government subsidy, or who are getting cancer from their pesticides, are grateful? Do you think that the thousands of illegal workers who are working in dangerous and unsafe factories are grateful? Do you think that the people who tend to the turkeys that are suffering and tortured are grateful?
And here we are, on our high horse, telling people to “eat moderately” and “avoid sugar and processed food” and “avoid refined flours and high fats” and throwing it out the window, for the sake of a tradition that doesn’t even have validity.
But my criticism is not without advisement. If you are going to have a Thanksgiving celebration, make it a vegan one. Make ONE pie. Make a few dishes of veges, maybe some rice or potatoes, and call it a day. Don’t go overboard, and invite people who don’t have family. Eat locally. Avoid packaged foods. Eat by candle-light. Keep food warm on the woodstove.
Even better, GO VOLUNTEER. Because if you’re truly GRATEFUL for whatever God or the Universe has bestowed upon you, show your gratitude on your hands, and not just in your heart.
There you have it. This isn’t a Thanksgiving post. It’s a Thanksgiving wake-up call.