It would be tough to find a greater example of tradition and ritual among human beings than in our holiday meals. Most of us have years of history and familiarity surrounding Thanksgiving (or any of several other popular religious holidays), and these “events” are sacred to most people. We equate many of the ritual elements – which can range from specific dishes to certain family members or friends to particular homes and decor to football on the tube – to an overall experience of community, connection and, of course, appreciation.
And yet, like so many of our past traditions, I suggest that our forward movement as a race of people hinges on an ongoing ideal that’s not always so popular:
We must constantly question the assumptions we were born into.
Pick any significant watermark in our evolution, from civil rights to women’s rights, and you’ll find a lot of questioning going on before anything happened. And I propose that we question the dead animal centerpiece of the traditional holiday meal.
As our consciousness expands, we can all begin to realize that these beautiful, curious and intelligent animals have their own lives to live here…and we can find more peaceful, evolved and delicious dinner-time alternatives to killing and eating turkeys, pigs or any other living beings.
Thanksgiving, in particular, is supposed to be a celebration of all we’re thankful for. And yet, ironically, a turkey on the table represents a level of violence and brutality that is in direct conflict with the peaceful and harmonious existence we’re supposed to be celebrating.
In fact, I have always found it a bit ass-backwards that we, as a conscientious society, gather around the dinner table and denounce war, domestic abuse, gang violence, social injustices, urban crime rates, or even animal cruelty, while much of the very meal we’re consuming has been derived from unspeakable acts of exploitation and violence against our fellow creatures. Clearly, even many of our wisest have yet to make the connection between the “behind-the-scenes” violence rampant in modern animal agriculture and the more obvious, “in-your-face” violence that has a more pronounced presence in our daily lives.
Food for thought, people. Check out http://www.veggiezone.com/thanksgiving for more info and some delicious alternatives.
Let’s make it a peaceful holiday season…for all.