Faux - Vegan Turkey

Vegan Thanksgiving and renaming anything “squaw” might not be in the traditional Thanksgiving spirit you grew up with - but both hold lessons worth paying attention to.

The news is filled with stories, recipes and ideas that challenge our assumptions and memories of what Thanksgiving was and is supposed to be.

The Mashpee Wampanoag people who first encountered the Pilgrims were subjected to centuries of disease, starvation and war. The details are gruesome and not festive at all. Surprisingly, they survived and are still telling their story. They still inhabit Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island, are a federally recognized tribe with about 2,600 citizens. For them, Thanksgiving is considered a National Day of Mourning.

As to many Natives in the United States, Thanksgiving is a reminder of the genocide of millions of the Indigenous ancestors and the theft of their lands. You can learn more here www.uaine.org.

How are vegan and vegetarianism affecting traditional Thanksgiving rituals? Frances Moore Lappé is the author of “Diet for a Small Planet,” which was published 50 years ago and spurred a movement toward vegetarianism. And she didn’t just change the way we eat…

Her big question today is: “Why are we, together, creating a world that none of us as individuals would ever choose? Nobody gets up and says: “How can I heat the planet today?” Her recent book, “Daring Democracy,” is where she connects our eating and other habits with our motivation [or the lack of] to participate in democracy.

“Participating [in democracy] is the essence of a good life”, she says, and that’s a thought worth contemplating on Thanksgiving.


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