Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If I Were A Pilgrim...

...Daidle deedle daidle daidle, daidle deedle daidle dum...If you don't get that somewhat forced reference, then I apologize. Anywho, as most of you are aware, Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, with families a-gatherin', saucepans a-simmerin', and thankfulness a-boundin'. It seemed only reasonable that this week's theme for Vegan MoFo should be this day of giving thanks. Last year, around this time, I did a post on the holiday with a bit of history and perspective. I don't want to be repetitive, so I thought I would spend the rest of this entry discussing what the Pilgrims seemed to have recognized and appreciated much more than we do today.

We all learned about Pilgrims in elementary school. They sailed across an ocean on the Mayflower, and landed on Plymouth Rock in 1621. After a year of toiling, the new New Englanders reaped the harvest of their hard work, shared this bounty with the Native Americans, and feasted for days. Well, like all history we seem to learn in school, it just wasn't as simple as that. For more check out:

A recent article on NPR riled some avid eaters, pointing out the great excess to which we take this holiday. If I may pull a quote from this article, I think this not only encapsulates the supposed sentiments of our famed pilgrims, but also the substance of our societal failing: "[The Pilgrims] believed in appreciating their abundance, not squandering it." The article goes into some detail about the transformation of a fast day into the gorge-fest it is today. It seems very indicative of the general trend in our country from struggle and moderation of our early years to mindless consumption around which our economy seems built today. (and the turkey cake encapsulates so much of what I find wrong with our eating habits...ick).

Finally, and then I will remove myself from my little soap box, to me the people with whom you spend Thanksgiving make the holiday. As a wise father recently (ok, maybe 12 hours ago) revealed to me - "Thanksgiving, despite all the hype, is about the company not the food." And while, as a food blogger, the food is definitely important to me (and will be the subject of my ensuing posts), I've found my most enjoyable Thanksgivings have centred on enlightening conversation, good company, and open homes. Spending TG with friends makes me even more thankful of having them. As such, I will part with good ol' Charlie Brown ... just don't take your cue from Snoopy's disregard for sharing or the uncharacteristic carnivorism of Woodstock...

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