I celebrate American Thanksgiving. And like Christmas, I celebrate the holiday secularly and in my own way.
I do not believe for an instant that hundreds of years ago a group of religious zealots sat down with “savages” and enjoyed a meal of peace and brotherhood. A cursory internet search backs me up on this.
What I do believe in is taking a day and making a thoughtfully, lovingly crafted meal and sitting down to eat it with those I love most (geography permitting, of course) and being conscious of all the gifts in my life. I enjoy cooking, so making the big meal is no hardship for me. It’s a fun challenge. One day I would like to master timing and have everything finish cooking at once, but I digress.
Something else I believe in is eating consciously. My husband and I are in the process of switching over to all real food. If it can only be made through science in a laboratory or it is being preserved with jaw-breaking chemicals, it isn’t going to be found in our pantry. We are in the early stages of this life change so there are still things around that qualify as franken-food, but it is diminishing. (Why do they have to taste so damn good!?) The reason I bring this up is the turkey. Every year my employer hands out free turkeys to all employees. This is a very nice gesture, but it’s a Sysco* turkey and right on the label it says something to the effect of “contains an 8% solution of sodium and other chemicals to enhance flavor and juiciness.” Ewwww. So next year I will save up and plan to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a farm raised bird. A Heritage breed, most likely.
Another reason to switch over to a farm raised bird is to stop supporting the monstrosity that is factory farming. It is a horrifying and sickening thing. That is a post (or twenty) for another time, but my goal is to stop buying any meat that comes from places like that. Ideally, someday I will be able to look out my window and SEE my future food walking around happy in the sunshine, but that day is far away. Until then I can only do what I can do. This year I eat an injected Sysco turkey because that is what I have. Next year if all goes well I will have a humanely raised turkey on my table and a smile on my face about it.
*I have nothing whatsoever against Sysco. They are a great company and provide food to a lot of people. I have issue with where their meat comes from, but that’s a battle I can’t fight.