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 Post subject: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:33 pm 
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Is anyone else opposed to celebrating Thanksgiving?

I always feel conflicted about whether it's better to promote and participate in Vegan Thanksgiving as a form of vegan advocacy ("Look! Vegans can have Thanksgiving feasts, too!") or to protest the holiday altogether.

From this article:

Quote:
Simply put: Thanksgiving is the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers.


My roommate has Vegan Thanksgiving at our house each year. Last year we called it a "Hibernation Preparation Feast", but I still felt weird about it. This year, I'd rather not celebrate at all. That's sure to cause tension in our house.

Any thoughts on this?


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:40 pm 
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I like Thanksgiving.

When I observe Thanksgiving, I am not commemorating genocide. I'm eating tasty stuff that (for some reason) I only eat at that time of year and telling people what I am thankful for.

Likewise, when I observe Christmas, I am not commemorating the birth of someone's god. I am exchanging gifts and enjoying a winter tradition.

TAKE BACK THANKSGIVING!

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:49 pm 
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FootFace wrote:

When I observe Thanksgiving, I am not commemorating genocide. I'm eating tasty stuff that (for some reason) I only eat at that time of year and telling people what I am thankful for.



That's what my roommate says, too. I have a hard time separating the "giving thanks" part of the holiday from the rest of it.

I don't object to having a holiday for feasting and thanking and whatnot. I just wish it was a different holiday.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Thanksgiving for me has nothing to do with pilgrims. Just like Halloween has nothing to do with evil spirits or whatever the hell it started with. I rarely think of the origins of the holidays we have.
That said, I celebrate Thanksgiving. I give thanks for the good stuff in life and and eat tofurkey and stuffing.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:55 pm 
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Yeah, I'm going to say that my ancestors were enslaved, raped, killed, land stolen, forced religion, etc but my family celebrates Thanksgiving. It has always been about getting together and celebrating family, togetherness or whatever. It isn't about pilgrims or celebrating the coming of white people to the Americas or anything like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Holidays in general have never been that big of a deal to me, however I LOVE having my own traditions. (Birthdays are the best!!) It seems like most of the national holidays are based on some pretty gross histories...

I love the idea of Thanksgiving being more of a harvest/giving thanks based day, as opposed to the historical, traditional, "real" holiday, which is why I celebrate with a vegan Thanksgiving on a random day in November.

That being said, I do love having excuses to spend time with loved ones, so if someone invites me to their celebration, I'd definitely go.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:02 pm 
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thisheregiraffe wrote:
if someone invites me to their celebration, I'd definitely go.

Yes, this too. Any excuse to have a party and a themed meal.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:03 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
I like Thanksgiving.

When I observe Thanksgiving, I am not commemorating genocide. I'm eating tasty stuff that (for some reason) I only eat at that time of year and telling people what I am thankful for.

Likewise, when I observe Christmas, I am not commemorating the birth of someone's god. I am exchanging gifts and enjoying a winter tradition.

TAKE BACK THANKSGIVING!



Pretty much this. It is also all about football.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:03 pm 
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Move to Canada? Ours is just to celebrate the harvest so we eat as much as possible, drink as much beer as possible, and then do dishes.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:05 pm 
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ExpiredSanity wrote:
Move to Canada? Ours is just to celebrate the harvest so we eat as much as possible, drink as much beer as possible, and then do dishes.


Those first two things sound good! Not so much the last.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:08 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
ExpiredSanity wrote:
Move to Canada? Ours is just to celebrate the harvest so we eat as much as possible, drink as much beer as possible, and then do dishes.


Those first two things sound good! Not so much the last.


I do the cooking so I don't do the dishes. I go for a walk and then retire to the living room with the leftovers of the wine :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:28 pm 
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ExpiredSanity wrote:
Move to Canada? Ours is just to celebrate the harvest so we eat as much as possible, drink as much beer as possible, and then do dishes.


Ooh, do you also watch football? Do you call it "football" or "american football"?

I guess the answer to my original question is "no". No hard feelings- I respect your desires to party. I'm pretty sure I'm opting out, so that's one more Tofurky for y'all, then!


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:44 pm 
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I haven't celebrated Thanksgiving for the past two years and won't be this year as well. My family wasn't too thrilled that I opted out of the gatherings (they all live in town) but they've accepted it now. There are a couple reasons for my boycott and I'd like to share them. But! Know that I don't judge those that choose to celebrate. Its just not for me because...
1) The big dead animal grosses me out (and I wouldn't want to ask my family to give it up 'cuz it's important to them)
2) Even though its been 8+ years since my parents divorce, and obviously I'm an adult now, dividing up holidays is still a sore subject and can lead to hurt feelings
3) I don't like the idea of encouraging gluttony (not that everybody overeats, just seems to be a theme)
4) I've always hated Thanksgiving! Even when I was little, the only part I liked was the sparkling apple cider. Oh and pumpkin pie. :)

The main one is #2. I really like the idea of gathering friends and family and giving thanks but its just not the same anymore. And I try not to place significance on a specific day for any holiday 'cuz I can't always spend that one day with everyone in my life. Anywho's! This year I'll be in Disneyland eating vegan gumbo.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:46 pm 
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That's a pretty hardcore stance to take MCTC, but I totally get that. One of the reasons I like to celebrate it, though, is that most of the family/friends get that day off, and since nothing is really open, why not get together and do something fun? It could be anything, really, playing games, feeding hungry people on the street, going for a bike ride. (Although I love to cook and eat, so I host a vegan feast most years).


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:49 pm 
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I will celebrate almost any holiday

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:01 pm 
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My husband proposed to me on Thanksgiving 2008, the day after we had a vegan potluck lunch with most of my close friends. And I like food. Also, it's one of the few distinctly American things I still do. Thanksgiving for me hasn't been about pilgrims since I left school. Now it's about getting together with people you care about and doing a bit of light gorging on food you wouldn't otherwise eat.

That said, I understand why someone wouldn't want to celebrate it.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:05 pm 
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I think of the first Thanksgiving as "Yay! A handful of us survived! Let's celebrate with our neighbors!" instead of "Yay! Genocide to come!" But the pilgrims were total jerkfaces in many varied ways, so I dig it

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:09 pm 
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just because I'm eating a vegan feast with a bunch of friends on a thursday doesn't mean i'm celebrating Thanksgiving. I see that Thursday as a convenient day to get a bunch of friends & family over for a home-cooked meal, since most are given the day off anyway.

This is a hypothetical, because I don't know your situation, but would you take Thanksgiving day/Friday off of work if you don't observe or believe in the holiday?

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:09 pm 
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warriortwo wrote:
That's a pretty hardcore stance to take MCTC, but I totally get that.


I started questioning it after learning about American Indian-led protests. There's one near Plymouth Rock each Thanksgiving- it's called the National Day of Mourning. I don't know much about the group that organizes it. I'm hoping to do some research on the topic before Thanksgiving.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:16 pm 
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cakenstein wrote:

This is a hypothetical, because I don't know your situation, but would you take Thanksgiving day/Friday off of work if you don't observe or believe in the holiday?


I've either worked or volunteered every Thanksgiving since I started thinking about this, except for one- I had dinner with my then-boyfriend that year. This year, I'm taking the kids I work with to a hotel so their parents can cook and stuff. I don't know what I'll do in the future. I like the idea of volunteering. I don't have kids or a spouse, though. I can understand how that would potentially change things.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:22 pm 
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morecuminthancumin wrote:
cakenstein wrote:

This is a hypothetical, because I don't know your situation, but would you take Thanksgiving day/Friday off of work if you don't observe or believe in the holiday?


I've either worked or volunteered every Thanksgiving since I started thinking about this, except for one- I had dinner with my then-boyfriend that year. This year, I'm taking the kids I work with to a hotel so their parents can cook and stuff. I don't know what I'll do in the future. I like the idea of volunteering. I don't have kids or a spouse, though. I can understand how that would potentially change things.


I like that idea, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:25 pm 
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Thanksgiving is probably the only holiday that I really feel OK about participating in. So it makes sense that we're the only family in the country that celebrates it.....

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:30 pm 
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morecuminthancumin wrote:
warriortwo wrote:
That's a pretty hardcore stance to take MCTC, but I totally get that.


I started questioning it after learning about American Indian-led protests. There's one near Plymouth Rock each Thanksgiving- it's called the National Day of Mourning. I don't know much about the group that organizes it. I'm hoping to do some research on the topic before Thanksgiving.


I found this link
http://www.pilgrimhall.org/daymourn.htm

And the national day of mourning came about because it seems that the local tribes (or at least one tribe in particular) of Massachusetts feel that their thoughts on the subject are not to be heard:

"The first National Day of Mourning was held in 1970. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts invited Wampanoag leader Frank James to deliver a speech. When the text of Mr. James’ speech, a powerful statement of anger at the history of oppression of the Native people of America, became known before the event, the Commonwealth "disinvited" him. That silencing of a strong and honest Native voice led to the convening of the National Day of Mourning."

And here is something else, this is the speech that he was going to give:
http://www.nativevillage.org/Inspiratio ... urning.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:31 pm 
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ExpiredSanity wrote:
Move to Canada? Ours is just to celebrate the harvest so we eat as much as possible, drink as much beer as possible, and then do dishes.


How come our Thanksgiving is different but called the same thing? I should investigate this, I know it doesn't have anything to do with the pilgrims but we learned about the pilgrims anyway in school.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:40 pm 
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linanil wrote:
morecuminthancumin wrote:
warriortwo wrote:
That's a pretty hardcore stance to take MCTC, but I totally get that.


I started questioning it after learning about American Indian-led protests. There's one near Plymouth Rock each Thanksgiving- it's called the National Day of Mourning. I don't know much about the group that organizes it. I'm hoping to do some research on the topic before Thanksgiving.


I found this link
http://www.pilgrimhall.org/daymourn.htm

And the national day of mourning came about because it seems that the local tribes (or at least one tribe in particular) of Massachusetts feel that their thoughts on the subject are not to be heard:

"The first National Day of Mourning was held in 1970. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts invited Wampanoag leader Frank James to deliver a speech. When the text of Mr. James’ speech, a powerful statement of anger at the history of oppression of the Native people of America, became known before the event, the Commonwealth "disinvited" him. That silencing of a strong and honest Native voice led to the convening of the National Day of Mourning."

And here is something else, this is the speech that he was going to give:
http://www.nativevillage.org/Inspiratio ... urning.htm


Wow, thanks!

From the first link:

Quote:
"While the `Day of Mourning’ has served to focus attention on past injustice to the Native American cause, it has, in recent years, been orchestrated by a group calling themselves the United American Indians of New England. This group has tenuous ties to any of the local tribes, and is composed primarily of non-Indians. To date, they have refused several invitations to meet with the Wampanoag Indian tribal councils in Mashpee or in Gay Head. Once again, we, as Wampanoags, find our voices and concerns cast aside in the activities surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday in Plymouth, this time, ironically, by a group purporting to represent our interests.


:/ Bummer.


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