Today is a day that we don’t look forward to but something we have arranged for months. Today we slaughter our turkeys for thanksgiving dinner for families in our community. Since I was a vegan for many years, this is felt by me, whole heartedly. Yesterday we talked to the children about it, although this is not something new for us, every time we honor the animals that we are sacrificing to nourish the families in our community and our family. When you talk to children about slaughtering animals for meat, deep heart felt dialog is bound to come up. Well I guess, when you talk about it with most people deep hearted dialog comes up. We as a whole in society are disconnected from death.
What makes me feel better about doing this, having been a vegan and avid animal lover? It makes me feel better I raised the animal in the very best way I possibly could. It makes me feel better knowing this animals life was taken from us because we honored this animal and protected this animal everyday, and now we need this animal to nourish our bodies. Because what I have learned in this last decade in my search for true nourishing foods, is that we need meat. Humans are made to eat meat. I also honor the vegetable crop I pull down as well because vegetables also are sentient beings, read the secret life of plants if you don’t believe me. I feel all of it as a farmer. The truth is we are all light, the turkeys, the plants, the humans and we are all part of a organic cycle. The turkey we raised has the healthiest happiest lives and was honored by our family and blessed. The thanksgiving turkey is also blessed & thanked by the families that will eat the turkey.
The history of the Thanksgiving turkey is a bit of a mystery. Nobody knows exactly how this particular bird earned a place of honor at the table each November, but historians have a few different theories.
Thanks to letters and records kept by early American settlers, we know that when the colonists sat down to dine with the Wampanoag Indians, beef and fowl were on the menu. This historical meal would later become known as the first Thanksgiving.
Although historians cannot say for sure which types of fowl were served up that day, a letter written by pilgrim Edward Winslow mentions a turkey hunting trip before the meal.
Another theory attributes the Thanksgiving turkey to the Queen of England. During the 16th century, a fleet of Spanish ships sunk on their way to attack England. According to legend, Queen Elizabeth received this news while eating dinner. She was so thrilled that she ordered another goose be served. Some historians say the early settlers were inspired by the queen’s actions and roasted a turkey instead of a goose.
The wild turkey is a native bird of North America. As a result, Benjamin Franklin claimed this made the turkey a more suitable national bird for the United States than the bald eagle.
Not everyone agreed with Franklin, however, and the bald eagle became the national emblem for the United States in 1782. The bald eagle may be America’s bird 364 days a year, but the turkey has one day all to itself — Thanksgiving.
I just want you to know that the farmer that raised your turkey ( hopefully you got your turkey from a small organic farm!) also took a long deep breath and gave thanks to the turkeys they protected & nurtured all summer for you. That we considered it sacred.