Howdy peeps! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday yesterday. I have to say it was a pretty good day for me. I'm usually one who dreads Thanksgiving and the holidaze in general. I've been a vegetarian since I was 14, and I've been an off and on raw foodist for the past 3 years. I love food, but going to a feast where the fare is very limited to me isn't my best idea of festivity and fun. I also don't really enjoy going over to my grandmother's house where I will inevitably have to be reunited with distant relatives who don't care about my life, but feel obligated to act like they do. I much prefer the company of my wonderful, loving, intermediate family.
Anyway, this year was no different in how it started. Joe and I decided that we would spend the majority of our feasting time at his folks place. We had the assignment of bringing a veggie platter, so I arranged several tasty veggies on a few plates and Joe helped me throw together a raw hummus made out of yellow squash.
I would not call myself an animal rights activist by any means. I went through a phase of anger and a need to justify my behaviour and choices when I was much younger and in the early stages of my vegetarianism. It never really amounted to much however, except for trying out veganism for a while and checking out PETA's website. I was thoroughly disgusted by PETA's tactics and any other group of advocates seemed just the same way. The superiority and black and white way they threw their ideas out there did not appeal to me.
I quickly decided that I did not need to try and convert anyone to how I ate or even thought for that matter. As long as people don't give me a hard time for choosing how I want to eat (which I have gotten plenty of in my life), then I would give them the same respect. I figure its my body, my choices, my life and everyone else should have the same choices on what they choose to eat. In fact, I make it a point when meeting new people to never discuss my weird diet. It's usually easier that way.
Yesterday I decided that I wanted to play the day a little on my own terms so I dressed all in black. I joked with Joe that it was my way of "mourning for the turkeys". And in a way, it was true. But more so, it was just my way of living by my own rules. Nobody did ever ask me why I was wearing black, and nobody gave me a hard time for not eating turkey, either. I filled my plate with veggies and got full off of them. I was tempted to join in on the more festive foods, but I didn't. I think that is what I miss more than the taste of the food, itself. I miss feeling like I am participating in such celebrations.
I love cooking and I love reading about how people cooked their turkeys. It seems like the whole act of preparing of the food and then relishing in the outcome of all the hard work put into it is what makes Thanksgiving so special. And that is part of the reason why I don't like Thanksgiving. I feel like I am separated from partaking in that bit of enjoyment. It's just not the same with veggies.
So I suppose when I said I wore all black because I was mourning, it was true. But I wasn't mourning for the death of all the turkeys. I was more mourning for myself because I am set apart in the festivities and I have chosen a different set of values and way of life in which I don't partake of them. I still had fun. I still stuffed myself stupid. I still reflected on all the many reasons I am so lucky and grateful to be alive. But I didn't get to be a part of something that is so special and so taken for granted.
I hope Thanksgiving never ends. The sheer pleasure it brings to people is priceless. The way it brings people together to celebrate life, family and the simple act of preparing food and enjoying it is something to truly celebrate.