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Old 11-23-07, 03:43 PM   #1
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Another Thanksgiving Thread...

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.
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Old 11-23-07, 04:40 PM   #2
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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.
And that is the true meaning of the Holidays, isn't it?

As for your mourning the feeling of not being able to participate, please remember that participating in the giving to one another (whether it be fussing over a turkey or not) is crucial to the formation of that "Holiday Feeling". Just you being there is a gift in itself, Shadiyah.

Although you yourself may feel you aren't participating, your family members probably feel otherwise.
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Old 11-23-07, 06:00 PM   #3
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And that is the true meaning of the Holidays, isn't it?

As for your mourning the feeling of not being able to participate, please remember that participating in the giving to one another (whether it be fussing over a turkey or not) is crucial to the formation of that "Holiday Feeling". Just you being there is a gift in itself, Shadiyah.

Although you yourself may feel you aren't participating, your family members probably feel otherwise.
Indeed it is, Siu. I can see your perspective. It can just be a bit frustrating from year to year. I do love getting together with my family and friends and that's what matters the most to me. Thanks Siu! You always have such powerful and heartfelt insight to bring to this board!
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Old 11-23-07, 06:05 PM   #4
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I never have liked turkey. I also don't like a lot of other meats either. But next time you should dress in bright/vibrant colors. Don't mourn. Be happy and festive about yourself for sticking with your guns.
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Old 11-23-07, 06:07 PM   #5
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I never have liked turkey. I also don't like a lot of other meats either. But next time you should dress in bright/vibrant colors. Don't mourn. Be happy and festive about yourself for sticking with your guns.
Thanks Fuzz! Maybe I'll do just that.
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Old 11-23-07, 06:08 PM   #6
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How old are you again, Fuzz? (smart young lady, I tell ya!)
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Old 11-23-07, 06:09 PM   #7
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How old are you again, Fuzz? (smart young lady, I tell ya!)
The square root of 25?
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Old 11-23-07, 06:24 PM   #8
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since you're reading this thread...
Hi Joe!!! we miss you around here!
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Old 11-23-07, 06:28 PM   #9
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since you're reading this thread...
Hi Joe!!! we miss you around here!
Hi BDG!
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Old 11-23-07, 08:16 PM   #10
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Great post, Shadiyah. As a person with a weird diet (though weird in a different way) myself, I also feel that I tend to miss out a bit on holidays like Thanksgiving and other events where food tends to be the centerpiece. I still very much enjoy being with family (and/or friends) on such occasions, it's just that the food coming out isn't the highlight of the evening for me.

Glad you managed to have a good time, despite your foodular differences.
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Old 11-24-07, 01:58 AM   #11
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Great post, Shadiyah. As a person with a weird diet (though weird in a different way) myself, I also feel that I tend to miss out a bit on holidays like Thanksgiving and other events where food tends to be the centerpiece. I still very much enjoy being with family (and/or friends) on such occasions, it's just that the food coming out isn't the highlight of the evening for me.

Glad you managed to have a good time, despite your foodular differences.
Thanks, X! I didn't realize you had a "weird" diet as well. It's not such a big deal most of the time, but there are moments when the differences seem huge.
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Old 11-24-07, 08:03 AM   #12
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Shadiyah,

There's nothing at all wrong with Thanksgiving being a time when you engage in some introspection. That's certainly a part of what the holiday is about. It is also a time of rejoicing though, so don't shortchange yourself that part of it. I suspect that by now, most of your family has had a chance to hear you explain your reasoning for preferring the food that you do. No need to dwell on that.

Personal examples coming... I don't generally find myself in places where people drink alcoholic beverages, but on occasion I do. While I won't drink them, just saying "no thanks" without further explanation works just fine for me. Granted, more people may ask you why you don't want turkey, than ask me why I don't want a drink, but in general, I've found that the less time I dwell on it, the better.

I did say examples. My Mother and half-brother are both semi-practicing Muslims. This means no ham on the menu and no sausage in the stuffing (two things that were traditional from my earliest recollections of Thanksgiving). I do kind of miss those two things (I know, no sympathy from you, but that isn't the point ), but being civil, and disliking hard feelings, we all just let this go. It is a topic that might come up either before or after the gathering, but there's nothing to be gained by bringing it up during. Hopefully your family is as understanding and will just accept you, now that they have been educated.

Maybe next year, you can bring the Kombucha-nog, and will be the hit of the day.
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Old 11-24-07, 08:30 AM   #13
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Shad, that is a great post! There's nothing weird about your diet.

I also hope Thanksgiving never ends. I give thanks for family and friends. Including on-line friends who I'll probably never see.
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Old 11-24-07, 10:01 AM   #14
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Freak

I actually thought of you (and a few other vegan friends) on Thursday - not one raw vegetable as far as the eye could see. I dated a vegan once and it was really hard to eat together so I could see how some of those large dinner celebrations might feel exclusionary.

As for wearing black - the shirt I'm wearing to the left is one of 4 non-black ones in my closet.
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Old 11-24-07, 10:15 AM   #15
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Maybe next year, you can bring the Kombucha-nog, and will be the hit of the day.


Mhmmm Kombucha gravy.
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Old 11-24-07, 12:10 PM   #16
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Shadiyah,

There's nothing at all wrong with Thanksgiving being a time when you engage in some introspection. That's certainly a part of what the holiday is about. It is also a time of rejoicing though, so don't shortchange yourself that part of it. I suspect that by now, most of your family has had a chance to hear you explain your reasoning for preferring the food that you do. No need to dwell on that.

Personal examples coming... I don't generally find myself in places where people drink alcoholic beverages, but on occasion I do. While I won't drink them, just saying "no thanks" without further explanation works just fine for me. Granted, more people may ask you why you don't want turkey, than ask me why I don't want a drink, but in general, I've found that the less time I dwell on it, the better.

I did say examples. My Mother and half-brother are both semi-practicing Muslims. This means no ham on the menu and no sausage in the stuffing (two things that were traditional from my earliest recollections of Thanksgiving). I do kind of miss those two things (I know, no sympathy from you, but that isn't the point ), but being civil, and disliking hard feelings, we all just let this go. It is a topic that might come up either before or after the gathering, but there's nothing to be gained by bringing it up during. Hopefully your family is as understanding and will just accept you, now that they have been educated.

Maybe next year, you can bring the Kombucha-nog, and will be the hit of the day.
Thanks for all your words of support, Zorro! Yes, I've always found that the less energy I spend on such issues, the better. And yeah, my family has been living with my strangeness for a while now, so they are pretty used to it. I don't really have any worries about that really, it is more just the fun and enjoyment I feel that I am missing out on because I don't participate in eating a lot of the dishes.

Kombucha-nog, eh? Hmmmmm....I have a feeling I'd be the only one drinking it.
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Old 11-24-07, 12:11 PM   #17
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Shad, that is a great post! There's nothing weird about your diet.

I also hope Thanksgiving never ends. I give thanks for family and friends. Including on-line friends who I'll probably never see.
Thanks R-Dad! I'm certainly thankful for all the awesome peeps that make up bikeforums!
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Old 11-24-07, 12:11 PM   #18
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Freak

I actually thought of you (and a few other vegan friends) on Thursday - not one raw vegetable as far as the eye could see. I dated a vegan once and it was really hard to eat together so I could see how some of those large dinner celebrations might feel exclusionary.

As for wearing black - the shirt I'm wearing to the left is one of 4 non-black ones in my closet.
Hehe. I don't deny my freakishness. I'm a freak in many more ways than one.
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Old 11-24-07, 12:14 PM   #19
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Kombucha-nog, eh? Hmmmmm....I have a feeling I'd be the only one drinking it.
More for you, then! Screw them if they don't want to participate in your traditions and customs!

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I'm certainly thankful for all the awesome peeps that make up bikeforums!
Next year: Bikeforumsgiving!
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Old 11-24-07, 04:11 PM   #20
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There's a sweet irony in that you felt that you were missing out on the festivities, food, etc. - but you managed to capture the whole essence of the holidays, in that it is truly about people (most you care about, some you don't), and the introspection that the holidays might bring about. Which is more than many can say - those who see it as only as a day they can take off from work and indulge in excusable gluttony (myself sometimes included). I think it is respectable that you do not impose your values/diet on others, and I think the fact that you are you is more than enough to pique others' interests and if they care enough, they will inquire about and give you a chance to share your experiences.

And coming from someone who makes the turkey out of tradition but can honestly care less about it, you didn't miss much. Steak, on the other hand . . . j/k
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Old 11-24-07, 05:49 PM   #21
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Hehe. I don't deny my freakishness. I'm a freak in many more ways than one.
Please, do tell.
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Old 11-24-07, 06:33 PM   #22
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More for you, then! Screw them if they don't want to participate in your traditions and customs!
Story of my life, perhaps?

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Next year: Bikeforumsgiving!
Best idea for Thanksgiving, ever!
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Old 11-24-07, 06:36 PM   #23
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There's a sweet irony in that you felt that you were missing out on the festivities, food, etc. - but you managed to capture the whole essence of the holidays, in that it is truly about people (most you care about, some you don't), and the introspection that the holidays might bring about. Which is more than many can say - those who see it as only as a day they can take off from work and indulge in excusable gluttony (myself sometimes included). I think it is respectable that you do not impose your values/diet on others, and I think the fact that you are you is more than enough to pique others' interests and if they care enough, they will inquire about and give you a chance to share your experiences.

And coming from someone who makes the turkey out of tradition but can honestly care less about it, you didn't miss much. Steak, on the other hand . . . j/k
Yes, one thing I realized while I sat there and watched the many plates of food go past my own, was that most people really do take it for granted. This whole act of preparing a delicious dinner together, sitting down and enjoying the fruits of labor while basking in each other's warm company, is something that has almost become obsolete in our culture. I think in a lot of families, Thanksgiving is rushed through just like any other meal. The whole part that makes it special is forgotten. I know that I will never take it for granted and if the day comes when I do decide to start eating all that food again, I am going to relish every moment of it.
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Old 11-24-07, 06:37 PM   #24
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Please, do tell.
If I were to go into detail, I think I would be banned. Just...take my word for it...
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Old 11-24-07, 06:51 PM   #25
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If I were to go into detail, I think I would be banned. Just...take my word for it...

Will Joe spill the beans?
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