Category Archives: thanksgiving

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

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I’ve shared my feelings about Thanksgiving many times over the years.
Here are several examples; 2012, 2014 and 2016.

I am all for giving thanks! Always. But Thanksgiving is a holiday I do not support.

My reasons are pretty simple.

46 million turkeys will be killed unnecessarily, for ONE day of indulgence, in celebration of Thanksgiving. That’s just for the holiday. That doesn’t include the 245 million turkeys killed every year. In my opinion, that’s reason enough to not participate.

Also, from a Native American perspective, the holiday is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. Please read this post from the Native Hope website. It’s an important read.

In addition to that, animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, deforestation (look at the Amazon forest! disappearing for beef production), air pollution, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, and more. Anyone that is concerned about climate change and the environmental crisis we all face, needs to seriously look at their diet. The U.S. population can’t continue to eat like this. The exploitation of animals is literally killing us (and the world as we know it).

SIFL

This is NOT to say; don’t give thanks, don’t celebrate abundance, don’t honor friends and family.

It’s to say, YES! Do all of those things.

All of that is wonderful and important — but please don’t do it at the expense of other living beings and the planet. Let’s find new ways to celebrate. Let’s be creative!

Sponsor a rescued turkey:
Farm Sanctuary
Woodstock Sanctuary
Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary

Donate to Native Americans:
Indigenous Environmental Network
Warrior Women
First Nations covid-19 response fund
Red Hawk Council
Native American Rights Fund

Eat compassionate “meat”:
Impossible Foods
Beyond Meat
Field Roast

Every day is an opportunity for us to be more aware; more compassionate, more loving, more responsible. It’s an ongoing practice.

Wishing everyone a fabulous Giving Thanks holiday!

I love you. I’m grateful for you!

Thanks for letting me say what’s on my heart.

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Seth Godin: Enough

Seth Godin Enough Quotes

I snagged two blog posts from Seth Godin that I want to share. They are short and to the point, and good reminders.

Full vs. enough

One of the lessons of Thanksgiving is that we eat too much. We eat until we’re full, experiencing the sensation of too much.

It’s easy to confuse our desire for that that feeling with the feeling of ‘enough’. Enough doesn’t feel like full, but that’s okay.

Too often, we’ve been persuaded by marketers and other maximizers that the only satisfying state is ‘full.’ Not just in what we’ve eaten, but in what we own, control or receive.

In fact, full doesn’t last and full isn’t desirable. No thanks, I’ve got enough. It’s better that way.

Price vs. cost

Price is a simple number. How much money do I need to hand you to get this thing?

Cost is more relevant, more real and more complicated.

Cost is what I had to give up to get this. Cost is how much to feed it, take care of it, maintain it and troubleshoot it. Cost is my lack of focus and my cost of storage. Cost is the externalities, the effluent, the side effects.

Just about every time, cost matters more than price, and shopping for price is a trap.

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What would it be like?

thanksgiving-turkey

The thought of sitting awkwardly at a table, in front of an array of Thanksgiving dishes that people overspent on, stressed about and labored over unnecessarily — it sounds about as appetizing as… It basically makes me cringe just thinking about it. It doesn’t sound appealing at all. And to make matters worse, the thought of 45 million turkeys being killed for a one day celebration of American gluttony and TV watching? No thanks. I’ll pass. I’m totally onboard with the idea of gratitude and giving thanks. I’m all for that, every day of the week, or even making a national holiday of it. I just don’t think that’s what Thanksgiving is. And if Thanksgiving is about family & friends, and being thankful for abundance, isn’t there a wiser and more sustainable way we can honor life and its blessings? How about a nature walk with those we love? Let’s all meet at the beach (forest, canyon, or city park) and enjoy the fresh air and energy moving through our bodies. Instead of rubbing our bellies in front of a movie or TV, how about we make eye-contact and play a game? Let’s actually create something together. How about, instead of wasting money on excess food and holiday decorations we don’t need, how about we donate that money to an animal rescue facility or local homeless shelter?

I’m getting older, and the older I get the more I see the automatic ways of our culture. We can complain about the recent presidential election (or the status of the economy) all we want. But the truth is, it’s a reflection of the collective consciousness of U.S. Americans. We are a culture that LOVES to waste. We love to waste our natural resources, we love to waste our time, and we love to waste our brain power. Most of us are eager to seek distractions, eager to follow trends, and eager to fit in. And we know it! Yet we act like we don’t, because to own up would mean we have to take personal responsibility. What would life be like if individually we decided to be more resourceful, more creative and more accountable? Is it possible that collectively we could change the world for the better? It’s worthy of an experiment. Let’s look at how we spend our lives (or the lives we take or harm in excess out of habit/cultural norms). Let’s liberate ourselves (and all living beings — let’t not forget, we are symbiotic). Let’s design new celebrations, new ways of honoring each other and new ways of giving thanks.

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Happy Thanks-living!

sweet potatoes happy thanks-living

Last week I was emailing with a friend. Before I ended my email, I added this sentence: “Have a super-duper Thanksliving next week. It’s nice to know that neither of us will be eating anyone. ;) It will be a celebration of life & thanks! So much to be grateful for.”

As most of my regular readers know, I don’t eat Turkey on Thanksgiving. I shared my point of view and reasons why in this 2012 blog post titled “Who Me?” If you click on the title, you can view and read the blog post. Please do! You’ll be happy you did.

I’m wishing everyone (in the USA, since it’s an American holiday) a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. But before I go, I would also like to share a video that was sent to me this week. I found it so inspiring. The video if of Jason Brown. He was an NFL player, that had a glamorous life and a 37.5 million dollar contact to play football. All that is behind him now. With awareness and insight, he made the decision to move to North Carolina to start a farm. He decided that living closer to nature & family was what was most important to him. This year, his farm grew 117,000 pounds of sweet potatoes, and he donated almost half of that amount to feed people in need. He is more connected to his environment, community and his family than ever. But more importantly, his more connected to himself on a deeper level, and lives with greater awareness. (His video is embedded below.)

I was talking to my dad on the telephone this morning. I was telling him that with greater awareness comes a deeper listing. It happens naturally as a result of stillness. When people are more aware, there is a stillness within them that allows them to listen intuitively. And it’s those internal messages and cues that guide them. Jason Brown was guided in this way. He knew that money & status wasn’t going to buy him what is most important. He was clear that love & connection is what he valued most. You can read more of his story here.

Whatever it is that we decide to do, in career, family, relationships, diet — it’s always best to choose powerfully. In order to choose powerfully, there needs to be some deep questioning and listening. If we can create a sense of stillness, and quiet the mind chatter or story that runs like a broken record in our minds, we can hear what is most important. For each person the details might be different, but the core of it is the same. Love, honesty, connection, and contribution is paramount. Without that, our lives wouldn’t amount to much.

Everyone defines their core values in their own way, even though we generally share the same values. Which is great, it makes us all unique. But it’s important that we repeatedly ask ourselves if we are living in alignment with our core values. Continuously checking in with ourselves and seeing if our current choices are in alignment with what matters most to us, and if it follows the guidance of our heart. And if we aren’t living in alignment with our highest values, why? What is stopping us? And what actions would it take to make sure that we are? What would our lives feel and look like if we made sure that our lives were based on powerful choices made with awareness, compassion and great love?

 

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