Giving Thanks For What?

There are more than a few stories about Thanksgiving. It is the American version of a type of fall harvest celebration, punctuated by the fact that early settlers were basically starving to death and save for the help of local natives would have done so – so the story goes.

Each year Americans slaughter and consume some 500 million turkeys in various ways, for just this one day. Have you ever wondered where they hide 500 million turkeys? Wait, people eat turkey all year round, so there must be billions of turkeys hiding somewhere?

Farms! Yes, thousands of them. Everyone of them is in some small place that you’ve never heard of.

Okay, so that explains turkeys. There must be the same for pumpkins and cranberries and sweet potatoes and  sprouts too. Why, yes there is. They make their living by providing North America with all the ‘fixins’ for a single meal and pieces of it year round.

So, back in 1621 how and what did those ‘pilgrims’ do for food in the winter? How did they avoid starving? Well, there were a few ways to preserve foods. You should note that there is not much info on varied food types. That is because they ate a lot of the same food over and over again and were glad to have it.

This is essentially a pagan or secular holiday despite the Calvinist overtones. I would invite all the secular people who celebrate this holiday to remember that today we live a better lifestyle and quality of life than kings and conquerors ever hoped to live in the past.

So be thankful for some of these:

  • You probably will not die from something caused by your teeth.
  • You will not die from pneumonia or a cold.
  • You can order dinner all winter long from a local restaurant.
  • You can order dinner.
  • You will not be poisoned by your drinking water, nor suffer microbial infection from it.
  • Winter months are not a survival test.
  • No one is likely to kill you for the small food stores you have in your kitchen.
  • You will be able to eat bananas and other fruit all year long.
  • Your meat does not need to be dried or salted.
  • Beans are not a major portion of your diet.

That is just what to be thankful for while you’re sitting there stuffing your gob with turkey and mashed potatoes.

There are dozens of places and organizations that will take a donation this time of year to help people not as fortunate as you to find and retain clean drinking water and stable food supplies. Think about donating the cost of a turkey to one of them. 500 million times $25 USD is 12.5 billion US Dollars. Do you know how long you could feed little lacy at just 59 cents per day with 12.5 billion dollars? Do you know what it means to finally have safe water to drink? WATER! That’s right, there are people who need water. Donate something while you are enjoying your bounty.

Speaking of bounty. How is it that you think the Western world has come to have this bounty? Science!

Science to grow it. Science to store it. Science to move it. Science to preserve it. Science, science, science.

If you really think that science and your religion are compatible… it’s probably because you don’t like being hungry.

Seriously, donate a few dollars.

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  1. Cute story, but I think you numbers are off a little. With “500 million” you’re closer to the number of pounds of turkey consumed at Thanksgiving, rather than the number of birds. Average turkey weight, 16 pounds. Eating over a pound each at Thanksgiving is one thing, eating over a turkey each would be another…

    • Perhaps. the estimate was done some time ago and based not on population but on household count and restaurant counts. It may be off, but it’s close enough for the point being made. Even at 350 million turkeys, the point would be made.

      Think that number is odd, try figuring out how many chickens are killed every day for New York City alone… it’s staggering.

    • J_Agathokles
    • November 21st, 2012

    Wat do Americans celebrate? Why the hypocritical giving of thanks to natives who helped out the colonists, who would later proceed to wage wars of conquest and extermination against the natives 🙂

    It’s a celebration of genocide! 😛

    • To be honest with you, I feel that Americans have no fucking clue what they celebrate. If most of them understood that the christmas tree was about paganism they would stop buying them. They still buy them because then magic Santa (Satan) would have no place to put the gifts. If people just asked questions… sigh

        • J_Agathokles
        • November 22nd, 2012

        Incidentally, I just found this article, telling the Thanksgiving story from the Wampanoag point of view: http://m.indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/11/22/the-wampanoag-side-of-the-first-thanksgiving-story-64076#

    • faintsignal
    • November 21st, 2012

    I liked your post and all. Though I sound hypocritical, I’m not pro science… Yes I’m thankful for some of the things, but science has went overboard with gmo in our food supply.

    I think the human race has drifted too far from the reality of being one with nature rather than trying to conquer it. Though I use the internet and computers and take advantage of technology, there’s a part of me (For some unknown reason) that despises it.

    • faintsignal
    • November 21st, 2012

    faintsignal :
    I liked your post and all. Though I sound hypocritical, I’m not pro science… Yes I’m thankful for some of the things, but science has went overboard with gmo in our food supply.
    I think the human race has drifted too far from the reality of being one with nature rather than trying to conquer it. Though I use the internet and computers and take advantage of technology, there’s a part of me (For some unknown reason) that despises it.

    That last part didn’t come out right (Blushes). The human race has drifted too far from being one with nature, all we do is try to conquer nature.

    That’s what I meant. 🙂

    • It is possible to not like it while still using it. The idea that we need to stop populating the earth and treat it differently is a difficult thing. Our collective feelings about such is a very mixed bag. It will take much effort for us all to come to terms with the fact that this rocky/watery ball will only support so many… we must maintain it better than we have been doing.

        • J_Agathokles
        • November 22nd, 2012

        Nature should come up with some kind of plague to wipe out at least half to two thirds of the human population on this planet. Either that or were gonna have to wait for WW III. I’d prefer the former option as it kills indiscriminately – except for perhaps those lucky enough to have some kind of mutation in their genes that makes them naturally immune.

        • There is a lot to be said for that idea. Until modern medicine it was what kept overpopulation in check. That and food supplies. A lot of people are more ‘okay’ with a natural culling than mindful population management.

            • J_Agathokles
            • November 22nd, 2012

            I’m also more comfortable with that. I don’t think humans qualify to manage their own populations by destroying certain portions of their population. What, with racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., being so commonplace? It’d be worse then the holocaust.

            • It seems that nature is a more fair judge at times… or so we believe.

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