Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Freebirds and fancy feasts

I thought I'd take a departure from my usual posts and write a poem, inspired by the great Shel Silverstein, depicting my thoughts and feelings toward Thanksgiving. Sorry it's not super-cheery, but there are certain issues that are too dire to sidestep just because it's a holiday. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, because I do love the holidays and spending time with family and eating yummy food... but I carry a burden of what I call "eco-guilt" that's hard to shake, especially during this festive time of year when we're blessed with an abundance while so many go without.

So this Thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect and to be truly thankful for what we have, and remember the rest of the world. One easy way you can help ease the pain of world hunger and ensure that there's more to go around is to include more whole grains and plant-based foods in your diet, of which there are plenty; and limit your consumption of meat, whose raising and slaughtering and production is the number one cause of global warming (whether people believe in it or not).

Please think of others, think of the animals, and reconsider the "centerpiece" of your holiday meals. There are plenty of great resources out there for delicious and filling vegetarian dishes; even Martha Stewart dedicated an episode of her show to how to have a vegetarian thanksgiving. We don't have to deprive ourselves or get all bummed out; we just need to do little things that add up into big changes that will positively impact our planet and its people. This is a heavy burden to carry and not talk about. [I suppose this is the angst that comes with being the lone vegetarian in my family.] So I hope you all understand, and will consider all these things as you celebrate.

And now, a poem:

"I Used to Like Thanksgiving"

I used to like Thanksgiving
When I fit in with my folks
We'd listen to Rush Limbaugh
As we cooked and made bad jokes
We'd always name the turkey
After Hillary or Bill
Then dig into our dinner
And eat our greedy fill

Then I thought hard about the animals
And finally did research
I learned so many horrors
That would make your stomach lurchI couldn't feel good about
Taking another bite
But, well, this is America
And feasting is our right

Right?So I dig into the turnips
I load up on the yams
I pile my plate with salad
Cranberries, walnuts, jamAnd if there's room, I save a place
For homemade pumpkin pie
I'm thankful for a Thanksgiving
Where no one had to die.

Freebirds!Yup, all that food is vegetarian (even the "meat" balls).
If this post resonates with you and you'd like to see more cute pictures of farm animals I've taken, check out my foodie blog, Technical Vegan.

Happy [FREE THE] Turkey Day! ;)

Poem, photos © 2009 Erin C. Dale


Lexie said...

i'm not a vegetarian, but i understand the sentiment. happy thanksgiving erin!

Bostonista said...

haha this was a cute poem!
I hope you had a great turkey-free thanksgiving!

Raquel said...

you're a nice girl! I wish I could stopeating meat but I can't resist it :X
I hope you had a good thanksgiving!