Ah yes, we Canadians eh!, always jumping to the front of the line. Not only did we celebrate our Thanksgiving more than a month before our fellow North Americans to the south, truth be told, many years ago we actually borrowed the holiday and tradition from them. But what is a holiday or two among friends? So, since we have already celebrated this day of Thankfulness and Gratitude, I thought I would share a few ideas that may inspire those of you who will be celebrating this coming November 26th, 2015.
Instead of thinking about what foods to serve, think about what might be fun to do when everyone is gathered together.
1) How about touch football, or a walk in the woods, or if you live in a warm enough climate, maybe a pool party could work.
2) Ask your guests to make a gratitude list and and share it at the dinner table.
3) If you have little ones in your life, help them to create a centerpiece for the table and to set the table as well. A skit presented by them is always appreciated by the guests.
4) Make visiting a farmed animal sanctuary the main event.
5) Visit relatives and friends and even strangers who may be shut or live in assisted living and may be alone in this world.
6) Put together some gift bags and stand on a busy street corner and give plant based food and products to the homeless.
Animals do suffer daily in the production of food for our traditions and culture. As humans, I believe that it is our responsibility and honor to protect the vulnerable. Who could be more vulnerable than those species caught either directly or indirectly in all of our death for profit industries?
By definition, tradition is:
…the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice: a story that has come down to us by popular tradition. 2. something that is handed down.
There is no mention made here of traditions being an incontrovertible truth. In fact, many traditions are inherently and overtly harmful and filled with disrespect for others, while contributing nothing whatsoever to our attempt to respect and memorialize our history and culture. Pig wrestling competitions at fairs and fundraisers, chuck wagon races at despicable rodeos and fox hunting, all fall under the rubric of acceptable tradition even though most of them have nothing whatsoever to do with human history and culture. Why would we want to continue perpetrating such cruelty in the name of tradition?
I will be the first to admit that traditions can comforting and fun and do connect us in some way to those who went before us. Warm and comfy flannel PJ’s and Nighties remind me of my mother and grandmother. I give some of these “cozies” to my grandchildren every year at Christmas time. Turkey also reminds me of the warm and wonderful meals my mother and grandmother would lovingly make for their families at holiday time. I still cherish the memory of the love, but instead of the turkey, the ham and the roast pork, I now serve plant based dishes in honor and respect of all life.
When it comes to Menu Planning, use whole plant based foods. The world of recipes has exploded with wonderful sites which can help you with your holiday planning. And consider how easy this might be with the plethora of wonderful fruits and vegetables at this time of the year. You know how you get a tickle in your tummy when visiting an outdoor market and see a table piled high with luscious peaches, bright red tomatoes, nubby looking squash?….Now, just imagine for a moment all that goodness transferred to your celebratory table.
Plant Based Websites and Recipes
Check out my recipes in the Menu tab at top of my website.
And this Thanksgiving or maybe this Sunday, please try my newest addition to my recipe pool.
Annie’s Vegan View
Create a new, plant based tradition on this and all holiday celebrations.
Make family and friend togetherness the centerpiece of our tables and our hearts.
May all beings be happy and free.