Thanksgiving is one of my least favorite Holidays. In fact, I would have to say it IS my least favorite. There are many reasons that make me dislike Thanksgiving. Two reasons resonate with me the most. The first, and the reason I have disliked Thanksgiving the longest, is the slaughter of so many innocent turkeys. Approximately 45 million turkeys are killed for the holiday. It is hard for me to see the good in that. The only thing I can be thankful is for the birds that were spared.
I know people eat meat and I rarely say anything about it because I feel that "to each their own," but I just cannot condone this cruelty. This whole holiday is not based around its original roots. It has become a celebration that condones killing (of animals) and gluttony. Yeah, that sounds like fun! Where do I sign up?
The truth is that hundreds, if not thousands, of animals are killed on a daily basis and it makes my heart ache. To take a stand against this ridiculousness, I try to attend the nations largest vegan Thanksgiving celebration in Durham, NC. (I will post on this very soon!)
On to the second reason.....
Reason number two is that on Thanksgiving in 1999, my grandfather, affectionately known as Papa, passed away suddenly. We had moved to NC in August of 1998 and I got to see two more times. He died a month before I was set to see him again for Christmas in 1999. His death has impacted me more than any other death in my life. It has been 10 years and every time I think of him, my heart eyes tear up. I still dream of him often and think of his voice and his embrace.
He was tall and husky and looked like a tough guy, but had a soft heart. He came across as a bit gruff at times, but no one ever questioned the love he had for his family. When everyone else seemed like an enemy, he was a friend. We often debated about different topics, but it was in good fun. We had very different views on things and it did not matter. He decided to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays for spiritual reasons and on those days, he ate only vegetarian. After I became a vegetarian, I appreciated his special diet because we would eat together. Ma, my grandma, would make the same meal for the both of us. This seemingly small thing was actually very important to me.
I miss him more than I probably should, but he was very special to me. If you have been fortunate enough to know and be close with your grandparents, than you just might understand this feeling. I cherish his memories because that is how I can keep him alive in my memory and my heart.
So, now you see why Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday.