“I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of a bad moral character…like those among men who live by…robbing. The turkey…is a much more respectable bird…a true original native of America.” -Benjamin Franklin (vegetarian), 1782, wanted the U.S. to adopt the turkey as its national symbol (quoted from Grivetti et al)”
With a lot of anticipation, I finally got to participate again in one of the biggest events for Vegans in Los Angeles: The annual Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck. For Vegans, Thanksgiving is a painful reminder that millions of turkeys are murdered for a ridiculous ritual that need not have to be this way.
Andy Mars of Vegkids.org once again organized this event brilliantly and reminded us during our circle that thanksgiving was celebrated by Native Americans, not as people believe it is now, but to be thankful for the harvest. There was never any turkey involved in this celebration. They celebrated the “three sisters”: Corn, Squash and Beans. These were the principal foods of the Iroquois and other tribes leaving in the northeastern United States. To use an animal that is fattened and made obese, tortured and then killed to say “thanks” is an absolute distortion of the real meaning of Thanksgiving which came to be mostly in the twentieth century. And let’s not forget what eating these poor animals also does to our obesity problems and so on. That is aberration. The beautiful Fumani sang (a capella aka with no music) during the circle and we said a silent prayer.
Vegans deal with this by getting together as much as possible and celebrate this holiday in a cruelty free, compassionate and family-like atmosphere. For most Vegans, as it was for us today, this is indeed a family reunion. We bring our best dishes, share delectable Vegan foods, talk about our work on behalf of the animals and the Earth (and humans) and remember that each day, more new Vegans join this family. We have been growing and we will keep growing because compassion is universal, cruelty dies off.
We had the pleasure of listening to the wonderful Fumani again, this time on the microphone. Her voice signaled that this event would be special. Thank you sweet lady for gracing us with your presence again. It was great to see old friends and to make new friends. I am reminded how lucky i am to live in Los Angeles where being Vegan is a breeze compared to other places but I do hope that Vegans anywhere did make it special.
There were favorite dishes proclaimed by our very own Veggie Eddie. The Field Roast Casserole from Chris was a favorite.
Check out the dance moves as well. Salsa anyone? The dogs also got some time in starring roles and were the kings of the fest.
The children were not left out and some clearly displayed singing talents. They also knew their alphabet very well. Cute!
You could also get a massage!
It was also wonderful to see old friends from prior Potlucks and other Vegan events past.
I took the opportunity to shoot a few pictures for my friend Jordan Wyatt of the Invercargill Vegan Society with his InvSoc Pin. These are for you Jordan. We thought about you and InvSoc as we celebrated Thanksgiving!