Respect the Bird! Restoring the Thanks in Thanksgiving

If you live in America, a few things probably come to mind when you hear the word “Thanksgiving”: turkey, little black hats with belt buckles, and black Friday sales.

Wait a minute. Shopping? Why has a holiday that is traditionally about food, family, and giving thanks for the year, become one that is equally (and to some more so) about door-busting deals and shopping?

Respect the bird - Thanks this Thanksgiving

Grr. So much consumerism.

Just days after I got an email about a “Black Friday” sale (that was sent in October!), I stumbled on the campaign to “Respect the Bird“.  While I love a good deal as much as anyone, I also feel that the focus on sales and consumer spending has cheapened a holiday that is traditionally about pausing and reflecting on the year, and appreciating all that has happened.

Here’s what it’s all about (video):

We agree and made the pledge.

Yes, we know things were very different back then. Even though the exact hows and whys of the first Thanksgiving might be a little cloudy, the fundamental tradition of sitting down over a meal and giving thanks for the events of the year, is not in dispute.  (For mind blowing ideas on how badly we underestimated Native American cultures, I recommend 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.  I’m currently reading it and can’t put it down.)

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.  ~H.U. Westermayer

It was not an easy existence and this Thanksgiving, in thanks for the many opportunities we have and in respect for those who sacrifice much more and have much less, We’ve taken the pledge to give thanks, instead of spend money.

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.  ~W.J. Cameron

We’ve taken the pledge to Respect the Bird. Will You? (let us know your thoughts below)

Thanksgiving Recipes

I can’t wait to share some fun Thanksgiving recipes. We’ve got a few in the works including cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread, and we might even try the bird itself.

Muhahahahah (wait, that’s halloween, never-mind)


Thanks for reading.

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." ~Julia Child  
Why learn pressure cooking?
It's 7 pm. The end of the work day stomach rumbles...

In one hand, a take out menu. In the other hand, the refrigerator door...its contents staring back almost as blankly as we are towards them. We want a homemade meal, but also want something quick and simple to make.
1. Simple and quick recipes requiring basic skills to become proficient in the kitchen.
2. Quality ingredients, not necessarily 100% organic, but meals without artificials and chemistry class additives.
3. To understand more of the story of our food and take small steps towards self-reliance.

It's true, there are many benefits to pressure cooking: the time savings, the taste, a small step towards self-reliance, sustainability... but the real benefit is in what we learn as we redefine our relationship with food. Good food can be fast. Good food can be easy.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kitty November 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I also read ‘1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus’ by Charles C. Mann and it is a fascinating book. I highly recommend it. I’m thinking of read his book ‘The Aspirin Wars: Money, Medicine & 100 Years of Rampant Competition’. Mann is a science writer but his books are easy to read.

Leslie November 9, 2011 at 10:40 am

I’m excited to read his next book in the history of Americas: 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created. I hadn’t heard of The Aspirin Wars, but I’m adding that one to my list as well.

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