Thanksgiving: Be Thankful for What You Can Do

Thanksgiving is always a bittersweet holiday to me. I love the whole idea of Thanksgiving – a time to reflect upon the gifts we’ve received and offer our thanks, but when I think about the origins of the holiday and the ways in which the European settlers committed genocide upon the Native peoples in the U.S., and the ways in which we have still failed to redress the suffering we caused and continue to perpetuate, I feel ashamed and full of sorrow. And when I think about the millions of turkeys raised for Thanksgiving meals in cruel factory farms, bred to be so big they cannot mate and can barely walk, debeaked, crowded in disgusting warehouses, slaughtered in the most inhumane of ways, I want to cry and shout at the same time.

It’s so important to give thanks, to introspect and embrace all our blessings on Thanksgiving. And when we do, let’s not forget to give thanks for our freedom, our voices, our hands and our hearts that enable us to fight wrongs and ease suffering and create justice. And after giving thanks for these gifts, let’s not forget to use them to forge a better, more humane, more peaceable world.

~ Zoe Weil
Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education

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