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              WARNING !! Disturbing Images

                                                                        by Keiko T. Olds     


WARNING !! Disturbing Images

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Did You Know?
Lobster, seal and swans were on the Pilgrims' menu.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent
 four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation    for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests   arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested  that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.

Check out the Thanksgiving by the Numbers infographic for more facts about how the first Thanksgiving compares to modern holiday traditions.

Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.

 In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.

Beginning in the mid-20th century and perhaps even earlier, the president of the United States has “pardoned” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.

For some scholars, the jury is still out on whether the feast at Plymouth really constituted the first Thanksgiving in the United States. Indeed, historians have recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims’ celebration. In 1565, for instance, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival. On December 4, 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read a proclamation designating the date as “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Some Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.

Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.

  1. 45 million turkeys Killed for Thanks Giving Day.
    22 million for Christmas in the U.S.A.

    From CARE 2
    5 Facts That Will Make You Want to Hug a Turkey, Not Eat One, This Thanksgiving

    It is a sad and horrific time of year for millions of turkeys being slaughtered for holiday meals. To be more exact, just for Thanksgiving alone, approximately 46 million turkeys are killed per year.
    These smart and intrinsic animals are so much more special than society gives them credit for, and therefore should be left off of your serving platters. From their astute social connections to the fact that you can determine a turkey’s gender by taking a quick glance at their poop, these fine feathered friends are highly intelligent and interesting animals.
    Since there are too many neat details about these wonderful birds to list, we chose the most riveting of them all that truly stand out. Once you learn these five enthralling turkey details, you will want to be their pal rather than put them on your plate. 
    1. You can tell a turkey’s gender just by peeking at their poo.
    Yes, you read that right. A fascinating fact that many people do not know about our turkey friends is in their doo doo. The shape of a turkey’s turd tells you if they are a lord or a lady. A male turkey’s droppings are in the shape of a spiral and the waste of a female turkey is shaped like the letter J. That remarkable tidbit alone makes turkeys way too cool to eat.
    2. Turkeys wear mood rings… called their faces.
    As if pooing specific shapes isn’t clever enough, turkeys step up their game by being the living embodiment of the mood ring. Yep, these groovy birds wear their mood on their heads and throats, and you guessed it, the color red means stressed out. As a turkey’s mood changes throughout the day, their colors switch as well. Turkeys are just too colorful to be on the menu.
    3. Male turkeys go cruising for lady turkeys, together as a group.
    When turkeys go out in search for that significant someone, they do it just like us humans – with a little help from their friends. For instance, a group of brothers will make an event of going out and putting the charm on a turkey of the opposite sex. However, in the end, only the dominant male will mate with that special female turkey. I wonder if they get into any wild antics with their pals along the way. Maybe it’s like “The Hangover” for turkeys.
    4. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to replace the eagle as America’s national bird.
    Good old Ben Franklin felt very strongly about this bird business. Franklin once called the eagle cowardly and felt that the national bird was chosen incorrectly. If Benjamin Franklin had his way, the turkey would be America’s national mascot since he felt that turkeys are much more respectable birds. Franklin also felt that the turkey was more of a true American symbol, being an original native to the region. Frankly, this Founding Father had the right idea; we think that turkeys are awesome, too.
    5. Turkeys have their own unique language.
    Turkeys have their own unmistakable form of communicating with one another. In fact, they can even recognize each other’s individual voices. Researchers have even found over 30 distinct vocalizations amongst turkeys in the wild. These smooth talking birds sure do have a way with “words” – or gobbles, putts, purrs and cackles, rather.
    As you can see, turkeys are so much more than just a dish to be served at the holiday dinner table. Let one go free as a bird this year, and opt for a tofu turkey or any one of the other many delicious vegan options that are available.
    Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/5-facts-that-will-make-you-want-to-hug-a-turkey-not-eat-one-this-thanksgiving.html#ixzz3hP2ZrX8h


    interest in Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project. This program runs from October until Thanksgiving. You can sponsor one of our sanctuary residents for the entire year through our Adopt a Farm Animal ProjectAdopt a Farm Animal sponsorship make great gifts! The 2015 Adopt a Turkey Project will start in October of 2015.

    Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project has encouraged people to save a turkey at Thanksgiving through sponsorships that help us rescue animals and provide care for them at our sanctuaries, as well as educate and advocate for turkeys and other farm animals everywhere.
    For a one-time donation gift of just $30, anyone can sponsor a turkey. As a turkey sponsor, you will receive a special Adopt a Turkey certificate with a color photo of and fun details about your new friend.
    Turkey sponsorships also make perfect gifts, so make an even greater impact this holiday season by sharing the love with others. For a gift of $210, you can sponsor the whole flock and have adoption certificates sent to family and friends!

    November 15, 2015Feed the TurkeysActon, CAEvery Thanksgiving, Farm Sanctuary offers opportunities to celebrate a compassionate Thanksgiving holiday.  This event will feature open-barn time to meet the Farm Sanctuary animal residents and our famous turkey-feeding ceremony –help us treat our beloved turkeys to a feast of squash, cranberries, and pumpkin pie!  Our turkeys are thankful for your friendship, love, and support.  This event will also include light refreshments and presentation by Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director Susie Coston. We encourage you to help us celebrate this year!  Please check back for additional information and registration.
    November 21, 2015Celebration for the TurkeysWatkins Glen, NYEvery Thanksgiving, Farm Sanctuary offers opportunities to celebrate a more compassionate holiday.  Our annual Celebration for the Turkeys is one of our most popular, and we encourage you to help us celebrate this year!  This event will feature open-barn time to meet the Farm Sanctuary animal residents, our famous turkey-feeding ceremony, and our lavish offsite vegan Thanksgiving banquet and speaker presentations.  Help us honor our beloved turkeys as we treat them to a feast of squash, cranberries, and pumpkin pie.  Our turkeys are thankful for your friendship, love, and support.   Please check back for additional information and registration.
    Check back soon for details on our new November Washington DC-area and San Francisco-area events.
    Watch this space as we continue to post additional events! Thanks for your support of Farm Sanctuary.
    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving—that's one sixth of all turkeys sold in the U.S. each year.

    Turkeys pampered instead of put to death

    By November 26, 2013

    Here’s a take on the Thanksgiving spirit that just might make you think twice about your big meal.   
    Consider this: unlike your unlucky bird, Anne and Jessica – ‘Turkey’ – are spending their Thanksgiving being pampered, and that’s not a euphemism for being baked in the oven!
    Named after Hollywood’s lovely and vocal vegans Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain – the two feathery fowls were rescued from certain death by Southern California animal rights activist Karen Dawn who took them to her house for a little bit of pampering and holiday appreciation!
    While other turkeys get plucked and roasted, Karen treated Anne and Jessica to a not-so-broiled bath and blow dry: fluffing their feathers just in time for an elegant, ‘turkey-less’ Thanksgiving feast! They’re even topping the evening off with a bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon!
    “I do this as a fun way to send a serious message,” Dawn said.
    “Most people would be unaware that most animal cruelty laws exempt farm animals and turkeys are not even covered under federal humane slaughter laws -- so their lives and deaths for our holiday celebration are unconscionably painful.
    Dawn says she planned this unusual occasion to show that ‘turkey day’ is a lot more fun when turkeys are ‘alive and well.
    After Thanksgiving, she says Anne and Jessica will head to Animal Place in Grass Valley Northern California to live out their lives as turkey ambassadors.

    Watch Karen's video diary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68qaX3ZoZek.














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