Tuesday, October 20, 2009

To Seek or Not to Seek


Here it is...says it all....from my favorite cartoonist.
How many times to all of us come to this kind of crossroad in our day and not choose the path of truth, justice and wisdom? Even those of us who don't indulge in burgers often don't make choices that are in alignment with who and what we care about.
Looking at this cartoon made me think about wanting to slow life down and really think about it when I come to these diverging paths in my life.

We sat across from Tim today....we were all eating amazing quinoa and mushrooms made by Linda. Tim is a regular guy about 50 years old. Comes from your basic hunting/fishing Appalachian family. Tim has come to this crossroad more than once and chosen the unpopular route. He told about his family trying to get him to hunt. He shot a squirrel first time out and said it was a thrill until he actually hit the squirrel with the bullet and the squirrel fell out of the tree and landed on the ground. It was his first and last hunting experience. He also told us about having ducks and pigs on their land and how he tried to stop his family from killing them because he was so close with them...like dogs for many other people. They killed them anyway and he refused to eat them.

Thanksgiving is a tough holiday for a lot of people. It has no meaning for me, but I like to celebrate it with fellow vegans. I know it is hard for most families to understand why we can't just ignore that giant bird in the middle of the table. The only way I could explain it was like this:
Imagine you find yourself living in some part of the world where it is common to eat dogs (I show photos of these dogs stuffed in cages waiting to be slaughtered in another blog posting). Most Americans would not be able to just go to a big celebration and ignore the skinned stuffed cooked dog with candied yams and mashed potatoes on the side and little paper frilly booties stuck on his paws, baked and basted to perfection. They would avoid that event. It is the same once you have gotten to know a turkey, or any of the animals killed for food. It is pretty shocking to see them in the middle of the table. My friend Carrie tells a story about her favorite turkey friend growing up. His name was Gimpy because he had a bum leg. One Thanksgiving when the lid was opened on the roasting pan, she recognized Gimpy by his leg. She flipped out when she realized that one of her companions had been killed and cooked for dinner.

I think it is ok to just spend this holiday with folks who understand this and can celebrate this harvest time with the thousands of other foods that make a great feast without a dead bird on the table. Last year our Thanksliving celebration had 50 people who all brought the most amazing delicious beautiful food. There was a whole room for desserts! I made a gallon of shitake mushroom gravy to go on the mashed potatoes. It was gone in an hour. JC made luminaria (candles in paper bags with sand in the bottom) and created a path of them that led people to a fire circle in the far back of our lot. We started the meal with a giant circle and everyone shared one thing they were grateful for. It was heaven. A true celebration of LIFE.

This is how all holidays can be....we can re-create them in new traditions that celebrate life and health and abundance and community...community that expands beyond our own blood family, community that expands beyond our own species.


  1. I'm a huge fan of Dan Piraro too, but I'd not seen this cartoon! I find it powerful and, sadly, all too true. That path of wisdom, truth and justice can be lonely and challenging, but it's beautiful, too... I love how Dan shows it leading to lush, verdant higher ground, while the crowded, mindless group-think path leads not just to cruel, cheap, unhealthy "food" but to a low, empty, defoliated landscape. (He's brilliant!) Thank you for sharing it. I would have marked my "reactions" to your entire post if the list of options included "eloquent," "moving," and "right on!" :-)

  2. Thanks so much laloofa! So glad you loved DP's cartoon as much as I do!

    I am so grateful for all the bright, funny, caring people in the quickly growing compassion community.