You Want me to Thank Who, Now?

thanksgiving-mealI’m pretty sure at this point in our lives we’ve encountered a news site, blog post, or chatty person telling us not to celebrate Thanksgiving, because it perpetuates the myth of friendly colonists that made nice with the indigenous people of North America. We know this isn’t true. Enslavement, rape, disease-ridden blankets, and the robbing of their native language are only among the few of the tortures Native Americans faced upon the arrival of the colonists. Yet America finds it totally o.k. to acknowledge a day for families and friends to come together, to indulge in a feast of food, to close banks, schools, and many businesses for the day, and worst of all, encourage us all to be “thankful” for what we have. Many people choose to blindly consume until lethargy on this day, marking the importance on a feathered bird and disregard how this day even came about.

But to be completely fair, most of these articles/posts/soap box speeches have been from people who are not of Native American descent. I wouldn’t imagine any Native American individual would argue that the seizure of their land was a good thing, but there’s light to shed on the truth to Thanksgiving. Did pilgrim and native sit down after a collaborative harvest season to enjoy their splendor? No, but there is history of civility amongst the two communities (at least at the beginning) where the English relied on the natives for survival, and the natives aided in their survival.

Many Native American communities acknowledge Thanksgiving in a similar manner to the Euro-American holiday, but the idea of thanks is conceptualized differently. There’s a Christian back force behind Thanksgiving, which isn’t present in Indigenous celebration. The latter gives thanks to where we came from and we they are, namely in mother and mother earth.  Rather than celebrating a Thanksgiving, there is a state of thanksgiving in a spiritual sense that does bring together communities and families (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com). However, this is not to say that every person of Native American descent it pro-Thanksgiving. There are many whtumblr_mdwao0B9Hj1qj171uo1_500o refuse to celebrate the day, and instead use the time as a Day of Mourning.

Now I’ll pose a few questions for you. What do you make of the day? Do you have a family get-together that’s unrelated to the American Thanksgiving? Do you refuse to recognize the American holiday and take the side of anti-Thanksgiving? Do you acknowledge the fact that this country was built on the aid and eventual abuse of the Indigenous populations? How do you define the day now? A day of mourning? A day of commemoration? A day of honor? A day of condolence?

With the acknowledgment that this country was built from the spilled blood of the indigenous, we breathe life into their descendants. We give them back a stolen story, and although nothing could ever make right the horrible wrongs that occurred, we can give them the respect they deserve.

Petri Dish Burgers: What a Time to Be Alive!

Few foods are as iconically American as the hamburger, even if they’re really German. From coast to coast the combinations and variations are endless and we can argue for hours over which burger joints are the best.
Throughout the years, the basic idea of a hamburger has stayed fairly consistent in our national consciousness that is until the scientific marvel of the $325,000 lab-grown burger patty, dubbed the “Frankenburger” by some media outlets.

why-googles-sergey-brin-paid-330000-for-the-worlds-first-lab-grown-burger

Some people think it’s ingenious, some people think it’s creepy, and most people fall somewhere in between because the technology is so new and there are so many things we do not know about this product. But the first three taste testers to try the lab meat (grown from cultivated cow muscle cells) agreed the texture was spot on but the meat lacked flavor because it was too lean. So it’s back to the drawing board for researchers, but I’m very impressed by their progress.

Even more interesting is that this project is entirely funded by individual donors, not by the government or private organizations so the information is technically public domain.

As long as we don’t come to find out that the meat causes cancer, or you know a hunger for human flesh, I think it could be a very good thing. The meat industry as it exists today is a top contributor to global warming, water pollution, and is rife with animal rights violations. Once mass-produced, lab grown meat could be an environmentally sustainable, healthy, efficient, and affordable option that will also appeal to vegans and vegetarians.

The majority of food grown in the U.S. currently goes toward feeding animals kept in feed lots (where animals are fattened up before they are slaughtered). If less of U.S. and worldwide agricultural efforts were devoted to the meat industry, the food available would be able to feed hundreds of thousands of more people and reduce hunger worldwide.
As a meat –loving vegetarian, I’m very excited by the potential of all of this! I think it’s incredibly inspiring that people can work together to create genuine positive change for the world, even though this will also be a commercial venture.

I want to know your thoughts, questions, comments, petri dish meat: good idea or bad idea?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/08/opinion/datar-lab-burger/index.html?hpt=hp_c4