Monday, November 19, 2007

Have A Guilt-Free Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is here again, and that means you'll probably be sitting down with the family to eat turkey, give thanks for your bounty, and recall our ancestors' joyous feast with the Native Americans.

Of course, you may feel guilty about participating in a mass slaughter of the bird Ben Franklin once described as "a Bird of Courage, [who] would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on." And you might have some qualms about celebrating your good fortune in the midst of so much worldwide poverty. And perhaps you view that joyful celebration with the Native Americans as phase one in a dark, scandalous plan to infect the natives with smallpox and slowly conquer their land. Not to mention how you feel about throwing away all that wasted food and the fear of sporting a bloated, bulbous stomach into the holiday season.

Here's five ways you can stop your Thanksgiving from becoming "Thanksguilting":

1. Adopt A Turkey

Yes, it is the turkey's fault for being so moist and delicious. But that doesn't mean turkeys don't deserve to live a fruitful life. At, $20 pays a turkey's room and board at a farm animal sanctuary in beautiful Watkins Glen, New York or Orland, California. You get a color photograph of your turkey, an adoption certificate and a year subscription to Farm Sanctuary's quarterly newsletter. Or you can home adopt a turkey and provide lifelong care for your new pet... carnivores need not apply.

UnFunny Cartoon
Only Vegetarians Think This Cartoon Is Funny

2. Pay Back The Native Americans

You can't really make up for the injustices native Americans suffered at the hands of our ancestors. But you can help build a better future for their descendants. Donate to The American Indian College Fund, which helps provide scholarships and other support for the nation's tribal colleges and universities. Help Red Feather Development Group build a house for a native American community. And educate your family by watching Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, the powerful, Emmy-award winning, HBO-produced drama based on the U.S. government treatment of the Sioux after the battle of Little Big Horn (Tonight 10:30 on HBO2).

3. Feed The Hungry

The best thing you can do is to volunteer at a local soup kitchen. But if you can't handle getting "hands on," then how about donating money or food online to Second Harvest? Aspiring musicians can make a song about fighting hunger and contribute it to Or you can help out your favorite charity by using instead of Yahoo! and Google. They donate 50% of their ad revenue to the charities users pick.

4. Have An Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving

Save the environment while you expand your waistline. has some generic tips on going green this holiday season. The Nature Conservancy suggests buying a slow-raised, organic "Heritage Turkey" and calculating ways to limit the carbon emissions your travel plans may cause. Take the Treehugger challenge and use only ingredients produced less than 100 miles from your home.

5. Do The Turkey Trot

Thanksgivings bring families together... which means you'll finally have enough people to make your very own sporting event! Have the family compete in a friendly race (the turkey trot). Or set up a game of flag football in the backyard. The more physical activity you do beforehand, the better that turkey will taste.

Well, there you have it. Any suggestions from you out there on how to make your Turkey Day guilt-free??

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