7.5
November 25, 2009

A Buddhist Thanksgiving.

turkeys thanksgiving buddhist killed

Bonus: What the Buddha said on Animal Rights—and why it’s in our Interest to Care.

Offer your thanks to the turkeys, if so inspired, in Comments at bottom.

turkey thanksgiving killed

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. ~ Meister Eckhart

Thanksgiving is about, well, giving thanks. Thanksiving is about family, and community, about gathering, slowing down, about coming together from around the country and irritating the hell out of one another. It’s probably my favorite holiday—holy day—a day when simple communion around the table has held sway against our speedy, materialistic tendencies for generations.

But, of course, there’s a dark lining to this sacred, ordinary day.

Here’s one. 

The other:

Every year, 44 – 75 million turkeys are killed for our American holiday of Thanksgiving (120 million are killed year round). Even worse, most of those turkeys are genetically engineered, caged, not given proper exercise or daylight. It’s inhumane, and on this day, it’s sadly hypocritical.

In that vein, Buddhist teacher…

Lama Zopa Rinpoche offers a prayer of thanksgiving, for these “sentient beings, not food choices. What if our situations were reversed?”

 

Even if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan, remember to practice compassion and mindfulness.

If you are eating turkey this Thanksgiving, try and make sure it’s “green“: heritage, local, antibiotic-free, free-range, organic. Why? Their lives will have been significantly easier, and healthier, before being killed. You’ll be supporting smaller farmers, instead of big agribusiness. And you won’t be buying meat that’s been “grown” so heavy that the turkeys can’t stand up when alive. You’ll be creating a more humane world. Vote with your hard-earned dollars!

PS: check our friend Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg of Jax in Boulder’s videos for Whole Foods for some great, green tips.

“The Buddha said to Angulimala: ‘Angulimala, in countless lives, out of respect for the millions of living beings, I have given up fish, meat, fat, in fact any food associated with killing and have also caused beings to do the same. Due to this my body has become the excellent body of a buddha, characterised by the special marks.'”

“Let’s eat!”

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