It must be Thanksgiving, which - don't get me wrong - I enjoy as much as the next guy! Being a vegetarian, I abstain from turkey and ham, but I certainly pig out on the casseroles, pies, mashed taters, sweet taters, and other veggies. Football's always great when enjoyed with family and friends. And what better day to tout my freegan anti-consumerist views than Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year? (AKA Buy Nothing Day, more on this tomorrow...)
But the Natives don't have the luxury of being so short-sighted. In fact, many of them gather this day each year at Cole's Hill, overlooking Plymouth Rock, not to give thanks, but for a National Day of Mourning.
And what of the people who work so hard to bring the food that we enjoy today to our tables? Too few of them are paid living wages and too many live in hiding, for fear of deportation. While we give thanks today, we will do well to remember and honor their hard work.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has produced this video, A Tale Of Two Holidays. It's their invitation for Publix (the big grocery chain in my home state of Florida, where Immokalee is also located) to come to the table, to join the Fair Food Program which will marginally increase wages for tomato farmworkers.
Let's not follow in the footsteps of Pilgrim forbears, forgetting too soon the help that brings food to our table. If you are moved to thank your farmworkers today, here's a simple step you can take: join the voice of CIW in asking Publix to come to the table.
Thanksgiving can be an important time to remember where we've come from, give thanks for where we are, and look forward to where we might go next -together. With these objectives in mind, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.