~ Contents ~
~ An Angel Encounter ~
~ Thanksgiving from the Native Americans' Perspective ~
~ The Animals' Corner ~ On That Day ~ Grateful Thoughts ~
~ Artist's Note ~
From "Parting Visions" by Dr. Melvin Morse
As a medical student Oski was enthusiastic about the potential of modern medicine, but frustrated by the fact that children die of congenital defects that are beyond anyone's control. One night he went to bed pondering the fate of a dying patient. Although he was doing his best, the child was not improving. He felt powerless to help and went to sleep wondering why this child had to die.
About an hour after falling asleep Oski was awakened by a bright light, one that shone in his room like a private sun. Oski could make out the form of a woman in the glow of the intense light. She had wings on her back and was approximately twenty years old.
In a quiet and reassuring voice the woman explained to the speechless Oski why it was that children had to die.
"The angel (I don't know what else to call her) said that life is an endless cycle of improvements and that humans are not perfect yet. She said that most people have this secret revealed to them when they die, but that handicapped children often know this and endure their problems without complaining because they know that their burdens will pass. Some of these children, she said, have even been given the challenge of teaching the rest of us how to love. It stretches our own humanity to love a child who is less than perfect," said the angel. "And that is an important lesson for us."
"Oski has been courageous enough to talk freely about his experience. He has even written about it for a major pediatric journal. In that article he wrote, "I will make no attempt to convince you as to the reality of my story. But I would merely ask that you keep an open mind on the mysteries of life which occur to you on a daily basis."
Thanksgiving: A Native American View
by Jacqueline Keeler
I celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving.
This may surprise those people who wonder what Native Americans think of this official U.S. celebration of the survival of early arrivals in a European invasion that culminated in the death of 10 to 30 million native people.
Thanksgiving to me has never been about Pilgrims...When they came to Plymouth Rock, they were poor and hungry -- half of them died within a few months from disease and hunger. When Squanto, a Wampanoag man, found them, they were in a pitiful state. He spoke English, having traveled to Europe, and took pity on them. Their English crops had failed. The native people fed them through the winter and taught them how to grow their food.
These were not merely "friendly Indians." They had already experienced European slave traders raiding their villages for a hundred years or so, and they were wary -- but it was their way to give freely to those who had nothing. Among many of our peoples, showing that you can give without holding back is the way to earn respect. Among the Dakota, my father's people, they say, when asked to give, "Are we not Dakota and alive?" It was believed that by giving there would be enough for all -- the exact opposite of the system we live in now, which is based on selling, not giving.
To the Pilgrims, and most English and European peoples, the Wampanoags were heathens, and of the Devil. They saw Squanto not as an equal but as an instrument of their God to help his chosen people, themselves.
Since that initial sharing, Native American food has spread around the world. Nearly 70 percent of all crops grown today were originally cultivated by Native American peoples. I sometimes wonder what they ate in Europe before they met us. Spaghetti without tomatoes? Meat and potatoes without potatoes? And at the "first Thanksgiving" the Wampanoags provided most of the food -- and signed a treaty granting Pilgrims the right to the land at Plymouth, the real reason for the first Thanksgiving.
What did the Europeans give in return? (To read the complete article, click here)
- To my people Thanksgiving is every day. Every day we need to give thanks to the Creator for everything he has given to us. So I do celebrate Thanksgiving...every day.
- I would like to point out one small problem that I have, and it isn't with Thanksgiving itself but with the traditional presentation of the event as a white man's opportunity to teach and convert the heathens through God's love and generosity. The traditional Native American ceremony is called Gamwing. And the Great Spirit's love and this wonderful ceremony was shared by the Indian with our white visitors and NOT the other way around and as long as we're straight on that I have no problem with Thanksgiving, after all it is OUR ceremony and was for hundreds of years before the Pilgrims arrived.
- My family's has always celebrated Thanksgiving....Essentially, it's a time to be thankful to the Creator and to be with family. We don't get all caught up in the history of it. Actually, it commemorates the time when Natives came to the rescue of the Pilgrims and taught them how to live in this land.
- Just some history: Thanksgivings are nothing new to Native people. The pilgrims who made it through the winter of 1621, with major help from Massasoit and the Wampanoag people, fashioned this gathering after their non-religious harvest celebrations in England after a bountiful year. The Wampanoag, like most American Indian nations, celebrated several thanksgiving festivals throughout the year. There was ''maple sugar thanksgiving,'' ''strawberry thanksgiving,'' ''green corn thanksgiving'' and ''cranberry thanksgiving,'' just to name a few. Apparently, the colonists' crop harvest the following year, 1622, was not very good. There is no record of a thanksgiving festival until the next year. In 1623, they held a religious thanksgiving to thank God for rain after a long drought. These facts, along with many others, come from books published by Plimouth Plantation, a living history museum in Massachusetts. Like any story that is told and retold, it is bound to change character and, somewhere along the line, become a myth. For example, the separatists - not yet calling themselves ''Pilgrims'' - did not dress in black and wear big buckles on their clothes. The Wampanoag people were neither scraggy nor lurking about. However, artists of the 18th and 19th centuries drew their dramatic scenes from misconceptions about both the colonists and the Wampanoag. Later thanksgiving celebrations seemed to coincide with colonial military victories over Native people: in 1637, just after the burning of the Pequot fort by Capt. John Mason and his forces during the Pequot War; another in 1676, after the death of King Philip (Metacom), Massasoit's son, which ended King Philip's War; and in 1777, with a national celebration of the victory against the British at Saratoga during the Revolutionary War. In 1846, Sara Josepha Hale sought support for a national thanksgiving holiday, which President Lincoln declared in 1863. So there it is: we can take it or leave it. On the plus side, it is a family gathering, and family is more important than just about anything.
THE ANIMALS' CORNER
Many people think of turkeys as little more than a holiday centerpiece, but turkeys are social, playful birds who enjoy the company of others. They relish having their feathers stroked and like to chirp, cluck, and gobble along to their favorite tunes. Anyone who spends time with them on farm sanctuaries quickly learns that turkeys are as varied in personality as dogs and cats.
When not forced to live on filthy factory farms, turkeys spend their days caring for their young, building nests, foraging for food, taking dustbaths, preening themselves, and roosting high in trees. Read on to learn more fascinating turkey facts: Talkin' Turkey
What The Investigators Saw At A Butterball Plant That Slaughters Approximately 50,000 Birds EACH DAY:
Between April and July, 2006, numerous acts of egregious and sadistic cruelty to animals were documented. Below are just a few excerpts from the investigators' daily notes:
"Workers were cruelly slamming live birds in shackles, and one strangled a bird to death. One worker said he likes to kill birds for 'fun,' and pointed out one he had punched in the face. Another worker said he could paralyze birds by punching their necks in a certain way and demonstrated this on one bird."
"One of the more experienced and revered hangers told workers to violently slam birds into the shackles rather than just setting them in there, and did this multiple times to the same bird. He also threw birds across the room onto the concrete floor. One frustrated worker kicked a bird in the head and another broke a bird's neck so that her head was touching her back. He laughed about this. Another worker was slamming birds into the shackles."
"One worker swung a turkey like a baseball bat into the metal bar of the trailer. He did this again later, slamming a bird into a handrail. He laughed about this. One worker smashed birds into the shackles. A pool of water had collected at our ankles. The guys would throw the turkeys into the water and kick them to make them splash, then kill them to make them stop splashing."
(If anyone has the stomach to read more about this, here is the link. The worst part to me is that these savage creatures who call themselves "human beings" actually LAUGH while perpetrating this mind-boggling cruelty.)
This is writer Jim Mason's first-hand account of working at a turkey-breeding factory farm. Mason, a renowned lecturer and the author of numerous works, including "Animal Factories", the ground-breaking book that he coauthored with Peter Singer, has documented the shocking conditions in factory farms across North America.
Today's factory-farmed turkeys are genetically manipulated to grow so obese that they can no longer reproduce naturally and must be artificially inseminated instead. Determined to investigate and expose this cruel practice, Mason became an artificial inseminator at a Butterball turkey farm in Missouri. He describes his first day on the job here .
Give up the giblets and carve out a new tradition this Thanksgiving - Tofurky Roast and UnTurkey, savory soy-and wheat-based roasts with stuffing and gravy or oven-roasted, peppered, hickory-smoked, or cranberry- and stuffing-flavored Tofurky Deli Slices.
Give animals and yourself something to be really thankful for this year: Order a free vegetarian starter kit full of tasty recipes and celebrity features today!
Cashew Nut Roast
Cider-Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Creamy Chive Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
The recipe for the delicious Cashew Nut Roast above can be found at Veg Cooking.com
(Also, you can use walnuts or pecans in place of the cashews.)
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
For, after all...we are all of us from birth to death guests at a table which we did not spread. The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet....
Shall we think of the day as a chance to come nearer to our Host, and to find out
something of Him who has fed us so long?
Rebecca Harding Davis
We can only be said to be alive in those moments
when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
But see, in our open clearings, how golden the melons lie;
Enrich them with sweets and spices, and give us the pumpkin-pie!
From our house to yours, we wish everyone
A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING Day!
For family and good friends, for you who appreciate and love the Angels and have compassion in your hearts for those who can't speak for themselves, we are truly grateful!!
HomeDecember 2006 Newsletter
Angel Fine Art Newsletter design and art - Copyright 2004-2006 by Lotus Wilkerson, except where indicated otherwise.
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