I'm going to throw this out there right off the bat: I have never been the biggest fan of the taste of turkey. Maybe it's the way it's been prepared for me, or it's that I've never been one to crave meat for my meals, but turkey is the one food I skip putting on my plate Thanksgiving day.
That being said, I guess I already have a slight bias towards what I'm going to say next.
Recently on Reddit and Twitter, I've seen articles written about Thanksgiving, but not in the light-hearted, playful sort of way. No, many of them are turning the notion of the "perfect American Thanksgiving tradition" on its head by outright rejecting turkey and what it signifies.
Two interest groups that I saw with these posts are the Native-American community (r/nativeamerican) and the vegan/vegetarian community (r/vegan). This should come as no surprise to you, but I found that this year there was a notable surge of outspoken posts being made on the pitfalls of Thanksgiving, attesting to a possible wave of activism that may leave many turkeys unscathed in the future.
To start, for many Native-Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning. On the 4th Thursday of every November, Native Americans and those in support participate in a counter-commemoration towards Thanksgiving called the "National Day of Mourning."
"Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their cultures. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today."
I have heard this story told year after year, and yet I still don't think it is well-known enough, as evident by the millions of families who might not think twice about why they are celebrating this holiday. However, because of these groups voicing their stories over social media, I do think that more and more nonnative people are listening, learning and are interested in the truth about what has happened.
In effect, this group wants not just turkey rid of, but the holiday as a whole a distant memory, or at least the abandonment of the message that this holiday enforces. IMO I think it would be cool to shift Thanksgiving's focus onto Native-American rights and wellbeing.
The second, and I believe more prominent group, is the health-conscious vegan & vegetarian community. This group of people is definitely on rising in popularity. With numerous vegan documentaries becoming readily available on streaming services such as Netflix, more and more people are making the switch and cutting out meat from their diets. Moreover, they're changing the game of traditional holiday meals to incorporate no turkey, and no animal products in general.
One of the biggest points they make as that you don't need a turkey to still have a great Thanksgiving. They opt for Seiturkey, Tofurkey, Gardein Turkey, or simply no turkey alternative at all! Like me and and the cake said, turkey just doesn't taste that good to me, and therefore a replacement ain't worth it.
As more people boycott the "Americanized" values of Thanksgiving, the sales of whole turkeys may fall. As the number of vegans/vegetarians rise, the sales of whole turkeys must go down. This begs to answer my initial question: will we see the day that turkeys are no longer a staple to the Thanksgiving dinner plate? We'll have to wait to find out. In the meantime, catch me appreciating all the turkeys that roam my neighborhood woods, wishing that their species could be protected.
The turkeys getting their revenge at us lol Giphy