Happy Thanksgiving to All Americans, Native or Not.

Turkey, corn, squash and apples? Thanks Indians.

Stupid hats? Thanks Pilgrims.

Our land is filled with so many cultures, religions, colors, and political viewpoints that it’s hard to generalize any one event like we have the Thanksgiving dinner nowadays. Think about the ancestry you came from and how they came to be here. It may be that you don’t know—I’ve been itching to try one of those genetic kits to nail down my heritage. Then I think, does it matter? To a lot of people it does. Would it make me feel different toward others to know my ancestry?

hatching turkey eggs at home

Not too long ago I found out I have native blood in my ancestry through a family admission. Was it a life changing event—nope. But I thought it was coincidental given I grew up in Old Town, Maine where I went to high school with the reservation kids. In our town it was us-and-them mentality. I was even told not to date Indian boys. I did anyway. It’s just in my nature.

I guess it made me think about how one culture can overtake another, force a new religion down their throat then stuff them on reservations. It’s just not cool. It sounds ludicrous now that I type it so matter-of-a-fact.

Colonization still exists. Racism, religious prosecution and long-fought civil wars offer proof of this ongoing culture clash. Be happy and thankful to be in a country not in war. Give thanks for having the simplest of needs met; clean water, toilets inside your home, land you can call your own. Even if your job sucks, it makes money to buy these things.

Really though, let’s focus on the here and now and stop focusing on the things that divide us like dumb hats and wild birds that are only fund in North America and were domesticated to have ridiculous amounts of breast meat. What of the fields and endless rows of corn across this once great country? We even put corn in our gas, use it as a sugar substitute, and as a starch to thicken our gravy. Big Ag feeds our cattle corn in factory farms and it makes them sick. They live an uncomfortable, nasty end.

Live simpler. Love your neighbors like they are your family. Invite in some old man shuffling to his mailbox through the sudden, overnight storm we had last night. Remind him it’s Thanksgiving. Feed him cranberries from a can. He’s probably senile and will think you’re his grandkid anyway.

-Mandy and the Goats