Thanksgiving was made into a national holiday in the U.S. By Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863 to celebrate all the good things that have been given to us. However some of us are more fortunate than others and, while tomorrow will, for many of us, be a day filled with food and joy for others it will be just another day of trying to get by and make ends meet.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN in 2003, over 25,000 people died every day from starvation. For many in developing countries tomorrow may determine whether they live or die. The majority of those who die will be women and children.
In developing countries such as the U.S. many live below the poverty line. Roughly 36 million (or 12% of the population) people in the U.S. are impoverished at any given time. These people are not just bums living on welfare either, an article in Business Week published in 2004 stated that "Overall, 63% of U.S. families below the federal poverty line have one or more workers, according to the Census Bureau," and the majority of those without jobs are searching.
Roughly ten billion animals are killed yearly for food in the U.S. alone, that's about 27 million daily. An article in the Seattle Times says that "A growing number of scientists agree that animals are conscious and capable of experiencing basic emotions, such as happiness, sadness, boredom or depression." One could make a good argument that if animals have emotions (which seems to be the case) they should have a right to life and it is our moral responsibility to prevent the torture that they experience because of animal experimentation and factory farms.
This Thanksgiving why not find it in your heart to give those less fortunate than yourself something to be thankful for? Donate to a worthy charity, volunteer for a good cause, practice random acts of kindness, find someway to make someone happy.