There's an article in yesterday's Christian Science Monitor that explains that instead of sitting down to a big ol' roast turkey on Thursday, Americans might want to considering getting their history correct, and choose a nice ham as their animal protein. Why? Because the English settlers who established Berkeley Plantation said thanks quite a bit of time before the Mayflower travelers. And they didn't eat turkey.
But what did they eat? Someone wants us to believe it was ham.
There's not much doubt that the Berkeley settlers probably were the first to thank their God for having gotten them as far as they did. But according to sites that are only looking for historical accuracy, such as VirginiaIsForLovers.com, a site operated by the Virgina Tourism Corporation, there was a simple prayer said, and then they moved on. No groaning board, no questionable attempts to include the aboriginals that they'd just as soon seen dead, and no respite from the daily grind of surviving, I bet. When they did eat, it quite likely would have been ham, a meat that when smoked keeps a whole lot longer than fresh poultry. But that claim to being the real first Thanksgiving? If saying thanks is enough, we're going to need to move it to Florida, because certainly Hernando De Soto's crew said something about being grateful for coming to the end of their first trip. And they were actually looking for someone who had landed before them. So perhaps we should be eating seafood for Thanksgiving?
So, why is someone trying to tell us to eat ham for Thanksgiving? That's where the title of this post comes in. Hog farming is still a very big business in Virginia.