Thanksgiving. A time for breaking bread with your family, beginning with carving that stuffed, tender turkey you've been waiting all day for and ending with watching football and the parade while you kick back, relax and succumb to your food coma. What a stellar and innocent holiday, right?

Wrong. So wrong. I have hated Thanksgiving since I was five years old (#sorrynotsorry). While I try my best to make the most of this atrocious day each year, I've never been able to get above a Chandler Bing-level of appreciation for it. (If you wanna know what that looks like, check out this article on hosting a Chandler Bing Thanksgiving).

First of all, there's the real story behind the first Thanksgiving. In school we're taught about the wonderful friendship that blossomed between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who helped them survive the harsh winter.

I still remember my very first acting role in kindergarten where I was stoked that I got to play Squanto, the token "friendly Indian" who spear-headed the whole dealio. Naturally, like any good actor, I decided to research my part, and that was when I learned the ugly truth. 

Lemme give you the cliffnotes version: Squanto only knew English because he had been a slave. There was indeed a feast held to celebrate the peace treaty our boy negotiated between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation, though the menu looked a bit different.

However, according to many sources, including this Huffington Post article, the first official “day of Thanksgiving” was actually held in celebration of a massacre of Native Americans. Let’s just say five-year-old me was slightly horrified and very much confused.

Then there's the feasting. Don't get me wrong—I love Fall, and I live for crafty Fall recipes like pumpkin fries and apple cider floats—but the nutrition major in me dies a little knowing that a country suffering from an obesity epidemic has a day devoted to gluttony and laziness. (This is why we could all benefit from some tips for feasting on a healthier Thanksgiving.)

Follow that with the fact that I have a little something called misophonia, which is a hatred of certain sounds (Read more about it here). In short, seeing and hearing people eat is my personal hell.

The worst is when people speak with gobs of food in their mouth, especially when that food is a dead animal, which brings me to my next point: 45 million turkeys are brutally killed for Thanksgiving day every year.

In case you've missed the hoards of food documentaries that have been released in the past few years, animal agriculture is a revolting business, and the overconsumption of animal products is precisely what's causing the obesity epidemic. If you're interested in having a more animal and health friendly feast, I recommend attempting some of these glorious animal-free Thanksgiving recipes.

The grotesque treatment of farm animals in the U.S. is infuriating and saddening, and what stings even more is that every year when I try discuss this with people, I'm almost always met with 1 of 3 responses:

1. I'm told to stop ruining dinner (which, if I were on a soap box painted like a bloody turkey while squealing insults at omnivores, I might understand. But I'm just talking about stating facts after being asked why I won't eat animals... although if you would like to see a video about the reality of your Thanksgiving turkey, I won't stop you).

2.  I'm mocked, which usually includes either people giving me one or more of these reasons not to go vegan, or an episode of my uncle calling my name so I look over to see him taking piles of turkey and eating his post-quintuple-bypass heart out with a smile on his face. Wow. So. Funny. 

Or 3. I'm agreed with, but told that it's not enough to make them want to change the menu because they like the flavor too much. (Which, if this is you, does not have to be the case. Seriously, just look at these drool-worthy 41 plant-based recipe suggestions.)

The one part of Thanksgiving that I do appreciate is the “giving” part, but even that could use some improvement. While it’s so awesome that many people donate goods to food pantries or volunteer to help provide Thanksgiving meals to the homeless, there are 364 other days in the year that need supplies too.

Obviously I don't want to discourage people from giving their time/money/food to make the holidays extra special—seriously, go find your local food bank and sign up for a shift, please—but I just wish people would realize that it's even more special to give up a random Thursday afternoon when far fewer people are thinking about the less fortunate.

So there you have it—the highlights of why Thanksgiving is my eternal "least favorite day of the year." If it lowered your spirits too much, I know this Thanksgiving drinking game is what's gonna get me through this round. Though I will never be able to fully embrace Turkey Day, I will say that every year, it gets a little bit better, and for that, I am thankful.