For most of my life, I never thought about the bird that sat in the middle of our Thanksgiving table beyond what “it” tasted like. I certainly never ascribed it a gender. Nope. Never pictured her (or him) as a living being, or wondered how old she was, what kind of life she had lived, or whether her death had been merciful.
Today, of course, there are more reasons than I can name to eschew the Butterball turkey in favor of a stuffed pumpkin! Among them:
- Turkeys are absolutely delightful beings, as individual as we are. Ethel was the most musical bird I’ve ever known! She entertained several hundred people at our annual Shindig event last year when she stood next to the musicians and sang along. Henrietta was love personified. Blue was a socialite. Many of our turkeys have been models of grace and patience as they tolerated all the medical interventions necessary to keep them comfortable as they suffer under industry-induced size.
- Their lives are wretched. If you eat turkey at Thanksgiving, I ask you to have the courage to look at what you’re participating in.
- I’m trying every day to become a kinder human being, and can’t reconcile that concept with eating beings who want their lives just as much as I want mine.
I invite you to consider two things this holiday season: a) how lucky you are to have been born human and b) whether that most wonderful gift carries with it any obligation to those beings less fortunate than you.
Happy (cruelty-free) Thanksgiving from all of us at CAS!