Nov. 20, 2014. Dear Editor,
Next week, President Obama will pardon two turkeys to promote the turkey industry. Every one of us can exercise that same pardon power by choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance. It’s a most fitting way to give thanks for our own life, health, and happiness.
The 240 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year have nothing to give thanks for. They are raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. Their beaks and toes are severed. At the slaughterhouse, workers cut their throats and dump them into boiling water, sometimes while still alive.
Consumers too pay a heavy price. Turkey flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats that elevate the risk of chronic killer diseases. Labels warn of food poisoning potential.
This Thanksgiving, I won’t be calling the government’s Poultry Hotline, wondering how that turkey lived and died, or dozing through the football game. Our Thanksgiving dinner may include a “tofurky” (soy-based roast), mashed potatoes, stuffed squash, chestnut soup, candied yams, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and carrot cake. An internet search on vegan Thanksgiving and a visit to my local supermarket will provide me more recipes and delicious turkey alternatives than I can possibly use.