It is not for me to decide what anyone else should or should not eat, I can only share with you why I choose to eat and live the way that I do.
It's Thanksgiving and I feel it is time for me to put into words my feelings towards eating turkey. Not my turkey, not your turkey but the 45 million turkeys that bejewel American dinner tables across the nation today. Glistening in the sweet succulence of gluttony and grandeur there lie a bird stuffed taut full of secrets; much like the extend-o dinner tables that get longer around holiday season, what you see is not always what you get. Not long before the light or dark meat and various preferable appendages, there was a short-lived “life” of an unhealthy and grossly unnatural animal—a turkey.
“But my turkey is 'Free-Range' 'Organic' and.....” Well, I'm sorry to tell you this but it's all bullshit. Turkeys produced for your palette are so genetically dwarfed that left to their own devices are unable to sexually reproduce and sometimes are often unable to stand on their own two dysfunctional legs. According to the USDA's regulations “access to the outdoors” merely means that the fowl can see the outside through a screen window. Industry can label their animals “organic” and still torture it! All farmed animals live in fear; they suffer and endure unimaginable cruelty and abuse.
Back to Thanksgiving. I believe in gratitude and often I actually feel it. I also believe in sacrifice; however, these turkeys did not jump onto the conveyer belt begging to be slaughtered for my sentimentality or warped sense of tradition. As far as I can see, to eat meat I must turn my head and cover my eyes and open my mouth for the sensual pleasure of the festive moment. I do not and will not take pleasures at the expense of another animals suffering. As Jonathan Safran Foer writes it: “We can't plead ignorance, only indifference.”
America was built on crime and consumerism but the celebration of Thanksgiving is about America's ability to sustain itself. We indulge in the foods that we are able to produce on this homeland—potatoes, corn, squash. Turkey, however, is unbelievably unsustainable!
“Animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change.”
Can you believe that?!
So not eating animal products, including eggs and dairy, is how I choose to treat the powerless and unloved animals; because I do not eat alone and I do eat by proxy, I feel the need to write these words down, vote openly and speak up with conviction! This is a choice that I have been making for over half of my life. It is undeniable that eating animals is a dubious choice on many levels; an iniquitous commonality that is not limited to ethical, nutritional and environmental consequences.
“ And more than any other food, the Thanksgiving turkey embodies the paradoxes of eating animals: what we do to a living turkey is just about as bad as anything humans have ever done to any animal in the history of the world. Yet what we do with their dead bodies can feel so powerfully good and right. The Thanksgiving turkey is the flesh of competing instincts—of remembering and forgetting.” -Jonathan Safran Foer