Sunday, November 27, 2011

Soliloquy for the Turkeys

Cage free. You pay more for this.
248 million
The number of turkeys raised in the United States in 2011. That’s up 2 percent from the number raised during 2010. The turkeys produced in 2010 together weighed 7.11 billion pounds and were valued at $4.37 billion. (So sayeth the U.S. Census Bureau)

There are 312 million people in America so that means that each person in America gets over 22 pounds of turkey per year, and quite a hearty portion devoured during this one specific holiday.

The typical age of a slaughtered turkey is five months.
(Thank you!)
Vegan that I am, I neither touched nor purchased a turkey. I did, however, allow two turkeys to be served in my house on two different occasions over the long holiday weekend. Judge as you will, I am not attempting to say what I did is the right thing for fellow vegans to do or not. It was my decision, and it was a decision I chose to make based in part on the idea of hosting all friends and family under one roof.

During the holiday weekend I also refrained from commenting on the abhorrent conditions our fellow feathered earthlings lived in before their mass slaughter. My friends and my family have heard these diatribes before. I made a conscious decision to not be the grumpy hostess. If you want to see the conditions the turkeys lived in for yourself, click here, by all means!

While I frolic in the land of city dwelling urban folk, accustomed to varying degrees of dietary restrictions and preferences, to many of my family "Vegan" is still considered a curse word that must incessantly be mispronounced in a passive-aggressive attempt to lash out against the lifestyle choice their "crazy hippie" neice/grand-daughter/cousin has made. The first few years of being vegan during the holidays were self-righteous attempts to have them see the error on their carnivorous ways. Once I chilled out, I started to notice a difference. No matter how many times I attempted to explain factory farming to members of my family, it took self-discovery for the reality to click. This brings up great conversations from these newly enlightend family memebers, " Did you know store bought chickens are fed antibotics to prevent them from getting sick while they are kept in a one-foot square area!?" (so cute!). I am pretty sure I am not alone when I say my family is stubborn. Perhaps yours is too?

Thanksgiving 2011 went off without a hitch. everyone loved my vegan lentil loaf, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, green bean casserole, and pumpkin tiramasu. In fact, besides the turkey, everything else that was brought was made vegan! Sweet potato casserole, stuffing, fresh bread, salad... all specially made vegan (Bwahaha! my plan is working!).

seating for twenty-three
 I wish we could make the connection between things like the annual Presedential turkey pardon, and the idea of over 200 million unpardoned lives lost for one holiday. It is not about the turkey, it's about the loved ones we surround ourselves with. It's about sharing, remebering how lucky we all are, making new memories and sending out positive energy to those who we care about and who we don't see often enough. Really, what the hell does a turkey have to do with that?

1 comment:

  1. I would rather starve then eat flesh.