November 26th, 2008 by admin
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, probably the American holiday that is most centered around eating a dead animal. So it makes sense that each year around this time there are news stories about turkeys, vegetarians and of course, Tofurky.
Turkey-friendly holiday fare
The week began with a review of ARFF’s vegan Thanksgiving potluck in the Orlando Sentinel:
In a holiday tradition applauded by turkeys across the nation, vegans and vegetarians celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday with a cruelty-free feast of faux meat made of soybeans.
“It’s just as good, just as wonderful — minus the cruelty. Three hundred million turkeys die each year in horrible deaths,” said Carla Wilson, coordinator of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, which organized the event at Mead Garden in Winter Park.
This year’s event was attended by about 100 people. We would like to thank Whole Foods Markets and Chamberlin’s Market & Cafe for their sponsorship.
Today’s Hernando Today featured an article titled, “Thanksgiving Without The Meat.” In the article, John Cunningham of the Vegetarian Resource Group explained that being a vegetarian on Thanksgiving is really not that difficult, “When you think about it, there’s usually only one meat dish at the table. Everything else is a side dish.”
In recent years, stories about Tofurky have become a holiday tradition. This year, Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino took free samples of the meatless turkey substitute to a West Palm Beach city park. Click here to view video from the taste test. The first few volunteers described the Tofurky as “pretty darn good” and “delicious,” but there were also a few jokes at tofu’s expense.
Monday’s St. Augustine Record included a letter from Sherman Kidd who told readers that, “every one of us has the presidential power to pardon a turkey on Thanksgiving.” In his letter, Sherman noted the many benefits of a vegetarian Thanksgiving, including, “You won’t spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died.” In today’s Palm Beach Post, Eileen Scanlon Christofi’s letter was short but to the point. She wrote, “The living conditions on factory farms are nothing short of disgusting.” Her advice, “Boycott holiday horror!”
The dead turkey
Of course, there were also articles in defense of meat-eating this week. Today the Tallahasse Democrat ran an essay by Caitlin O’Halloran. The essay was probably intended to be humorous and folksy, but we found it disgusting and depressing. Ms. O’Halloran wrote about her family’s experiment of raising two turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner which began earlier in the year when they purchased two turkey chicks. Despite finding the grown turkeys “ugly” and “aggressive,” her son “announced that he could not eat the turkeys because he had gotten to know them,” and her husband, a large-animal veterinarian, decided he couldn’t kill them. The story might have ended there on a happy note, but unfortunately her cousins came to visit, “a hatchet was sharpened” and they quickly killed the poor turkeys. Ms. O’Halloran concludes that raising turkeys, “might go down as one of my worst ideas, ever,” but instead of skipping the turkey in the future, the experience has merely persuaded her to purchase “a pre-slaughtered, unnamed” animal next year.
Yesterday, Lakeland Ledger editor Bill Blocher pronounced on his blog, “Don’t Spare the Turkey, Pass the Cranberry Sauce.” He began, “I find it fascinating that people who happily chew on all kinds of animal flesh get squeamish when they see how those animals are turned into what they cut up on their plates.” We agree with him on that! But then Bill asked, “If the animal is killed in as humane a way as possible, and is treated properly while it is alive, why should you object to someone else killing dinner for you?” We would like to invite Mr. Blocher to view the video that PETA released last week as a result of a two month undercover investigation at a turkey farm in West Virginia. The cruelty to turkeys caught on camera is horrifying. You can watch the video footage here. (On Monday, PETA hung a banner that read, “Thanksgiving is MURDER on Turkeys” on an overpass above Interstate 4 in Orlando.)
A Holiday Wish
This Thanksgiving, we hope you fill your belly with delicious, vegan versions of your favorite holiday foods. Maybe you’ll convince any non-vegetarians at the table that an ethical diet can be tasty as well!