While President Barack Obama is pardoning two turkeys for Thanksgiving, every one of us can exercise that same presidential power by choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance. It shows our compassion for an innocent animal and our concern for our family's health. It's a most fitting way to give thanks for our own life, health, and happiness.
The 270 million turkeys killed in the U.S. each year have nothing to give thanks for. They breathe toxic fumes in crowded sheds. Their beaks and toes are severed. At the slaughterhouse, workers cut their throats, and dump them into boiling water, sometimes while still conscious.
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 a poultry hot line, nor wondering how that turkey lived and died. Our Thanksgiving dinner may include a tofurky, lentil roast, mashed potatoes, corn stuffing, 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.