Nov 25, 2010

A New Tradition: Turkeys Want to be Thankful for Man's Compassion -

We all hear so much at this time of year about the plentiful resources we are blessed with.  And I certainly am grateful too... The bounty we have is immeasurable.  But in all those "things" to want and have... The details in acquiring those "things" is often shielded from our view. How eggs, milk and meat come to be is not without extreme cost to innocent life.

Over 9 billion birds are slaughtered in the US every year... None are considered "animals" even under the ridiculous pretense of the "humane" slaughter act.  Birds... "poultry"... turkeys endure a horrific short life and the most brutal treatment at their death.  I wished I would have known that when I was younger.  I would have spared many lives with better choices... I would have been healthier - And emotionally happier with decisions that reflected my values.  That is the bounty of a good life that was denied to me before.

My experience and teachings centered around "tradition"... Tradition dictates that it is "normal" on this 4th Thursday in November to place a beheaded corpse of what once was a living, sentient being on a festive table.  A "plump" one... With any other "plump" one's gizzards, hearts and necks stuck in their cavity... The void is then filled with another substance that surely contains another animal ingredient.

Yes, I did once stuff and "lace" birds... I did cook, carve and consume their flesh.  But I did so without the thought or care to the life I was taking.  I did not adequately question the life that was taken by force, might, greed and for the sake of the sacrificial "ritual".

But I am grateful for the knowledge that I have now.  No animal wishes to die.  And the truth is - We don't "need" to eat them to be healthy and to thrive.  A plant based diet can provide all that is necessary and satisfying.  Seems that at some point we should be returning the gifts to the innocent that have "provided" so much in the past... Isn't it about time that they have something to be "thankful" for?  Perhaps thankful for man's compassion?

Not all traditions are worthy of admiration and respect. Tradition should never be an excuse for cruelty, and surely harmful practices should not be condoned just because they are cultural practices.
Michele Pickover, a spokeswoman for Animal Rights Africa


Anonymous said...

Great post. People maintain all sorts of platitudes to make their decisions more palatable. "Giving thanks" (in this case )would mean
1- that the receiver is acknowledging/responding *back* to someone's (the animal's)initial act of giving.
2- the animal is actually giving, which would require its consent, approval, willingness, intention.

It is not the case that the animals are giving their lives over, and the the person is in no way 'receiving'..they are *taking* because they are controlling the whole dynamic.

Krissa said...

Another great post. And not only do humans not NEED to eat the flesh and milk and eggs of our fellow beings, it is actually VERY UNHEALTHY! I guess we all know that there are some medical doctors who are finally getting that message out there, well trying to. This stupid hurtful holiday makes me sicker than ever this year. I'm glad there are other humans who agree with me or I think I'd go crazy. Sometimes, it feels like I'm more than halfway there and all because of the images I can't get out of my head of what our fellow humans do to every single other species on the planet. ... I'm in danger of rambling now, but thanks for another great post!

Bea Elliott said...

John - you're absolutely right... But this is the myth they must perpetuate in order for the acts of force to be sugar-coated enough to be tolerable. Anyone who thinks about taking an innocent life without the desperation to do so knows the injustice. The "thanking" helps them side-step reality... Unless of course one uses a bit of critical thinking - Then the whole charade is exposed for the dirty deed it is!

Hi Krissa... I and many, many others share your displeasure at this farcical event. I know - The awful images scar forever... I suppose that's part of the "initiation" to become a witness... So that one's eyes become completely open. The rose colored glasses fit some for life. But I believe strongly in Socrates words: An unexamined life is not worth living.

You now have the knowledge to speak out against these injustices... And you have an equally impassioned group with you each time you do!