BONUS Post: CONSIDER the TURKEY…and go for the side dishes

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I post this bonus blog in honor of my daughter, Suzannah, tonight on World Prematurity Day – for her brilliant fight when she was born 11 weeks early almost 23 years ago! Six years ago, at age 17, she invited me into vegan living, offering a new view of our precious planet and its inhabitants – and inspiring SimpleSizeMe. Her essay below, from a bird’s eye view, invites you to reconsider the yearly guest of honor as you give thanks. Thank you, Sweet Suzannah. You are life itself. IMG_5245

CONSIDER the TURKEY – By Suzannah Schneider, NYU Graduate Student in Food Systems Studies  herbivoroushedonism.tumblr.com

Imagine you can fly as fast as the highway speed limit, are as agile as a cheetah, and are courageous enough to contend as America’s National Bird. You are brightly colored, regal, and voluptuous. You are fierce.

Now imagine being reduced to a widget. You begin your life on a series of conveyer belts and noisy machines. When you are only a few days old your toes are cut off with scissors. You are then hung on a conveyer by your mouth, which is swiftly singed off with a laser without anesthetic. Next, callous hands throw you into a dark shed with no more than three and a half feet for the movement of your rapidly fattening body. You soon begin to suffer from heart disease and leg deformities. Before long, you are wholly crippled under your own weight.

No laws protect turkeys

Your suffering is put to an end when you are only five months old. You are thrown into a truck with thousands of others. Many of you freeze to death this time of year. You are hung upside-down, dragged through an electrified tank of water, and your throat is slit.

Unless, of course, you become injured in your first few days of life and are dumped alive into a grinding machine.

You are a turkey, and there are no laws to protect the humanity of your life or your slaughter.More than 45 million turkeys are killed each year for Thanksgiving, while another 22 million are murdered for Christmas.

It’s the side dishes we all love anyway

No sentient being deserves such an unspeakably cruel life in the name of a holiday tradition, so consider a turkey-less holiday season this year. Besides, aren’t you tired of putting on the act of preparing turkey each year? The whole production is tedious, and despite your best culinary efforts the results always seem dry. Gravy exists to make the ritual edible. It’s the side dishes we all love, anyway – stuffing, casserole, mashed potatoes, fresh breads, and rolls. With so many exquisitely gourmet vegetarian and vegan cooking resources available each year, what do you have to lose?

In the season’s spirit of gratitude, choose to boycott this system of unnecessary inhumanity.

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