McCartney, Peta Ask:
Give Turkey a Chance
Not to soy anybody’s holiday plans, or to imply that turkeys are an endangered species, the former Beatle Paul may have a point. It’s been a while since the symbolism of eating the bird on Thanksgiving has faded away, along with the notion of a relaxing family day.
It may be time to spare the 45 million turkeys expected to be slaughtered for the traditional Thursday, and start taking another look at the meaning of the having to kill an animal to celebrate our sense of contrition. Specially after 11 years of ongoing war and economic strife.
Of course, we don’t need a Brit, however gifted or well intentioned he may be, to tell us how to mark a date so suffused with our national pride and self-congratulatory feelings. Besides, having a single food item makes everything all the more practical. But what does the poor avian have to do with anything?
In fact, even though that the legend of the first Thanksgiving does make it for a nice, heart-warming story, most of everything about it has either faded away, or simply doesn’t make much sense. In fact, the piousness of that meal which Pilgrims supposedly shared with the natives may be even painful to reflect on at this day and age
As a nation, we’re still struggling with racial divisions, the tale of puritans fleeing religious persecution has grown either stale or has now been reversed, it’s silly to think of a set time for crop harvest with the highly mechanized farm business we have today, and let’s not even get started with Native Americans and their fate.
To be fair, it was not McCartney‘s idea to knock the Thanksgiving myth, of course, and as we said before, we’re not trying to spoil one of the few genuine times set to spend among friends and family in our calendar, that’s relatively devoid of religious or patriotic meaning. To many throughout the land, it’s actually a time to put down hard feelings and say our graces.
But before we pass along the gravy, let’s just give a thought to how animals have been turned into meat, and how we so easily dissociate the fact that we assign some of them to be our friends, and others to provide us with nourishment. And that crucial part of the process, our ghastly mass slaughtering of these beings, is completely off-limits from our attention span.
One may argue that McCartney, as an extremely wealthy individual, has indeed many more food choices available to him than billions of people. And that PETA, the advocacy group in defense of animals, has often used so strident tactics as to obscure and compromise the purpose and intentions of its campaigns.
Still, when a whole holiday with so much at stake includes the institutionalized large-scale killing of a single sentient being, there needs to be pause, so we can all consider for a moment the possibility of offering said species a moratorium. At least until we all understand why do we have to kill something in order to celebrate our self-appointed good deeds.
A SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS BOB
For those who can’t get over the fact that we’re challenging a 200-plus year tradition, in what seems like an insufferable bout of contrived high ‘horsery,’ relax, will ya? We’re not soiling the reputation of your ancestors here, and a little questioning goes a long way to inform us as to what kind of path we’ve beating lately.
In other words, you don’t need anyone’s permission to go ahead and have the goddamned Thanksgiving that pleases you, provided that no one else gets hurt. Specially if you consider how Uncle Bob gets all worked up during this time of the year, about the fading of our dearest traditions and the loss of a supposedly ‘true American’ character, whatever that once meant to him.
Many of us will have one such uncle at the table coming Thursday, and it’s been a long time since we’ve all learned not to challenge him at this particular time, lest we get along at least once a year, and have a relatively pain-free idyllic meal. After all, it may be also time to claim to be allergic to tofurkey.
So enjoy it, be merry, and yes, someone’d better put some Beatles songs in the background.
* Cold Turkey
* No Thanks to You