Thanksgiving is a special day in the United States, when often far-flung families come together for good company and good food. Turkey is the dish that best symbolizes that this happy day has come again. So beloved is that tasty dish, that one might be forgiven for thinking that Puritans first fled England, not to escape the fiery stake of the Catholic Inquisition, but to set their teeth into the flesh of an otherwise ungainly bird.
It takes the wisdom of a Liverpudlian pop-singer to shatter our faith in the Thanksgiving gift. Bestriding the Atlantic Ocean like a great vegetarian Colossus, Paul McCartney beetles out the message like it truly is:
Any American who eats turkey on Turkey Day is a turkey. President Obama, you are a turkey, for observing the tradition of issuing presidential pardons for two such birds. Your false beneficence makes light of the annual mass slaughter of some 46 million gentle, intelligent birds.
We all live in a meatless submarine. We should all eat meatless submarines. Stuff those submarines with yellow corn, and we are right back where we need to be: Oh! for Woodstock and the sheer joy of sex, drugs, rock and roll, wine, women and song, and in bed before breakfast!
The drive for a meatless Thanksgiving is in full swing, and Paul McCartney is leading PETA in its ruthless animal rights campaign. Paul McCartney, however, might care to contemplate the law of unintended consequences. For what he is rock and rolling across the Atlantic is a message of extinction for the American turkey. Without the sacred place that they hold on all those Thanksgiving tables, turkeys would not be reared, lovingly as they are, would not be well- fed and cared for, would not receive the blessings of protective custody from the cradle to the dinner table. Rather, they would be extinct.
Sad though it may be Sir Paul, the turkey is not beloved for its looks, nor for its desirability as a household pet. It is desired for its tasty flesh. As you well know, the lowly beetle was never beloved by the world’s population until it provided a product that delighted those who had no taste for classical music.
The selfish turkey gene does well to encourage those who feed on turkey at the Thanksgiving table. For all those hungry bites sustain that selfish gene. Otherwise, turkeys might have to rely on your personal beneficence for their survival. And the mists that roll in from the sea may not be all that life-enhancing for such ungainly birds, isolated on that windy Mull of Kintyre.
Happy Thanksgiving, all my readers! As you sink your teeth into delicious Thanksgiving turkey, always remember that you are helping to save the species. Continue to do well, while doing good!
Hat Tip: ‘The war on Thanksgiving: Jibes fron the thankless shouldn’t spoil the feast’ The Washington Times, November 22, 2012