If it’s all the same to you, on Thanksgiving I say no thanks to turkey.
I’ll eat turkey during the rest of the year, but on the fourth Thursday in November, it’s too group-think. It feels like I’m participating in an annihilation of the hapless, innocent, dopey-looking birds.
Sorry to engage in speciesism, but turkeys look like they were designed by God (no offense to atheists) when he had a few other things on his mind, like the platypus. I mean, he gave the rooster a handsome comb, but stuck a snood on the turkey.
Snood? That’s that thing that hangs off the turkey’s beak like a disconnected garter.
Yes, it is true Benjamin Franklin preferred the turkey over the Bald Eagle as a national symbol, but that was a long time ago. And certainly before a certain flock of Eagles went 9-1 in the NFL.
Today the term “turkey” is used for someone who is inept, a loser with little appeal. That’s a pity because the turkey is native to America and Franklin regarded it as an honest, hard-working bird, which shows that Ben sometimes had too much time on his hands. He did much better work mapping oceanic currents, inventing swim fins and developing a dreamy recipe for ratatouille.
In any event, I invited our vegetarian columnist, Vance Lehmkuhl, to offer a few words:
“Thanksgiving is the one time our animal-using culture acknowledges that there are real, living sentient beings with hearts and minds being turned into meat: Live turkeys and turkey characters are seen and depicted everywhere. Turning them into cartoons either literally or via spectacles like ‘pardoning’ those who have committed no crime shows our hysterical need to push the disturbing reality off the table and embrace the myth that killing these animals can in any way be reconciled with moral, ethical, or pious behavior.”
On Tuesday afternoon, President Trump participated in the 70th official national Thanksgiving Day presentation, which is a brilliant stroke of free national publicity dreamed up by the National Turkey Federation.
Abraham Lincoln was the first president to unofficially pardon a turkey, and President George H.W. Bush made the turkey pardon official when he took office in 1989, according to the National Constitution Center.
Anyway, Drumstick and Wishbone are the names given to the presidential turkeys (although many of you are saying the name of the presidential turkey is Donald.) They come from western Minnesota, and Drumstick is 36 pounds and pure white. (Make up your own racist joke.)
Because Trump is a disrupter who disdains following precedent, I thought he would want to feed Wishbone and Drumstick to his family, but there was no way Kellyanne Conway would let that happen.
In his remarks, Trump said the pardoned turkeys would join last year’s pardoned turkeys at Virginia Tech’s “Gobblers Rest,” and he actually joked he would not try to reverse President Obama’s pardon of turkeys Tater and Tot.
What Trump didn’t say is that he already pardoned a turkey — former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.