Gentle Thanksgiving

To the editor: 

I’d like to propose a new tradition for Thanksgiving, one that is more in keeping with our holiday sentiments of kindness, giving and gratitude. The suffering of the turkeys on our tables stands in stark contrast to the joy of our family gatherings.

According to Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns ( in “More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality,” the turkeys who greeted the original colonists were friendly, playful and peaceful. I have met rescued turkeys at animal sanctuaries who love to cuddle and who have distinct personalities.

However, turkeys today in factory and so-called “humane” farms are prevented from expressing their true nature. Without anesthetics, they have their toes and beaks cut off, their snoods pulled off and are crammed motherless into buildings filled with pathogens and sick and dead birds. The end is the same for them all: a painful, undignified, undeserved death at the hands of people who have a choice. 

Let’s give turkeys a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving and have a cruelty-free celebration at which we can be truly grateful for the wonder, beauty and miracle of all living beings. If you need ideas for great nonviolent recipes for the coming holiday, just Google vegan Thanksgiving recipes, and you will have all you need.

Peace to you and to all beings.