Tag: turkey

My First Turkey Hug

Lydia was my first turkey hug — and she was proof that you don’t need arms to do so. 

She pressed her body so close against mine, I couldn’t tell where my heartbeat ended and hers began. I had been vegetarian for several years by then but vegan only a couple. I had had my share of kitty snuggles, cow kisses, and goat nuzzles, but I hadn’t been loved by a turkey.

22 years later, Lydia is no longer with us — she died naturally and peacefully, not from the blade of a cold knife — but to me, she will always be the ambassador for all her turkey brethren. 

It was Joseph Stalin who said that we treat one death as a tragedy but one million as a statistic, and of course he would know. And, that’s what we’re facing here.

Over 30 years an animal advocate, and I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that we bring into this world and kill almost 10 billion land animals every year in the U.S. for human consumption. We can’t fathom that number, but we CAN connect with one. One ambassador.

One individual whose life has been spared, one individual whose body has healed, one individual who represents not only the violence that countless animals endure every moment but also the hope and healing that’s possible when other individuals intervene: the human individuals. 

If you can connect people with the value of one individual animal, you can connect them with the value of an entire species. And so I give you Lydia: curious, affectionate, playful, vocal, brave, social, protective, and sassy. Like all her turkey friends. The only difference is…you can see her. ⠀

I hope. 

Turkeys Need You More After Thanksgiving!

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, we’re bombarded by recipes for every means and method of stuffing, brining, and roasting turkeys. At the same time, vegetarians, vegans, and animal advocates desperately try to rise above the din and urge the public to leave the turkey off the menu in favor of plant-based sides and mains.

The problem is that by the time these well-intentioned campaigns begin, it’s already too late.

Not only do most people not want to forego their butter-basted bird, by October — and certainly by November — 45 million turkeys will have already been brought into this world, confined, de-toed, slaughtered, eviscerated, trussed, and frozen.

With another 22 million turkeys killed for Christmas and with an unnaturally short gestation-to-slaughter period of about 5 months, the time to start talking about behavior changes is long before the artificial insemination of turkeys begins (spring/summer).

BUT THIS IS WHERE I HAVE HOPE!

What we do today and the weeks and months that follow will have a direct impact on the animals we’re choosing not to eat tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

SO START NOW! Even if you eat turkey this Thanksgiving, make a pledge to leave turkey off your plate next year by starting today! (And let this be your message to friends and family this holiday season.)

[Tweet “Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything.”]

Hone your skills NOW and be prepared for the days ahead. Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Proclaim your pledge. Research shows that by simply stating your intention to do something new increases the likelihood that you’ll actually do it.
  • Recruit help. Tap into the knowledge and passion of your friendly neighborhood vegan, or take The 30-Day Vegan Challenge (the price is reduced for the online program, and a gift option is now available! (Alternatively, the book is a fantastic resource!)
  • Try some new plant-based products! Once you start looking, you’ll be amazed at what you see!
  • Practice new recipes nowWe all rotate the same dishes again and again! See what you make that’s already plant-based, make easy switches for others (plant-based milks and butter in place of dairy, for instance), and then try a couple new recipes. (You know I’m going to point you to my favorite cookbooks, right?)

As you commit to making this change for the coming days, may you find that this holiday is enhanced by creating food-based rituals that affirm rather than take life and that celebrate the fact that neither our values nor 45 million animals need be sacrificed in order to celebrate a single holiday meal.

It’s never too early to start planning for a compassionate future.

Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything.

No Turkey on Thanksgiving? Everybody CALM DOWN!

SHARE WITH YOUR MOM (or anyone’s mom, for that matter!)

If we think a dead bird characterizes the meaning of this autumn feast, we have lost perspective.

I’m Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author, cultural commentator, podcaster, and now…Thanksgiving elf.

May this perspective help you, your friends, your family members…and the turkeys!

Turkey-free Thanksgiving recipes in my books:
*The Joy of Vegan Baking
*The Vegan Table
*Color Me Vegan, and more…

So…what are you serving on this turkey-free Thanksgiving?

Old English Pigs and Old French Pork: The Linguistic Cleaving of Animals

Roughly 10,000 new words entered the English language during the Norman occupation and assimilation, particularly those having to do with the world of the ruling class. The effects of the linguistic class division are most apparent in the culinary realm, where words used by the aristocracy have French origins and words used by the commoners have Germanic origins. This is evident even today in the way we talk about certain animals, particularly those typically eaten by Westerners, with words rooted in Anglo-Saxon / Old English to indicate the living animals and words rooted in Old French to indicate the slaughtered animal as flesh for consumption. 

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