I'd been feeling pretty stressed last week. I felt disgusted by how many people were going to unthinkingly, heartlessly eat the bodies of turkeys yesterday.
While part of me wished I could attend a vegan Thanksgiving dinner -- two of my friends were each hosting one -- I also felt that I should celebrate with family.
So Keith and I brought are own vegan food -- mashed potatoes and Gardein Tuscan "Chicken Breasts," with carrots and hummus for an appetizer.
I didn't watch as my uncle carved the turkey and I didn't see the platter of flesh being carried into the dining room. By the time Keith and I warmed up our plates, the flesh had already been passed around the table. Although it was in the center of the table in front of me, I was ok with it.
That is, until the guessing game started: What kind of meat were they eating? I didn't care what it was until I heard them say it was turducken, a combination of turkey, duck and chicken. Were they serious?! Unfortunately, yes. I was sickened.
One murdered turkey wasn't enough? My aunt had to purchase a murdered turkey, a murdered duck and a murdered chicken?
As she so graphically -- yet casually -- explained, a "turducken" is a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Could that possibly be more disgusting?
Yes. Also discussed was whether my aunt should have ordered the frankenmeat with wings and legs. They decided next time she would.
Keith thought they were joking about the "turducken." He'd heard of it but didn't think anyone actually ate it.
Although I love all animals and don't believe any should be killed for their flesh, I do have an affinity for ducks. Even before I became vegetarian and discovered animal rights, I loved ducks.
I'd go to a nearby town's riverwalk and watch the ducks paddle along the water's current. Each female duck was accompanied by a male. Such a sweet site!
So even if I weren't vegan, the notion of eating a duck would have appalled me and I would have eaten vegetarian at that Thanksgiving.
Although almost everyone agreed the mutant concoction tasted like turkey, they each liked it. My uncle couldn't wait till Monday to tell his office that he had "turducken" for Thanksgiving. Great. Spread the word, so three times as many animals can be killed for people's curious, savage taste buds.
I cringed even more when my other aunt fed her daughter that nastiness. Ironically her daughter had brought with her a quacking duck toy. So while she loves one duck, she's given another to eat, unaware of whom she is consuming.
Keith and I agreed that next Thanksgiving will be a completely vegan one for us.
(Photo of turkeys eating at Farm Sanctuary's 2005 "Celebration for the Turkeys" courtesy of Derek Goodwin.)
(Consuela, a chicken, was dumped -- alive -- into a landfill and then rescued. Photographer: Robert Lughai. Watch a short video about her story.)
(Photo of a duck and her ducklings courtesy of Mountain View College.)