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PUBLISHED: 12:23 PM on Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Thanksgiving minus the turkey
This Thanksgiving, President Bush will pardon a turkey as a promotional gimmick for the turkey industry. This Thanksgiving, each of us has the same power to pardon a turkey, but as an act of kindness, compassion, and giving thanks for life, health, and happiness.

The 300 million turkeys abused and slaughtered in the U.S. each year have nothing to give thanks for. They breathe toxic fumes in crowded sheds. Their beaks and toes are severed. At the slaughter-house, workers cut their throats, and dump them into boiling water, sometimes still conscious.

The turkeys do get their revenge. Their flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats that elevate the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Careful adherence to government warning labels is required to avoid food poisoning. Any day now, they will be bringing us bird flu.

This Thanksgiving, I won't be reading the warning labels or calling the Poultry Hot Line. I won't be staying awake at night wondering how that turkey lived and died. I will be joining millions of other Americans in observing this joyful family holiday with nonviolent delicious products of the harvest: vegetables, fruits, and grains.

My holiday meal may include a mock 'turkey' made from soy, lentil or nut roast, stuffed squash, corn chowder or chestnut soup, candied yams, cranberry sauce, pumpkin or pecan pie, and carrot cake.

Jack Hughes

Juneau


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