Reflecting on that holiday meal

My plea for this Thanksgiving. Please don’t have turkey, or ham, or pot roast, or any other meat. Please have a vegan substitute. Yes, I know that “No matter how good it just isn’t quite the same.”

You can save a turkey from dying and suffering along the way. Or a pig, or a cow. Oh, it won’t be saved this time, but others will be save as more people do what I’m asking you to do and the demand for the suffering of those animals diminishes.

I know, too, that a turkey, or cow, or pig, isn’t as cute and cuddly as your dog or cat, and that for those ‘pet’ animals you would do anything to keep them from suffering.

But you see, that turkey, or pig, or cow, has the same ability to fear, to feel pain, to love its offspring, as a dog or a cat. They bleed and scream and feel the terror just as dogs and cats do.

And here’s the thing. If you say you love animals, but you also say you just have to have your turkey and chicken and cow and ham, then you have to face that fact that when you say you love animals, you are lying. You are lying to me, you are lying to whoever reads this and whoever you talk to. Most of all, you’re lying to yourself, so that you will be able to shrug off the guilt of the pain and suffering and terror that YOU cause.

Please. Don’t be a liar.

Take a moment. Close your eyes. Now imagine as vividly as you can, these animals being caged and beaten and then forced down a narrow inescapable chute, pressed together with those in front of and behind them. Imagine the screaming they do and hear, the terror they feel and sense in the others. Smell the overpowering stench of the blood they are approaching. Terrified, Knowing what’s coming, helpless to escape.

Now imagine that’s your dog or cat. If you wouldn’t let that nightmare of terror and suffering death happen to them, then why do you think it’s all right to sponsor it happening to other? Hmm?

I spent my life living that hypocrisy because I was brought up in a fashion that simply didn’t let me think about it. I had this marvelous fantasy that made it okay. In this fantasy, you see, each animal was loved and treated well until the time of death, which came as a complete surprise and with such suddenness that they didn’t suffer. That made it okay to eat all of those hamburgers and roasts and chickens and turkeys. But it’s not at all like that. And in today’s world, you know that. You just have to face it.

What I wouldn’t give to have come to the awareness I finally found decades earlier. How much clearer would be my conscience and how much cleaner would my heart feel, if i had leaned the reality, and the lesson, forty, or fifty, or sixty or seventy years ago.

You have the opportunity, the marvelous chance, to face your reality much sooner than I did mine. But like the other side of the coin, this means you also have to face up to your own guilt, your own role in this awful, immoral, insane suffering meted out so that you can have your meat. You are responsible. You can’t deny it, you can’t avoid it. You cause these animals to suffer untold terror and agony on the way to an ugly, vicious death.

You cannot say you love animals, and respect animals, and still be a part of this. It’s not possible. No excuse makes it permissible. You had the courage to read all of this. Now it’s time for you to make a decision.

Please. Don’t be a liar.

And please, please, please, pass it on. Share. Help someone else find the truth.