Friday, November 11, 2011

I hate this time of year

I hate November. Not because it gets dark at noon. Not because I have to come down off the sugar rush brought on by Halloween (we still have Reese's peanut butter cups but don't think about touching them - I will knife you as sure as I'm sitting here). It's not even because of the really bad art that was posted all over Facebook today in honor of Veteran's Day (seriously, though, the people who create those eagle-superimposed-on-an-American Flag images should have to surrender their Photoshop software or face criminal charges). Nor is it the fact that November signals the start of the frenzied holiday season.

I don't like November because it involves so much death.  I realize I am very much in the minority here, but stay with me for a moment. I promise my next blog entry will tackle some heady topic, like: why does my daughter walk right past her dad in order to ask me to do something for her? Has he simply convinced her that he is incompetent and that her best bet is to head straight for the parent who has a uterus?

I love Thanksgiving. Even though I am a vegetarian, there is always plenty to eat. I just skip the turkey, the dressing, the gravy, and anything else that looks like it might have dead animal flesh in it. Usually, that still leaves a ton of stuff I can eat, including dessert. Since I don't make a turkey myself, of course, I never host Thanksgiving. So, really, it's a stress-free holiday for me. I usually visit my family in Virginia or Oklahoma for Thanksgiving, but this year I didn't have the vacation time or the money, so I'm sticking around. A friend has invited us over for the big meal (the friend is my daughter's Godfather's brother - got all that?)  They have a huge family and know how to organize a meal. So, Abel will call us with a very specific item to bring and all we have to do is bring it. The day will involve a lot of eating, socializing, and - in all probability - some wine. I just can't get too crazy because I have to get up early the next morning and risk my life for a $5 Barbie.

My only real complaint about Thanksgiving is the emphasis on the turkey. I'm pretty sure my daughter will be required to make a turkey-related craft over the next week or two. Stores will advertise sales using a gleeful cartoon turkey whose jovial demeanor (look! he's wearing a little pilgrim hat!) basically tells us: "I can't wait to be eaten!" In reality, the life of a turkey is more dismal than one can really imagine. They are pumped full of hormones so that they can grow unnaturally large in an abnormally short period of time. In fact, I've read that some turkeys are so large that many times they cannot even support their own weight on their skinny bird legs. They live in horribly cramped conditions and then they meet their end, appearing in a freezer near you shortly thereafter. I know nobody wants to think about that. As Linda McCartney once said, "if slaughterhouses had glass walls the whole world would be vegetarian."  I guess part of my beef is with the sugarcoating. If you're interested in this phenomenon at all, check out a site called Suicide Food, which highlights advertisements that feed into the idea that cows and chickens and pigs are absolutely ecstatic at having the opportunity to be someone's dinner. A prime example is the ever-popular barbecue sign showing a beaming pig holding a cleaver.  Ew.

I dunno. I guess I'm a little off-kilter (you know, cuckoo) but when it comes to Thanksgiving, I prefer to focus on family and gratitude and giving. I prefer my holidays to be cruelty-free, I guess.

I'm not done with my rant, though. Today I saw my first (of the season) deer carcass shoved onto the back of a pickup truck. I dread this every year. I have friends who are hunters (I'm pretty sure some of them just go along for the beer) so I don't want to paint all hunters with the same brush. However, I just don't get it. It makes my heart hurt every November, to see deer after deer lashed to trucks, blood crusted here and there, their dignity gone. And don't try telling me that hunter is feeding his hungry poverty-stricken family. That hunter has a tricked-out, extended cab, dualie truck that cost almost as much as my house. And don't try telling me that the hunters are concerned about wildlife management, either. That argument just doesn't hold water. At the end of the day, I just can't separate wild animals from the ones who live in my house. All animals are the same to me. I was incredibly sad to learn, earlier this week, that the western black rhino has officially been declared extinct. Talk about "wildlife management."  Wildlife fared a lot better before humankind stepped in to "manage" it. But, I digress.

People will continue to hunt. Millions will continue to eat turkey and won't worry too much about where it came from. I guess I'll just be the lone crazy person who doesn't really understand.

1 comment:

The Lovely One said...

Bug's class read the book "Turkey Trouble," where the turkey tries to disguise himself as other stuff so people won't eat him. So then for the Turkey project, all the kids had a cutout of a turkey and they had to to disguise it as something else. Bug disguised hers as a cat.

This has very little to do with your post, other than it reminded me of it. :)