Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hold the turkey...

The Thanksgiving edition of the Los Angeles Times included a huge article on the front page of the California section, titled, "Hold the turkey please. A vegan Thanksgiving -- where the birds are friends, not feast." The article, by Carla Hall, included interviews with many vegan animal advocates.

Karen Dawn was one of the activists interviewed, thanks to her having invited two turkeys to dinner, Bruce and Emily, who she is fostering until they are retired to Animal Acres as part of a "Thanking the Monkey" event there on December 14. Learn more about that event by visiting and clicking on "events."

The turkeys are named after actors Bruce Greenwood and Emily Deschanel who will be reading with Karen while helping to retire their namesakes.

The article opens with, "At Karen Dawn's Thanksgiving feast, there will be yams and stuffing with cranberries and a dessert of pumpkin-pecan pie, all set out on a table for eight.

"And there will be turkeys, two of them actually -- Emily and Bruce (or possibly Brucilla -- it's a little unclear). The two 20-pounders will have most of the privileges of Dawn's other sentient guests -- a Pacific Palisades patio, a view of the ocean and vegetarian nibbles.

"At Dawn's vegan holiday dinner, guests will ooh and aah over live birds. The only turkey plunked down on her table will be Wild Turkey bourbon.

"'It goes beautifully with the hot apple cider,' Dawn says brightly."

Hall offers some serious and important information in her article. She tells us, "Turkeys are smart -- contrary to popular opinion -- companionable and affectionate, animal advocates say."

And we read, "To animal welfare advocates, the process of raising, then slaughtering animals for food is a torturous one. The federal Humane Slaughter Act, which governs how animals are killed, does not protect poultry -- which constitute 95% of animals killed for food."

You'll find the whole article, including a fun picture of Bruce and Emily Turkey watching dining room preparations, on line at:

Speaking as a grateful guest at Karen’s Thanksgiving Feast, I can only add that the experience was remarkable. I hope that such a life-affirming tradition will soon transition from anomaly to the norm.