The Thanksgiving Turkey- Food With a Face





In 2006 I wrote a blog on Live Journal questioning my refusal to buy a turkey that year. Keeping a fowl that could still  dance and prance around the range was important to me. I personally wanted to make sure that at least one turkey was celebrating Thanksgiving alive.


My late father would always make roast duck for Thanksgiving. He was an electrical contractor by trade and one of his clients was the Brome Lake Duck Company in Quebec. As a child he would bring me along on a call and explain each and every time how the ducks were killed. Glancing up at the moving metal conveyor belt was enough to steer me away from anything that clucked or quacked for a very long time.




I appreciate how the White House pardons a couple of turkeys each year and wonder if they have really walked the free range. Every year a group of the chosen few are hustled to Washington DC to see who makes the cut. I have no idea if the selected turkeys go through a rigorous array of trials and tribulations like the kids in Little Miss Perfect. After the “final song is sung” two turkeys are chosen and spend the night in a luxury suite before the “pardoning ceremony” at the “W” hotel across from the White House.  Free bathrobes and mini bar privileges are provided- for the handlers.


After, the lucky turkeys are then flown first class to Disneyland where they live out their existence in Frontier Town. One would think they would live forever but alas they have been fattened up so much they end up dying from heart disease just like humans. Those that were not chosen are then whisked away to an abattoir where they are processed for Subway.  “Feast drink and be melty” says the Subway Thanksgiving slogan.


I seldom eat meat but after 14 years I am craving a traditional meal this year. For weeks I have been trying to figure out what to do and now feel somewhat better about my decision.  I refuse to eat Tofu Turkey as I figure it’s not going to taste like turkey no matter what Peta says. How free were these free range turkeys that they advertise I asked myself.  I know they are allowed to walk “free as a bird” rather than being contained in any manner. But how fast did they have to run before they were caught and killed and- did they have names? I could never eat anything that had a name and cannot even go near shrimp as I swear I see their black eyes looking back at me.



Two weeks ago my problem was solved. There in a freezer with thirty other similar curious objects were something called turkey breasts. They did not look look like anything that came from a living thing, nor did they have the words Butterball on it. I think I can honestly live with this choice as they seemed Orwellian and looked like they had been frozen since the Renaissance era. The “white balls” didn’t look educated like the White House pardoned birds. Those show birds are trained to face the White House press corps by previously exposing them to loud noises and flash bulbs.


After examining the frozen wonders I threw one into my cart and exclaimed,


As I looked at the mystery meat in the freezer I whispered to him, or her, or whatever it was:

“Be the Jedi you are young squire and I hope you will be delicious!”

Happy Thanksgiving!






About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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