I worried that I wouldn’t be able to eat meat after seeing the turkeys die. Like after getting to know it would make it less edible. Instead, I found that a turkey looks more like a turkey to me when it’s dead and plucked than when it’s alive. Continue reading
Animals Are People Too
All four turkeys were slaughtered that day. I “watched” one be killed, and then went to work at the clothing store. All day I looked at the furs we have for sale and reconsidered my stance on them. Continue reading
Ever since I got to Vermont, my mom’s been telling me about Miles, the young man who my mom hired to slaughter the turkeys. She keeps saying that she wants me to marry him.
“You mean, you want me to marry someone that kills things for a living?” I asked her. Continue reading
I kept my computer open in the dining room, so I could run in and jot down notes over the course of the morning. The last time I ran in before the slaughter began, I arrived at my computer to find this message from my friend on GChat: Continue reading
The turkey flapped its wings, and that’s all I saw. That, and Miles crouched next to him, and Tom standing over, watching.
I saw Miles’ arm move back and forth at the turkey’s neck. Then I saw red. Lots and lots of red. Continue reading
I walked outside to find tom filling buckets with water.
“What’s that for?” I asked.
“For the turkeys,” Tom answered.
“Oh, do you kill them by drowning them?” Continue reading
“Just to warn you, if you are going to be all excited and energetic, you’re probably going to annoy the boys, so you might want to stay away,” my mother informed me as I skipped around the house preparing my camera and computer for the turkey slaughter that was about to take place in our yard. You see, we have these turkeys that my mom and her husband raised for the express purpose of killing, and this was the day they were scheduled to die. Continue reading
I haven’t written anything I’m proud of lately. In fact, I’ve hardly written lately. The reason: I have been busy. You know, focusing on finding work (for money this time), figuring out where I left all my crap, gathering it together and unpacking it all at my mom’s house, where I now live. Yup, that is where my epic journey ends: at home, with mom.
I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, I’m not lonely. I’ve got some friends to keep me company. That is, for the next month or so, until they have to be killed. You see, we have these turkeys living in a corner of the garden that my mom and her husband are raising for Thanksgiving.
No really, it’s true. They actually paid money for them, then spent more to build a little turkey home for them to live in. They even feed and water them everyday, just so they can kill them in a few months and eat them for dinner. I didn’t ever question this before, but living with turkeys in the yard and seeing their gangly chins waddle back and forth as they stamp around in their own poo, makes me that much more grateful that I can go the grocery store and hand over a wad of cash in exchange for a pre-raised-and-slaughtered turkey.
My mom and her husband don’t seem to regret their purchase, although my mom did admit that they were previously unaware of just how high maintenance and expensive alive turkeys are. Like, the other day my mom had to run across the lawn and break up a fight between two of them. I guess she will have to add Peacemaking to her list of daily turkey care items. In fact, just this evening my mom and I sat on the back patio and she had to interrupt our conversation so she could call to the turkeys with the hopes of distracting them from an impending fight. When she finished running interference she sighed, “As they age, turkeys fight more and more. We are going to have to kill them soon.”
Wait, wha? She said it so matter-of-factly that it took me a moment before I was even able to be confused.
For starters, what is it about aging that causes turkeys to become aggressive and violent? Like, we’ve all met an ornery old person before, but one that “puts ‘em up” – never! They are usually just complaining about my generations’ bad behavior and lack of respect for things that are no longer relevant. And anyway, I thought the general rule was that things slow down with age. So what is it about getting older that makes them act like boys on steroids?
Anyway, what confused me even more was why my mom would purchase a living thing that only regresses with age. Like, these idiots don’t learn from their years on earth, they actually become more awful. They are so despicable that they beat up their own kind! Why does such a thing even exist? And what is worse is that we eat them in celebration of a holiday that we share with our family and friends!
Then again, if you think about it, it kind of makes sense. We are eating an animal that beats up its own kind on a day that we are basically celebrating how we beat up (and by that I mean slaughter) our own kind. Damn, it’s crazy how things come full circle (and by crazy I mean sad).
Despite my love-hate relationship with the Turks that live in my yard, I am still going to eat their meat on Thanksgiving. And I’m probably going to brag to anyone who will listen that my turkey was “free range” and “killed humanely” (whatever that means), because I live in Vermont now and that is what people boast about here. It’s not about the vintage Pradas in the Green State; it’s about how do-gooder, green and moral you live your life. And while I won’t be able to claim a tofu turkey with all vegan sides, I’ll at least be able to say that the carcass I ate was allowed to run around and beat up its friends before we chopped its head off and ate it for dinner.
In the name of the Father, Amen.