Thanksgiving

My latest rejected Op-Ed

I submitted the following Op-Ed to the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. Perhaps it’s obvious why this wasn’t published. Perhaps not. I did edit this particular letter down for the blog, since I had incorporated time-sensitive information and a space-filling tangent to begin with. Anyway, these are just some Thanksgiving thoughts I didn’t want to leave buried forever in a long-forgotten Microsoft Word document:

This Thanksgiving, when millions of people across the country reflect on what to give thanks for over the past year, consider the centerpiece of your meal. While in times past a carved turkey or ham on one’s table may have signified that a family had enough financial security to celebrate a special occasion with a feast fit for kings, these days animal products symbolize excess consumption and cruelty.

Doesn’t it make sense to give thanks for what we have without doing so at such a great cost to others? Animals are individuals, sentient beings whom we all too often treat with indifference, except perhaps for our own animal companions. But turkeys and pigs are morally no less relevant than our furry friends. And, while we’ve known for some time that consuming animals is unnecessary, many of us don’t take the time to think about why we continue to breed and kill them, as if the taste of their flesh and secretions somehow trump the intrinsic value of their lives. Thanksgiving offers the perfect opportunity to reconsider this imbalance.

Fortunately, the wholesome staples of a vegan diet–grains, legumes, fresh vegetables and fruits–are widely available and, as consumers have become more conscientious about what they put in their mouths, grocery stores have begun catering to the rising demand for vegan convenience foods, including specialized products for Thanksgiving. These products are no longer consigned solely to natural food stores. Even Shaws has gotten into the action. Prefer to cook from scratch? Simply Google “vegan Thanksgiving recipes,” and start browsing! You’ll find an astonishing array of festive recipes that will have you salivating.

There are not many opportunities for the average person to make a difference in their world, but veganism is a powerful statement for peace that one can make at every meal, including one as full of resonance as Thanksgiving dinner. By removing the violence from our plates–meat, eggs and dairy products–we consciously choose to cultivate a more compassionate society, one in which animals’ interests are taken seriously, and that is something to be thankful for.

Make your Thanksgiving a compassionate one. Choose vegan.

It reads kinda weird to me with three paragraphs lopped off, but they don’t contribute anything to the core message, so you’re not missing anything (other than maybe a little better flow).

Happy turkey-free/free the turkeys day.