Turkey photo shamelessly stolen from Lynne's Hasty Brook
Tomorrow is an interesting day for a birder. Many birders are meat-eaters, and thus will eat the Thanksgiving turkey as is traditionally done in this country. However, some of us (like me) are vegetarians -- for all kinds of reasons, personal to each of us.
Some of the biggest reasons I'm a vegetarian are ecopolitical, but some are just personal preference and my own emotions. Here are a couple of my reasons for going veg:
1. the mass production of meat and meat products strains our environment in many ways. Perhaps you've heard of CAFOs, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. These are your factory farms like Tyson Chicken or your large beef producers. You can find out more about them from the EPA, the CDC, or a more politically minded organization like this one. In short, it is my belief that CAFOs are bad news. Others may disagree, and they're free to do so.
2. I love farm animals. They're furry and cute, and their little lives are just as precious to me as those of birds, rabbits, cats, dogs, and other animals. I know that I couldn't slaughter an animal for food, so why would I ask someone else to do it for me and then package it in a nice little plastic tray to assuage my conscience?
3. I don't buy that whole predator/prey thing. I realize it's the law of nature, and raptors have to kill songbirds to survive, etc. But I have free will. I choose not to kill anything with a face just so I can eat, especially when there are plenty of plant-based foods I can eat instead.
Anyway, those are my own personal reasons; I don't try to convince others to believe as I do, because eating is a personal decision. Still, I must confess that I think it's weird that birders would eat chickens, turkeys, or other fowl. Once again, as is common on the bloggy, my naivete is gonna show here, but when I was growing up, I guess I never connected the "duck" in a dish like Peking Duck with the little mallards, wood ducks, and canvasbacks that I love to watch through my binocs. And the geese! Poor brants and Canadas, their lonesome honks silenced, end up on people's dinner plates? How could a birder watch a songbird or a wild turkey, noting field marks and marking the bird on the lifelist, but then go eat one for dinner?
Sheesh. That's just weird to me. Still, I guess my hope is that tomorrow, when you're being thankful for life, love, family, and other such things, you'll remember to thank the little guy (or gal) on your table too. Do it for me, okay?