"What we're really talking about is a
wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I
mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? ~Erma Bombeck, "No One Diets on
Thanksgiving," 26 November 1981
(pictured above: Kennedy 1963, The Annual Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey)
When I was 5 I killed a fly. I didn't want to but my aunt made that fly swatter seem so fascinating and the buzzing in the summer heat was grating on my four foot eight nerves. I immediately regretted ending it's life. I cried like a baby for a solid hour. No amount of persuasion convinced me that this act was meaningless. A proper burial ensued and I stood in the garden reciting what I called "Eulogy for a Fly named Fannie". This gave me little piece of mind. I was devastated.
My point with this story is that I have always been a true animal lover. I even tried to be a vegetarian once. Four years ago. Living in DC for a summer took its toll on me and I became just a lil bit liberal. PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals) people were EVERYWHERE. You know how you will be walking in a city and someone tries to hand you a piece of paper? Well, you probably ignore them and walk on, knowing that it is a waste of your time and theirs for you to pretend like you are interested. Well I ALWAYS take the flyer. And then I talk to those people and then I make the mistake of signing up for their email list. Getting emails like "Feces found on Chicken Farms!" and "Fish have Feelings" would have made you start to reconsider what you ate and wore too. Oh and the videos...I'll spare you from having to read about those. It was a relatively easy transition because DC restaurants are very vegatarian friendly. The veggie burgers were yummy and shopping at the Whole Foods Market was an adventure. I was a proud of my lifestyle change.
However, summer ended. I came home and discovered Bowling Green and my grandmother are not vegetarian friendly. I came back with these menus options: salad and pasta. Let me tell you my friends, that gets OLD. Let's not even talk about the impact it had on my friendships: I put up with friends saying "you were more fun when you ate meat" and friends hiding meat in my food at restaurants. Believe me, I tried to stay the course. I spend bookoos of moola on creating dishes that somehow didn't look like the picture in the magazine. I bought countless packages of tofu but everytime I started to cook it I just became so perplexed. I felt like I was trying to turn play-doh into filet mignon.
Make no mistake though, I am an advocate for animals! When KFC became Kentucky Fried Cruelty, I boycotted the restaurant that bears the name of my own state. When United Colors of Bennetton was mean to sheep, I shopped next door at Banana Republic. I even routinely flirt with the idea of becoming a vegetarian again. But I just can't eat tofu on Thanksgiving. I will purchase my veggie burgers from the organic frozen food isle at Kroger and I refuse to buy products tested on animals. But I love Thanksgiving and all of its traditions, namely carving the turkey for dinner and eating my ham sandwiches for lunch. So on the fourth Thursday every year look for the giddy girl at Honey Baked Ham, eagerly anticipating shelling out 60 buck-a-roos for that delightful half ham. Because a Tofu-themed Thanksgiving just won't do.