Monday, November 19, 2012

Turkey—Friend Not Food

     The week before Thanksgiving my friend Jenny (famous for her pumpkin bread) began wearing this necklace.
Friend not Food necklace from Vegan Cuts

     She is a faithful vegetarian and I highly respect her for that. Her husband Dean is very supportive even though his family owns Golden Gate Meat Company! I too have become more and more concerned about the  inhumane treatment and slaughter of farm animals, so I was pleased to read this front page article on Mary's Chickens in The Chronicle this Sunday, "Poultry Bet Pays Off".  Mary and Dave Pitman's philosophy is that all birds must be free-range (every hen house has a spacious yard where they're free to wander). Because they won't feed the birds antibiotics for non-therapeutic use, their barns must be roomier, cleaner and warmer than most conventional farms, so the fowl won't get sick. And they have instituted a much more humane method of slaughtering their chickens. They purchased a controlled atmosphere stunning system in Europe, approved by PETA, which renders the killing process much less traumatic for the birds. They would like to buy another for their turkeys. I've always liked Mary's chickens because they're air-dried and flavorful, but now that I know about the ethical treatment of their birds, I won't buy anything else. It's a first step.
     Though I will be feasting on roast turkey on Thursday, I will not forget to give special thanks to the bird who gave his life for my pleasure; and I will think of Jenny happily eating her Tofurkey among a large family of meat-eaters.

Jenny's Thanksgiving Tofurkey roast

I also want to mention that Jenny adopted a turkey through "Adopt a Turkey Project", created by an organization called Farm Sanctuary. They rescue and rehabilitate turkeys and other farm animals, and for a small fee, they provide an opportunity to adopt and visit their animals at  their sanctuaries in California and upstate New York. What a great idea!


  1. See a photo of Jenny's Turkey on the Adopt a Turkey Project page: Thyme
    “Now is the Thyme to start a new Thanksgiving tradition: Adopt a turkey!”

  2. I am wearing my necklace as I read this. What a wonderful blog! I love it!!! I have a picture of Thyme hanging on my fridge at home. =) I hope to visit him at the farm next spring. I bought my tofurky roast yesterday and I'm really looking forward to eating it! Thank you for writing this, it is awesome!

  3. Thyme is not as good looking as Wilbur, the most famous saved-from-slaughter animal in American letters. I choose to adopt him on thanksgiving. If you can't instantly identify him, he is a pig, the best friend of Charlotte the spider, in EB White's Charlotte's Web. I always think the veggie side dishes are the stars of the Thanksgiving table anyway. Hannah and Seth will be bringing a mushroom pate from Deborah Madison. I will be bringing the gingered fruit, a recipe you sent me when we first started out on our own. I still use the card with your handwriting. Thanks sis!

    1. Now wait a minute . . . I am much offended by this. Thyme is good looking, of this there is no doubt.