Recently a YouTube video of Sarah Palin surfaced. In it, Palin is seen pardoning a turkey. Behind her, other turkeys are being hacked up. Many have used this video to mock Palin. But who is the real turkey?
The real turkeys are you and me. It's silly to the point of frivolous for an elected official to pardon a turkey. Why do elected officials do such things? Why do we pay attention to trivial ceremonies. Are people really that lame? And, of course, the Palin video puts turkeys into perspective.
When we eat meat, we torture animals. We are part of the chain of cruelty. Animals suffer pain and indignity. We care more about the death penalty when it applies to mass murderers and serial rapists than when it applies to innocent animals. As John Katz notes in this fantastic post:
Human executions are excruciatingly painful, despite litigation geared to reduce the pain. No similar efforts are made to minimize the physical and psychological suffering of animals, as they are led to slaughter first seeing and hearing their brother and sister animals slaughtered before their very eyes. Unlike humans executed in American death chambers, food animals are methodically beheaded, stabbed, and killed otherwise. See this gruesome video giving a brief meeting of your meat. More videos are here.
If we want to put something into the forefront, we should ditch the lame pardons for turkeys. Instead, we should acquaint ourselves with how turkeys live - and die. Taking responsibility for your life means being fully informed of your actions. If you eat meat without considering the harm done to animals, you are living a life of moral ignorance.
I eat meat, though I tried to be a vegetarian. I was hard-wired to eat meat, so unfortunately, vegetarianism would doom me a life of low physical and mental energy. But when I eat meat, I accept responsibility for what I'm doing. I don't hide from my wrong doing, or rationalize it away. My eating habits cause suffering.
Eating meat is an immoral act. It's by far the most immoral thing most of us do. We are outraged when someone kicks a puppy. But cows, and pigs, and turkeys are literally tortured every day of their sad lives. Then their heads are bashed in with baseball bats, and their throats are slit with knives.
Why? So that we may eat something tasty? And get obese?
I choose my own physical and mental well-being over that of helpless animals. I'm not proud of that, but at least I'm aware of it.