By Carole Raphaelle Davis
Thanksgiving is a big, fat, roasted, dried out, over-stuffed lie, served with a huge side of creamed and candied delusion.
There was no peace with native Americans, come on, the truth is we stole their land and we murdered them. Yeah, I’m thankful I don’t live in a tin hut that looks out onto an open sewer like most people in the world do. I’m thankful I’m not hungry and thirsty and that there isn’t a tribe of fanatics waiting to rape me the minute I go out to get fire wood. That’s how most people live. I live in America, the “land of plenty” and I’m really thankful I don’t have cancer… yet.
It’s early morning on Thanksgiving day and Americans are preparing to get together to pretend that families are the source of all comfort and happiness and to stuff themselves with dead turkeys, the epitome of basse cuisine, the opposite of haute cuisine.
Every American is an amateur actor today, willfully playing a bit part in an enormous and simultaneous demonstration of performance art that crosses three time zones. This over-rehearsed play, a wannabe live version of the nostalgic painting of Thanksgiving dinner by Norman Rockwell is stale. Let’s face it; that painting depicting American abundance, multi-generational family closeness and cheer isn't merely surreal—it’s a lie.
Except for the rich-like-Romneys, there’s no abundance. According to a census bureau report released a week ago, roughly 46.2 million people remained below the poverty line, unchanged from 2010. That figure was the highest in more than half a century. The truth is, there is an abundance of loneliness today with 33 million Americans (28% of all U.S. households) living alone.
Here are some mouth-watering and eye-opening facts from the census bureau:
Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security
- In 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.
- In 2011, 14.9 percent of households (17.9 million households) were food insecure.
- In 2011, 5.7 percent of households (6.8 million households) experienced very low food security.
- In 2011, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2percent.
- In 2011, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.6 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (36.8 percent) or single men (24.9 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (25.1 percent) and Hispanic households (26.2 percent).
- In 2011, 8.8 percent of seniors living alone (1 million households) were food insecure.
For us folks in the animal protection movement, there is little to be thankful for. This is a day of mourning for the 45 million turkeys killed for this holiday. This is a day for shame, reflection and sadness for the hundreds of millions of turkeys who live a short life of abuse in America’s factory farms. Right now, millions of animal lovers are frantically trying to convince their loved ones to not contribute to this massive annual animal holocaust.
All those people who feel good about themselves feeding dead turkeys to homeless people are inadvertantly contributing to animal cruelty. If you have any doubts about the way turkeys are treated before you carve them up, watch this undercover footage taken at a Butterball processing plant.
Inexplicably, even self-described animal lovers remain apathetic in the face of evidence that turkeys are routinely abused on their way to the plate. What will it take to convince them? I've tried. I've failed. The leading by example way doesn't work.
For me, if I can somehow convince just one friend to have a cruelty-free day, it will be a good day.
Yeah, I’m thankful. I’m thankful I’m not a turkey.
Carole Raphaelle Davis is an actress, recording artist and author of "The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife." Carole is also the West Coast Director of The Companion Animal Protection Society
Before carving into a Butterball turkey on Thanksgiving, everyone must watch this
A new Mercy For Animals hidden-camera investigation gives a shocking look behind
the closed doors of Butterball factory farms—revealing the heartbreaking cruelty
and neglect animals face at the hands of the world's largest turkey producer
The startling investigation comes less than a year after MFA exposed horrific cruelty
at another Butterball factory farm—a groundbreaking case that led to the first-ever
felony cruelty to animals conviction related to birds used for food production in US
MFA's latest investigation exposes an ongoing culture of cruelty at Butterball,
• workers kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their fragile wings and
necks, and maliciously throwing turkeys onto the ground or on top of other birds;
• birds suffering from serious untreated illnesses and injuries, including open sores,
infections, and broken bones; and
• workers grabbing birds by their wings or necks and violently slamming them into
tiny transport crates with no regard for their welfare.
These abuses are virtually identical to the acts of extreme cruelty and violence
documented by MFA at a Butterball turkey factory farm in 2011.
Following the investigation, MFA immediately went to law enforcement with
extensive video footage and a detailed legal complaint outlining the culture of
cruelty at Butterball. Law enforcement is now investigating.
As this investigation reveals, before they end up on Thanksgiving dinner plates,
turkeys killed for Butterball are routinely crowded into filthy warehouses, left to
die from festering, bloody wounds, and thrown, kicked, and beaten by factory farm
Thankfully, concerned consumers can help prevent the needless suffering of turkeys
at the hands of Butterball by making informed choices. This year, please consider
giving the turkeys a reason to be thankful by carving out a new Thanksgiving
tradition and digging in to any number of delicious vegetarian, turkey-free
Learn more at: