Tuesday, November 23, 2010
We purchased a free-range, organic turkey from a local farmer. She raised it. She slaughtered it. She plucked it. Except...she didn't completely pluck that sucker. It's got little bits of gray, vestigial feathery bits on the legs. It's kind of...gross. I mean, I've raised chickens for slaughter and I know it's no walk in the park. I didn't slaughter them with my own hands but was with them when they were "processed" and I can tell you I understand that it's, well, gross. But, for some reason I can't really get over the fact that when I look at this lovely bird that I'm going to brine for twenty-four hours in order to create the most succulent, juicy turkey that ever was I see the creature who gave his or her life, unwillingly, to feed me and my brood.
I was a vegetarian for ten years. I felt, very strongly, that animals shouldn't die so I could live. I discovered early that all animals are sentient beings; that they have their own wisdom that the human animal cannot comprehend but that is, nonetheless, valid and worthy of consideration. This is why the delicate, frondy bits of feathers left clinging to the leg bones of the turkey stir an anxiety in me that I can only attribute to my consciousness prodding me to listen. Pay attention to these small details, it seems to be saying. This is life. This is death. This attention is thanksgiving.