President Barack Obama, second from left, pardoning one of the two randomly chosen turkeys. On the right are his daughters Sasha and Malia. (Photo: Video grab from official White House video)
This Thanksgiving Day, I have decided to profusely thank myself. After all, who does more for me?
Also since I am a vegetarian, I have decided to pardon two randomly chosen potatoes from being skinned and boiled.
The sheer burden of waking up every morning around 4.30 a.m. and discovering it is still me I am waking up with can only be felt and not described. “You? Oh, not again,” is what I say. I think I ought to thank myself. So thank you for putting up with me.
This holiday is an acquired taste like all holidays, I suppose. I have never hosted a Thanksgiving dinner because it does not come naturally to me. I do get invited to a very elaborate one every year where more than 100 guests are invited. At every such gathering I think about how ritualized and routinized our lives are. We get together, shake hands, drink, talk about this, that and the other, eat, talk some more and then go home only to wake up next morning.
A very dead and very cooked turkey is sliced and eaten by people as if they are eating it for the first time. You can recycle comments/compliments from last year about how good the turkey is and no one would notice. How many different ways can one come up with to compliment a sliced turkey?
Being somewhat twisted, I always speculate in my mind about what a particular turkey may have been doing before being slaughtered, skinned and served. Considering the large industrial scale of poultry farming in America, it probably came from a huge farm where it was raised only to be eaten. It probably enjoyed no recreational time. For me it is always about a single individual bird and what was going on in its life before it was swept up by the monstrous human eating machine.
Speaking of single birds, some of you may have heard of this ridiculous ritual at the White House where the incumbent president “pardons” two randomly chosen turkeys and spares them the cruel fate of being killed and eaten like some 50 million others on this day. This year President Barack Obama pardoned two named Cobbler and Gobbler. Without a trace of irony the president said, “Congratulations, Cobbler. You have a great life.” For every Cobbler and Gobbler that get ceremoniously pardoned and stroked by the leader of the free world, tens of millions of others might be thinking, “What about us?”
I am no bleeding heart animal rights activist because I think our entire human food chain is inherently cruel and lives off other life forms. I personally see no difference between slicing a tomato and slicing a turkey. So I take no moral high ground here. If I could eat and digest rocks, I probably would but then there could well be microbial life in those as well. So it seems to me there is no escape from eating other life forms. Vegetarians merely pretend that theirs is a kinder choice when in reality there is no difference when you get right down to it.
I wonder whether others think of such useless things and then write about them.