The One Thing We Need to Stop Doing this Thanksgiving | Teen Ink

The One Thing We Need to Stop Doing this Thanksgiving

November 19, 2020
By AriLiebman SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
AriLiebman SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
5 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear." - George Addair

The One Thing We Need to Stop Doing this Thanksgiving

Late autumn brings with it a celebration of thanks for most Americans. We gather around feasts and share our gratitude for what we have. It’s impossible to think of Thanksgiving without thinking of the turkey - the main dish everyone looks forward to. But some say this tradition is outdated, and even barbaric. 

Animal Rights activist Ed Winters - known by many as “Earthling Ed” - writes in a Facebook post, 

“Did someone pay for your meal with their life? … They spent their lives in confinement, crammed desperately amongst each other, never seeing daylight until the day they were killed. Just so humans could devour their bodies in the name of tradition.”

The public is, however, becoming increasingly aware of the horrid practices of factory farming, or farming of animals on an industrial level, which is infamous for denying animals basic rights. Many opt for pasture-raised meat instead, ensuring that the Thanksgiving turkey lived a comfortable, more natural life. 

Still, activists claim labels such as “local,” “organic,” and “pasture-raised” are no more than a scam to trick consumers into paying for bloodshed. Gary Yourofsky, who is credited for delivering the most-viewed speech in Israeli history, demands total-and-complete animal liberation. 

“As an ethical vegan, it's logical for me to proclaim that the only nice slaughterhouse is an empty slaughterhouse.” … “If given an option, no animal would choose pain or death.”

Vegans refuse animal products because even animals raised in good conditions eventually end up being needlessly killed. In fact, the average non-vegan sends around 300 animals to the kill floor every year. 

I have consumed the flesh of animals daily for almost all my life, so I am not above you ethically. I have simply been made aware of what Animal Agriculture tries so hard to hide. I am truly relieved and grateful to no longer cause the needless suffering of animals. This Thanksgiving, my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, I will not take part in the killing of over 46 million turkeys. I will not kill a single one. Knowing this both empowers me as a consumer, and as an ethical being. So what will I eat, then? Meet Tofurky:


Photograph: Tofurky

Made 100% from plants, Tofurky pleases both vegans and non-vegans on Thanksgiving. “Friendliest food on the plate,” is the business’s slogan. Because why kill a turkey when you can kill some tofu? 

No, this is not sponsored by Tofurky. If you’d rather make it on your own, there are countless mouth-watering recipes to be found for free on the internet. At the end of the day, we vote with our money. When consumers purchase a Thanksgiving turkey, we demand that more turkeys be bred, and eventually beheaded - which would never fly if turkeys were switched with dogs or cats. By choosing a plant-based alternative, you pardon a turkey, and actually save someone’s life. 

Gary Yourofsky states it best:

“It is not your right, based on your traditions, your customs and your habits, to deny to animals their freedom so you can harm them, enslave them and kill them. That’s not what rights are about. That’s injustice.” 


Photograph: Bazilfoto/Getty

See locations for Tofurky, and “The Most Important Speech You Will Ever Hear” by Gary Yourofsky, below:

The author's comments:

      I live in Chicago, IL with three other people, three cats, and a mouse. I enjoy nature, photography, and writing. 

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