I Can’t Have a Relationship with my Turkey

(Many people enjoyed this post so much last year, I thought it might be fun to re-post as we enter into Thanksgiving week…)

I live in a suburb that is home to several beautiful farms. Recently, I saw two different signs offering turkeys for sale for Thanksgiving. I pulled over to take photos of both signs so I could call the numbers in the next few weeks to place an order.

I thought it would be neat to tell everyone at Thanksgiving that they were enjoying a healthy, no-hormone-injected, no-inhumane-treatment-turkey from the local farm.

Then, at the second farm, I looked to my right to see the other sign that said “choose your turkey”. There in the cutest little coop were several, beautiful white turkeys clucking around with their fellow feathered friends and family members. The customer could select their turkey, visit it regularly, watching it grow plump over the next few weeks.I stared at them. They were adorable! I suddenly thought about how the kids would name the horses or cows down the street when they were little. I didn’t have the heart to tell them back then that those cows we were visiting would end up in someone’s freezer by fall.

Not to sound like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but I’m a meat-eater. I love a good roast, pulled pork and definitely a Thanksgiving turkey with plenty of gravy. However, I don’t think my enjoyment would be the same if I visited my selection for a month before picking him up headless.A few years ago, one of our 4H Moms had us over to plan out the year of crafts for our daughters. About an hour into the meeting, her daughter got up and said, “I’ll be right back, I need to go feed him.” I inquired about who she was feeding. Mom explained that every year her daughter independently purchased a small steer. She fed it daily and cared for it, eventually selling it the following year at fair.

When the girl came back into the house, I asked if she ever got attached and felt bad turning it over for slaughter. She shrugged saying, “Nope. I get paid $1300 at fair. I’m saving for college.”

While some may not get attached, I fear I might. Knowing me, I might actually name the bird during a visit. Then, I’m likely to share with the family that our meat was once “Bob” and we are eating him. My kids might get a chuckle, but I may have trouble digesting.

I momentarily felt conflicted about the whole turkey situation, but it does not make me consider being a vegetarian. I’m looking forward to the cherished meal.  I have to go order my turkey now. But, I’ll let the farmer choose one for me.

19 thoughts on “I Can’t Have a Relationship with my Turkey

  1. I agree with you. I can’t have a relationship with the bird or animal or even fish that I am going to eat.🙂 You are perfectly right. That little girl with the steer is very brave. She has a heart of gold, but she is a strong buisness woman.🙂 Blessings to you.

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  2. Nooooo, see, this is why I WISH I could a vegetarian 😂I eat meat but hell, there’s no way I could pick out a live turkey with the view of having it on my plate. Meat needs to be unrecognisable, not in animal form, for me to eat it. xx


  3. One of my dearest friends was in 4H, along with his brothers. They named their projects “Bacon,” “Hamburger,” and “Lambchop.” They always named their projects with food names so they’re remember their purpose. I couldn’t do it either, but it was the best meat I’d ever eaten. 🙂

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  4. I can totally relate. My in-laws raise calves that they have butchered. But they give them names! I could never name an animal I was planning to eat. Honestly, I wouldn’t even be able to raise a nameless animal for that purpose. I always say that, by rights, I should be a vegetarian, but the problem with that is I love meat!

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