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On Having Respect for Life: A Vegan Thanksgiving

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 million turkeys are intentionally bred to have their lives taken from them every year in the United States and many millions of these turkeys are killed and eaten for Thanksgiving dinners.Turkeys are intelligent, social beings, but most of us wouldn’t know that unless we saw them in their natural habitat or in a sanctuary for rescued, farmed animals like Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. When he or she is in a decent environment, a turkey’s life is as precious to him or her as our life is to us. Even after they live a life of torture in human concentration camps, they still have an amazingly strong desire to live (as all sentient beings do). For a closer look, meet Melvin at Peaceful Prairie and take another view of “Turkey Day.”Rather than indulge in a blind, empty annual ritual, where The Turkey has so overshadowed any notion of a time to pause and give thanks, why not skip the turkey and have a vegan Thanksgiving meal as a symbol of having respect for life? There are plenty of vegan recipes for delicious Thanksgiving holiday food and all it takes these days is a quick Internet search to find them.

Vegan living gives us much to be thankful for. Better health. A cleaner environment. And, most importantly, there is something about respecting life in the way that vegans do in our society that engenders a higher level of self-respect, if only because we see ourselves as not so very different from other sentient beings in that we all want to live and satisfy our most basic desires; and so as vegans, we literally “live and let live”, respecting in all of sentient life what we respect in ourselves. If we can live and let live, then we have something to be sincerely thankful for, not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year.

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