Portrait of a Confused Conscious Carnivore

I live in the country where flocks of wild turkeys happily roam free, canoodling in the woods, scampering down the streets, blissfully unaware that the worst holiday in the history of turkeys lurks just days away…Thanksgiving.

Mercifully, these cute little cluckers have no idea what their bucolic life might have been had they been unfortunate enough to have been born on a farm, any farm. cats-stalking-wild-turkeys

I try not to get philosophical about the horrors of factory farms, the brutality and abuse, the slaughter of sentient beings, the criminal confinement they suffer, you know all those yucky things that will put you right off diving into that plate piled high with holiday cheer and somebody elses misery. But, I can’t help myself. I’m a hopeless softy. funny-pictures-cat-pretends-to-be-turkey

Friends, those left brave enough to invite a spoil-sport to a Thanksgiving dinner, whisper to the hostess, “God, why on earth did she have to invite the conscious carnivore?”  If they only knew the effort required to perform the mental gymnastics I have to endure in order to reconcile how I, a teary-eyed vegan, can feed meat to my nine cats, who, I swear, have holes in their stomachs. cat roast chicken mad turkey thanksgiving funny dinner dinnertable eat food

My cats delight collides with my agony when they consume, within hearing distance, any poor creature unfortunate enough to be snared by one of my fluffy murderers.  It’s the tiny cries for help, the crunching of bones, the remnants of body parts, the little feet, the beautiful feathers, is torture. The only cheerful thing I can come up with to console myself is, “well, at least it was fresh…”cat feather bird caught ate

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t let them slaughter with abandon. Many a times my neighbors have remarked they were alarmed to hear blood curdling screams coming from my house. “Yup, that was me”, I said. They’re used to it now. I did ponder however, before they knew me, just what they thought when the heard me yell at the top of my lungs, “Satan!! You drop that bird! You bad, bad Satan! Satan, how could you, you little stinker?”. They didn’t know at the time I had a cat named Satan.

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Illustration by artist Lisa Hanawalt

Source: Visions of Thanksgiving (Lisa Hanawalt, New York Times, November 19, 2011)

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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