Abstract Academic: In which the turkey defends his right not to be eaten

Greetings, friends, ladies and gentle-creatures of the Grand Forest Council.

Chairman Raccoon, Vice President Spotted Owl and Secretary Ground Squirrel, I thank you for putting off more popular issues like the new Acorn Storage Initiative today in an effort for me to voice my concerns.

I, Thaddeus Thomas Turkey III, come humbly before you today in order to address a grand problem. It is a problem of species-ism, of government-sanctioned over-consumption and also, perhaps most cruelly, of a national lack of creativity.

You see, my turkey brethren and I are tired of being eaten, and have come seeking the council’s help in changing the holiday menus of families across this country. Why is it always turkey? Every holiday, it’s turkey, and frankly, we could use a break.

Yes, Brother Pig, I see your hoof raised — I realize ham is also festively over-abused, but I’m afraid that is another issue for another meeting.

Every year, we watch as millions of our domesticated cousins are dispatched, plucked, dismembered and served to houses full of slobbering humans, who (let’s face it) would probably all rather eat a meat that was a little less dry.

Has anyone ever really cooked one of us turkeys in a way that made us any more palatable than sawdust? It’s a shame to my species, watching the yearly celebratory slaughter, which only leads to millions of Americans smacking their mouths unhappily and looking around the table for the help of some moistening gravy.

And trust me, those special Asian recipes and deep-frying tricks don’t work, either. We’re a dry bird, folks, and a little dash of ginger isn’t going to do anything (nor will the giant vegetable-oil fire in your driveway).

Another point I’d like to make: we’re not a very visually appetizing bird. Do you think I love walking around all day with this snood and these caruncles, and this wattle? I look like I have blood-sucking aliens attached to my face. Does that really seem tasty?

And turkey makes you sleepy, right? Who likes eating meat that makes them sleepy? We’re all laced with tryptophan, an amino acid that makes people drowsy.

OK, Brother Chicken. That’s an excellent point. I didn’t know that the amount of tryptophan in turkey is actually consistent with levels in other poultry. My mistake.

What? You say that one 200-calorie serving of one of Sister Sea Lion’s kidneys contains 2580 mg of tryptophan? Wow. Is that a lot? Does anyone have a chart or something? Who exactly eats sea lion kidneys?

Anyway, that doesn’t matter. I just think that we, as members of the Grand Forest Council, should be encouraging the consumption of a broader range of food, particularly on Thanksgiving. Without naming names, I know of several other animal species indigenous to North America, all of whom, last time I checked, are also made of meat.

Whoa, whoa! Council members, please, calm yourselves. I do not mean to suggest a direct alternative to the yearly turkey-cide. I’m simply pointing out that, well, beasts like you, Brother Elk, and you, Sister Cow, and whatever the #[email protected]& they make those vegetarian sausages out of . . . these things would all be worthy alternatives.

I mean, we turkeys already have our fair share of predators, on top of all those humans. Snakes, foxes, cougars and coyotes all eat their fair share of my poults, which is what we call baby turkeys.

By the way, I heard Brother Alligator in the bathroom calling them “poultry poppers,” which I think is a little offensive.

And with all respect, Chairman Raccoon, you people are notorious for eating our eggs.

What do I mean by “you people?” Uh . . .

Look, all I’m asking is that you, as a council, give my species a year off. I know that Brother Rabbit could nearly replace the needed amount of main courses this year by himself (well, his wife would help).

Also, looking around, I notice the trout delegation didn’t bother to show up. Again.

How would the council feel about a little Thanksgiving sushi?