The media turkeys are out in force this holiday. “A feast where turkey is a companion, not an entrée” is the headline of a front-page piece in The Washington Post Metro section on Nov. 20. Two days earlier, The Huffington Post ran a story on how actress Shannon Elizabeth, who apparently starred in “American Pie,” has become a spokesperson for an “Adopt a Turkey” project, which encourages people to donate to save a turkey instead of eating one.
Washington Post writer Petula Dvorak said that she felt uncomfortable even thinking about eating a turkey after she met one in person. “It was tough to get past the lumpy head, the flappy gobbler and, worst of all, those unblinking accusatory eyes. Did this turkey somehow know that I’d basted, brined, barbecued, paper-bagged and fried her kind?” Probably not, actually. Turkeys usually aren’t as smart as Post writers – most days.
The HuffPo story went even further, including accusations by Elizabeth of alleged turkey abuse at a Butterball facility, but did go on to mention that Butterball stanchly denied these accusations. Dvorak mentioned the same accusations, calling them “sickening,” without mentioning that Butterball had denied them as unfounded. Butterball said it has a zero-tolerance policy for animal abuse.
The Huffington Post also encouraged its readers to visit the “Adopt a Turkey” website, concluding with a quote from Elizabeth. “Who needs to kill an animal? That’s not a good tradition. I think it’s time that we start setting new traditions.” If in a hundred years eating tofu is an honored Thanksgiving tradition, I guess we’ll know who to blame.