Carnivorous holiday feasts call animal rights into question

By on December 6, 2011

By Anna Meany–

It’s around the holiday season that we get wrapped up in cookie-decorating, hall-decking and present-shopping. Despite the cooler temperatures, the days surrounding Christmas are meant to bring warmth and happiness.

Critics of modernity say that we’ve lost touch with the romantic Christmas spirit. Those critics say we’ve shifted our focus to achieve strictly materialistic holiday goals. One can say that society created a holiday to celebrate togetherness, but present-day attitudes dealing with obsessive shopping argue otherwise. While I totally agree that we’re spending too much every December, there’s a much older tradition that we should be concerned with.

It’s not our gradual obsession with shopping that’s corrupting Christmas; we’re indulging in a careless murder of animals that we’re wholly desensitized to. With the exception of the one turkey that President Obama pardoned, how much media attention do turkeys get? Who’s fighting for their right to a happy holiday?

It’s crucial that we stop celebrating a holiday that encourages animal cruelty. Have you ever considered the life of your turkey sitting on that silver platter? Now imagine your dog or cat slow-cooking in the oven for seven hours. Sound tasty?

The recently-celebrated Thanksgiving holiday has no gifts to supplement the dinner – what’s most important is the hand-carved bird. I can proudly say that I went sans-meat this year for the first time, and it didn’t ruin the holiday. Nothing changed but my dinner plate.

For years, we’ve given our cats Christmas goodies while feasting on ham for dinner. It’s because of an environmental ethics class that I’ve reconsidered my family’s forever-long tradition. If we can’t distinguish any difference between our cat, Lily, and the unnamed pig sitting on the table, we shouldn’t doom either one to a hickory-honey fate.

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