Today’s blogging assignment for the 40 day exercise is turkey – the bird, not the country or other meanings. Fr. John has again given us a whimsical topic to offset the heavier ones we have tackled. I initially thought about writing on the terms for turkey in different languages or Zito, the turkey who lives on the campus of Holy Cross seminary (whom I discovered one morning sitting on my convertible roof – he nearly collapsed it and left footprints all over my car!). But I have posted on those subjects previously and I don’t want to recycle another post. So…well, get ready. This won’t be pleasant.
This article has an excellent breakdown on the turkeys you will find in grocery stores. Please read it – it is very short and very horrifying. To sum it up, grocery store turkeys are raised in cruel environments where they never see the sun and eat things they are not meant to eat. They are physically maimed as well. The end product that we eat does a number on our well-being and how we feel, and likely leads to cancer and other issues. It also is bland tasting (unless pumped up with tons of salt and other additives).
It is worth seeking out pasture-raised, grass-fed turkey. It will taste better and be better for you, and you will know the animals have been humanely treated (the article has a link to a directory of farms and stores). There is a theological aspect to this as well. Orthodoxy is very clear that our bodies are God’s creation and we need to take care of them. Also, we ingest the body and blood of Christ every Sunday, so whatever goes down our gullet should be clean. Finally, we are the stewards of God’s creation. Knowing this and what we learn from the article, how can we ever eat such commercially raised turkeys again?