National Turkey Pardon – As a New Thanksgiving Tradition?

National Turkey Pardon – As a New Thanksgiving Tradition?

Traditions can and should – no, they simply MUST be changed. Just as our society evolves, so should our traditions – to reflect our deepest values of compassion and justice, as well as our increased awareness of what it means to be truly human — and humane.

Hint: to determine whether something is humane think if you’d like it done to you. Or your dog. If we look at it from that perspective – I think we could all agree that enslaving and killing another being, no matter how gently we do it, is NOT humane. Moreover, humans have also evolved past the point where our intellect outweighs our primal instincts to hunt and kill.

So, back to Thanksgiving and turkey.
There is much discussion about what was on the table and what wasn’t on that first Thanksgiving. But ultimately, it really doesn’t matter. I don’t care what as on the table of the first feast, and neither should you, because we are not interested in the exact replica of the first Thanksgiving. We want to share traditions and rituals, so that we feel connected to something bigger and older than ourselves.

If we look at it from that perspective, it’s just as traditional not to have a dead turkey on the table, as it is to have dead turkey on the table.

Besides, people are not so much attached to the turkey itself, as to having a centerpiece on a table, a focus on the plate, and this can be accomplished in many different ways, including this one. In more compassionate ways, and more healthful ways too.
We shape our traditions out of our ideals. And as our ethics evolve, as we extend the circle of compassion to include other living beings besides humans, our traditions must evolve too.

Why not establish new tradition this Thanksgiving: to pardon the turkey you were going to put in the oven, and have a beautiful stuffed pumpkin as a stunning and compassionate (as well as healthful) centerpiece instead?