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by RIP RENSE

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THANKS FOR GIVING
(Nov. 22, 2007)

          Ah, thanks for giving! That should be the cry of the wild human today, for the millions of turkeys who have gobbled their last gobble. And if you think turkeys donít know they are being dispatched to heaven/hell/reincarnation/The Void, youíve never been to a turkey farm.
          These allegedly empty-headed avians---slave cousins of the wiley, crafty, noble wild turkey (originally proposed by Ben Franklin as our national bird)---are smart enough to smell blood. Or their turkey DNA is. They know something is coming, and it ainít more antibiotic-loaded corn. They know it is not freedom, either---which in their cases amounted to a life of funnel-feeding and standing in crowds so thick you canít move---topped off by being stuffed in cages and carted off to a hang-from-your-feet conveyor belt for murder.
          Turkey Treblinka.

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          But hey, taste buds! Chow down! Youíre eating animals that were slaughtered with broken wings and legs, bloody open wounds, tumors and all kinds of festering, untreated injuries. Mm-mm! Youíre eating birds that have been punched and kicked, just for fun, in the good olí slaughterhouse, whose sex organs have sometimes been plumbed just for a laugh by um, playful employees. Youíre eating birds that in some cases had their heads physically ripped off, just out of esprit dícore, and, well. . .
          Turkey Abu Ghraib.
          Thanks for giving, turkeys!
          Right. You donít want to hear another animal rights anarchist Anti-christ fascist pig commie America-hating bastard ingrate ranting. Turkeys taste good! They are an American tradition even older than Madonna and Larry King. I like Ďem, too, especially when someone puts a carcass over their head in a movie, or when the Three Stooges cook one that suddenly flies off the table and around the room. But I donít like the fact that 250 million---250 million---of them are grown for American gullets, and honestly, I donít think many other people really do, either.
          Then there are the nine billion chickens. . .
          John Lennon wrote what I think was a well-intentioned but embarrassing would-be feminist anthem years ago called ďWoman is the Nigger of the World.Ē Uh-uh. Animals are the nigger of the world. Just look at China, where the cuisine is Anything That Moves, and The Rarer It Is, The Better it Tastes. Iíll have my rare civet cat medium-rare, please. Oh, and waiter, more tiger-dick stew! I need harder erections to feel more manly so I can have male child! Uh! Uh! Hsieh-hsieh! The human race has risen on the backs of animals (almost literally), and the human stomach on their flesh. China currently in the lead.
          Thanks for giving, animals!
          My brother has often observed that the humanity will never succeed until it evolves to the point where animals are treated with kindness, and I think heís right. How ironic that all those pictures of heaven that little kids grow up seeing in Sunday School books show people and beasts coexisting beatifically. Say grace, children. ďThank you, father, for this burned dead cow and and baked pig butt and roasty birdy we are about to masticate, dump into a burbling bag of sulphuric acid, and eventually excrete. . .Amen.Ē
          But we are omnivores. Kirstie Alley alone proves this point. If it's meaty, it's a treat-y! The thing is, you can get all the nutrients you need---quite deliciously---from things that do not think. Probably including Paris Hilton, who I hear tastes like chicken. And whatís more, youíll feel better and look better. Ask longtime confirmed vegan Ringo Starr, who despite a near-fatal stomach problem as a child and a few debauched decades, is in terrific shape at 67. The point here is not that the Joseph Stalinizing of the Turkey Race is absolute madness, cruelty, waste---which it is---but that it is just plain unnecessary. The Pilgrims and the Wapanoag certainly never envisioned 250 million hot turkey dinners when they sat down at Plymouth. Of course, the Wapanoag and other native peoples didnít envision going the way of turkeys, but thatís another story to not think about at Thanksgiving.
          Thanks for giving, indigenous peoples!
          250 million turkey dinners. Letís see. . .So that should produce maybe five billion pounds of turkey-flavored human excrement. (Thanks for giving!) And they say Americans arenít creative! At least, I suppose, a few copraphiliacs get a little diversion out of the deal. Yow!
          Look, do you really want to eat a turkey? Okay, then raise one, free-range, call it Marty or Jocko, and if your heart and conscience allow, kill it quickly and gnaw on its limbs and breast and, Gawd hep us, fatty ass. The problem, butterball, is that itís too easy to go out and buy a frozen Butterball. Your food is as easily obtained as an iPod, and often tastes even better. This means you, yes, you, 20-year-old pinhead on the cell phone, chewing gum insouciantly, driving the Escalade that Daddy bought you for college, buying $150 in goodies from Whole Foods, get out my way asshole I was here first. Have you ever grown and picked your own vegetables and cooked them? What? Vegetables just grow, like, right out of the ground? Cool! No, me neither. The Green Giant brought me all my corn and peas as a kid, just like he promised on the TV screen, but itís all gotta stop soon. Humans have turned the horn oí plenty into the horn oí freeze-dried, preservative-doused gluttony. The horn oí capitalist corporatocracy crapola. Eeek, says the eco-system. Help, cry the beasts. The Beast himself could not have dreamed up a more insidious, efficient, gimmegimme method of destroying Paradise.
          Thanks for giving, Earth!
          Well, this is just another Thanksgiving Day shoot-the-mouth-off that will have no impact on anything, except to perhaps annoy a few fast-food-fat-encased readers as they sit down to fill their guts with guilt-free permission. Thatís the deal, see. On Thanksgiving, you have permission to shovel just as much yumminess into your tumminess as you can, you dumminess. Why, itís practically unpatriotic if you donít. Soon it will be reported that Homeland Security and the FBI keep track of just who does not buy a hen or a tom. (Thatís not far-fetched. The FBI keeps tabs on. . .vegans.)
          But then, of course, gee, everything is sooooo stressful nowadays, what with the idiot terrorists turning murder into religion, and the idiot Bush administration turning murder into business, and the idiot media turning murder into entertainment. Man, itís just murder on the psyche. Whatís wrong with loosing your salivary enzymes on a couple of pounds of murdered animal and pumpkin pie? Uurrrp. Fart. Diabetes. It makes ya feel good, and you deserve a break today, and not at McDonaldís for a change. Plink a few quarters into the smelly, grit-encrusted hand of a dying bum, if that makes you feel better. Itís not your fault heís dying. Loosen your belt and contemplate your massive hairy navel. You could land the goddamn Space Shuttle in it.
          I have hope, though. Really. There is exciting news in the air. In San Antonio and surroundings, people are all a-twit over a rash of ďgiant birdĒ sightings. Either giant-birds, or giant man-birds, itís hard to say. Something with wings ďblacker than black,Ē as one witness said, and an elongated human-like face, is roosting on garages, and swooping around mini-malls and ten-gallon hats. Nobody knows what they are, why they are here, or if they are just looking for directions back to the Pleistocene. Itís got me wondering if there has been a mutation in the turkey populace, you know, something caused by the hormones and antibiotics and ionophores in the feed, or maybe gobbling a little too close to a nuke plant. Thatís it. Maybe the turkeys have mutated into giant intelligent turkey monsters with big brains, and they have decided to invade and attack the heart of all guiltless American consumption---Texas.
          The birds! The birds!
          So there's a little something for your turkey coma dreams.
          Thanks for giving, Rip!

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