What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Friends and family? Your good health? Job security? Sadly, this year some Americans have little to be thankful for, other than the simple pleasure of enjoying their holiday meals in peace.
But meat-hating animal rights activists and nutrition purists see Thanksgiving as the perfect time to launch new scare campaigns. Some have even proclaimed November as Vegan Month. And with it, the save-the-animals crowd has empowered itself to chastise you — for daring to eat, of all things, turkey.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), of course, is eager to replace your stuffed gobbler with a phony tofu-based “bird.” Spokespeople dressed as pilgrims are even chanting “Thanksgiving is murder” on street corners while they hand out Tofurkys.
If your family is among the more than 45 million planning to serve the real thing at Thanksgiving, you might be surprised to learn that PETA thinks you’re cruel, compassionless, brutish and subhuman. Some of PETA’s other favorite adjectives are not fit for a family newspaper.
PETA routinely compares chickens to victims of the Nazi Holocaust, and animal farmers to serial killers. You can’t make this stuff up.
The misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), another radical animal rights group, shares PETA’s vegan agenda. This phony “doctors group” gets 60 percent of its money from the wealthy founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. Less than 4 percent of its members graduated from medical school.
PCRM’s most recent attack is aimed at that most horrible of cocktails, chocolate milk.
According to PCRM, giving chocolate moo-juice to kids “is like pouring gasoline on a forest fire.” This actually sounds less crazy than the famous claim of PCRM President Neal Barnard (a former president of the PETA Foundation) that “to give a child animal products is a form of child abuse.” Barnard also thinks cheese is “morphine on a cracker.”
If Barnard drank milk instead of animal rights Kool-Aid, people might take him more seriously. This month he’s insisting that what children need most is a vegetarian school lunch — whether their parents approve or not.
Barnard also runs a faux cancer charity called “The Cancer Project.” This month, “The Cancer Project” (it helps to constantly put it in quotation marks) is circulating a vegan Thanksgiving menu which supposedly prevents cancer. (Of course, “The Cancer Project” is short on proof.)
The group’s animal-rights Thanksgiving menu includes creamy spinach dip (no cream involved); beet salad (beets, vinegar and mustard, oh my!); and mushroom barley soup (because fungi are the other white meat). No sausage in your stuffing, no butter on your corn and no turkey of any kind. Gravy? Forget it.
The main dish, something called “tempeh broccoli saute,” is a fermented soybean concoction. If this had been served at the first Thanksgiving dinner, the tradition would never have survived.
And if you thought this year’s Thanksgiving guilt trip stopped with the turkey baster, think again. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), better known as America’s “food police,” is trying to control your side dishes, too.
Last month, CSPI released a list of the 10 supposedly “riskiest” foods, and the list includes leafy greens and tomatoes. (There goes that salad.) CSPI also claims potatoes are high risk, so any mashing, scalloping or casseroling you had planned can be nixed from your to-do list.
Berries are another CSPI no-no, so cranberry sauce is off the menu. And worst of all, a food-safety prohibition against eggs makes pumpkin pie the new anthrax.
But not really. Every food on CSPI’s list is perfectly safe to eat — far less likely to harm you, in fact, than the safest food on Thanksgiving tables a half-century ago.
So what’s a well-informed chef to do?
Cook it all. Serve it all. Enjoy it all. Leave the fear mongering to activists who have little to be thankful for other than the freedom to be a joyless pest.
And most of all, be thankful for the freedom to choose what’s on your Thanksgiving table, and the freedom to ignore finger-waggers who supposedly know what’s best for you.