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Monday, November 19, 2012

Turkey Trot

Republishing a Classic Progressive Charlestown article
Before …
When my husband and I were house-hunting, the real estate ad for our property promised wild turkeys and deer on site. The realtor told us the previous owner (her father) was fond of saying that he could have shot deer through the dining room window if he'd wanted to. After we bought the place, a friend of ours wanted to put a salt lick in the driveway and sit in the top floor of the barn with a shotgun and wait for deer to show up. 

Well, I guess the deer must have heard him say that, because we have yet to see any deer on our property (though we have spotted them in the neighborhood). But every day at 4 p.m., a flock of turkeys passes through on their way home from their feeding grounds in the undeveloped lot in back of us. 

By Linda Felaco

My husband hunted with his father growing up, and he liked the idea of free meat. Turkey has never been my favorite food, though, and if it weren't for Thanksgiving I could go all year without eating it and never miss it. We have toyed with the idea of saving ourselves a few bucks on dog food and shooting turkeys to feed to the dogs. But then there's the carcass to be cleaned, ugh. Fuhgeddaboutit. 

… and after?
(Photo by M. Rehemtulla)
Besides, I feel quite sure that if I had to witness any of the steps between live animal and meat, I'd go back to vegetarianism for sure. The first time I cooked a Thanksgiving turkey, I almost didn't end up eating it because while I was rinsing it under the faucet, I ended up holding it by the wings with the breast toward me and the legs dangling down and it looked like a headless baby and the thought that I was going to be eating it freaked me out.

And I have to say I've grown quite fond of the sight of the turkeys' daily perambulations through our yard, and I'd feel bad about killing any of them. I don't even go outside while they're passing through, so as not to scare them away; I just watch them through the windows.

So when fewer of them passed through yesterday afternoon than usual, I started to worry. Did the rest of the flock decide to take a different route home, or will they be appearing on people's plates on Thursday? I suppose one way or the other, turkeys are being slaughtered for people's Thanksgiving meals, so what difference does it make if they're wild or farmed.

Still, I do hope no one's going to be eating any of my friends.