Emily Meredith
Emily Meredith

It’s Thanksgiving again--and you know what that means; a beautiful, cornbread-stuffed turkey with all the fixings, traveling to be with family and friends, and giving thanks for a year’s worth of blessings.

But it also means that those of us--like the staff here at the Animal Agriculture Alliance--wait with baited breath for the inevitable barrage of anti-Thanksgiving rhetoric from animal rights groups like PETA.

While perusing what has quickly become one of my favorite news websites for information and inspiration, the new Huffington Post Food for Thought (brought to you in part by “Big Burrito” aka Chipotle), I came across an animated video brought to you by PETA.

The video shows an animated turkey befriending a young boy, who inadvertently ends up in a turkey processing plant, where he is mistaken for a turkey himself. The video, meant to horrify the American turkey-loving public, is truly shocking. Even the Huffington Post, arguably a fairly liberal, anti-agriculture website, ran the video with the headline “Has PETA Finally Gone Too Far?”

Readers quickly took to commenting on the site writing:

Shocking? No. Rather, it's tedious and stale. PETA has had this shtick for years and it almost borders on ridiculous self-parody, which is why they are irrelevant to the majority of the public.

People like myself will fight any organization that wants to force its beliefs on to others. You live the life and make the choices you want and other people will do the same. (but thats not good enough for the "animal rights" crowd or any other kind of zealot).

PETA is the very definition of an extremist organization. They are probably really miffed that they couldn't use a real little boy. Why do fools continue to give them press?

And my personal favorite: “Too bad we can't just deport the turkeys at PETA to Turkey.”

I’m sure none of you are surprised at PETA’s latest attempt to encourage Americans to adopt a vegan lifestyle, even just for a day on Thanksgiving. I’m also sure that none of you are surprised by their blatant comparison between a child and animal, and the organization’s belief that “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” PETA feels all animals have the same rights as people (or should), a philosophy that is as ingrained in the animal rights movement as its belief in the necessity for a vegan world.

Maybe it’s my positivity or my naiveté (depending on how you look at it), but I firmly believe that Thanksgiving should be “off limits” to attacks of any kind, and not for the reasons you think.

It’s not because I work for the animal agriculture community and happen to love a juicy slice of turkey (along with most Americans), but rather it’s because Thanksgiving is a time to be with friends and family, count your blessings and give thanks. It’s a time that should be judgment-free, a time where we put our strife aside, bury our disagreements and be together.

After all, that’s the true history of Thanksgiving. It’s not about what you eat (turkey or tofurky) or whether you call it “stuffing” or “dressing.” It’s about sitting down, celebrating the bounty of the harvest and sharing alike. If the Indians and the Pilgrims can do it (and they certainly had a rivalrous, acrimonious history) then we should be able to celebrate consumer choice and respect the mantra “to each his own.”

More than that--we in this country are so truly, utterly blessed, which is why we can afford to have existential debates about morality in food production. The vast majority of Americans aren’t worried about where their next meal will come from.

Yet, sadly, so few will actually give thanks to the farmers, ranchers and others responsible for all of the ingredients for our Thanksgiving feasts, from the turkey all the way down to the very last marshmallow to top your sweet potato pie.

So, PETA has shown its true colors once again, same old schtick, different day. I know I’m sick of it, and judging by the comments, so are a lot of regular ol’ Americans. Not only was the video absurd, but it was thankless.

And there’s nothing worse than a bunch of ingrates on Thanksgiving.

Gobble. Gobble.