God Didn’t Create Turkeys so They’d End Up on Our Plates on Christmas
Father John Ryder has an important message for Christians and everyone else this Christmas. Writing in the Isle of Wight County Press, the vicar of Godshill makes the point that we have a choice when we sit down to eat on Christmas Day: we can opt to support violence, or we can choose kindness by leaving animals off our plates.
The vicar writes the following:
On Christmas Day, many thousands of families around the UK will slip on their paper hats, pull a cracker with a tablemate, and tear into a roasted turkey who was slaughtered for nothing more than a fleeting taste of flesh.
Can this really be the centrepiece of a celebration which marks the coming of God to Earth as a man, the season of goodwill to all?
It is certainly not a necessary, nor a very old custom. Many saints throughout the ages – starting with Paul of Tarsus – have eschewed the eating of meat. And more recently, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stated [that] the question of animal treatment is a crucial one for the faithful. By any measure, what happens to farmed animals today is anti-Christian. As His Holiness explained when speaking about birds on factory farms, “[They] live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds.” This “degrading of living creatures,” he said, “contradict[s] the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.”
It doesn’t take much reflection to see he is right. Turkeys, including those destined to be killed for Christmas dinner, can experience affection and many other emotions. They are curious, intelligent, playful individuals with unique personalities. I have had the privilege of knowing a few personally, who have been brought to church for pet services or who have been nursed through an illness by parishioners who didn’t want to leave them alone while coming to church. They are gentle beings but also brave, doing what they can to protect other turkeys – and humans – with whom they have bonded.
Read his full article here – and this Christmas, make the compassionate choice for you and your family. PETA is here to help with recipes and vegan meal ideas.