Against my better judgment I watched the Sarah Palin turkey farm interview. I will not post a link on here because it is gruesome. If you want to watch it, feel free to find it on your own on Youtube.
Basically it consists of Palin doing her political duty by “pardoning” a Thanksgiving turkey from getting killed at a farm. She hurriedly reads a speech from a folded piece of paper about why this one turkey will be pardoned. I know the President does this, too, and I found this whole show ridiculous enough. Just wait, it gets worse.
I could feel myself starting to get annoyed at the whole thing from the beginning of the program. Not to mention wondering why is this woman still in the public spotlight? but just at the total hypocrisy of the situation. Then, after the speech was over, Palin agreed to do an interview outside. In the background of the interview, there are turkeys being slaughtered one by one, in plain view of the camera. A man carries them in, flapping and struggling, and places them in a funnel upside down where I imagine their heads are cut off, because the struggling stops. There’s a big trough of blood underneath the funnels. I don’t even know what Palin’s interview was about; I wasn’t listening. I was watching the scene in horror, trying not to be nauseas.
Did the camera guy not notice? How did Palin not hear the squawking behind her? Did they know? Was there some motive behind this? On Countdown at least, the image of the slaughter in the background was semi-blurred out to spare some gore, but I think the lack of clarity made me mentally visualize the worst, and I felt sick to my stomach.
“I don’t think I can eat meat anymore,” I told my friends that night, completely serious.
“Don’t let Sarah Palin ruin meat for you!” they said.
Did Sarah Palin ruin meat for me? I’m not sure, but I’m faced with a disgust for meat I’ve never felt as strongly before in my life. I’m trying to break it down piece by piece to be rational about this before I make an impulse decision to go vegetarian (and risk being a “poser” as my vegetarian sister warned). There are two separate issues here:
1) The awful facts of the process of the animals being killed (which I’ve conveniently avoided awareness of for all these years).
2) The Sarah Palin Ick-Factor
I want to make sure I’ve got this worked out in my head, because this is a big decision, and one I want to be fully aware of. At it stands, I think if I eat turkey on Thursday I will see Sarah Palin’s head on the bird. Thankfully the dinner I’m going to will not actually HAVE a turkey (Chinese Thanksgiving with the boyfriend’s family). But what about the rest of my diet?
Am I feeling this way because meat has now come to represent (in my mind) the conservative agenda? Do I really care about the animals? Or am I just being squeamish?
“Please, I grew up in a third world country,” said my decidedly meat-eating Chinese boyfriend. “When we wanted chicken, we brought it into our kitchen and killed it right there.” Yeah. I grew up on Long Island. We didn’t do that. If I was put in the situation, I don’t think I’d be able to kill an animal myself. Does that mean I shouldn’t be eating meat?
When I was a kid I saw the movie “Chicken Run” and I couldn’t eat chicken for a month (and that was just an animated movie. I mean it was claymation for crying out loud). My mom got sick of it and put a piece of chicken on my plate one night with a piece of paper attached to it that said, “Help me!” My mom has a sick sense of humor. I never ate pork growing up so “Babe” didn’t get to me, though I believe if we did eat pork in my house I would have had to give that up, too. I’m a sucker for anthropomorphising (not just because that’s a Scrabble winner).
Maybe someone needs to put a Beanie Baby turkey with duct tape over its mouth in my freezer for me to snap out of this. Or maybe it really is just time for me to fully commit to being a vegetarian. Regardless, this will be my first turkey-less Thanksgiving. The amount of sleep I’m going to lose over this: none.