Dear Turkey...

Dear Turkey,

I feel your pain. There you are, just trying to live your life, then one day, say November 8, you suddenly realize a lot of people are gunning for you! The danger is palpable! You feel victimized! Your very body is up for grabs, and the most powerful folks in the country think they are entitled to a piece. As a woman, I feel your pain because, while previously I'd never thought we had much in common (well, maybe a little around the neck), America’s recent “derelection” has opened my eyes to the similarity in our circumstances.

Doesn’t the injustice of it all make your caruncle turn red! I mean, folks go on and on about the good old days—like that first Thanksgiving in 1621—and use that to justify their behavior. WTF! First of all, that first Thanksgiving wasn’t even the real first Thanksgiving, and those good old days sucked. Ask any of the pilgrims in Plymouth who faced starvation and sickness, and who would have been been dead meat (sorry, Turkey, poor choice of words) if the Wampanoag Indians hadn’t supported and protected them. But now, thanks to a bunch of repeated myths, the pilgrims are the heroes of the Thanksgiving feast, while the Indians are lucky to get a seat at the kids’ table. (“Any more talk about restitution, little Massasoit, and Daddy will have you deported from your own country.”)

Oh the lies piled on lies! It’s never even been documented that one of your fowl ancestors was served at that first harvest celebration. You could try letting people know that deer was definitely on the menu, but since facts don’t seem to matter, and even America’s newly named National Security Advisor tweets fake news faster than you can say Islamophobia, good luck with that. Maybe you should take to Twitter: Leading experts prove turkey meat is loaded with #deadlygluten! And fear of triptophan is RATIONAL. Please forward to others.

Poor Turkey, the indignities you have suffered; the loss of what might have been. Benjamin Franklin once described you as a “Bird of Courage,” and recognized your humility and devotion to your brood, yet his attempts to have you replace the Bald Eagle as the national symbol got voted down. And we both know why, don’t we? Looks-wise, you’re what, maybe a 3 on a good day, while the eagle is at least a 9, despite those beady eyes. Plus, there’s no denying that once you became domesticated, you packed on the pounds. To quote the president-elect on the issue of weight gain, “That is a real problem.”

Turkey, you must be beside yourself. I know I am. This November, it seems like we’ve set back the clocks further than usual, but all the more reason not to waste precious daylight. We need to keep speaking our truths. We need to look ahead, even as we are watching our backs, and remember all those things for which we can be thankful. Like the up-swell of individual and collective acts of decency and protest, in response to the hate and ignorance. Like spacious skies and amber waves of grain, and Elizabeth Warren, and vegans. At the very least, my feathered friend, be thankful that you are not a penguin, because now that we have elected a president who believes climate change is a Chinese hoax, those poor birds are in even bigger trouble.

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