OPINION: Should you go vegetarian for Thanksgiving?

Abby Cunningham, Reporter

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When Americans think of Thanksgiving, the first thing that comes to mind is a turkey as the centerpiece of the feast.

Traditionally, American families gather on the fourth Thursday of November and give thanks for what they have. The celebration usually includes a large feast where the typical American will consume a whopping 4,500 calories, compared to the recommended daily of 2,000.

A chunk of the 4,500 calories come from the praised bird on the center of the table, the turkey. However, with many Americans celebrating this holiday, millions of turkeys are killed. It is estimated that 46 million turkeys are killed each year for Thanksgiving alone. That is a whopping number of turkeys being killed and many are fed harsh antibiotics and treated poorly. These birds are used for decoration and food, but at the cost of their lives. Packed into dark sheds for their whole lives, and forced to live in their own feces, turkeys are doomed for the holiday season.

Senior Annie Hodge said, “I believe in animal rights. Humans don’t need animals to eat and we can survive without eating them.” This is a common opinion among many individuals.

However, many believe that the turkey is too vital to a Thanksgiving dinner to get rid of. Sophomore Kaylene Henault said, “Having a turkey at Thanksgiving is a tradition. Americans have been eating them for years.”

The first Thanksgiving occurred in 1621, which makes Thanksgiving a celebrated holiday for nearly 400 years.

Sophomore Jennifer Keth agreed with Henault, “I eat a turkey because it’s a tradition to have one for the holiday and give thanks.”  Similarly, many people believe that the turkey shouldn’t be taken away too.

Though there is an increase in bird killing during Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is about being grateful and giving back. Both vegetarians and omnivores put aside their differences to celebrate.

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