Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish everyone a happy and heathy Thanksgiving! There's a lot for me to be thankful for this year- and I hope to carve out a few moments on this day to reflect on all the good things in my life.  My actual Thanksgiving day celebration this year is going to be a minimal affair, but Matt and I celebrated together a few days ago at the Thankful Turkey Celebration at Animal Acres. Visiting that place, and seeing the goodness in the people who work there and the visitors that support them always warms my heart. I am very thankful that I get to go there each year- to renew my spirit and get me in the Thanksgiving state of mind.  

And Thanksgiving would not be the same without turkeys.  So the rest of my Thanksgiving post is dedicated to that big, strange, pretty, bird that we don't give nearly enough respect! 

Let's Talk Turkey!

Wild turkeys can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.

Turkeys have excellent hearing and vision- their field vision is about 270 degrees.

Turkeys sleep in trees, they fly to roost around sunset. They especially like Oak trees.

Turkeys can see in color.

Gobbling turkeys can be heard a mile away on a quiet day.

Baby turkeys are called poults, and are tan and brown.

The male turkey is called a tom; a female is called a hen.

Tom turkeys have beards, black hair-like feathers on their breast...hens sometimes have beards too!

Some studies claim that turkeys have been on Earth for 10 million years!

Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity.

Turkeys' heads change colors when they become excited.

The ballroom dance the "turkey trot" was named after the short, jerky steps that turkeys take.

The costume that Big Bird wears on Sesame Street is rumored to be made from turkey feathers.

There are a number of cities in the United States named after this amazing bird: Turkey, Texas, Turkey Creek, La., Turkey, N.C., There are also nine townships around the country named "Turkey," three in Kansas.

June is National Turkey Lover's Month!

So this Thanksgiving, I give thanks to the turkey.  I've gotten to know a couple of them personally through the functions at Animal Acres.  I have to admit, even as an animal lover, I was surprised how loving turkeys can be to us humans! The few I met ate from my hand and like to be pet! 

And since this is my happy blog, instead of being sad about how many turkeys are *inhumanely* slaughtered for our thanksgiving tables, I am going to focus on how more and more people are trying vegetarian and vegan thanksgiving celebrations. It really is a growing trend! I see the Tofurkey flying off the shelves at my local grocery store! And that's just one option- the recipes for a vegetarian thanksgiving feast are endless- people are enjoying all kinds of hearty, rich, cruelty-free food! Just check out these mouth-watering dishes!

But, for some of us, it's just not thanksgiving without a bird on the table.  I like the look of this one! Festive and regal, just like the real birds! How great would a tofu-turkey or one of the other delicious dishes above look served out of this?? 

Or, if you're artistic, you could try your hand at edible art, like the woman in the picture below.  She made a turkey centerpiece using local vegetables- its so fresh, fun and colorful!  This is the kind of turkey I would be honored to have grace my Thanksgiving table!  Follow the link below her picture to find out how she did it.   And if anyone makes one, I'd love to see it!

Of course, there is one more way to celebrate with a bird at your table for Thanksgiving... 

Gobble Gobble!!

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