Turkey alternatives

The Tofurky company offers many vegan alternatives to turkey this Thanksgiving holiday and beyond.

Bob Kasarda, The Times

Halloween is now behind us and soon so will be the even scarier day of elections.

That means Thanksgiving is right around the corner with its own frightening reality.

An estimated 37 million turkeys are killed in this country for Thanksgiving, according to the Counting Animals website, which bills itself as, "A place for people who love animals and numbers."

This is just a small part of the estimated 235 million turkeys killed throughout the entire year in this country alone, according to the website. Apparently it would not make smart business sense or be very efficient to start and stop the killing machine.

It's tough to really understand the size of this number, but consider that there are currently just less than 325 million people in this country, according to the United States Census Bureau's population clock.

No matter how you look at it, this is a lot of turkeys who suffered horribly short lives and very violent and painful deaths.

I am well aware that animals are eaten year round. But there is something particularly painful about this holiday because of the prominence of the dead turkey.

This pain seems to be getting worse for me each year and I am not yet sure how I will cope with my own family gathering. I am not looking forward to it.

One way small way of bringing something different to the table this Thanksgiving is to take part in the Farm Sanctuary's Adopt a Turkey Project.

The money raised through this 30-year-old effort helps the sanctuary in its efforts to rescue and provide care for turkeys, as well as educate and advocate for them and other farm animals.

For just $30, adopters receive a certificate with a color photo and fun details about their new friend.

Maybe I will take a photo of an adopted bird along with me to this year's meal or maybe even send it in my place.

The opinions expressed here are solely that of the author.

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Bob is a 22-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.