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18 November 2001 Issue
Get Exclusive AOL Turkey Day Tips, Bargains

by Randy Atlas - RannnD@aol.com
Animal Rights Online Website Coordinator

[Editor's Note: This letter was written to Steve Case, head of America Online (AOL) and his staff.]

Dear AOL Holidays,

As a vegetarian, I feel uncomfortable and offended when the term "Turkey Day" is used to reference the Thanksgiving holiday, as was the case in this e-mail sent to AOL subscribers. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a harvest festival, and the feast does not have to be centered around a dead bird. People can easily enjoy delicious, healthy vegetarian Thanksgiving meals consisting of a wealth of foods from the earth -- fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc. -- rather than having to follow a "tradition" of giving thanks while consuming a former fellow living being who suffered a horrible death in a filthy, bloody, crowded, noisy (from the screams of the animals) slaughterhouse.

This will be my 15th vegetarian Thanksgiving. I don't miss having turkey, or any slaughtered animal(s), at the dinner table. Fortunately, here in my hometown of Buffalo, NY, we have an annual vegetarian potluck Thanksgiving dinner, at which people can celebrate the harvest season and give thanks in a nonviolent, cruelty-free manner. (Actually, the feast is vegan--meaning it is free of all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc.) Each year this event is an overwhelming success.

Prior to my receiving an education about what happens to animals "raised for food," I would sometimes use the expression "Turkey Day" come Thanksgiving time. Now the term has a completely different meaning to me. I feel it is a reminder of, and a memorial to, the millions of turkeys who lose their lives when Thanksgiving comes around, simply for the dining pleasure of Americans. A little bit of information can go a long way!

It would have been nice to see an item about having a vegetarian Thanksgiving included in your AOL Holiday e-mail. I ask that you please think about what I've said in this e-mail, and consider publishing a vegetarian article in next year's edition. (Or, how about an article about vegetarian Christmas/Hannukah/other winter holiday feasts?)

Sincerely,

Randy Atlas
RannnD@aol.com 

P.S. -
For more information on turkeys and other animals raised for slaughter,
please see the following web sites:

United Poultry Concerns [UPC] - www.upc-online.org 

Farm Sanctuary
www.farmsanctuary.org 

Go on to My Vegan Kitties
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