On Individuals and Thanksgiving

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On Individuals and Thanksgiving

By Mary Martin, Ph.D., Animal Person

I couldn't help but juxtapose all of that care for one individual of another species with the individual who would be on the table today. Dead.

Yesterday, I was on my way to the Foster and Adoptive Parents Association, which has a "store" and allows those parents to "shop" for clothing, toys and baby gear at no cost to them. Basically, they give stuff away, unlike Goodwill and the Salvation Army and others, who charge for their donated goods.

Everyone was slamming on their brakes on a major road and as I crept around the mayhem I saw the reason: a turtle of some kind. His shell was probably ten inches in diameter, and when I looked in my rearview mirror as I was about to pull over I saw several other cars pulling over. Four people emerged from the cars and were practically tripping over one another trying to get to the turtle to carry him to safety.

One small act of kindness perhaps, but for the turtle a life-saving one.

I wondered what these people would be doing for Thanksgiving. All of the brakes and the hazard lights and the cursing and the near collisions and the concern for this one individual. The inconvenience, the worry about the creature, the relief when he was, at least for that moment, free from harm. I couldn't help but juxtapose all of that care for one individual of another species with the individual who would be on the table today. Dead.

And not just dead, mind you, but cause for celebration.

Yet the turtle . . . cause for concern about his welfare. Concern about his life. Kindness. A hope for his life to continue. Even putting yourself in harm's way to help him.

Turtle . . . Turkey...