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Pamela Loxley Drake wonders why the 'poor old turkey' has become our Thanksgiving meal of choice every year.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeThat poor old turkey.

You know, the naked one in the freezer case.

This truly is not a season for happy, thankful gobblers.

How in the world did they get chosen to be November's sacrifice? Sure, they were plentiful but so too were rabbits (take that from a person who raised rabbits — lots of them). Grouse, fish, wild pig, deer, other creatures were in abundance.

And, later as people moved West, why not buffalo? Moose?

Bigger animals feed more people. I know you have all wondered the same, right?


The turkey has no reason to be thankful.

We raised chickens, so chicken with stuffing reigned over all the other bounty from the hands of cousins, aunts and Mom. The cows and sheep were safe for another year. They were thankful.

Turkeys are so unique that it is hard to take eyes off them. Their hood and "beard" are unique, ancient in a way. They stride around the yard with a healthy ego. Their disposition is such that there is no hesitation in attacking people.

Perhaps that is how the first one ended up on a platter.

But back to that old turkey. If we're going to roast it, let's know more about it.

Domesticated turkeys can live up to 10 years. Ten years!

Male turkeys are the only ones who gobble. (Does it seem wrong to say we gobble down the turkey?) The females purr, which I wonder if, perhaps, they are part feline. Hmm.

Millions of turkeys will be slaughtered this year. They do not lead very pleasant lives before meeting their maker, as with all commercially raised "food" animals.

As I age, I eat less meat. For a girl raised on meat and potatoes, this is quite a change. Yet tofu turkey does not appeal to me, even though I like tofu. I am just pro-animal.

The turkey cannot be thankful, but we can, right? We can be thankful for all the blessings, the sacrifices, the challenges that make us realize what we have.

I am thankful for humor, love, second chances and possibilities. Most of all, I am thankful for my family.

I am grateful for each of you who, for some reason, read this column and sometimes pass it on. You might think that I write for you, when in essence, I write for this life we are living. For we all come to the table together each day. Thank you for coming to mine.

So, yes, I am thankful for the Thanksgiving turkey.

Why a turkey? Well, why not?

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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