Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Thanksgiving Message

Two years ago for my birthday, I asked for a pair of leather boots. This year I asked for a turkey from the Farm Sanctuary. Times have sure changed. Gone are my leather boots from Lord & Taylor (donated to the C.A.T.S. resale shop), and I now have my adoption certificate of Serendipity, my stylish, non-leather boots from Payless, and a sense of relief that no animal has to suffer for some fleeting fashion whim.

This can be a depressing time of year for animal advocates. Millions of turkeys suffer so our nation can gorge themselves, and even for such tasteless, appalling events as bowling competitions with frozen turkey carcasses. Each day as I walk to my office in Manhattan, I pass streams of women wearing fur-trimmed coats, hats, bags, boots and beyond.

But I remain thankful. Thankful for the many advocates I have met, from those who organize protests to those who pass out pamphlets on their lunch hour. Thankful for the animals, who have shown such a capacity to forgive and love again, despite our abuse and exploitation. And thankful I have seen the light and am no longer contributing to their suffering.

Whatever you are doing today, whether it's eating a Tofurkey, a holiday portabella mushroom, or even a vegan pizza, we must be thankful for all that we have achieved, and optimistic for the future.

Whenever I get discouraged about all that lies ahead, I remind myself of one of my favorite quotes from "These Days" by R.E.M: "We are young despite the years. We are concern. We are hope despite the times."

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