Thought Food


Bizarro 11-24-13 WEB bizarro 11-24-13 hedrWEB






(For a largerized view, click the 46th turkey from the left.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Discriminatory Food.

I’m fairly well known for being a vegan buzzkill on Thanksgiving but I can’t help it. I’ve long thought the arrogance of we humans believing that everything is here for us to use as haphazardly as our whims dictate, is embarrassing to our species. Biologically, humans don’t “need” to eat meat (unless we are starving in a place without plants, like the Arctic) we eat it because it tastes good. On top of that, our bodies aren’t constructed to process meat very well, which is why it gives us heart attacks, strokes, obesity, etc. You don’t see “true” meat eaters in the wild with these problems. So when you weigh tastes good against the suffering and misery of creatures that are more like us than not, it seems to me a glaring inequity.

If a person wishes to celebrate the good things in their life, as we traditionally do on Thanksgiving, it seems to me a more honest effort if that celebration is not derived from the suffering of others. I’m only explaining my own thought process and ethics here, I’m not judging the vast majority of Jazz Pickles who will eat turkey on Thanksgiving. If my words offend you, you may want to looker deeper into your own feelings about cruelty to animals. You may be surprised to find out how much cognitive dissonance is necessary to maintain your current lifestyle. Again, just my own thoughts.

The cartoon above in which turkeys attempt to avoid slaughter by disguising themselves as American Bald Eagles is specifically about how we revere certain species and abuse others as if they were inanimate objects. Eating a Bald Eagle is a crime in the U.S. but abuse of chickens and turkeys is protected by anti-terrorism laws by making it a felony to take pictures or videos inside factory farms. Yes, that’s true. Yes, it’s absurd. Dogs and cats are protected by law but virtually no other species. The lack of logic here confounds me.

PREBIZTORICALS: I’ve done a lot of turkey cartoons around this time of year but this cartoon from 2006 is my favorite. Not because it is the funniest––it certainly is not––but because it best expresses my feelings on the subject.Bz turkey 11-20-06WEB


94 thoughts on “Thought Food

  1. Unfortunately, humanity suffers so much that what they view as pleasure (eating meat, eating to obesity, addiction to sugar, drinking alcohol, smoking, and so much more) is really more self-destruction because our unresolved pain comes back after these anesthetics wear off. It’s a vicious cycle and yet, we call this behavior “normal” and/or “acceptable.” Thank goodness we have such a wonderful and cheap medical system to heal us of all our ills because we are so irresponsible for our own lives! (Was the sarcasm in the last sentence too subtle?)

    • Come join us in Canada! We have great healthcare!

      Completely unrelated, how is eating meat bad? I get if you’re eating farmed turkey that have never seen the light of day, but if you have a way to get it from someone who takes care of them and gives them a good life, whats the problem? We’re omnivores, so lets omnivate!

      • Up here in Canukistan, Canada Geese are a ‘protected specis’. (That means that there are a gazillion of them here- and when they get tired of crapping all over our beaches, they come down and foul yours, too!.) Preparing them for the table, is the same as for Turkey. (I read someplace, that the turkey was once nominated as your ‘national bird’- but the Eagle won the toss………….

      • I don’t think you’re really giving an animal a good life if you only care for them because you intend on one day killing and eating them.

      • The problem with eating meat is not that a few animals must be killed in order for us to occasionally have meat on our tables. It is the way the animals are tortured and confined and killed in order for us to have cheap and plentiful meat on our tables every day, 3 meals a day. This can only happen with the use of feedlots, antibiotics, unnatural feeding practices, cruel confinement and abhorrent breeding practices, gestation crates, animals living in their own filth and dead cage mates, the destruction of the environment, intolerable pollution from methane and lakes of urine & feces and fertilizer runoff (you have to feed 1,000,000 pigs something), etc…etc… If everyone could afford to buy organic, humanely raised meat for once a week consumption, we would all be better off.

      • I love Canada and our neighbors to the north, so I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but personally, I’ve never understood the position that killing and eating a free range bird is somehow more righteous than some other bird. I like the free range part, it’s the killing and eating part I have a problem with.

  2. ≈ Definitely with you on this, of course. I remember when there was no such thing as a imitation tofurkey and we had to make do with stuffing butternut squash. Oh, the humanity!

    • I am confused by your comment…are you saying a vegan looks down on Thanksgiving ‘because’ they don’t want to eat animals?

    • “If my words offend you, you may want to look deeper into your own feelings about cruelty to animals. You may be surprised to find out how much cognitive dissonance is necessary to maintain your current lifestyle. Again, just my own thoughts.” I guess you missed that part, unclesamonmars.

  3. As a Biologist and instructor in human anatomy and physiology, I always take issue with statements like:

    “On top of that, our body’s aren’t constructed to process meat very well, which is why it gives us heart attacks, strokes, obesity, etc. You don’t see “true” meat eaters in the wild with these problems. So when you weigh tastes good against the suffering and misery of creatures that are more like us than not, it seems to me a glaring inequity.”

    First of all, we evolved to this state; we weren’t constructed. It is likely that hominids have been meat eaters for hundreds of millenia based upon our dentition which marks us a omnivores: incisors don’t work well on plant material (which is why we instinctively use our molars) and meat is tough to rip off of bones using molars, so we use the incisors. Many carnivores process foods in the digestive tract in ways that are similar to us, but what has likely led us down the path of heart disease and hypercholesterolemia has been our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, our overindulgence of food, and the way our food supply has become industrialized, pumping up sugar levels, using toxic materials to make food look attractive, etc. As one of my Nutrition colleagues used to say, “All things in moderation.”

    I respect a vegan’s right to eat what they want, but please don’t cite human anatomy & physiology as your reason because you’re Off the Mark… (oops…sorry. wrong comic strip)

    • I agree with some of what you’ve said here and not with others. I’m not a biologist but I’ve done a fair amount of reading on the subject, some of which was written by physicians, chemists, nutritionist, and others in various fields of science. Without citing a lot of specific scientific info, one of the most telling factors to me is that humans are naturally repulsed by the sight of blood and the smell of a dead animal. Animals meant to eat meat are attracted to these sights and smells.

      Thanks for your thoughts. I always appreciate a good debate. :^}

    • Explain then why – when people pull back or eliminate altogether the ingesting of animal flesh – they stop and even reverse the dis-eases of DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, ARTHRITIS, and more.

  4. Thank you, Dan for using your very strong talents to not only make people laugh, but also to think. Your artwork and humor provide a subversive vehicle for reaching inside people’s hearts and minds and forcing them to think.

    I wish there were more like you.

  5. I disagree that humans aren’t designed to eat meat. Can people do vegan? Sure, for the most part. I do know a few people that can’t. I think it really depends on body chemistry. There’s no one answer to diet, but I believe moderation is a key.

    I think we eat too much meat though, and the factory farm process and ag gag bills are horrific abuses.

  6. The subtle coloring for the disguises and the turkeys is excellent. Really helps sell the gag.

    In real life, they aren’t that different!

  7. “…our body’s aren’t constructed to process meat very well, which is why it gives us heart attacks, strokes, obesity, etc. You don’t see “true” meat eaters in the wild with these problems…”

    Sorry, but your information is a couple of decades out of date. Those particular issues are caused by carbohydrates, specifically grains. Research has shown that high levels of cholesterol are the body’s way of protecting the heart and arteries from the inflammation caused by carbs. Scientific evidence going back to the 1950’s shows that a high fat high protein diet is the healthiest (the Inuit were “true” meat eaters, they thrived on seal and whale blubber and now that they are on a “western diet” they suffer from all the ailments that go with that diet, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure). On a personal note, eliminating sugar and reducing carbs to less than 10 grams a day has enabled me to lose 47 pounds since May this year. I feel better, sleep less and have more energy. Before changing by diet I was a fat comatose farting blob on the couch.

    Two good resources are “Wheat Belly” and the “Paleo Diet”.

    Anyway, I love your work. :)

    • There are a variety of ways to lose weight, not all of them are wise, long term choices. Heroin is a good example. I think the meat-centric diets are another good example of this. I know hundreds of people who eat low-fat, vegan diets (including a number of notable, world-class athletes) who have excellent health, low cholesterol, plenty of energy, and live long, healthy lives. So, while I agree that processed sugar is a highly toxic substance, I don’t believe carbs in general are. The Atkins Diet did what you are doing and the founder died from it.

      Nonetheless, I appreciate your comments and always welcome a civil debate. Thanks!

        • His followers say he slipped and died, others have said he had a stroke and collapsed. Because it was on ice, it became the official excuse. I’m guessing we’ll never know the truth.

          • On April 8, 2003, at age 72, Dr. Atkins slipped on the ice while walking to work, hitting his head and causing bleeding around his brain. His death certificate states that the cause of death was “blunt impact injury of head with epidural hematoma”.

            This is the same way Natasha Richardson died…

  8. So, you think people eat meat because it tastes good? Then why is it covered in spices, cooked a certain way, etc? When I first gave up meat, I thought I’d never quit craving barbecued this or that – or the McDonald’s crap. Wow, how quickly my body and taste buds adjusted. I soon realized what I was personally craving. And, it wasn’t the meat or the nasties in it. Also, we’re creatures of habit. We just need habits that aren’t so self serving that we don’t even understand. Also, it does not help that the government indoctrinated many of us at a young age that we ‘need’ meat and dairy via the food pyramid and other constant propaganda delivered via public schools.

    Have a good Thanksgiving – I’m still figuring out my menu….

    • Sorry but that makes no sense at all. When I throw a steak on the BBQ I put nothing on it and it tastes fantastic! There is no need for spices or “certain way of cooking” meat, just apply heat. On the other hand, there are many foods that are dangerous if not prepared properly, even the lowly potato! I lived in a vegetarian co-op a few years back. Some of the meals there were the blandest crap I had ever eaten, to the point of gagging, herbs and spices and a bit of curry are pretty much a necessity to make lentils edible.

      BTW no one really considers what MacDonald’s makes food do they? Cellulose burgers and bleached fries?

  9. Agree with your sentiments completely. And I know how you feel about being a vegan (or environmentalist) buzzkill…most people don’t want to know how our behavior negatively affects animals and other people. But it’s good for us to at least peek out from beneath our veil of ignorance every once and a while. I’m not ignorant about the issues that led me to eat a veg diet, but I’m sure I’m partially or fully ignorant of other things (e.g., how most of my clothes are made by factory workers).

  10. Well I *do* understand that in the USA there is one turkey that is officially “forgiven” – for being a turkey I guess. (I’m not making this up) (same location for the National Egg Roll) (not making that up either)

  11. I’ve read some very compelling vegan arguments…and then I watch how the poor in many third-world countries rely on animals they raise or hunt or fish for to survive. It seems that those of us who can otherwise count on a fully belly w/o eating animals can make that choice with little at stake.

  12. Actually, we did evolve to eat meat, and the evidence is pretty clear that without it, we wouldn’t have evolved into the big-brained creatures we are. The problem is that we live too long: it’s not until after the age when all other primates (and our ancestors) die(d) that the cumulative effects of meat eating become deleterious.

    • I’ve always disagreed with the theory that we became big-brained after we started eating lots of meat. We weren’t capable of cooperating well enough to bring down a lot of animals until we had language, a function of the big brain. Plus, societies that did not eat a lot of meat became big-brained, too. Without our big brains, we hadn’t a chance of killing many animals because we have no speed, fangs, or claws. Our brains are our only physical asset in the wild, without it, we are very poor hunters.

      • I have ALWAYS enjoyed your comics. My dad would always leave the paper out for me to see it everyday. Then one day he pointed out a vegan one. THE BEST THING EVER! I have been vegan for 16 years and my husband and I are raising our 3 kids vegan as well. Now my kids are enjoying your comics. Hopefully they will make good choices and continue to be vegan for the rest of their lives and someday share your comics with their kids. Thank you!!! :)

      • The eating of meat predates cooperative hunting, which got a brains a bit bigger. Early cooperative hunting didn’t require language: look at chimps, dolphins, whales, wolves, lions…again our brain size increased, and we developed language. After we started hunting cooperatively, and cooking meat, our brains grew even more.

        An article you may want to read that touches upon the subject of meat-eating in our ancestors, and how our longevity messes with the changes that came about as a result, is “Long Live the Humans” in the October issue of Scientific American.

      • some think mushrooms (a plant) is what made us smarter but being from Texas I still haven’t met any “big brained” people. Maybe I’m just not looking at the right place…

  13. I try not to be an obnoxious and self-righteous vegetarian, but in the 20 years I have given up being part of the machine extinguishing life for food I have become more and more repulsed by the casual cruelty of humanity. Anthropomorphizing these turkeys is a more valid ethical statement of enduring truth than the pious nonsense in today’s sermons across the country. Thanks.

      • Wow. So much for a “civil debate.” But it’s your site so you express your opinion, offensive to many or otherwise, as you wish.

        • Why is it uncivil to state that there is no god? And how is it uncivil to ask about calling god male? Is a penis not a key feature of maleness? And is not the notion of a spiritual entity having sexuality (and therefore the biological parts we typically associate with sexuality) a bit absurd?

          On a separate note, if we want to talk about being uncivil, isn’t it a bit uncivil to ignore an entire piece of writing just to make some thoughtless (both meanings of the word – not thinking or comprehending what one reads and being inconsiderate of how others feel regarding animal suffering) statement about how animals “taste good”? Isn’t a bit uncivil to suggest that an imaginary being that supposedly created all life would prefer to see that life suffer and be tortured? And is it not uncivil and incredibly sexist to suggest that this made-up being who is all-powerful is male (because an all-powerful being simply couldn’t be female, the weaker sex, right?)?

          • Valid and pointed response, Dan. Brilliant as is your entire post. The annual turkey holocaust is horribly depressing, and the meat addicted seriously don’t want to look at it. Couldn’t agree more. I myself think humans have actually evolved to become omnivorous. But that idea alone simply means that we can indeed eat meat, not that we have to. And it IS a fact that that we really don’t have to eat meat to survive. To me, the desire not to participate in suffering and killing far outweighs any desire to ingest animal products. Perhaps the increasing amounts of humans choosing not to contribute to animal suffering is a sign of ongoing human evolution. The future may be rather bright in that sense.

    • Cannibals would say the same about other humans. You are also made of ‘meat.’ Anyway, that was such a new and creative and unique comment that no one has ever made before (thousands of times). Yawn!

  14. Our bodies process meat very well, it will digest 100%. By contrast, we don’t process plants very well, which is why cows and rabbits can get fat eating grasses that provide basically no nutrition to us. I eat a high-meat diet and have perfect health – I think too little exercise and too many empty calories from sugar and flours is generally to blame for obesity and food health issues.

      • If you allow me, mr. Piraro, I believe it’s not one or the other. If each individual is different, then it’s possible that for some meat eating is healthier and for others plants are healthier. What’s more likely though is that we are made to have a balanced diet of both meat and plants. We have the necessary body parts to eat both, why wouldn’t we be able to eat both? I think the true answer is neither “plants” or “meat”, but rather, moderation. That is all and thank you for your time

  15. I understand your viewpoint’s moral basis, but it has no scientific basis. Humans (and generally primates) are evolved to be omnivores, not herbivores. If you think our systems aren’t designed for meat, how could you possibly consider that they are designed for vegetation?

    More to the point, acting like factory-farming is the history of meat-eating is good vegan talking points, but not historically not valid. We’ve been eating meat back to when homo sapiens was the new species on the block.

    So, it’s hard to believe in evolution (or really, science) and think of veganism as anything other delusional. Please don’t mix psuedo-science into your posts when it takes only basic analysis to debunk it. (did you know that one theory has human cognition arising when high-food-value seafood became available to prehistoric man?)

    • The cool thing about this viewpoint is that there’s tons of moral AND scientific basis!

      Nearly ten years ago, I had the same opinion you have, and then I decided to actually look into it with an open mind. Didn’t take long to convince me, and I was among the loudest antagonists against vegetarians.

      Trust me, and this is from somebody who actually used to kill animals and eat them… we don’t have to.

      • Exactly, I have found that most of the people who believe animal products are good for us are not people who have actually looked at the facts and studied it, without bias. Please use your ‘big’ brain and do some research without an agenda to support your traditions and tastes. I had no intention of becoming vegan, whatsoever. But when I started reading, studying, watching the videos, watching the people around me dying at young ages due to cancer, etc., it became much less about genetics (only 2% is genetic), and much more about what they were eating. Families think that it’s genetics that make them susceptible to cancer; have a look at them all being used to eating the same things for generations – we all know we love to make ‘grandma’s’ recipes. All I know is once I stopped eating animal products at 47 years old, for over two years now, I can see and feel the benefits, and I have no financial interest in it, nor am I a follower of fads. What I do see is people ignoring the horrific animal cruelty going on. The reason it got so bad is BECAUSE people have turned their heads – if you can’t even watch what they go through, imagine how they feel going through it. And if you can’t watch it, then you are a hypocrite for eating it. We take kids on tours of chocolate factories, but we don’t take them on tours of factory farms. Why not? Come on now…we know they’d never touch it again if they knew what those thinking/feeling animals went through. I watched my Mother pass away from four major diseases and now I see people reversing those diseases with diet change and exercise. In my own case, I no longer have psoriasis on my body, my knees stopped crunching, I’m much more clear-headed, I have a lot more energy, and I just feel better overall. I have found that when people actually research it themselves without an agenda of making excuses to keep doing it, they realize that it’s not sustainable to continue the way they are with animal products, and it’s better for the animals (obviously), health, and the environment. The only people that ever told me that I needed meat and dairy, were the meat and dairy industries. Every commercial on TV is have some cheese on your meat and more meat on your cheese and look at the happy cows. The dairy industry is one of the most horrific industries going. Watch Gary Yourofsky’s Best Speech You Will Ever Hear (free on youtube), and watch Earthlings for free online (if you can manage to get through it) and watch Forks Over Knives (totally about nutrition). If you actually watch ALL 3 of them instead of just defending your ‘right’ to eat animals (where are the animals’ rights?), then you’ll see, if nothing else, why we feel the way we do about how we are conducting ourselves on this planet with our fellow beings. If we have such a big brain, why are we the only ones stupid enough to ruin/pollute our planet, damage our health, and treat animals with the uttermost disregard and keep them in disgusting environments and THEN be stupid enough to eat it? I agree with one of the posters above; once I changed my diet, I’m amazed at how much better everything tastes.

  16. Dan, please put an end to your holier-than-thou vegan bullshit. Don’t demonize people for not adhering to the lifestyle YOU think we should have. Also, have the courage to respond to me this time, you fucking coward.

    • I’ve stopped posting your comments or responding to you, Jim, because you are a petulant nuisance. Your consistent and inarticulate attacks on my personal opinions as presented here on my personal blog, are tiresome and childish. You accuse me of wanting to dictate what others think while your every comment is a childish rant on how wrong I am for not subscribing to your own particular point of view, the majority of which you got from your apparent hero, Penn Gillette.

      This post does not demonize people, it expresses why I don’t subsidize cruelty to animals. What I really cannot understand is why, if you think I am such a dick, you’ve continued to read and comment on my blog. Go elsewhere. There are a few other websites on the Internet to choose from.

      • Interesting connection there between this “Jim” fellow and Penn Gillette. It would be interesting to hear Mr. Gillette’s views on (a) your opinions expressed on your blog (as a Libertarian, I believe he’d disagree, but I’m convinced it would be in an interesting and mostly civil way); and (b) his take on someone using his ideas to conduct barrages of ad hominem attacks on someone who is using their own blog to express their own opinions. (again, as a Libertarian, I’m certain he would not approve).

        It reminds me of a great cartoon (author unknown to me) of two people walking together, one in flowing beard and robes. The other one says, “Jesus, protect me from your followers”.

      • Awesome response, Dan, to a (expletive) coward sitting behind his computer and probably someone who can’t even imagine a life where people are not only kind to animals, but kind to each other. And you’re right; he can’t stop reading your blog because it gives him something to whine about. He should go elsewhere; maybe somewhere like a Jerry Springer blog, where people actually have nothing intelligent to say but like to show their worth by swearing, calling names, and saying nothing of any worth.

  17. Hm – in response to weighing “tastes good against the suffering and misery of creatures that are more like us than not” – all organisms are far more like us than they are not, genetically at least. However, I imagine if you had a houseplant infested with greenfly you would spray it with a greenfly killer, or if a mosquito bit your arm you would thwack it away. I agree with you on the abuse of livestock against abuse of pets though, other than that most pets are probably more intelligent than most livestock. Do you know about the laws about filming inside factory farms/slaughter houses in countries other than the US? That law sounds completely ridiculous and I was wondering whether our government (I live in the UK) has a similar one.

    • I’ve no idea what laws are like in the UK, sorry to say.

      While most people assume pets are smarter than livestock and use it as a rationale for treating them as we do, I have learned firsthand that this is not true. Cows and chickens behave very similarly to dogs and cats in similar circumstances, and pigs are known to be smarter than dogs. Even if it were true, however, I think the level of intelligence of a being is not a good measure for whether or not they have the right to be protected from cruelty-for-profit. If that were true, the penalty for killing a mentally disabled person or a baby should logically be less than an elderly person who has a lifetime of knowledge. The logic obviously doesn’t hold up under that light. Thanks for your comments. :^}

    • Presently vegetarian, formerly hunter… I live by a motto of not attacking an animal unless he attacks me first. I help spiders out of certain areas of my home, always help bees and flies outside entirely. Wouldn’t kill a mosquito unless he picks a fight. This motto has worked for me so far!

  18. Better to be a killer of buzzes than a killer of birds! And your “peace on earth” cartoon will always be a classic and a favorite of mine. I find it pithy and profound, and all too painfully true.

  19. Dan Piraro, you are brilliant, compassionate, and exceptionally talented. This blog posting and comic absolutely made my entire holiday season. In this month of gratitude, I just want to say that I am incredibly grateful for you, and for others like you, who aren’t okay with horrific factory farming practices and are not afraid to bring light to these atrocities. Thank you for caring, and thank you for doing what you do!

    I’m looking forward to a fully vegan Thanksgiving (potluck-style), and it’s going to be delicious! :)

  20. This Thanksgiving will be my 6th vegan anniversary. And while it’s a very tough time of the year, dealing with people’s incredibly morbid enthusiasm for violence towards creatures who have done nothing to deserve it (I live in the heart of the Midwest to boot), I still feel that there is hope, because of people like you :) Thank you Mr. Piraro!!

  21. I’ve been cast into back-of-my-mind-thought-process by your article and, to a lesser (or greater?) extent, by the comments which followed (people are rude). I have always had a knee-jerk abhorrent reaction to the idea of veganism. I wasn’t sure exactly why, I just felt it. So when I read your argument, my immediate reaction was to shout at you like others did–hit the “wrong you are” button on my keyboard and move on. I couldn’t do that. Instead, I’ve been thinking about how to respond all day.

    What does not appeal to me about the vegan concept is the seeming lack of respect to those who cannot afford to, or cannot physically, take part in the fun. Other comments make reference to part of this so I don’t think I need to talk about the monetary requirements of your lifestyle. I’ll bet there’s a finically-free society somewhere, living off only vegetables to support your argument.

    As a dialysis patient of some 20 years now, however, I believe my anger towards veganism and my disease are connected. I have never, never, ever been able to eat what I like or choose. Were I to attempt eating vegan, it would require a tremendous amount of effort just to avoid renal-toxic foods, let alone eat them. Can’t eat soy. Can’t eat nuts. On and on. So I guess not choosing to eat meat pisses me off in a way that choosing not to eat vegetables would you. My diet requires things I often don’t like, because balance isn’t just important, it’s critical. Meat is something I can eat, so it would feel foolish to turn it down. I’m sure you’re not insensitive to people with diet restrictions, but on the whole, veganism feels like a slap in the face.

    It would be my hope that one day we’d have organic meat markets the way we do farmer’s markets now (at least in my neighborhood). If we had a better system for raising our meat/animals, I’d feel better about getting my protein from something other than whey powder. Maybe we’d all feel better about it? Thanks.

    Happy Thanksgiving! It’s not about the meal, anyway, it’s about how lucky we are to be alive, loved and together.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful response, Jason. Seriously, I can tell you did some soul searching about this and I’m honored you spent the time. By the way, when I speak of these things, I refer to the general, first-world public and not people with special needs or conditions. I have nothing against people in extreme poverty doing what it takes to survive, of course. So would I.

      Good luck to you and have a great holiday!

      • Where do cattle get their protein from? They make it themselves from the plant food they’re fed or graze on. We do about 2/3 of the same and need eight amino acids from outside our bodies. This isn’t too tough to get with a little thought. Overall, depending on where you read it, a 150 lb person needs an average of 50-60 or so grams of protein a day. That’s not much. Being barely more than a forager in evolutionary terms and a lousy hunter we never ate a lot of meat until technology (first high powered weapons, then refrigeration, and then McDonalds). Tofu has more protein than beef. I’ve raised and slaughtered many tofudabeasts. I’ve been a vegetarian since 1977, am approaching 65 and, like Steven Wright, plan to live forever. Like he says “So far, so good.”

        Virtually everything physically wrong with me is mostly minor and completely genetic.

        Some people are somewhat irrationally sensitive about this topic and suspicious of vegetarians.

  22. This year’s cartoon is certainly clever… And kind of sad too. Why do we keep asking innocent creatures to come up with “special” reasons to treat them kindly? Seems that knowing that they can suffer… Knowing that they value their lives no differently than we value our own ought to be enough to let them be.

    Only flying turkeys merit respect? I sure hope night vision or the ability to breath in water isn’t a someday-criteria for another race to judge us on.

    Happy ThanksLiving Mr. Piraro – And thank you for your wit and compassionate voice of reason! ;)

  23. I am a longtime fan of your comics and these are particularly brilliant and touching. I can’t speak to whether our bodies are “designed” to eat meat or not, but it’s a fact that humans used to survive very well with meat only as a rare luxury at best. I always hear the “I know someone who HAS to eat meat… ” story when this topic comes up, but I’ve never once seen it verified medically. The resources that go into mass meat production would go much farther if used for other purposes, and more people would be fed. Even if we have historically eaten meat, can’t we EVOLVE with what we learn and witness?

    I’ll stop here – this subject never fails to anger and upset me. I just try and do what I can, and hope that others will see what I’ve seen and learned, and be changed by it as I have been.

  24. Dan, I appreciate your ability to make a statement in “comic” form and I agree completely with your sentiments regarding how one species is treated differently from another. Keep up the good work. A lot of us who have looked within and determined we don’t need to hurt another species to survive (or to simply have fun) love you and your work. I hope you have a wonderful turkey-free Thanksgiving.

  25. I’m curious what you think about the process of using the entire turkey to make other products. Some examples are using the feathers/down to make house insulation, refining all the bi-products into a bio fuel similar to diesel, grinding the bones up into a paste and then dehydrating to use as fertilizer. Knowing that without major changes we will continue to have the large amounts of animals grown for human consumption, do you think it is worth developing new technologies to make use of these already present “resources”?

    I started thinking about this as I was reading the comments while watching an episode of History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” about the turkey (it’s interesting how what I thought seemed normal/acceptable when watching the episode before now seems rather disturbing). Often see some good discussions going on here so I figured I’d go ahead and ask.

    Love the comic and your blog – been following you since reading your x-mas comic last year (the Mercedes with the giant bow), just haven’t posted any comments. Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Bill. I guess my thoughts on this are that IF we’re going to continue to destroy the planet by raising billions of farm animals, the least we can do is use every single part for something necessary. If part of that is bio fuel that is less damaging than fossil fuel, all the better. I’d prefer we stopped breeding animals for these purposes, of course.

  26. We are all a product of what our parents lived and passed on, along with environmental and cultural factors. To think you are completely unbiased is a delusion.

    Keep the cartoons flowing and INCONGRUOUS please. What’s for lunch?

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