Just Say No! How to Avoid Eating the Worst Meat This Thanksgiving

It’s that time again, and soon you will be faced with the same choice you have to make every year:
“What do I do with this dry, bad meat in the center of my family’s Thanksgiving table?” 

Eating turkey is a terrible thing to do to your body. When you eat turkey, you are putting chemicals inside of you. For instance, turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that takes away your energy and makes you feel sleepy. If you are sleeping, you would have a hard time doing fun things such as picking up the turkey and spiking it into the garbage can. 

Your family might want you just to try it. “Come on, you’ve never had turkey the way I do it. This one is delicious!” they might say. Your school cafeteria could boast about their “festive, holiday-themed” Thanksgiving menu. Your friends might even claim their turkey is ethically sourced, but let me ask you: when it comes to consent for turning a beautiful animal into a piece of meat, isn’t there a certain feathered someone that farmers always forget to ask? 

When the people you care about influence you to do something that is harmful and immoral, that is called negative peer pressure. Peer pressure does not have to be spoken, either; they might peer pressure you by pushing the turkey closer to you or putting some directly on your plate. In that case, it is time to take a stand. Here are some ways you can tell your family that you will not be eating turkey this year, or ever:

  • I promised my coach that I wouldn’t have turkey.
  • I wouldn’t eat that, even if I were starving!
  • I really like you, but I don’t like turkey.
  • That turkey has a family.
  • I know someone who got really sick from that. That’s not cool.
  • I’m not planning on gobbling that down. 
  • That’s not kosher.
  • Think about how the turkey would feel. 
  • Turkeys are endangered! (Normally, lying is evil, but when you’re in a situation like this, it’s totally fine.)

If the people you’re spending the holidays with really love you, they’ll understand and won’t push you to consume something so vile and gross. In fact, you may even be able to convince them to walk the path of abstinence from turkey-eating with you. While this list may be extensive, it isn’t exhaustive. If you can’t remember any of the examples above when this happens to you, I recommend you just wing it.