Pardon Me: The Turkey in American Life (PBS)


In a pre-Thanksgiving opinion piece for PBS, Colleen Glenney Boggs, an associate professor of English and of women’s and gender studies, writes about the holiday tradition of eating turkey and how Americans distinguish pets, such as dogs or cats, from the animals they eat, such as turkeys.

By eating turkey on Thanksgiving, “we eat a symbol of America,” writes Boggs, who suggests that,“deciding not to eat turkey this Thanksgiving will not diminish the holiday.” Boggs continues, “On the contrary, it is a way of celebrating the core values of Thanksgiving: the particularities of American life, the extension of love and kindness to others, and the affirmation that we celebrate life in all its myriad forms as we pay tribute to nature’s bounty. Extending a loving gesture towards that larger nature—towards the living turkey and the larger ecology—is a way of reinventing our traditions in a way that remains quintessentially American.”

Read the full story published 11/21/12 on Need to Know on PBS.

Office of Communications