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Have a slaughter-free Thanksgiving this year

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue teams up with Miami Dade Fire Rescue for a demonstration of what could go wrong while using a turkey fryer. Make sure your bird is fully thawed, patted dry, unstuffed, and that your oil is filled to the appropriate level and is not overheated before turning the flame off and slowly lowering the turkey into the oil. And even at that, officials warn there could still be significant splatter and potential for injury or fire.

President Trump is said to be getting his pardon pen ready as the Robert Muller investigation starts indicting his associates. This Wednesday, he plans to practice his pardon-granting technique on two very innocent Minnesota turkeys (“Be like Obama: Pardon a turkey,” Nov. 21, 2016).

The other 244 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year have not been so lucky. They were raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. Their beaks and toes were clipped to prevent stress-induced aggression. At 16 weeks of age, slaughterhouse workers cut their throats and dumped them in boiling water to remove their feathers.

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Consumers pay a heavy price too. Turkey flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats that elevate risk of chronic killer diseases. Intense prolonged cooking is required to destroy deadly pathogens lurking inside.

Now, for the good news: Per capita consumption of turkeys is down by a whopping 34 percent from a 1996 high of 303 million, as one third of our population is actively reducing meat consumption. Our supermarkets carry a rich variety of convenient, delicious, healthful plant-based meat products including several oven-ready roasts.

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This Thanksgiving holiday, as we give thanks for life and good fortune, let's also skip the gratuitous violence and grant our own pardon to an innocent animal.

Bill Canterbury, Baltimore

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