by Susie Lofton
Every year at this time the President and possibly some governors engage in something that leaves me baffled. They ceremoniously pardon a turkey. Maybe I'm really short on imagination, but I just do not get the drift. First of all, the turkey has absolutely no clue that he is being pardoned, much less from what. His fellow-gobblers are not in the least appreciative or outraged in either case. And why, is it always a "gobbler" and not a "gobblette." Last, but not least, are these pardonable fowl only one breed of turkey, or does it matter whether it is politically correct when it comes to turkeys. The turkeys, if they could vote, might disagree. However, since they cannot, one would suppose that it must not matter. A turkey is a turkey, right?
And, what is the reasoning behind it all? Does it have something to do with the fact, that so many American tables are set this time of year with a roasted, baked, boiled, fried or smoked turkey? Or, is it feared that someday down the road there may not be any more turkeys?
Historical Note: Benjamin Franklin's choice for a national bird was the turkey, however the eagle won out.
I use to think that buffaloes were a near extinct humped-back cow. No, they are not a cow in the sense one classifies a Jersey or a Guernsey, but they are or were near extinct. Even the ones on a nickel are rare and all but extinct. Why not pardon a buffalo sometime?
It is shameful, how the buffalo were so nearly annihilated. Those wonder of wonders that once thundered across the prairie in great herds. Why didn't some enterprising cattleman take to raising buffalo instead of cattle? When it comes to meat-yield one would think that you could get a lot more meat from a full-grown buffalo than a cow. Who knows, perhaps with a little crossbreeding their pelts could be altered to a fine silky texture. That way, one could have a fur cape, stole or coat and only one animal could supply the entire garment. As for the capes and stoles, one cow might yield six such garments. If that were possible, one would not have to prey upon those cute and adorable little rodents of which it takes two to three hundred to make one garment. Hmmm! Could one cross a chinchilla with a buffalo? With what would you end up? Hmmm? Naw! Pardon a mink or a chinchilla, please. And since these little darlings are so small and incredibly cute, let's pardon enough to equal a coat.
Also, near extinct was the alligator. They have been rehabilitated. The "law" has caught up with those rascally vermin,' took them to selected areas where they can rehabilitate or more correctly described, "repopulate." It is probable they are no longer endangered, the rehabilitation program was so successful. Their nests can now be found in places where forty years ago, were good hunting and fishing holes. They are now the hunters and fishers. Doesn't seem right does it?
What about the whales? These giants of the deep are quickly dwindling in numbers, too. One good, thing is that at least the crew of the Enterprise in a "bird of prey" will "beam-up" a couple of these and save mankind from some futuristic killing machine. Might as well be blasé about it, it is not like one can fence and corral them in some obscure out of the way place. I never have heard a reference to the backwaters of the ocean. The oceans are endangered themselves from the pollution of deadly chemicals. Man just does not seem to take responsibility for his actions or care for that matter. Is it a out-of-sight out-of-mind thing, or by the time we're caught-we'll be dead and gone, or does it all boil down to appeasing the bank accounts of some cartel? So what, if the creatures of the deep die, or the waters become cesspools, or millions of people become diseased and die? History does repeat itself. First, came the reckless slaughter and carnage of the buffalo. Next, the very air one breathes and the waters from which we drink. Humans could be the endangered species if things continue as they are.
Besides, who is going to stop these spoilers anyway? Sure, there are some who will picket and protest, but is anyone really listening or care? The few who do are no more than mosquitoes buzzing around on a sultry summer day, here today, gone tomorrow, business as usual; all the while the cash registers continue to ring.
So, why pardon a turkey? Man needs to pardon himself and worry about tomorrow. We are wasting our planet at an alarming rate. Have any of us not heard of global warming and ozone depletion? We have the potential to self-destruct in a matter of hours with the warheads man has devised. It seems we are on a self-destruct course one way or another. God will not have to rain fire and brimstone on the earth, man will do it gladly for Him as long as he can blame it on God or someone else.
There was an Eden once, a place of perfection and harmony. Man in it was so perfectly made that he would never die. His body was made to last forever, renewing and regenerating itself continually. Then something happened to change all that. With that change came, sickness, sorrow, pain, suffering, and death. Peace was a thing of the past. Man began to war against man, brother against brother, literally.
By his own concepts man has just about lowered himself to the level of the beast of the field. Survival of the fittest prevails upon humanity and man does not necessitate altering it. The shame of it is man does not want to try to alter it. He has lost respect for himself as well as others. It has been said, "If you don't respect yourself, how can others respect you." The truth of that statement goes beyond the casual and simplistic definition. And sadly, it encompasses all mankind no matter what one's race, creed, religion or national origin.
My World Book Dictionary describes respect as: "high regards as to honor; being esteemed; to care, and have consideration." Man, in general, has lost respect, for even himself. Part of the problem is that man has managed to get things out of proper order. A clue to the proper order of things can be found in Matthew 22:37-39, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Man has suffered sickness and death ever since man's expulsion from his God-given paradise. And whose fault was it? It was man's fault, because he chose to disobey and he lost respect for God's word. We cannot blame God. But, there is a way of escape, if any were of strength and character to look for it. It has been said, God forgives or pardons, man cannot even himself. Can you pardon yourself long enough to look for the answer? The solution is so simple it alludes even the wisest among us.
Here's wishing a happy holiday to each and everyone.