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Gobble, gobble: PETA suggests a Thanksgiving name change for Turkey, Texas

The eyes of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are upon Texas this weekin an effort to urge the Panhandle town of Turkey to change its name to "Tofurky" in time for Thanksgiving.

In a letter to Turkey mayor Pat Carson, PETA highlighted the issues of health and animal-cruelty as a reason to consider Tofurky as a "delicious and meaty comfort food" as a possible alternative to the traditional turkey dinner. The organization offered to provide a full-course vegan holiday meal for the entire town, if the borough of nearly 500 changes its name for the day.

"Turkeys suffer virtually every day of their lives, right up to and including their slaughter," the animal rights group said in a statement. "Eating turkey and other meats is an invitation to serious health problems."

" If we were to acknowledge that [letter] at all, I would rather say 'Save turkey, eat more beef,'" Turkey mayor  Pat Carson told the Amarillo Globe-News.

 While not exactly an indecent proposal by any stretch of the imagination, the Tofurky offer brought a swift and firm response from Mayor Carson.

"If we were to acknowledge that [letter] at all, I would rather say 'Save turkey, eat more beef,'" Carson told the Amarillo Globe-News. "We rely heavily on beef production... If we had our choice, we’d just as soon everybody ate beef."

While surely not the reply PETA had hoped, the organization still can claim a successful fall season as far as media attention is concerned — from an announcement of its upcoming XXX website to its well-publicized attacks on Kim Kardashian, Prince Harry, and even Super Mario.

"Even though we haven't received an official response," Alicia Woempner of PETA told CultureMap, "we're glad to have an opportunity to tell Turkey, Texas residents there's a cruelty-free alternative to turkey."

"We still hope to do a vegan Thanksgiving elsewhere in Texas," she said, mentioning that this was PETA's first attempt at reaching one of three U.S. towns named Turkey. "Asking a place to change its name is a fun and upbeat way to raise awareness."

In 1996, PETA asked Fishkill, New York to alter its name to Fishsave. The village officials opted to keeps its name, noting that "kill" actually means "creek" or "river" in Dutch. Regardless of the outcome, Woempner said, the public offering was a "wonderful opportunity to reach out to people in the greater New York area."

Meanwhile, the local Turkey community hosted a large public Thanksgiving meal on Sunday sponsored by the Wild Turkey Federation, which provided fresh local birds.
“Turkey is one of the poorest communities within one of the poorest counties in the state of Texas,” Carson said in the Amarillo Globe-News. “We don’t have a lot to be proud of but our heritage. Our name came from the prolific wild turkeys in the area. They’re beautiful, and they don’t have anything to do with Butterball turkeys or anything like that.”


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