Even though I was raised a vegetarian (I am no longer), my extended family ate meat, and it was my family’s job to visit the local turkey farm each November to pick up the bird. I have one especially vivid memory (I must have been about seven) of waiting by the parking lot while my parents when into the barn to pay the farmer. Behind a wire fence was a huge field filled with turkeys, hundreds of them, still alive, gobbling and pecking at the dirt. Now, I really have nothing against birds being killed for food, as long as the process is sanitary and the birds are kept in good health with space to roam (unfortunately, that rules out most chicken and turkey meat available, unless you’re lucky enough to live by a farm.) But you’d think that the interviewer would have thought to ask Sarah to move at least a few steps to the right or left, so she wouldn’t be filmed chatting it up while turkeys are slaughtered in direct view.
Then again, maybe America’s shock and awe at seeing a turkey being killed is a sign of how distanced we are from where out food comes from. Millions of Americans will chow down on turkey this Thursday, so now at least we have an idea of how they’re put to rest. Still, the awkward juxtaposition of Sarah Palin’s smiling, all-American chatter (complete with wink) and a turkey’s slow and morbid death is sort of hilarious.