The Noble Turkey

While you’re bellied up to the table on Thursday, showering your potatoes with rivulets of gravy, consider these utterly random facts about Thanksgiving’s bird of the hour:

–Californians are the biggest turkey eaters in the country. (really?) Each year they eat 3 pounds more turkey than the average American consumer.

–When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sat down to eat their first meal on the moon, their foil food packets contained turkey with all the trimmings.

–Turkeys have great hearing skills but no ears. They have a poor sense of smell but a great sense of taste. And turkeys see in color.

–And here’s my personal favorite: Benjamin Franklin much preferred the turkey over the eagle as a national symbol. He condemned the eagle, calling it “a bird of bad moral character.”

[The eagle] does not get his living honestly,” he went on to say. “He is a rank coward… and is no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest.

His thoughts on the turkey? “It is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . a bird of courage who would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards.”

Who knew that the turkey could be so noble? Perhaps we should pay homage to the nearly-national bird… before we stuff it with giblets and roast it in the oven.