Turkeys and bears and the food chain – oh, my

Published 12:27 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turkeys should borrow a page from the Chick-fil-A cows’ book on advertising.

Those adorable cows use all kinds of measures to persuade people to eat more chicken. Of course, if more people choose chicken over beef, then cows are safer from being consumed by humans – safer, not totally exempted from human consumption.

The turkeys’ union should hire an advertising company to develop an advertising campaign to persuade the American public that something should replace turkeys as the preferred meat on Thanksgiving. Perhaps the advertising campaign would ask the public to eat more ducks than turkeys on Thanksgiving. After all, it’s probably a safe bet that at least one duck was eaten at the first Thanksgiving. We’re talking wild ducks, not those white, AFLAC-type ducks. Ducks, if they had not yet flown south for the winter, likely were around in numbers sufficient to feed the Pilgrims.

Of course, the AFLAC duck may have something to say about turkeys asking the public to roast a drake mallard than a tom turkey. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I could eat something that’s kin to Daffy Duck.

Maybe Daffy’s buddy, Bugs Bunny, has relatives that could replace turkeys as the preferred meat on Turkey Day. I do love barbecued rabbit, but I think Americans would prefer something with more meat on its bones than a rabbit.

How about roadrunners? No, Wylie Coyote has enough trouble trying to catch the Roadrunner without the rest of us trying to poach roadrunners in Wylie’s territory. With all those explosions occurring around old Wylie, it’s safer for us if we leave the roadrunners to Wylie.

Pork is popular in the South, so perhaps the turkeys should offer “the other white meat” to Americans as the replacement for turkey on Thanksgiving. Then again, pork, in the form of ham, is already popular at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. No, pork just won’t do as the replacement for turkey on Thanksgiving. The swine community already gives of itself.

I’ve got it!

Listen up, you turkeys. You may begin your campaign to replace turkey as the favored Thanksgiving meat immediately. Here’s the slogan: “Eat more bear.”

That’s right. Bear, as in bear steaks. Bear steaks are tasty – because bears are fat. Everyone knows the flavor is in the fat. Even Yogi Bear is fat – from eating all the goodies in those picnic baskets he and Boo Boo stole from visitors to Jellystone National Park.

There are plenty of bears in eastern North Carolina, but they may go into hibernation earlier than usual if they hear what the turkeys are up to this fall. We will have to go hunt our Thanksgiving bears; I haven’t seen any bears – fresh, frozen or alive – at any area grocery stores.

I can see it now. Turkeys dropping in by parachute at area football games. Trailing behind them as they descend are streamers with these words on them: “Eat more bear” and “Make no mistake with a juicy bear stake.”

The turkeys will have to be careful they don’t drift into a nearby forest. If they do, they’re likely to become Thanksgiving dinner for a den of bears. Is that what they mean by being part of the food chain?

Mike Voss covers the city of Washington for the Washington Daily News. He’s working Thanksgiving. He’s likely to celebrate with spurkey – a can of Spam carved into the shape of a turkey.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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