Turkeys, Mop-Dogs, and other strange beasts

It’s Thanksgiving, and I have a family tradition to uphold, along with a blog tradition.  First, for all of you, my traditional Thanksgiving video:

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Brad Plummer has a post up on the absurdity of this tradition.  In brief:

  • Doing a media push about pardons for turkeys (complete with hokey website), while the President has pardoned and commuted the sentences of so few people is a wee bit tacky
  • It’s a “tradition” that started in the 80s, so we’re in the sweet spot of killing it now before we forget its origins and the practice becomes unstoppable
  • Pardoned turkeys die within a year because the turkeys we breed for eating are absurdly proportioned beasts whose skeletons can’t support their bulk for much longer than it takes to get to the table.


And speaking of bizarrely, and sometimes destructively, engineered animals, my family is watching the National Dog Show, as is traditional on Thanksgiving.  We turn up out nose at harmfully bred animals like the bulldog (which can neither turn up it’s own nose or reliably breathe through it), but all cooking and prep stops when our favorite dog emerges:


There are actually two mop dog breeds in the show: the Komondor and the Puli.

Third place cutest goes to any of the tiny, long-haired dogs that look like sea cucumbers when they move.


And, in a first for Thanksgiving, I’ve made pumpkin challah bread.  And I believe it’s time to eat it.

About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011 and lives in Washington DC. She works as a news writer for FiveThirtyEight by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked. She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."