It’s a hard knock life for vegetarians

Award-winning columnist Benjamin Gohs shares the lament of a vegetarian at Thanksgiving time

By: Benjamin J. Gohs, News Editor
(231) 222-2119 

When I was a kid I thought my life was a movie. I grew up with few essentials but was convinced by screen gems that the more adversity I experienced the greater my reward would be. After all, Daddy Warbucks came to Annie’s rescue, and even Mr. Scrooge had a change of heart for old Bob Cratchit.


It’s been about a million miles since I’ve had to eat boiled cornmeal mush or put bread bags over my socks to keep the water out, and I’ve had just about every toy a middle class American male could ever want, but there is a new sadness lurking over the Gohs household this Thursday.

For the second year in a row I’ll be eating Thanksgiving dinner without turkey. Oh, there’ll be a bird on the table; but, I’ll be getting none.

The wife and I gave up the good stuff nearly two years ago for health and ethical reasons—me thinking my arteries could stand a break from animal fat, and she thinking she could end the world’s suffering.

I have a couple brothers who also lost their minds and decided to go veg’, but the bulk of the family remains murder-a-tarians, and thus we still purchase a 20-pound bird.

Is it ironic that we’re still responsible for killing an animal? Is it ironic that the turkey is probably the healthiest food item on the dinner table?
I don’t know … I’m delirious from meat withdrawals.

Miss Hannigan … I mean the wife … made a feast last year out of an array of vegetables, vegetable gravy and, for the main course, stuffed mushrooms. You know, they say mushrooms, when prepared properly, taste just like meat.

I’m guessing these were the last words of someone who was bludgeoned to death with a stale turnip.

This year I am told we will be supplanting impregnated fungus with a football-shaped hunk of turkey flavored soy.

I’m sure if I had the strength my mouth would be watering right about now.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many worse off than I. And, frankly, I could stand to miss a few dozen meals.

Further, I’m not the first Pilgrim to go without poultry this time of year.

I was reading Howard Zinn’s “The People’s History of the United States” some recent evening and Zinn pointed out just how bad things were for the Jamestown settlers back in the first decade of 1600.

Not only did the settlement’s population dwindle from around 600 to 50 or so, the desperate folks began eating tree bark, road apples and some even turned to grave robbing for cannibalistic purposes.

One gent’ is said to have murdered his wife in her sleep and ate her all up save for a few bits and pieces.

They say his actions stemmed from a ravenous state—I’m sure the fact that the misses switched the family to Tofurkey had nothing to do with it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to the window in hopes a bald philanthropist in a Rolls Royce will show up.

I’d like to say to you all that I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings … but knowing most of you will be enjoying turkey prevents me from doing so.


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