To many of us, the word "Thanksgiving" is synonymous with "turkey day."

As we come near this holiday, we start to see turkey decorations in stores, turkey coloring contests for children and other signs that let us know that "turkey day" is coming. While these activities seem to represent a time of praise for these intricate birds, how do we honor our fellow friends?Unfortunately, we hang them upside down from their feet, slit their throats and dine on their carcasses. Many of us feel that these activities are inescapable if we are to have a feast that leaves both our stomachs and taste buds satisfied.

It is quite easy to have a hearty dinner that does not come from a dead animal. There are plenty of delicious, plant-based foods to choose from, including pastas, vegetables, fruits, breads, beans, etc. You can even find a tofu "turkey" in a good percentage of health and natural food stores.

These foods will fill you up while leaving you with nutrients necessary for vitality. As each year passes, we find ourselves searching for better modems, better medicine, better stereo systems and many other better external things.

While these technological and scientific breakthroughs have their advantages, they are worthless if we are not bettering ourselves internally. We cannot expect peace in this world when our actual nutrients come from violence. Please let our past traditions pass so we can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner centered on compassion and reverence for life.

John Ford

Salt Lake City