New Yorker Article on Turkeys Cites United Poultry Concerns and More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality by Karen Davis
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“Talking Turkey,” by Bill Buford, The New Yorker, November 20, 2006, pp. 38-47.
In “Talking Turkey,” New Yorker food writer Bill Buford focuses on wildlife biologist Joe Hutto and Hutto’s communication with wild turkeys. Several years ago, Hutto raised wild turkeys from incubation to maturity, an experience he charts in a riveting book, Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season with the Wild Turkey.
Buford’s New Yorker article has a paragraph, on p. 44, based on information in Karen Davis’s book More Than a Meal, starting with “The commonplace is that turkeys are ungainly” and ending with “in the wild.”
Buford’s information about producers putting saddles on domestic female turkeys in the mid-20th century, preceding the era of artificial insemination, is from More Than a Meal, pp. 69, 71.
Unfortunately (not surprisingly) Buford’s reference to UPC and More Than a Meal is surrounded by culinary platitudes, and words about the suffering and abuse of turkeys raised for food are stripped of empathy, and lead to: “[I]t was my knowledge of the turkey’s historical disfigurement (starkly depicted by Karen Davis in ‘More Than a Meal’ and on the Web site of United Poultry Concerns) that led me to take up hunting.”
The Nov 20 issue of The New Yorker is on the newsstands and worth the read. But if you really want to learn about turkeys and their role in the Thanksgiving ritual, buy Karen Davis’s More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality published by Lantern Books, available for $20 from United Poultry Concerns. Order by check or money order, or by credit card at www.upc-online.org.
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150