Does anyone else feel bad for Thanksgiving? That’s right… I feel bad for a holiday. Despite being the only holiday that most organizations give you two days off for, Thanksgiving is almost completely passed over. Think about it… stores barely wait for Halloween to be over before they become a winter wonderland.

Personally, any holiday that is all about turkey is my friend. However, I must admit the deliciousness of turkey has been somewhat diminished by all of the health concerns surrounding the origin and raising of these festive birds. Has the turkey been given antibiotics? There are benefits of the use of antibiotics in livestock, but there are misuse issues as well.

After the antibiotic questions are addressed, there are the growth hormone vs. GMO questions. It’s hard to get that big, delicious turkey breast to feed 20 family members without modifications. The USDA is pretty strict about not using hormones in poultry, so the industry has spent years perfecting selective breeding, to make sure everyone has enough turkey to start gaining their holiday weight early.

Besides the possible health ramifications, there are also the cruelty considerations. Young and cage free might sound good, but that does not mean free range.

Then all of those concerns have to be balanced against the increased cost of a bird that had a better and healthier childhood then you did. After this research I will probably be a little smarter when shopping for the centerpiece turkey this year, but I do still plan on having turkey. So this year I will not only pledge to not shop on thanksgiving, I will also pledge to keep the turkey on the table.