Denver Bar Association
November 2004
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Pro-Turkey Ruling Stuns Nation

by Greg Rawlings

In a ruling without precedent in the vast annals of American law, a federal judge has granted an injunction against Thanksgiving. Hiram Lorenzo Turkey (Hilo to his avian friends and human admirers), name plaintiff in a class action filed in the Northern District of California, gobbled with glee outside the courthouse as stunned reporters from "Court TV" to "Game Bird Blogs" looked on in shock and awe. 

Book-ended by internationally famous "turkey whisperer" "Sibilant Sam" Russell and the world’s first certified American Turkey Interpreter Mel Gallo, Hilo thanked the judge who, to quote the tearful bird, "saved me and mine from another mass slaughter. For once the blood shall not flow in rivers from the corporate coops of America; for once the tortured cries of young toms and hennies struck down in the prime of life will not resound throughout the stinking vales, plains and floodplains of America." The judge himself, usually a reticent man of the black robe, commented as he stepped into his bulletproof H2, "I’m a beef man, myself."

This parting shot, of course, prompted prompt, if not entirely articulate, reactions from spokesanimals for both Ban the Beef and Free the Fish. Pork, the other white meat, has yet to wade into the fray, referring all questions to Babe the Gallant Pig.

On the pro-meat side of the fence, Carny Jones, president of the Eat More Beef Society, complimented the judge on his taste in holiday fare, but warned that any effort to protect America’s Red Meats from "proper culling" and "appreciative mastication" would result in an immediate stampede of lawsuits.

"Cattlemen of the world, and especially the 9th Circuit," he bellowed, "rise and stand as firm as a 24-ounce USDA porterhouse that’s been too long on the gas grill of a rank
citified nincompoop." He also warned that if this ruling spread to beef, Robert Mitchum would roll over in his grave. Not a pretty thing to picture this holiday season.

The national press and le haute monde were as one in praise of PETA’s amicus brief, which featured a dazzling array of supermodels, nude but for a strategically placed silk banner with vermilion lettering that read: "Turkeys are People, Too!"

Upon viewing this visual aid, infamous Washington blogger extraordinaire Opinus Maximus weighed in with a paraphrase of a Canadian MP’s recent scandalous observation, noting in 18-point Times New Roman that: "Americans truly are idiots."

This malicious utterance obviously called for a witty riposte by Hilo, via Gallo, after much input from Russell: "We are assuming the O.M. was referring to American humans since we all know that American turkeys are widely noted for sagacity and uncommon physical beauty." At which time Hilo tugged suggestively at his wattles.

"I may be a quirky turkey," Gallo continued sotto voce, simultaneously interpreting Hilo’s gobbles into English, a sly smile pasted to his pasty face, "but I ain’t no hokie." At least one young French reporter is rumored to have swooned.

On the local front, the ruling sent Colorado legislators into a tizzy. Conservative think-tanker Jon Golden called for a constitutional amendment to forbid "Judges, lawyers and the like" from treating "poultry, livestock and/or freshwater fish" as a "protected class." He can be contacted at

Certainly this won’t be the last we hear of this development. Noted gallinaceous bird anthropologist Fowler Pullet summed things up for now with this wise parting shot, "Now, for the first time in my life, I think I can finally be spared Aunt Pultrie’s confounded stuffing."

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