Book Review

Karen Davis’ New Book

More Than A Meal

More Than a Meal challenges all Americans to think about the values they want their annual family ritual to embody.” – Peter Singer

“This is the kind of book we need more of.” – Jim Mason
More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual and Reality
By Karen Davis, PhD
Lantern Books, New York
2001, 192 pp. Softcover
Available from United Poultry Concerns $20 + $3.50 shipping & handling

Highlights from three outstanding reviews of More Than A Meal.

This is the kind of book that we need more of—"we" being advocates for animals' rights and vegan living. The author is brilliant and dedicated: Dr. Karen Davis is the founder and president of United Poultry Concerns, the first U.S.-based advocacy organization focusing exclusively on "poultry." . . . With a flair for research, Davis cuts through the pyramid of lies, distortions, and negative images that society has constructed around the turkey; then she helps us get to know the real animal. 'The turkey," she writes, "is 'more than a meal' in the sense that every creature is more than a meal outside the range of those who prey on it." - Jim Mason is the author of An Unnatural Order: Uncovering the Roots of Our Domination of Nature and Each Other. His review appeared in the July/August issue of VegNews.

With well-documented information on the history of turkeys, their uses by humans, behavior in the natural habitat versus in captivity by humans, and place on the Thanksgiving table, author Karen Davis, Ph.D. brings to light the scape-goatesque manner in which turkeys have historically been treated in the U.S. . . . The meaning of the turkey's role on the Thanksgiving table is given extensive coverage, including the role of the typically-male presentation of dismembering and slicing the muscles off the corpse. –Maribeth Abrams is the managing editor of Vegetarian Voice, the quarterly magazine of The North American Vegetarian Society. Her review appeared in the Spring issue.

Observing that "Celebration can include evolution," Davis ends More Than a Meal with a challenge for us to "invent new traditions" that do not cost other sentient beings their freedom and their lives. "Substitution of new materials for previously used ones to celebrate a tradition is an integral part of tradition," she reminds us. "In the religious realm, if we can substitute animal flesh for human flesh and bread and wine for all flesh . . . and view these changers as advances of civilization and not as inferior substitutes . . . we are ready to go forward in our everyday lives on ground that is already laid. . . . If the Peaceable Kingdom is a genuine desire and a practicable prospect, fake meat is the food to which dead meat has aspired, and the fake meat makers are as deserving as anyone of the Nobel Prize for Peace." – Norm Phelps is spiritual outreach director of The Fund for Animals and the author of The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible published by Lantern Books in 2002. His review appeared in the August issue of Satya.

Put More Than a Meal on your holiday shopping list! Donate a copy of More Than a Meal to your local library!

To order by mail, send check or money order for $23.50 (includes shipping and handling) to: United Poultry Concerns, PO Box 150, Machipongo, VA 23405.

To pay by credit card, call: Lantern Books 1-800-758-3756, or email

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More Than a Meal