Tuesday, December 3, 2013

End of November Recap

Hello everyone, and happy December! 

I successfully completed this year's NaNoWriMo on November 27, with a final word count of 50,123! 

This was the first time I have ever finished my writing early, and it was worth it to have the last three days of November off!

A sketch of my main character and her cat friend.

Once I finished writing and had a quick lunch, Zach and I got ourselves packed up and headed to his parents' house, bringing Mystery along with us. That night, I finished the last sketch for my "Respect turkeys. Go vegan." album that I had been putting together on Facebook. Here are my final turkey sketches and their captions.

"Turkeys are able to adapt to a wide variety of habitats. However, most wild turkeys are found in hardwood forests with grassy areas." (
[sketch based off of this photo:]
"Like cats and dogs, turkeys are intelligent and sensitive animals who form strong social bonds and show great affection to others." (
[sketch based off of photo from here: (Photo caption: "Creek and Miwok arrived together from a free-range turkey farm. They would spend time grooming each other and pecking dirt off of each other's face.")]
Domestic turkeys being raised for food are "routinely 'beak-trimmed' (also called de-beaking or partial beak amputation).... Beak-trimming is performed using sharp shears, a heated blade, or a high-voltage electrical current. Turkeys' beaks, loaded with sensory receptors, are highly sensitive, much like human fingertips, and this painful procedure severs and exposes nerves. Some birds starve to death before they are able to eat again with this painful disfigurement; some die of shock on the spot." (
[sketch based off of photo from here: (Photo caption: "Like millions of others, Tomoko was being raised for slaughter for Thanksgiving 2013. She has the sadly typical scars from having been debeaked and de-toed. Thankfully for Tomoko, the horrors of that torture are becoming a distant memory, since a kind soul rescued her and 2 others (Jean and Loren) and brought them to the loving arms of Woodstock Sanctuary.")]
"In natural conditions, baby turkeys would stay with their mothers for up to five months, but turkeys on commercial farms never experience the safety or warmth of the nurturing presence they instinctively long for. … Eggs are collected from breeding hens and hatched in incubators. The unmothered, frightened hatchlings are transported to larger facilities where they spend the remaining portion of their brief, miserable lives." (
[sketch based off of this photo:]
Turkeys raised for food are "slaughtered at only 4-6 months of age. They still respond to a recording of a mother turkey hen's cries for her lost chicks. Birds are slaughtered young on both large and small farms." (
[sketch based off of this photo:]
"Detoeing is cutting off the ends of a turkey's toes." (This is done without any anesthetic.) (
"Young Petunia had quite fortunately not been debeaked, which is a sad but all-too common practice in the highly exploitative poultry industry where birds' beaks are burned off without any pain relief, often rendering them unable to eat. She had, however, had another cruel and common procedure performed – the cutting off of her toes." (Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary)
"Between 250 and 300 million turkeys are raised for slaughter every year in the U.S. – more than 46 million are slaughtered for Thanksgiving alone." (

For Thanksgiving, we went to my cousin's house; my contribution to the meal was a cider roasted root vegetables dish (red potatoes, gold potatoes, shallots, & carrots roasted first in olive oil and then in an apple cider/apple cider vinegar/brown sugar mix). I didn't take a picture of the one I prepared for Thanksgiving, so in its place is a photo of the leftovers of the first test batch I made. 

My sister made a vegan version of our Poppy's corn and mac bake. Other vegan foods at Thanksgiving dinner included corn and applesauce, as well as plenty of snacks (potato chips, pretzels, tortilla chips, vegetables, and fruits). We also brought along some leftover vegan goodies from my birthday (cake and chocolate peanut butter cups made by my mom). So it was a good feast, and while my sister and I were the only vegans, there were others at the table who did not eat any turkey, including Zach. I had a fun time hanging out with my little cousins, especially since they wanted to do their kitchen experiments with us again (creating new recipes in the kitchen and then bringing out the results for everyone to taste-test). This year, the main ingredient was clementines (last year it was cranberries).

On Friday, we headed over to my parents' house and had a nice relaxing day.

Saturday was the harvest dinner with Zach's family. Vegan snacks included tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, and pickles. For dinner, I had a burrito with peppers, onions, brown rice, and salsa, with corn on the side. And for dessert, ginger snap spice cookies with apple cider. Another great feast and lots of fun! Zach and I got a workout chasing his little cousins around in circles inside the house for the majority of the time we weren't eating. After that, it was time to pick up Mystery from my parents' house and head home.

Enjoy the new layout for the holidays (I'll have a post soon with photos of our decorations), and here's a (blurry) sleepy Mystery to bring this post to its close.

Peace. :)


  1. I'm loving your turkey sketches, especially the one with little poult with the his egg. So sad and so beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Rachel! That sketch was tough for me to draw (I felt it was almost too sad), but overall, it's probably one of my favorites.