So much of the way we celebrate Christmas actually borrows from the Dickensian Christmas of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. And, at the center of that story is the Christmas goose. Who doesn’t love that scene in A Christmas Carol where Scrooge, animated by the yuletide spirit flings open his bedroom window on a crisp, cold Christmas morning and bids a lad passing by to run to the market, purchase the biggest goose, and bring it back—an act that Scrooge awards handsomely?

If turkeys are for Thanksgiving, geese are for Christmas. Cooked in the manner of a turkey, the meat is darker, richer, and some say “gamier”, a feast for a true gourmand. Paring well with figs, nuts, apples, and other Fall fruits, the goose best accompanies wine like a Burgundy or Cabernet, for example. Also served at New Year’s Eve dinner parties, the goose is beginning to make a comeback; sales are their highest since the goose’s heyday in Victorian England.

The Goose of Christmas Past, it appears, is on its way to becoming the Goose of Christmas Present, and–while we continue our work at finding a source for this water fowl–you can find goose meat for your holiday table this year by visiting Heritage Foods USA. Until then, for us it will remain the Goose of Christmas Future.

With conventional turkeys this Thanksgiving flying off the shelves of supermarkets at a buck and change a pound (it’s the only time these turkeys fly, by the way), I was reflecting on the higher price-point of sustainably-raised meats.
This disparity is most pronounced when one coughs up nigh $8 – $10.50/pound for a heritage turkey. That’s when the following thought came to mind: the Great Pyramids, also, were built inexpensively–thanks to an endless supply of slave labor. Closer to home, it’s the same reason why the American South couldn’t bring itself–without the Civil War–to part with slave labor, aided by the convenient falsehood that Africans were less than human.

Allow me to draw the following parallels, then, between the excesses in conventional agriculture and the building of the Great Pyramids. For starters, both are wonders: vast in their scale and scope, they are technological feats of marvel; we’re talking very advanced science. Both, however, accomplish their feats with the fetters of a false ontology. What I mean by this is that slavery, albeit an efficient means of production, is made possible when one begins to view a being of a higher order (namely a human) as being of a lower order (an animal, for instance). A similar error is made when factory farming views an animal, a being of a higher order, as an inanimate object, an object of the lowest order. The error, of course, allows the producer to become extremely efficient at outputs which is reflected in extremely low prices to the consumer.

A small but growing band of individuals, animated by something akin to the spirit of the American Revolution, have begun to shake off the shackles of this false ontology. Economic sacrifices are made. We’re eating less, but better, and finding that we’re bettered by it.