As we get close to Thanksgiving, a holiday I am most thankful for, I've been wondering what you would cook if you hosted a herd of elephants. As I explored possible dishes I found a few that I think pachyderms would enjoy.
As a disclaimer, we're not going to measure the sheer amount of food you'd have to fix, namely because a single elephant eats 200-300 lbs of food a day. So just looking at the dishes themselves, let's see what you could serve elephants on Thanksgiving.
As you probably know, elephants are herbivores. They eat only fruits, veggies and other plant- or mineral-based foods. This means your Thanksgiving feast would not include turkey or ham (don't cry, it gets better). On the plus side, elephants don't seem to be picky eaters, so the sample dishes below would be no trouble to whip up:
A basic assortment of veggies keeps the meal healthy, and having a mix is good. Don't forget to add salt for flavor and nutrients, because elephants need their salt!
Sweet potato casserole:
While you could just serve these whole (or even raw, elephants aren't picky), it's fun to dress them up a bit. Pecans add some protein and crunch to the dish. Go easy on the butter though; it's not good for humans, let alone pachyderms.
A bit of bread is okay for elephants, but the healthier the better, because grains are typically outside the pachyderm diet.
Cranberries are a nice dish because they're both sweet and tart, and add one more traditional touch to your feast. I'd get the canned cranberries; after all, you might as well make it easy on yourself since you're making a lot of food.
Elephants have a sweet tooth too, so making dessert is a good idea. And like many animals, elephants love pumpkins!
So there you have it, an elephant-friendly feast for the holidays. As you can see, it's not too different from our own meals, and may even be healthier. And one more thing: if you have a woodsy backyard, be warned that the elephants might snack on your foliage. After all, bark, leaves and branches are a healthy, and yummy, part of the pachyderm diet! Happy Thanksgiving!
Kerry Skiff is a conservation advocate and recent journalism graduate of Northern Kentucky University. She follows the ivory trade around the world, and uses her voice to educate Americans about their role in animal conservation.