In the early 17th century, one did not go to Whole Foods and select a turkey from a refrigerated bin fill of cryo-sealed fowl. All the birds in the 1600's were "free-range." The religious zealots who came to these shores had to set off into the woods and fields to seek meat for the table. They had unreliable and hard to aim flintlock weapons. Their gunpowder supply was precious and fickle. A missed shot was a lamentable event.
Deer and turkey were abundant in the fields and forests of New England. But first they had to be located and harvested. It was work. It was also work to drag the game home and clean it. Cooking over wood fires is no game either.
So when we belly up to the table tomorrow, after hauling the store-bought bird from the Viking range, remember what our ancestors had to do in order to plate the Thanksgiving meal. The local Native Americans were not caterers. To the PETA types out there...how is that Tofurkey tasting....yuch.