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For Intelligent and Sensitive Turkeys, Thanksgiving Is Nothing to Cluck About

On Thanksgiving alone, 45 million turkeys will be killed, after a life filled with torture.
Photo Credit: Penn State/Flickr

Thanksgiving always meant gratitude, complacency and eating turkey at my Aunt Mollie’s house. It wasn’t until later, when we schooled what turkeys go by to arrive at the table, that we began to see the holiday differently.

Suddenly, the day felt definitely depressing. So much of the dinnertable review revolved around the stays of a tortured animal who was not so opposite from my beloved cats. Who’s going to carve the turkey? Who gets the legs?The holiday I’d always desired for its suggestion of thankfulness centered on an animal who had zero to be beholden for in her life.  

This Thanksgiving alone, 45 million turkeys will be killed for the dinners. Now that we know what supportive and intelligent people turkeys are, it breaks my heart.


Turkeys are also rarely social. They exaggerate a formidable wording of gobbles, clucks, putts, yelps, and whistles. Turkeys have celebrity and character, and they croon when petted. They weep the deaths of group mates. In the wild, turkeys happily spend their days caring for their babies, building nests, foraging, grooming, and even unresolved out in trees. Baby turkeys stay with their mothers for the first 5 months of their lives.

But factory-farmed turkeys, which are flattering much all Thanksgiving turkeys, meet their deaths at around 5 months of age. In fact, the turkeys we eat have been selectively bred to grow so vast so quick that many of them humour from unpleasant bone defects, hip corner lesions, and crippling deformities. And the calamity doesn’t stop there.

Live turkey at the kill blade. (image: Mercy for Animals)

Many turkeys have heart attacks on examination their associate birds being killed. If they tarry until slaughter, prolongation lines pierce so quick that workers mostly destroy to kill the birds before they are forsaken into the sweltering feather-removal tanks entirely conscious.

This horrific pang is deliberate customary and excusable by the animal cultivation industry. But the cruelty goes even further.

Undercover photo of bureau plantation worker decapitating live turkey. (image: Mercy for Animals)

Undercover investigations into Butterball—the largest turkey writer in the U.S.—resulted in the first-ever transgression self-assurance for cruelty to factory-farmed birds after workers were documented punching, kicking and throwing turkeys. These distressing investigations suggested baby birds belligerent up alive in hulk macerators, toes and beaks cut or burned off but painkillers, and harmed animals left to humour and die but correct veterinary care. But Butterball is no outlier.

Thankfully, the Thanksgiving holiday lends itself ideally to eating cruelty-free. Classic sides like crushed potatoes, fibre bean casserole, cornbread and stuffing, are easily and deliciously veganized. Turkeys can be simply transposed with tasty centerpiece, like pressed squash, vegan wellington or plant-based roasts. (My top recommendations are the Celebration Roast by Field Roast and Gardein’s Holiday Roast.) Many options are accessible at sequence grocers or healthy dishes stores.

These days, with so many healthy and tasty options, it’s easy to feel full but contributing to animal cruelty, on Thanksgiving Day or any other day. Now that’s something to be beholden for.

Ari Solomon serves as the executive of communications at Mercy For Animals, a inhabitant non-profit farmed animal insurance organization.



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