November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Week, Day 1: Turkey Suffering

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is suppose to be about giving thanks to all and being thankful and for what you have. But, when over 250 million turkeys are slaughtered each year for food, especially at Thanksgiving1 it is not giving thanks to all. That is why you and your family should eat cruelty free this Thanksgiving and adopt or sponsor a turkey! Save turkeys by celebrating a compassionate Thanksgiving. For the next 8 days I will display vegan Thanksgiving food options for all to try from around the web and some of my own. Day one will be about the abuse that turkeys endure.

Of the 250 million turkeys that are slaughtered each year, more than 46 million are for Thanksgiving alone. The turkeys are not protected under most state anti-cruelty laws, and exempt from the federal Humane Slaughter Act. Commercial turkeys are anatomically manipulated to have abnormally large breasts, and this results in them not being to able mount and reproduce naturally. The industry now relies on artificial insemination as the sole means of reproduction. Factory farmed turkeys endure painful beak and toe mutilations, and are given only about three-square-feet of space on which to live.2 These small living quarters causes stress among the turkeys resulting in them to fight each other where they attack each others eyes and toes.

It use to take 220 days to raise a 35-pound turkey. Now, due to selective breeding and growth-promoting drugs, it takes 132 days. This rapid growth causes turkeys to suffer from many chronic health problems, which include skeletal disorders and heart disease. The majority of farmed turkeys spend their entire lives inside overpopulated and poorly ventilated warehouses that typically house up to 25,000 birds in a single shed. After 14 to 20 weeks, turkeys are transported to slaughter without food or water. At the slaughterhouse, the birds are dumped onto conveyors and hung upside down in shackles by their legs.3

Turkeys are intelligent animals who enjoy having their feathers stroked and listening to music, with which they will often sing quite loudly. In nature, turkeys can fly 55 miles an hour, run 25 miles an hour.4 Turkeys would live up to 10 years in the wild, but farmed turkeys are usually slaughtered between the ages of 8 and 26 weeks.5 Turkeys are sensitive animals who form strong social bonds and show great affection to others.6 Many turkeys suffer heart failure or debilitating leg pain, and often become cripple under the weight of their bodies which have been genetically manipulated and drugged. When they are slaughtered at the slaughterhouse their throats are sliced and their feathers are burned off, which often takes place while they are still fully conscious.7 On factory farms, turkeys have the ends of their beaks and toes cut off to prevent them from injuring one another as hundreds of them are crowded together.7

Choose a cruelty free Thanksgiving this year and and adopt or sponsor a turkey!

Check back tomorrow for Thanksgiving Week, Day 2: Vegan Thanksgiving Meats.

More information and links:
Adopt-A-Turkey Project FAQ’s
Compassion Over Killing: Animal Suffering in the Turkey Industry
World Prout Assembly: Animal Suffering in the Turkey Industry
Turkey Information Sheet
Cruelty to Animals: Turkeys
The Hidden Lives of Turkeys
Turkey Factory Farms
Turkeys - Viva! Fact Sheet
Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Turkeys
Talking Points for Turkeys
Turkey Farm Cruelty
The Welfare Of Turkeys At Slaughter (PDF)
Statistics: Global Farmed Animal Slaughter
Turkey Exploitation
The Trouble With Turkey
Turkeys Turned Meat-Machines
Consider the Turkey
Chickens And Turkeys: Bred For Pain
Research Reports - Turkey Production
The Plight of Poultry
Ginnifer Goodwin Urges Public to Adopt-A-Turkey This Thanksgiving
Gentle Thanksgiving
Animal Suffering in the Turkey Industry
Turkeys for Thanksgiving -- as friends, not feast
Happy Thanksgiving?
Meet the Animals - Turkeys
Joaquin Phoenix Thanksgiving Ad
Top 10 Reasons to Pardon a Turkey This Thanksgiving
Investigation Reveals Horrific Cruelty to Turkeys
OSU animal scientist debunks dumb turkey myth
Turkeys for Thanksgiving -- as friends, not feast
12 Reasons to Celebrate Turkey, Not Eat It

Check back tomorrow for Thanksgiving Week, Day 2: Vegan Thanksgiving Meats

Remember to check back here often for new post, I try to update at least once a month. Look at my past blog post for vegan information, resources, and links. E-mail me me if you have any suggestion post, questions on this blog or veganism or know any more sites relating to this post.

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