The Nightmare Before Christmas – At least for the Turkeys

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red coat on.”
Benjamin Franklin in a letter to his daughter.

Turkeys are gentle creatures known for their resourcefulness and agility, Benjamin Franklin called the Turkey “a bird of courage” he thought the Turkey truly deserved to be the national bird of the USA instead of the Bald Engle.
Christmas may be an enjoyable time for millions worldwide but for many animals Christmas is the cause of appalling cruelty.

In the USA around 20 million turkeys are slaughtered at Christmas time, here in the UK about a third of the 20 million turkeys killed each year are slaughtered for Christmas dinner. In the USA a further 45 million are massacred to celebrate Thanksgiving.

“All creatures are deserving of a life free from fear and pain” 
Maura Cummings

A turkey is not here to provide a meal at Christmas, a turkey is a thinking feeling being with a life of his own. A turkey is not an automaton driven by instinct, but like all animals he is a conscious being aware of and able to interact with his surroundings: sentient. Did you know turkeys enjoy listening to music and will sing along with it, they enjoy having their feathers stroked and like all creatures they enjoy their freedom and wish to live. Turkeys can run up to 18 miles per hour. In the wild they can fly at speeds of 55 miles per hour. Yet while being reared for food they will spend their lives in dreadful conditions in factory farms cramped in filthy windowless sheds never seeing the light of day, never flying or running, not even walking – how can they with only 3.5 square inchs of space. Fed hormones in order that they grow as quickly as possible in the shortest space of time they become crippled by their own weight. After this misery of an existence they are killed at about 5 months old to celebrate the birth of a person whom many believe to be a man of peace. Though not as obvious as the ritualistic slaughter in various religions world-wide it is slaughter nonetheless to commemorate a religious festival.

Turkeys crammed together in factory farm

As factory-farmed turkeys rapidly grow, they run out of space to move and they are forced to wallow in their own excrement.

Read more about what happens to these gentle birds as they are reduced to nothing more than commodities in a production line: – Watch the video if you can. Again this video is hard to view, even listening to the audio turns my stomach because of the callous cruelty committed towards these defences creatures.

The fact that we share this world with people who commit such heinous deeds of cruelty towards defenceless creatures is sickening. The thought that people we associate with every day in the course of our lives may go out each morning and perpetrate  such inhumanity towards helpless animals is disturbing. The video shows deliberate cruelty. Factory farms and slaughter houses attract the perverted and sick members of our society who derive pleasure from harming a defenceless animal. While animal welfare regulations may be in place in some countries  such as here in the UK does not mean that Turkeys do not suffer.

To my mind death itself is inhumane as are the conditions in any factory farm however supposedly good the
so-called welfare regulations . Such as the following most recent case, Turkey Torture: Butterball Workers Found Guilty of Cruelty to Animals:

“The hidden-camera video footage that led to the arrests and convictions revealed Butterball workers violently kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their fragile wings and necks, and maliciously throwing turkeys onto the ground or into transport trucks. This was all carried out in full view of Butterball company management.”

Another harrowing film , just so heart breaking. Wicked cruel people not fit to be called human treating these beautiful sensitive creatures like so much garbage.

Two cases here in the UK in recent years:

Thousands of turkeys destined for dinner tables across the UK have been discovered in “appalling” conditions during a recent undercover investigation. Many birds filmed by vegetarian campaigning group Viva! had leg deformities and injuries, with some birds demonstrating difficulty walking.

A Viva! Campaigner describes her experience visiting turkey farms in Norfolk.

Late one night in November 2002, I drove to Norfolk with Louise Port of GMTV, who was joining our investigation into Christmas turkeys. The quiet country roads around Bernard Matthews’ complex at Weston Longville, were deserted. We parked and made our way through a thicket of trees to a long, windlowless barn that stretched away into the darkness. I could only see the one but was aware that this huge site contains somewhere between 40 and 80 sheds.

Read More:

“Very few animals go through the stresses of poults [baby turkeys] in their first three hours of life. They are squeezed for sexing, thrown down a slide onto a treadmill, someone picks them up and pulls the snood off their heads, clips three toes off each foot, debeaks them, puts them on another conveyer belt that delivers them to another carousel where they get a power injection, usually of an antibiotic, that whacks them in the back of their necks. Essentially, they have been through major surgery. They have been traumatized. They don’t look very good. . . .”

Dr. William E. Donaldson, North Carolina State University

A very succinct and accurate description of the atrocities of factory farming as it relates to turkeys and all that takes place within the first three hours of their tormented lives!

Read more about the nightmare of factory farming

Read More about Turkey intelligence

It was the massacre at Christmas that first influenced me to become vegetarian and eventually vegan. You can read my story on my website here:

Action you can take
The easiest action and most immediate is to stop eating turkeys for Christmas or the flesh of any other living being: duck, geese, chickens, swans, even deer are all killed for Christmas.

You can find some tasty vegan Christmas recipes by clicking the links below:

From Animals Australia – a selection of tasty Christmas recipes
My family and I are having the Cashew Nut Roast with Sage and Onion Stuffing at Christmas

Send for Animal Aids FREE Christmas Without Cruelty pack – Please send for this even though it may be a little late this year you will be well prepared for every other Christmas to come.

Stop eating animals all year round. It is not only turkeys and other poultry that suffer in factory farms, pigs, cattle and sheep all suffer horrendous cruelty to provide us with a food that is not natural and is brought to you as a result of enormous suffering:

Order a free Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit. For people living in Germany, UK, Canada, India, Ireland and USA – Scroll to the bottom of the page for our international Peta websites where similar forms may be found.

You can also download a PDF file from PETA USA
Send for your free Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit! – USA; will also send to just about any country in the world

Watch the PETA Cartoon and sigh up for Christmas recipes PETA cartoon Video – though it is a cartoon this is nonetheless disturbing: -Scroll down to sign up for holiday/Christmas recipes.Get into the Christmas spirit by making sure that no animals are harmed for your food. Sign up to receive recipes and tips for enjoying delicious, guilt-free foods during the holidays and beyond.

More Information about going vegan  – Sign up to the Vegan Easy Challenge and make the move towards compassionate, healthy and eco-friendly living!

Read about a happy end for two lucky turkeys’ Milly and Margo: Two Turkeys Who Aren’t “Too Old” for the Good Life:

Milly and Margo were not slated to join the more than 46 million turkeys slaughtered for Thanksgiving each year in the United States, but the autumn chill still brought with it a grim fate for their small flock. Milly and Margo were to be killed merely for being “too old.” Thanks to a kind friend, however, they now have many years left to enjoy.

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
— Albert Einstein

Credits photos click this link to view more photographs of shocking conditions in factory farms

Related Links
Vegetarians International

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