A Bird of Courage
“Though a little Vain & Silly, a Bird of Courage” ~ Benjamin Franklin
The turkeys who make their home at Animal Place arrived from auctions, feed stores, or farms raising them for slaughter. Many turkeys are not so lucky. Every year, 250 million are killed for their flesh. Often along the way, they suffer from organ failure or heart attacks before they’re six months old. Why? Back in 1960, the average turkey weighed about 17 pounds. Now, most weigh at least 30 pounds.
While the industry likes to “greenwash” their practices by saying they don’t use growth hormones, they’ve bred turkeys so that the broad-breasted breeds can’t survive on their own. The Animal Place turkeys have to be fed conscientiously, because if free-fed, their bodies do not know when they are full, and they will eat themselves to death.
The industry crushes these noble birds’ spirits and bodies. Farmed turkeys live in barren barns, crowded with only 2.5-4 square feet of space. Their toes and beaks are cut off so they don’t hurt one another in these cramped conditions. When one dies from their organs failing to support their oversized body, it’s common to find them surrounded by a ring of others who died of heart attacks from fear when they saw their friend collapse.
Turkeys are social creatures who raise their families together. At Animal Place, sisters Cypress, Oak, and Juniper live together with matronly old Sassafras (and the little rooster Radcliffe, who adopted them). Visitors to their home will find them friendly and chatty (Cypress loves pats and scritches!), to the point that you may wish you spoke turkey so you could know what they were trying to share!
Not eating turkey for Thanksgiving means more than saying no to a tradition. It means saying no to a system of cruelty that no animal deserves–let alone the courageous turkey.
Join us in creating a new Thanksgiving tradition–one that does not have a dead bird on the dinner table